Since its founding in 1997, the New Democrat Coalition (NDC) has been a safe space for liberals who consider themselves "conservative-curious." For 18 years, these still-finding-themselves Dems remained silent about their true desires. But this week, they finally came out and said what everyone knew they wanted to say.


We bring you this story in three parts. First, the newsy bits, from The Hill.

The New Democrat Coalition, a caucus of moderate House Democrats, unveiled its economic proposal — the first of its kind in its nearly 18-year history. [...]

It's a much different tone than that of Warren-wing groups, who say the party's midterms losses came because it didn't double-down on progressive rhetoric. [...]

"It shouldn't be about who gets a slice of the pie — it should be about how we make the pie bigger," said Rep. Susan Davis (D-Calif.).

Second, the frowny-face part, via National Journal:

Without mentioning Warren by name, members repeatedly said Democrats need to focus on growing the economy before looking to ideas such as Wall Street reform and the minimum wage.

"It's about economic growth, and a lot less about economic grievance," said Rep. Gerry Connolly of Virginia. "We're the future. If our party wants to grow, it's with this kind of economic messaging."

And last but not least, the lulz, from Roll Call:

“The New Dems’ message doesn’t fit on a bumper sticker,” [Rep. Derek Kilmer] told CQ Roll Call. “So I said we should stand on the steps of the Capitol and shout, ‘What do we want? A comprehensive approach to job creation that includes tax reform, investments in infrastructure and a pro-growth budget that invests in our future! When do we want it? Well, we want to work in a collaborative way to bring people together!’

“I should probably have thrown education in there, too,” Kilmer added. “That would be a part of the chant, too.”

Combined with gerrymandering, that is the kind of milkshake-clear messaging that has made centrist Democrats an endangered species on Capitol Hill. Also, if you guys want some pointers on chanting in public and failing to get results, Yr Wonket know some progressives with whom you could consult.

So fine, we'll read the NDC's plan, we guess. What's first on the list?

Fix the Tax Code to Create American Jobs and Help American Businesses Compete

o_O

Go on.

Keep the Dream of Homeownership Alive

Okay, sure, yeah. Homes are pretty great, sometimes. On the list of things we like to live in, "homes" is somewhere near the top. Homes are a far better thing to live in than shantytowns or dumpster fires, that's for sure. BOLD PLAN HERE, FOLKS. What other Democratic-flavored ideas should we cram down Real Americans' throats?

Promote Skills Training that Helps Americans Succeed Anywhere, Any Time

What does this sentence even mean? At what hours of the day are American workers currently losing ground to the Chinese, and have we thought about adding another shift? If "anywhere" refers to a misalignment between the places where skilled workers currently live and the places where companies are willing to hire them, there's already a mechanism for that; it's called paying higher salaries, and the progressive wing of the Democratic Party is wholeheartedly in favor of this time-tested, market-based solution.

Harness America’s Energy Boom While Acting as Responsible Stewards of Our Natural Resources

How? "America's Energy Boom" has largely been a result of fracking. What do you mean by "harness," and what do you mean by "acting as responsible stewards?" Do "our natural resources" include global sea levels?

Maybe the NDC is talking about implementing Norwegian-style stewardship of American hydrocarbons. That must be it, and if so, then the progressive caucus is totally listening! Tell us more about your plans to plow fracking money back into a giant new federal trust fund, it will help us forget that you didn't say anything about a giant new federal trust fund.

Have Our Cake and Make America Eat It, Too

Could you tell we made that last one up? We thought it was pretty clear, but Yr Wonkette puts the "b" in subtle, so we wanted to make that explicit. Having your cake and eating it too is not part of the NDC's proposal. Wonkette is a satirical snark plantation and recipe hub, in case this is your first day.

The NDC's proposal is not a legislative agenda. It is Tracy Flick's vision board. The only people to whom this message appeals are the Dodge Stratus-driving middle managers of the world, and good luck passing "tax reform" and a "pro-growth budget" without taking a bite of those guys' bottom lines.

The NDC's plan is called the American Prosperity Agenda, and we applaud the document's authors for putting the tell right there in the title.

[The Hill/ National Journal/ Roll Call]

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