Progressive Democrats led by Ilhan Omar suggested the party needs to go even further to the left and didn't do enough to combat the Republican's 'race-baiting bulls***' as warring factions played the blame game for Terry McAuliffe's crushing defeat in Virginia and a close race in New Jersey on Tuesday night.    

Senator Tim Kaine (D-Ohio) said he hoped his colleagues would treat the dismal showing like the 'Ghost of Christmas Future' and moderates called for an end to in-fighting with Biden's agenda still stalled and his approval ratings plummeting. 

Even the mainstream media was damning of the results and the fallout with CNN saying Biden returned from Europe to a 'political nightmare', The New York Times suggesting the president's falling approval rating 'heavily shaped' the dismal showing, and The Washington Post said it confirmed the collapse of the coalition that propelled the Democrats to victory over Donald Trump in 2020.

'The menacing thunder couldn’t get much louder for Democrats,' Lisa Lerer of The NY Times wrote. 'The Republican resurgence on Tuesday in Virginia — a state that President Biden won by 10 percentage points last year — and surprising strength in solidly blue New Jersey offer a vivid warning of the storm clouds gathering as Democrats look warily to the horizon.'

The Democrat's left flank blamed the loss on the establishment Gov. Terry McAuliffe – in a race where Youngkin hammered the Democrats on Critical Race Theory, parental control of the school curriculum and made huge gains on Donald Trump with white women and the suburbs while holding his base.

'Squad' member Omar (D-Minn) let it be known she believes the party's establishment wing is to blame in Virginia, on a night when voters in her Minneapolis constituency rejected a proposal to replace the cops with a public safety department.

She retweeted a comment by Twitter user Secular Talk that said 'Can't wait for the left to be blamed for a not at all left democrat losing a D+10 state.' She added a face-smacking emoji. 

A statement by the Battle Barn Collective - far-left coalition of groups including the Battle Born Collective, Justice Democrats and the Sunrise movement - called the Virginia results a 'shellacking' that should be a 'wake up call' for the party and called McAuliffe's campaign 'milquetoast'.

'Terry McAuliffe ran the milquetoast campaign he wanted to run — where every other word he uttered was 'Donald Trump' instead of focusing on the issues voters cared about the most,' they said in a statement.  What happened in Virginia is what happens when Democrats fail to take on the GOP's divide-and-conquer racism and motivate people to turn out. 

'The McAuliffe campaign had no comprehensive pro-worker economic message against a literal private equity magnate. It had no positive message on what the next four years would be like for Virginians. It had no rebuttal to Republican race-baiting bull****. Put simply: it was a campaign designed to fail.

On the flip side, centrist Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia urged Democrats to take the events in Virginia as a cautionary tale for lawmakers to focus more on the constituents in their state.  

He said the results, not just in the governor's race but all the way down the ticket, were 'unbelievable' and was proof that people are concerned about issues such as inflation. 

The infighting highlighted sharp divisions over President Biden's $1.75 trillion Build Back Better plan, which remains stalled even as seasoned Democrats warned of harsh repercussions if the party fails to unify and start producing results. 

Youngkin's win over McAuliffe, who conceded Wednesday morning after the smack-down in a state Biden won by 10 points just a year ago, coincided with months of internal bickering over Build Back Better – which had yet to get a House vote as of Wednesday and didn't have a sign-off from two crucial Democratic senators.

Seasoned Democrats and outside groups are warning the party to put an end to the endless display of sausage-making or face an ominous off-year election poorly armed. 

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, a former chair of the Democratic National Committee under Barack Obama, lamented the failure of legislative action, and said it made a difference in his state.  

McAuliffe 'could have had a really great wind at his back if Democrats had been willing to get the deal done. So I'm just saying I hope my colleagues absorb this notion that when you have the majority, the D in Democrats should stand for doer, not delay, dithering, do nothing, division,' Kaine told reporters in the Capitol. 

'I hope the Dems view this as the Ghost of Christmas Future experience - like this isn't what the future has to be but if you don't change your ways, this isn't the future will be,' he said. 

'The Build Back Better bill as crafted in the Senate and House is going to meet the needs of working families, reduce their costs and combat inflation in a positive way,' Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), a Biden ally, told MSNBC.

