Dems can’t tell if they’re having a struggle for the soul of their party or not

Dems can’t tell if they’re having a struggle for the soul of their party or not

[Ed. – There may be a temptation to just lampoon the whole situation, but there’s a deeper truth here (and not in the Dan Rather sense).  The GOP is, in fact, the Big Tent party.  It’s the one in which meaningful disputes over philosophy and platform are possible.  Philosophical disputes inside the GOP are actually about the issues, and not about how to schedule or package a program on which everyone agrees.  That’s why so many of the old-line Republican leaders are as hostile to the Tea Party as the Democrats are.  The Democrats have no such fissures.  They all favor big government, and just haggle over personalities and methods.]

At the Prospect today, Progressive Change Campaign Committee co-founders Adam Green and Stephanie Taylor took the opportunity to tout the victories of some of their candidates in June 3 Democratic primaries, and indeed, suggested they were part of a wave:

On Tuesday, in competitive primaries from New Jersey to Iowa to California, voters chose bold progressive Democrats over more conservative and corporate Democrats, handing big victories to the “Elizabeth Warren wing” of the Democratic Party.

Indeed, it was Progressive Super Tuesday. And it is the latest chapter in a larger story we’ve seen play out in American politics since the Wall Street economic wreck.

There’s a rising economic populist tide in America, sweeping into office leaders like Senator Warren, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, and a growing bloc of progressives in Congress.


It’s interesting that Daily Kos Elections didn’t even mention ideology in its brief previews of three of the four races PCCC is claiming as victories of “bold progressive Democrats over more conservative and corporate Democrats” (yes, DKE is preoccupied with the nuts and bolts of campaigns rather than messaging, but if these primaries were waged as “struggles for the soul” I’m reasonably sure they would have mentioned it). It’s probably safe to say that in NJ-12 Bonnie Watson Coleman had a more progressive record and message than Linda Greenstein, but Coleman’s legislative leadership position and a money advantage helped, too. The same is true in IA-1, where Pat Murphy benefited from being a former House Speaker, and narrowly avoided being pushed into a district convention amidst a large field. And in CA-17, it’s not all that clear former Obama administration official Ro Khanna ran against Mike Honda “from the right,” as Green and Taylor put it, though I suppose there are tangible ghosts of the New Dem critique of traditional liberalism in Khanna’s claim that the incumbent wasn’t that interested in Silicon Valley’s needs in Washington. It might be premature to claim a victory for Honda as well, since they’ll have a rematch in November with much higher turnout (though Honda definitely outperformed expectations on June 3).

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