Photo: Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Although much has been written about the chaotic final days of the 2023 legislative session, the major impact of the session may be in the stress it causes the Democratic Party. The party’s progressive wing did not accept several defeats quietly.
The left turned against moderate party members, their leadership, and even Governor Polis. The loss of two renter bills and a high-profile gun bill was especially stinging. They questioned the value of bipartisanship believing the voters handed them (i.e., progressives) a super majority.
Their anti-establishment rhetoric and attitude indicate the Democratic Party big tent unity could be in danger as it approaches the 2024 election cycle.
Many of the progressive members of the legislature represent Denver. The city council, that is already progressive, will likely shift even more far left as declared socialist enter after the June 6 municipal election. Good luck to Denver’s next mayor. Both candidates, Brough and Johnston, are from the Democrats establishment liberal wing.