'I'd urge them to step forward and vote for it, because then we'd have something real to run on.'

House Majority Whip James C. Clyburn to Punchbowl, a Biden ally who serves as the chief vote counter in the House, told Punchbowl: 'Well, it just reinforces the fact that we need to get these things done,' when asked about Tuesday's results. 

California Democratic Rep. Scott Peters, who knocked off a GOP incumbent in 2012 in a San Diego seat that trended Democratic, told Politico after watching Youngkin's big win: 'We have to show we can govern.'

'The picture has been of Democrats sparring amongst ourselves,' he added. 'That's probably not the best face to put out. I hope that there's more of working toward agreement, like we had today, than openly sparring with each other,' he said, in reference to a breakthrough on prescription drug costs.

The analysis came as the House GOP campaign arm announced it was expanding its target list of Democrats they will invest in defeating next year. 

The blame game kicked off Tuesday night, as members of the party's progressive wing, which has been battling a pair of Senate centrists over President Joe Biden's Built Back Better plan, tried to tag McAuliffe's defeat on establishment Democrats. (McAuliffe is a longtime fundraising powerhouse for Bill and Hillary Clinton).  

Former Housing Secretary and defeated 2020 presidential candidate Julian Castro told MSNBC, 'There has been a lot of oxygen spent blaming the progressives, suggesting that perhaps our best bet is always a centrist candidate. I think that we need to rethink that.' 

There were different prescriptions on the center-right. 

'It's unbelievable to see what went on in Virginia and not just from the governor's race but all the way down that ticket a good bit of change has happened,' said Sen. Joe Manchin on Wednesday.

'I think it should be a call to all of us have to be more attentive to the people back home,' he said, the Hill reported. 'I've been saying this for many, many months, people have concerns, people are concerned.'

Matt Bennett, executive director of centrist group Third Way, pointed to the governing Democratic Party's inability to act on the big ticket items in a statement.

'On stasis, the inability of Democrats – so far, at least – to deliver on the promises Joe Biden made last year is an unforced error,' he wrote. 'The months of in-fighting and sausage-making must come to an end. We must pass these two historic bills and then explain what they will do to create jobs, cut taxes, and help working families afford the essentials. As our latest public opinion research shows [see below], voters don't know what's in the bills, and what they think they know, they mostly don't like.'

His analysis got a 'like' from Biden's Twitter-engaged chief of staff, Ron Klain.   

It was a call to action that was also endorsed by party centrist Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey – although centrist demands over repealing a cap on a state and local tax deduction that helps homeowners in high-wealth states like his were among myriad sticking points that have kept legislation bottled up.  

He pointed to the New Jersey governor's race, where incumbent Phil Murphy was holding a tiny lead in a state Biden won by 16 percentage points.

'In the end, first of all, Gov. Murphy will win re-election and my takeaway overall in this election is that people want action, they want results,' he told MSNBC. 'Frankly it starts right now.'  

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is pushing to finalize deals this week. But in a 'Dear Colleague' letter to lawmakers, she indicated he wants to revive one of the key priorities of progressive lawmakers – even though it slammed into problems in the Senate. 

'Because I have been informed by a Senator of opposition to a few of the priorities contained in our bill and because we must have legislation agreed to by the House and the Senate in the final version of the Build Back Better Act that we will send to the President's desk, we must strive to find common ground in the legislation,' she wrote.

But she also wrote that she had asked Ways and Means Chairman Rep. Richard Neal 'for Paid Family and Medical Leave to be included' in legislation heading to the House Rules Committee. 

McAuliffe, too, had called for Congress to act on key legislation in the final weeks of his race, although it is unclear if a deal would have made a difference in a race where Youngkin pulled ahead by stressing hot-button school and social issues, and McAuliffe tried to tie him to Donald Trump. 

What was not clear Wednesday morning was how Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) was interpreting the results. As of Tuesday, he was still holding out on key elements of the budget package, with concerns about new tax proposals that raise revenue, immigration provisions, and other matters. 

If he interprets McAuliffe's loss as a call to hold firm, it could frustrate party leaders' goal of immediately ramming legislation through the House and getting deals completed by Thanksgiving. 

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