Joe Battenfeld: Democratic Party pols squelch dissent and opponents

From the commentary: These are the kinds of moves you’d see in totalitarian states where they don’t allow any opposition.

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) participates in a TV interview at the Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol prior to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address at a joint meeting of Congress in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol on Feb. 7, 2023, in Washington, D.C.
(Alex Wong/Getty Images/TNS)

The Democratic Party is showing itself to be anything but democratic.

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gloats about “deplatforming” her critics.

From the commentary: Indeed it is, and it's also a far more subtle and less observable form of racism. If a Black child is told, overtly or covertly, he or she cannot succeed in life, many will internalize that message.
From the commentary: The PGA isn’t alone in its willingness to do business with countries that have troubling human rights records. In recent years, both the NBA and the WTA have accommodated China’s political prerogatives after high-profile standoffs over human rights.
From the commentary: Perhaps it was because her story was increasingly looking like 100% baloney. Perhaps it was all the lies popping out of her biography. Perhaps it was her gushing over the magnificent virility of Vladimir Putin, his love of animals, his gentleness combined with strength.

The Democratic Party says it has no intention of sponsoring any debates with President Joe Biden and his primary opponents.

Biden in his announcement video labels all Republicans “MAGA extremists.”

And Twitter files revealed Democratic-led efforts to actively censor conservative voices on social media, despite repeated denials from company executives that turned out to be lies. Also on Twitter and other social media, any posts deemed anti-vaccine have been removed by the social media companies.


It’s all part of a larger effort by Democrats to silence critics by any means necessary.

Ocasio-Cortez sent out a fundraising email this week promoting her efforts to get Fox News’s Tucker Carlson off the air.

“Deplatforming works and it is important, and there you go, good things can happen,” she said of Carlson’s firing.

Not only that, AOC says she plans to go after “all the many voices like him that are still on the air.” So watch out, Republicans. And Democrats too who won’t toe the line.

Biden won’t debate opponent Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and the Democratic Party announced it has no plans to schedule any debates because Biden is running for re-election.

That move will likely prevent Kennedy and any other opponents from getting the national exposure they need to keep alive their underdog campaigns.

These are the kinds of moves you’d see in totalitarian states where they don’t allow any opposition.

In our own backyard in Boston, Democratic Mayor Michelle Wu – with the help of the City Council – successfully squelched opponents protesting in front of her house.


And there have been numerous cases of local pols in Massachusetts refusing to debate opponents or give them the time of day.

Biden’s refusal to debate RFK Jr. is particularly galling. Back when Biden was running the first time, he needed the debates. Now that he’s president, forget about free speech.

Kennedy has challenged Biden to several debates and own halls, saying, “We differ profoundly on fundamental issues such as corporate influence in government, censorship, civil liberties, poverty, corruption and war policy.”

More Opinion:
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From the commentary: People like me who rationalized that a vote for Trump was a vote for his policies and not his corrosive personality made the political equivalent of a bargain with the Devil. ... As did so many others, I bought into the view that Trump was better than the Democratic alternatives.
From the commentary: We are the generations that get to reap the benefits of the human race’s new longevity. With that privilege comes a responsibility to evolve our ideas about aging and adapt societal norms, structures and policies to optimize work and well-being across the lifespan.
From the commentary: In his 70-page ruling, Judge Thomas Parker called the Tennessee anti-drag queen law "unconstitutionally vague and substantially overbroad."
From the commentary: At the core of the GOP's ever-expanding multiverse of scapegoats are immigrant communities, who represent a real threat to white male minority rule. The GOP has proved it's just getting started with persecution of them.
From the commentary: Whatever you're good at, or not good at, is going to change throughout life. You can't make major decisions based on aptitude. You're better off picking a job that doesn't feel like work. Then you won't mind putting in the effort to be great at what you love doing.
From the commentary: A few days ago, after reading through lots of news about current American politics, I came upon Havel's memoir "To the Castle and Back" in a thrift store. Fifty pages in, I thought, "Why can't we have a president like this?"
From the commentary: Last year, over a third of the country's clean-power projects were in Texas. One reason, ironically, is that Texas is a low-regulation state that lets people easily build things. Plus, it has loads of open land swept by mighty winds.
From the commentary: Joe Biden has staked a substantial degree of his presidency on showing that he can work across the bitter partisan boundaries of recent years, already producing the massive bipartisan infrastructure law and measures to spur domestic chip production and protect the health of veterans.
From the commentary: Whether public pressure can alter the course of the current Supreme Court is not at all a certainty. But with the justices serving with impunity for life, for those who wish to oppose this nation reversing the painful and tortuous progress it has made in moving toward the ideals it claims to espouse, there is little choice but to try.

“I invite him into a new era of respectful dialog in these times of division,” Kennedy tweeted.

Biden announced this week he will seek a second term in a campaign video that allowed for no questions or interaction from the public.

But the Democratic National Committee has said they have no intention of sponsoring any primary debates.

Joe Battenfeld is a columnist for the Boston Herald. This commentary is the columnist's opinion. Send feedback to:
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