Democrats Annoy Base Running Candidates Who Can Win

The DNC is backing centrist candidates in a bid to win traditionally Republican districts. Party activists are not happy about it.


NYT (“Trying for House Gains, Democrats Bless Moderates and Annoy Liberals“):

CONWAY, Ark. — To many Democratic leaders, the path to power in Washington looks like Clarke Tucker.

He supports the Affordable Care Act, but not a single-payer system. He signals misgivings about Nancy Pelosi as the next House speaker. And even when addressing an audience of Democratic Party regulars, he does not attack President Trump by name.

In short, he comes across as a moderate — and exactly the kind of candidate who leading Democrats believe the party should field in Republican-leaning districts to bolster the majority they hope to win in the House in November.

But that strategy frustrates the party’s liberal supporters, who feel the wind at the Democrats’ back and worry about using it to crowd their House caucus with members who may feel inclined to buck the party leadership and stray from its policy agenda.

Though much of the Democratic energy nationally is coming from the party’s left, Mr. Tucker appears to be running well ahead of a clutch of more liberal rivals in the May 22 primary for a seat in Central Arkansas.

“There’s, in my view, an overly simplistic characterization of Democrats now into one of two camps: either centrist and unenthusiastic or liberal and passionate,” Mr. Tucker, a state legislator, said in an interview after he spoke at a Faulkner County Democratic Women lunch on May 7. “I have a lot of passion about the issues that I really care about. At the same time, I realize that making any progress is better than making no progress at all.”

His broad, incremental approach can feel unsatisfying to more confrontational Democrats. Even more aggravating for them is the support Mr. Tucker has received from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in Washington, which anointed him as its preferred candidate to challenge the district’s Republican incumbent, French Hill.

“Is it really worth the win to keep pushing back against the people you’re supposed to be serving?” said Paul Spencer, one of Mr. Tucker’s primary opponents. “The party used to stand for something. At some point, you’ve got to stand up, and you’ve got to move the party in the right direction.”

[…]

Lawmakers and advocacy groups on the left object that recruiting a generation of less-than-liberal Democrats might cripple the party’s ability to enact sweeping policy changes in Washington. If Democrats capture the House in November by only a narrow margin — perhaps half a dozen seats or fewer — a small cluster of stubborn centrists could wield enormous influence.

Liberal resistance to that scenario may become a more serious obstacle for moderate Democrats later in primary season, when bluer-tinged states select candidates. For example, in California, which votes next month, Democrats are waging fierce left-versus-center primary fights in many of the 14 Republican-held districts. And in many contested suburban districts, Democrats appear likely to nominate candidates well to the left of center.

This is the classic tension in the American political system. Getting one’s agenda passed requires getting a majority coalition. Getting a majority coalition necessarily requires bringing moderates into the fold to win swing districts and perhaps pick off a handful of those which customarily go to the other party. Moderate members of the coalition, alas, are less likely to vote for the agenda.

This tension has been exacerbated by the skill at which state legislatures gerrymander districts to protect incumbents and/or skew the partisan balance. The combination of hardball politics and exceedingly precise demographic information make it easier than ever to carve out non-competitive districts. Thus, it’s extremely difficult for a moderate Democrat to win a Republican district and vice-versa. It’s next to impossible for a hyperpartisan to flip a district.

In a wave election such as we experienced in 1994, 2006, and 2010 and seem very likely to see again in November, there will be, by definition, an unusually large number of flipped seats, generally in a particular direction. While President Trump remains popular with hard-core Republicans, moderates dislike him and the Republican Congress and Democrats are highly motivated to vote. There’s an excellent chance that, with the help of candidates like Clarke Tucker, the Democrats will win a narrow majority in the House.

But, of course, the moderates who would make that possible are going to be opposed to the most contentious items on agenda of the Progressive wing of the party. Not only are they ideologically not predisposed to vote for things like single-payer healthcare but they’re also going to be the most vulnerable incumbents come 2020. Places like Conway, Arkansas will remain conservative even if they vote for moderate Democrats.

Whether the strategy is “worth it” for Democrats really depends on the art of the possible. In my estimate, electing a Progressive majority in 2018 or even 2020 is simply not a feasible outcome; we’re not a Progressive country to begin with and our strange political system gives outsized voting power to rural areas. A Democratic majority in Congress, though, would be much more likely than the current Republican majority to block Trump’s agenda. I’m honestly not sure, though, whether that’s a good thing in terms of ousting Trump in 2020; it may well be that thwarting his baser impulses makes him a better President.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2018, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. This, of course, is the same issue that Republicans face although it’s been masked in recent years by the electoral success they saw in 2010, 2014, and 2016. If a national political party is going to succeed, it needs to be a broad coalition based around a core of mostly centrist ideas. Trying to win nationwide based primarily on appeals to ideological purity are eventually going to fail.

    The best example of this can be seen in what happened to the Republican Party in the Northeast and in California. The Northeast, even states like Vermont, used to be Republican strongholds but that changed as the party shifted to the right to pick up support in the south. In California, the GOP’s stance on immigration turned a state that had generated two Presidents in the course of twelve years and basically handed it to the Democrats for the foreseeable future.

    Democrats would be in danger of doing the same thing if they insisted on ideological purity along the lines of Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Bernie Sanders (who, of course, isn’t even a Democrat). Instead, depending on where they’re running they need to look at candidates like Doug Jones, Conor Lamb, and (even though he lost) Jon Ossoff, They may even need to accept the idea of candidates who stray from party orthodoxy on some issues, such as Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania when it comes to abortion, As you say, the United States is not going to lurch strongly in the so-called “progressive” direction in 2018, or in 2020. And if Democrats want to win, they’ll have to accept that or they could end up with a second term of Donald Trump.

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  2. Lounsbury says:

    Is Kamala Harris actually that Left? (this is a genuine question, from the other side of the Atlantic, had impression she had centrist background).

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  3. @Lounsbury:

    Personally I don’t know enough about her politically to speak for sure but since she’s arrived in Washington she has certainly seemed to drift to the Warren side of the Democratic Party rather than the Obama/Clinton side.

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  4. Tyrell says:

    That is exactly what is needed and what I have been saying. The Democratic party has been led too long by people who are way out in left field – UC Berkeley types who were not representing the middle class working folks. Now it may well be moving back to its centrist – conservative leanings of the past. The Democrat party that we remember in the south: centrist, common sense.

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  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    it may well be that thwarting his baser impulses makes him a better President.

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA… gasp…. wheeze…. Stop it James, your killing me. What happened in a closed door WH meeting on illegal immigration recently that makes you think in any way shape or form that thwarting trump will make him a “better” President? Do you really think people will find a man throwing public tantrums any time he doesn’t get his way, “better”?

    Just as with the lying, this is who trump is. There is no better version of him. This is him being restrained. He only gets worse.

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  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tyrell:

    The Democrat party that we remember in the south: centrist, common sense.

    You left out “racist”.

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  7. Andre Kenji de Sousa says:

    The DNC and Washington Democrats back candidates that can raise money, but not necessarily get votes. Sometimes that mean backing candidates that are too Conservative for a district, sometime this means backing candidates that are too liberal for the district.

    That’s how they end with a guy with no Hispanic Heritage that uses a Hispanic moniker for himselft running against a pretty vulnerable senator in Texas. That’s how they end with pretty Conservative candidates in Pennsylvania or New Jersey.

    Ironically, we are not seeing these “Candidates that are too Conservative for Liberal Activists” in places that we are supposed to see them. In part because these candidates can’t raise money in Idaho or Alabama.

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  8. James Joyner says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I don’t think it’ll make him a better man. But preventing him from enacting dumb policies through legislation may in fact do him a favor.

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  9. gVOR08 says:

    If a national political party is going to succeed, it needs to be a broad coalition based around a core of mostly centrist ideas. Trying to win nationwide based primarily on appeals to ideological purity are eventually going to fail.

    They may fail eventually as their base ages out, but the Rs are having a pretty good run, what with majorities in both houses and holding the presidency. Rove is a complete arse, but he was right that modern national elections are turnout elections. Rs seem to be in the minority, but given the built in advantages of rural areas, they’re doing pretty well by driving the base to the polls with extremist positions.

    And if Ds get the House, they can slow down Trump, and more importantly McConnell, but that gets us another two years of deadlock and conflict that Rs will, once again, successfully blame on the Ds.

    And yes, if asked a majority of Americans identify as conservative, which mostly proves the average voter has no idea what liberal and conservative mean. If you poll issues, you consistently find majorities for the liberal position.

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  10. Bill B says:

    @Lounsbury: Is Kamala Harris centrist??? Really?

