Democratic Moderates: an oxymoron?

Friday, October 07, 2005
Herewith an excellent in-house analysis of the problems facing the democratic party.

I dont think any of us would disagree substantially with the original analyst's findings--I think they pass the no sh*t test. But the more ominous issue to me is what happens to the democratic party and ultimately our two party system.

Yes, there is nothing in the Consitution that mandates a two party system--it has emerged. But I think conservatives and libertarians (NOT necessarily republicans) have to consider carefully the consequences of the lack of a signficant alternative political choice for many Americans.

Yeah, I know--we have talked at length about the issue, but it continues to be salient, and I am personally beginning the think the Democratic Party is beginning to self-destruct. And that, IMHO, is NOT a good thing.


ambisinistral said...

The Party is in bad shape but salvagable. One of the problems of the 2000 election was is that it convinced far too many Democrats that they hadn't really lost, that they had been cheated.

They went into 2004 still believing they were the majority party. They weakly pushed the cheated notion again when they lost.

I'm convinced they need to swing to the collectivist left and go completely over the cliff before the rank and file wakes up to just how badly current Party leadership has served them. Howard Dean? Gaaah... who thought that was a good idea?

What I hope to see is a complete thumping of the Party on a national level. I think, in the recriminations that would sure to follow, some of the farther left element would flee towards a more liberal third Party -- the Greens or something similar. It would hurt in the short run, but remaining rump party could start attracting moderates back -- especially if the nuts on the far right started acting up.

chuck said...

Given the widespread gerrymandering, the need for financing, and the strong Democratic presence in the cities and media, I don't see the party going away any time soon. They could even win the next election. What has to happen, IMHO, is that some of the reliable voter blocks -- I'm thinking blacks and Jews -- come into play. And Look at how long the republicans stayed on the sidelines after the election of FDR. As long as there is a reliable base somewhere, the party will hang on.


David Thomson said...

“...and I am personally beginning the think the Democratic Party is beginning to self-destruct.”

I have repeatedly said that the national Democratic Party died last November 2. It has been captured by left wing crazies, and they possess the ultimate veto power regarding the party’s presidential nominee. This situation is only going to continue deteriorating. One is not allowed to assassinate these fanatics, but only marginalize them---and this is virtually impossible because of their ability to obtain serious funding. What about the more local elections? These candidates will sometimes still remain viable. My comments are limited solely to the race for the presidency.

Syl said...

From the article: "In one of their more potentially controversial findings, the authors argue that the rising numbers and influence of well-educated, socially liberal voters in the Democratic Party are pulling the party further from most Americans."

Potentially controversial? Heh.

I caught an MSNBC report on Bush's speech, with selected Bush phrases interspersed with 'yes, buts' from the presenter and, at the end, Pelosi's face saying she doesn't believe Bush has made us any safer.

They even criticized Bush for saying attacks had been foiled. "Prove it" was implied.

This is the face of the Democratic party presented to the public through the media.

Snark and ankle-biting.

Though this isn't what the quote was referring to...I assume it referred to the fund-raising ability of the MoveOn and KOS crowds who go ga-ga over Dean...this is what the public sees in their face every day.

Some suck it up and love it. But this report implies that those who are turned off far outnumber those who wallow in the snark.

I have a feeling that in 2008 it's the middle that will win. What party label that will represent I don't know.

MeaninglessHotAir said...


I think the center always wins. Partisans forget that at their peril.

Rick Ballard said...


I doubt that it is salvageable. The DLC centrists cannot currently fund a national effort from donations from the core of the party. As they allow the moneyed fringe to exert dollar rather than number influence they find that they continue to lose more centrists. The unions are starting to peel off - in part because of reluctance of union members to be associated with what they rightfully regard as a basically unpatriotic antiwar fringe. That is increasing the cash (and particularly the "soft" cash) problem and exacerbates the fragmentation.

Unless the Dems can jettison the Soros antiwar nutters they cannot even hold theor own "true" working class base. They can hold on to the Blue Castles for a long time but a castle is all defense and can be reduced through siege.

If you can identify a means of replacing the Soros money then I would agree that the Dems might be able to recover. Barring that, this is a death spiral. I'm not at all pleased by that prospect because it will ruin the Republicans in short order. We'll see Lord Acton's dictum played out in fast forward.

David Thomson said...

The Daily Kos extremists are particularly dangerous. They are unable to raise millions of dollars---but they don’t have to! The Internet has made it extremely easy to raise thousands. This is all that is required to be to throw a monkey wrench into the machinery whenever the Kos Kids so desire. Hillary Clinton occasionally says a few things indicating that she supports the war on terror. The Kos kids will leave her alone if they think she is merely conning the bubbas in the red states. However, they will destroy her and any other candidate who is sincere.

“I have a feeling that in 2008 it's the middle that will win. What party label that will represent I don't know.”

That is a real easy question to answer. The Republican Party is the only viable option for those who truly believe that there is war on terror. National Democratic leaders, for the most part, believe that our alleged imperialism is what got us into this mess. They embrace the silly views of Edward Said while Republicans agree with Bernard Lewis.

RogerA said...

I think I side with ambi's take--one party of the other will have to be destroyed--true, as Chuck suggests, the gerrymandered system we have produced forestalls that destruction, but I think it will happen like a train wreck in slow motion.

I think one potential answer is to revised the primary system. For 10 years in Washington state, the extreme right--Buchananites if you will, controlled the primary system which kept producing zealots that got easily thumped in the general election. