Category Archive 'Machine Pols'

10 Nov 2014

The Democrats’ Civil War

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Dan Greenfield points to the divisions in the democrat party which are likely to ensure that Republicans can continue to win.

There are really two Democratic parties.

One is the old corrupt party of thieves and crooks. Its politicians, black and white, are the products of political machines. They believe in absolutely nothing. They can go from being Dixiecrats to crying racism, from running on family values to pushing gay marriage and the War on Women.

They will say absolutely anything to get elected.

Cunning, but not bright, they are able campaigners. Reformers underestimate them at their own peril because they are determined to win at all costs.

The other Democratic Party is progressive. Its members are radical leftists working within the system. They are natural technocrats and their agendas are full of big projects. They function as community organizers, radicalizing and transforming neighborhoods, cities, states and even the country.

They want to win, but it’s a subset of their bigger agenda. Their goal is to transform the country. If they can do that by winning elections, they’ll win them. But if they can’t, they’ll still follow their agenda.

Sometimes the two Democratic parties blend together really well. Bill Clinton combined the good ol’ boy corruption and radical leftist politics of both parties into one package. The secret to his success was that he understood that most Democrats, voters or politicians, didn’t care about his politics, they wanted more practical things. He made sure that his leftist radicalism played second fiddle to their corruption.

Bill Clinton convinced old Dems that he was their man first. Obama stopped pretending to be anything but a hard core progressive. …

The left isn’t interested in being a political flirtation. It nukes any attempt at centrism to send the message that its allies will not be allowed any other alternative except to live or die by its agenda. …

[In the 2014 election,] Republicans benefited from a Democratic civil war. They were running a traditional campaign against a more traditional part of the Democratic Party. They didn’t really beat the left. They beat the old Dems.

The old Dems were crippled by the progressive agenda. They were pretending to be moderates while ObamaCare, illegal alien amnesty and gay marriage were looking over their shoulders. They married Obama and it was too late for them to get a divorce. And it doesn’t look any better down the road. …

The old Dems have no ideas and no agenda. The progressives want to get as much of their agenda done even if it’s by executive order and even if it makes them even more unpopular than they are now. The old Dems have realized that they are the ones who will pay a political price for progressive radicalism.

And waiting in the wings is the 2016 election.

Read the whole thing.


Barack Obama was a unique event. Along came a smooth-taking leftist radical with pop star quality, able on the basis of his mixed racial heritage to push our national race-obsessed buttons.

Prior to the arrival of Obama, the GOP seemed to have a perennial winning hand, based simply on the fact that the democrat party nationally would always find itself under the thumb of its radical left-wing base and was doomed therefore to nominate national candidates too left-wing ever to win in a center-right country.

Barack Obama broke the democrat’s logjam by adding intense pop cultural appeal to the political mix. Barack Obama was not just another left-wing democrat. He was the flavor-of-the-month, an instant pop culture star, embodying all sorts of powerful impulses deeply rooted in the national subconscious. Electing Barack Obama would not just be voting for another politician. Electing him would be voting down the nation’s guilt for slavery and segregation. Electing him would be voting for a dazzling new post-racial future in which America’s promise would be finally realized and all men would live as brothers. Normally, only a certain typically older, politically-engaged portion of the population votes. For Obama, all of Hollywood, all the readers of supermarket tabloids, all the student idealists, all the 15-year-old girls of every age turned out to vote.

But they have just one Obama and he is now a lame duck president. After Obama, we’re going right back to the old dynamic in which the democrat base forces that party to nominate ordinary mortal non-celebrities who are too far left politically to win nationally. The portion of the Obama electoral base which made the difference and won him his elections will not be interested in participating in ordinary elections.

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