Andrew Yang Wants A TV Booking, Not A Political Party
The former presidential candidate and NYC mayoral contender has a new party that lacks purpose.
In that regard, his failed bid served a purpose, but having one good policy idea did not overshadow that he proved himself to be grossly unqualified for the presidency, and as New York voters determined last year, not up for the role of mayor of New York City either.
Yang might be accomplished in the tech world, but he doesn’t appear to know much about American politics outside of it being a way for him to bolster his national profile. That’s why when he announced that he plans to launch a new political party, I knew not to take him seriously.
Unfortunately, not everyone has followed that instinct.
Our media ecosystem’s insatiable need for content means a person like that will always command some attention because of name recognition for as long as they want.
Late last month, Yang announced that his Forward Party, launched last October, would be merging with two other organizations: the Renew America Movement, a group of ex-Republicans led by former Trump White House official Miles Taylor, and the Serve America Movement, founded by former Florida Congressman David Jolly, who I knew best as that never Trumper that talks to Nicolle Wallace all of the time on MSNBC.
“Building a positive unifying third party movement is going to be difficult but is also exactly what millions of Americans have been waiting for,” Yang said in a statement to The Hill at the time of the announcement. “That’s why we will succeed.”
Separately, he wrote, “I knew the country needed a new kind of party to help realign our politics and reverse the polarization that is tearing our country apart.”
And in an Washington Post op-ed touting the Forward Party, Yang, joined by Jolly and former New Jersey Republican Governor Christie Todd Whitman, the trio argued: “The United States badly needs a new political party — one that reflects the moderate, common-sense majority.”
What does “moderate” mean in the age of a Republican Party controlled by an unhinged racist that openly flirts with violence and presently has a bunch of would be successors trying to out bigot each other in case he somehow doesn’t declare a third presidential bid for 2024?
None of them have yet to quite explain that, but I do have a tip for the 17 or so members of the Forward Party: Don’t let Andrew Yang speak for y’all.
Much as likes and courts attention, Yang doesn’t have much to actually say.
Case in point, Yang’s interview with CNN’s Jim Acosta on Sunday in which he sought to promote his new political party without expressing any political positions.
Jim Acosta asked Andrew Yang a very simple question: “How does the Forward Party feel about Roe v Wade?”
In response, Yang said, “The Forward Party has a — not left or right- but ‘forward’ stance on even the most divisive & contentious issues.”
Understandably, Acosta responded by asking “What does that even mean?!”
Like, you either are for a woman’s right to an abortion or not. It’s not a riddle. Why couldn’t he just answer the question?
Well, I’ve noted once or twice before, Yang’s only real ideology boils down to appeasement — notably appeasement of right wing/conservative voters.
It is why Yang went out of his way to defend a white comedian’s use of the n-word.
It is why he once said of white supremacists: “If they’re going to help us transition to a more effective democracy…I don’t need to know what their stance is on things that I disagree with. If they’re going to help us transition to a more effective democracy…I don’t need to know what their stance is on things that I disagree with.”
It is why he continues to appear at events frequented by right wing extremists.
And it’s why in this same embarrassing interview, he tripped over himself trying to defend Donald Trump.
Acosta confronted Yang on Sunday about his tweets criticizing the FBI’s Trump raid — which alluded that the execution of the search warrant was politically motivated.
When asked if he was letting Trump “off the hook” with such talk, Yang would only say “extremism is on the rise in this country” before returning to talking points about the Forward Party.
Not having it, Acosta told him, “I don’t think you answered my question. Are you saying the attorney general had political motivations with this search at Mar-a-Lago?”
Yang replied: “Oh, I trust that all of the DOJ employees and particularly the FBI agents are faithful public servants discharging their duty. And it hurts us all that people are singling out individuals. It’s really awful.”
There is no issue Andrew Yang will not both sides his way through if you let him.
Acosta ultimately asked directly, “Do you buy any of the explanations coming from Trump and his team?”
Yang replied: “I mean the hodgepodge of explanations, it tells you a lot because a lot of them are internally inconsistent. But the tough reality we’re in, Jim, which you and I both know is that there are now maybe 100 or 1,000 different versions of reality that are being accepted by Americans of different ideological backgrounds.”
Yes, Andrew, a lot of Americans have no idea what to make of the news because the media has failed them, but this has nothing to do with your inability to answer a question.
So Acosta asked again: “Are you OK with Trump taking top-secret documents to Mar-a-Lago? Let’s put it that way.”
“Of course not,” Yang said.
Why was that so hard?
Because people like Andrew Yang truly believe so long as you don’t scare white voters by calling out their support of bigots, it will work out.
That may not be enough to win elections in Democratic primaries and cities like NYC, but it is a fine formula to maintain continued support amongst Beltway media.
Yang will get to write more op-eds, keep a contract to do bad punditry on cable news, and presumably make a lot of money bullshitting about moderates at various speaking engagements, but as far as making meaningful contributions to our political system, which sits in chaos, the moment has come and gone.
Andrew Yang is now just a clout chasing political hack that seeks relevance without any purpose that he’s proven more qualified for Celebrity Big Brother than political office or commentary.