    She is the most liberal of the senate by score of crucial lifetime votes for “progressive” issues. https://progressivepunch.org/scores.htm?house=senate

    The Republicans will lose their base that gave them so many recent elections if they keep betraying conservative values. People are sick of the Ryan (Boehner before him) and McConnell giving us the omnibus spending bill that overjoyed the democrats.

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  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @James Joyner: Heh, you have a point. TBH tho, I just don’t see him reacting in a good way to being denied acting on his basest, most animal instincts. He surrounds himself with sycophants because he is unable to accept even the most minor of criticisms. If DEMs win back the House in Nov, we can expect a whole host of investigations into any of a hundred different issues that would have humbled any other administration.

    trump will only get worse, lashing out at any and all perceived enemies, and even more so at his allies who do not sufficiently protect him by slavishly throwing their political careers on grenades to protect him.

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  12. MarkedMan says:

    I’ve contended for years that the movement to selecting the candidate by primary voting has gone too far. How can a party stand for anything if its leaders are elected by a popular vote? The GOP has damaged itself in several different ways, but the apotheosis was the gutting of the party machinery that could have stopped someone like Trump.

    Bernie Sanders in his completely ego driven efforts is trying to drive the Dems away from their retention of super delegates. Even though he lost without them, even though he lost in every way imaginable, he has pulled a Trump and redefined history to his supporters so they now falsely believe the super delegates tipped the nomination in Hillary’s favor. Trump demonstrates that a party, if it is to mean anything, needs an emergency brake. Sure, if the party leaders pull it, it means they will lose the election, but the point of using it is that there are things worse than losing the election.

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  13. mattbernius says:

    In my estimate, electing a Progressive majority in 2018 or even 2020 is simply not a feasible outcome; we’re not a Progressive country to begin with and our strange political system gives outsized voting power to rural areas.

    This — in particular the backhalf. Heck, the NRO is openly noting it:

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/05/electoral-college-favors-republicans-democrats-geographically-concentrated/

    But to the point of “we’re not a progressive nation”, I think it’s worth noting is that the federal system is also operationally weighted towards “conservatives” (in the “stands athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so” way) that allows reactionaries to slowdown actions. That’s a far easier environment for populist conservatives to operate within than populist progressives.

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  14. James Pearce says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA… gasp…. wheeze…. Stop it James, your killing me.

    Earlier I was typing up a comment explaining how a “better” President Trump is literally inconceivable to the progressive left, but anticipating the backlash, I didn’t finish it.

    Imagine, for instance, the consequences of making Trump a “better” president. Would the benefit only flow to Republicans?

    @Lounsbury:

    Is Kamala Harris actually that Left?

    She is whoever she needs to be to fulfill her ambitions. Right now she wants people like Bill B and her supporters to think she’s the “most liberal of the senate.” She may be.

    But she’s also one of those politicians where the “who’s working for who?” question gets a little muddy.

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  15. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Lounsbury: My take on that question is that the “actual left” in the US is relatively small, so I would say no. In the tilted spectrum we use here, yes–her skin color alone qualifies here as a Marxist reactionary to the GOP base (and I mean base in every sense of the word).

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  16. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @MarkedMan: You’re assuming that there are things worse than losing elections. In the current climate, I’m not sure that most people would agree with you.

    the average voter has no idea what liberal and conservative mean

    Boom! Beyond that, I wonder about the whole idea of enacting “sweeping reforms” in the first place. As a friend of mine notes–supertankers do not “turn on a dime.”

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  17. Kylopod says:

    The key quote is here:

    He supports the Affordable Care Act, but not a single-payer system. He signals misgivings about Nancy Pelosi as the next House speaker. And even when addressing an audience of Democratic Party regulars, he does not attack President Trump by name.

    In short, he comes across as a moderate….

    The conclusion does not follow from the premises. None of those things imply Tucker is necessarily a “moderate.” The second and third item are superficial window-dressing. The first is a little more substantive but doesn’t tell us all that much.

    Of course in order to win back power the Dems are going to need to run some candidates who aren’t clones of Bernie Sanders, and of course you can always find progressives out there complaining about this. That’s Politics 101. But “moderate” can mean many different things, ranging from people who support most of the national Democratic Party’s agenda to people who barely sound Democratic at all, taking essentially conservative positions on abortion, guns, taxes, environmental regulation, and more.

    A Democrat won a Senate seat in deep-red Alabama running as a solid pro-choicer opposed to Trump’s tax bill. Doug Jones is no hardcore liberal (according to 538’s calculations he votes with Trump more often than any other Democrat in the Senate–though less often than any Republican), but he is in his way still a sign of the party’s leftward shift over the past decade. Dems used to routinely run candidates who opposed abortion and supported Republican tax schemes.

