Ex-Clinton strategist suggests ‘woke detox center’ for Dems after Virginia election loss

Former Bill Clinton strategist James Carville has split the Democrats with a warning that the party’s move towards “stupid wokeness” was behind its election losses in Virginia.

“Stupid wokeness,” according to Carville, is exactly what is to blame for Republican Glenn Youngkin’s gubernatorial victory over Democrat Terry McAuliffe in a state that President Joe Biden had won by 10 points only a year prior.

“Don’t just look at Virginia and New Jersey. Look at Long Island, look at Buffalo, look at Minneapolis, even look at Seattle... I mean, this ‘defund the police’ lunacy, this take Abraham Lincoln’s name off of schools...  People see that,” Carville told ‘PBS NewsHour’, following Virginia’s election. 

The Republican upswing, the Democrat strategist added, was part of “backlash” against the increasingly woke Democrats, who were speaking “a language that people just don’t use,” he said.

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“Some of these people need to go to a ‘woke detox’ center or something,” Carville said. He had previously said he was “scared to death” McAuliffe would lose the race, after he caused a stir by saying he didn’t believe parents should be telling schools what to teach their children. 

New Jersey’s election for a new governor led to a victory for Democrat incumbent Phil Murphy, according to the Associated Press, which called the knife-edge race early. However, Carville said he saw that razor-thin win as a further indication that the Democrats were losing touch with suburban Americans. 

His comments echoed similar sentiments by other Democrats in the wake of the party’s recent election losses, though the strategist’s message for the “woke” wing of his party perhaps split liberals more than other comments, with Carville trending on Thursday on social media and earning both praise and ire for his diagnosis.

“This gets super-liberal folks all agitated, but I live in southside, rural Virginia; he isn’t wrong,” one Twitter user commented

Carville has named “wokeness” as an issue for the Democrats before, telling Vox earlier this year it was a “problem” they didn’t want to “say out loud.”

Biden addressed his party’s recent defeats at a press conference, where he referred to the losses as a sign that people wanted the Democrats to “get things done” and push their agenda forward. 

“People are upset and uncertain about a lot of things, from Covid to school to jobs to a whole range of things – and the cost of a gallon of gasoline,” he said. “People need a little breathing room. They’re overwhelmed.”

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U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 3, 2021. © REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein
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