    As I wrote a few weeks ago: “Doug Jones, Conor Lamb, and Hiral Tipirnini all favor abortion rights, gun control, universal health care, path to citizenship, and have come out against the border wall and the Republican tax bill. They may be to the right of Bernie Sanders, but they’ve stuck mostly to the mainstream Democratic agenda, in a party that has shifted dramatically to the left in recent years. If anything, the Democrats are enjoying electoral success in reddish areas while compromising far less on policy than they did 10 or 20 years ago.”

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  18. Andy says:

    In my estimate, electing a Progressive majority in 2018 or even 2020 is simply not a feasible outcome; we’re not a Progressive country to begin with and our strange political system gives outsized voting power to rural areas.

    People who self-identify as “liberal” are still only about 1/4 of the population, progressives are even fewer in number than that. Although the country is slowly growing more liberal over time, primarily based on social issues, it’s going to be quite a while before a Progressive majority is possible on that basis, even if current trends continue.

    A bigger factor than rural voting power is the two-party system itself. Progressives don’t need to get the support of the majority of the country – they just need to beat moderate Democrats to get on the ticket and then suck slightly less than the GoP candidate – that’s a pretty low bar. In other words, continued politcal polarization, particularly among primary voters, along with the entrenchment of the two-parties will give Progressives their best chance for actual power despite their low numbers in the population.

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  19. An Interested Party says:

    The Republicans will lose their base that gave them so many recent elections if they keep betraying conservative values.

    That’s an ironic comment in this thread…also the comment is futile, as the Republican base is a minority in this country…

    In other words, continued politcal polarization, particularly among primary voters, along with the entrenchment of the two-parties will give Progressives their best chance for actual power despite their low numbers in the population.

    In the meantime, we have a group of people in power who want to do things that are only popular with a low number of the population…

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  20. Kylopod says:

    @Andy:

    People who self-identify as “liberal” are still only about 1/4 of the population, progressives are even fewer in number than that.

    But if you actually poll on specific issues, most of the basic positions of progressives are quite popular (particularly on economic issues, but increasingly social issues as well). Few people identify as “liberal,” because the word has been tarnished from decades of abuse. The increasing use of the term “progressive” in the 21st century was in part a remedy to that, but it still carries connotations of activists on the fringe. A lot more Americans hold progressive and liberal views in practice than go by either of the labels.

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  21. Andy says:

    @Kylopod:

    But if you actually poll on specific issues, most of the basic positions of progressives are quite popular (particularly on economic issues, but increasingly social issues as well).

    They are only popular when polled separately from the costs of those policies. Everyone likes free beer. When actual costs to implement these policies are included, the support for them plummets.

    A lot more Americans hold progressive and liberal views in practice than go by either of the labels.

    That claim is often made but it lacks much empirical evidence to support it.

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  22. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @James Pearce:

    Earlier I was typing up a comment explaining how a “better” President Trump is literally inconceivable to the progressive left, but anticipating the backlash, I didn’t finish it.

    James, it is inconceivable to anyone on the left OR the right. (the left thinks he is the embodiment of the antichrist and will be the end of all mankind, the right thinks he is the embodiment of the antichrist and will be their savior) but sure, go ahead and construct a “better” trump. Don’t leave out any steps, be sure to show all your work, and no “secret sauce” allowed. It should be entertaining at least.

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  23. Lounsbury says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Right, thanks.

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  24. mattbernius says:

    @Andy:

    Although the country is slowly growing more liberal over time, primarily based on social issues, it’s going to be quite a while before a Progressive majority is possible on that basis, even if current trends continue.

    I think its also worth noting that in the present climate trying to create lasting progressive change is also nearly impossible. Probably any sort of “lasting legislative change” — progressive or conservative — is near impossible. But the challenge is that the very nature of progressive change necessitates legislation in most cases.

    If you cannot successfully pass that legislation, the base becomes disenchanted and withdraws.

    So in that respect, not to mentioned the overall power structure within this country, progressive (and liberals) will be at a disadvantage so long as the mid-west remains solidly red.

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  25. the Q says:

    I always find it fascinating in these critiques that Democrats should run centrist candidates and deny their progressive roots, because the GOP consistently runs unhinged wingnut lunatics that slash taxes for the wealthy, bust the deficit, increase wealth inequality, shite on the middle class, rattle the sabers, deregulate finance capital and generally represent interests of the top 1% uber alles, yet no one tells the GOP to tamp down their insanity.

    And why should they? The unhinged lunatics believe in their lunacy and why give it up when they basically have total hegemony over state and national legislative bodies as they espouse their madness?
    The GOP doesn’t lose by being crazy rightwing on the issues, they lose when they run crazy, character challenged candidates.

    A long time ago, in a far, far distant Democratic party, Harry Truman addressed these same “run centrist” candidates by saying;

    “If you run a Republican against a Republican, the Republican wins every time” And, “if you want to live like a Republican, vote Democrat”.

    The DLC of the 80s with the Nunn, Bayh, Clinton moderates ushered in a Republican dominance unseen since the 1920s. How? By following the same rotten advice as given in this article. Run centrists.

    The problem with the modern Dems is they don’t know on what issues to be moderate. Poll after poll show that voters agree with Dem economic policies, yet don’t vote for Dem candidates. The problem is the neolibs are too moderate on middle class economic, bread and butter issues because a huge part of their donor base is now the wealthy elite that focuses neolib attention away from these income inequality issues to social/cultural issues like LGBTXYZ and BLM.

    The Dems could have run a friggin’ democratic socialist which every poll showed would have won against Trump, yet ran the queen of moderates and look at the damage and catastrophe that caused.

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  26. Kylopod says:

    @the Q:

    A long time ago, in a far, far distant Democratic party, Harry Truman addressed these same “run centrist” candidates by saying;

    “If you run a Republican against a Republican, the Republican wins every time”

    This is the third time I’m pointing out to you that Truman probably never said that. And just like the previous times I pointed this out to you, you’ll in all likelihood ignore my comment and before long you’ll be back once again uttering a quote you know is apocryphal, simply because it suits your argument.

    Now, let me give you a real quote that I suspect you’ll also agree with: “The two old parties are, after all, the same. Given a foreign policy directed against the common man all over the world, they must combine on a bipartisan domestic policy directed against the common man in the USA.”

    Who said that? It was Henry A. Wallace during his 1948 campaign on the Progressive Party challenging Truman for reelection.

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  27. gVOR08 says:

    As often happens lately, I’m reminded of 2008 and all the stories in the supposedly liberal MSM about the disaffected Hillary supporters who would never support Obama. Remember PUMAs, Party Unity My Ass? But every time they actually asked a Hillary supporter if she (they usually talked to women) would vote for Obama the answer was – Vote for him? I’m sending him money. I’ll go door to door for him. I’m going to drive Dems to the polls for him. Why would I not support Obama?

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  28. the Q says:

    Kylopud,

    Thank you for the mention of Harry Wallace, a true socialist, who was a stalwart of the Democratic party as were other democratic socialists who were in FDR’s cabinet.

    When the truly liberal Democrats in the 30s-70s espoused New Deal middle class economic policies, i.e. wealth transfer, high marginal tax rates, strict enforcement of anti trust laws, favorable union friendly legislation, a complete muzzle on banking/finance shenanigans, the GOP wandered the DC desert in the House for 56 out of 60 years (1932-1992).

    I get really sick of clueless neoliberal boomers rewriting history to serve their own ignorant centrist positions that have betrayed the interests of the working class as they coddle the Wall street, Hollywood/Silicon moguls.

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  29. James Joyner says:

    @Kylopod:

    A Democrat won a Senate seat in deep-red Alabama running as a solid pro-choicer opposed to Trump’s tax bill. Doug Jones is no hardcore liberal (according to 538’s calculations he votes with Trump more often than any other Democrat in the Senate–though less often than any Republican), but he is in his way still a sign of the party’s leftward shift over the past decade.

    First off, he only won because his GOP opponent was a serial dater of underaged girls. Second, it’s worth noting that it wasn’t all that long ago that the likes of Richard Shelby were running as Democrats in Alabama.

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  30. Kylopod says:

    @the Q: First of all, you keep referencing a quote that I have repeatedly pointed out to you is apocryphal. Even if this were merely a tangential point (which it isn’t), accuracy matters, yet you seem to care very little about it.

    Second, your analysis leaves out some important details. From about the late 1930s to the mid-1980s, Congress was dominated by something called the conservative coalition, meaning that even when Dems controlled Congress there was often a functional conservative majority because a lot of Democrats in the time–particularly in the South–were conservatives. Even ignoring the crucial issue of race, they helped pass Taft-Hartley over Truman’s veto and derail his national health-care proposal.

    Truman himself wasn’t the progressive purist you’re trying to paint him as through that bogus quotation you keep using. Henry Wallace certainly didn’t think so, particularly given that FDR replaced Wallace with Truman specifically because he considered Wallace too left-wing.

    The same applies to FDR himself. A number of his New Deal policies (such as NIRA) made significant compromises with big business. He twice passed up the chance to pursue national health-care out of fear of a backlash by the AMA. He signed a version of Social Security that excluded agricultural and domestic laborers who made up the majority of the black work force (by design, in order to get Southerners on board with the legislation). He disastrously practiced austerity in 1937. Many of his contemporaries, from socialist Norman Thomas to populist Huey Long, denounced him as a corporate sellout, in terms that sound remarkably similar to your criticisms of the modern-day Democrats. A left-wing group called the Southern Tenant Farmers Union complained that under Roosevelt “too often the progressive’s word has been the clothing for a conservative act.” A book I read recently by noted Depression scholar Robert McElvaine includes a very typical example of a letter sent to FDR from a worker in Ohio: “We the people voted for you, we had a world of faith in you, we loved you, we stood by you…but it is a different story now…. [T]he very rich is the only one who has benefitted from your new deal…. [I]t is common now to hear the people, everywhere you go say President Roosevelt has proven to be no different from any other President, there all for big business after they get in office.”

    Make no mistake: I regard FDR and Truman as among the greatest US presidents, who did ultimately stand up to big business in a way that their successors in the party have not. I was not happy with the direction the party took under Bill Clinton. Where we part ways is in your attempt to use these complaints to explain the party’s political problems. First, as I explained, even during that period you describe as a golden age of liberalism, the Democratic Party was filled with hardcore conservatives who make most of today’s “neolibs” seem like flaming communists by comparison, and even your idols FDR and Truman were hardly models of ideological purity. Second, the party’s move toward the center in the 1990s was itself a reaction to electoral losses they had suffered with hardcore liberals. In 1972 they ran one of their most left-wing candidates ever–George McGovern–who went on to lose in one of the biggest landslides in history. After that, the next two Democrats to win the White House–Carter and Clinton–were both economic centrists. Your premise that Dems pay no price for running to the left and that centrism is merely a path to political oblivion ignores much of the history of the latter half of the 20th century. Furthermore, even your description of the party during its supposed “golden age” is hopelessly romanticized, and ignores the fact that many of the things you denounce about today’s party were equally–if not more–true about it back then.

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  31. gVOR08 says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Sure, if the party leaders pull it (a nomination emergency brake), it means they will lose the election, but the point of using it is that there are things worse than losing the election.

    Only to people with principles, and we’re mostly talking about Republicans here. Their only principle is winning the next election.

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  32. An Interested Party says:

    focuses neolib attention…to social/cultural issues like LGBTXYZ and BLM.

    Oh it’s just so horrible that Democrats are interested in the issues that affect two major groups that are part of their coalition…perhaps they should apologize for not worrying more about old, heterosexual men like you…

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  33. James Pearce says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    sure, go ahead and construct a “better” trump. Don’t leave out any steps, be sure to show all your work, and no “secret sauce” allowed. It should be entertaining at least.

    Trump is basically a Democrat who got red-pilled by conservative media. He is famously manipulable, by Fox and Friends chit-chat, by Gru tradecraft, by Breitbart acolytes and Wikileaks ghouls. It doesn’t take a Studio Ghibli level of imagination to picture a Trump with better influences.

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  34. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @James Pearce:

    Trump is basically a Democrat

    That is such utter and insane bullshit. It is trumpian in scope. Name 3 policies of his that Democrats agree with. (3 because even a stopped clock is right twice a day).

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  35. James Pearce says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Name 3 policies of his that Democrats agree with.

    Hell, name 3 policies that Democrats even have. (Ba-dump-bump.. peesh.)

    Point is, Trump is not a Democrat now, obviously –he’s been red-pilled– but he was at one time, and it’s not clear that he’s a steely-eyed and determined ideologue. He’s susceptible to flattery, liable to be bribed, and can most definitely be bought. Clever people are already manipulating Trump right now. Are we not clever too?

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  36. Tyrell says:

    @An Interested Party: Some years ago the Democratic party leaders moved away from traditional family values and endorsed left wing socialism.

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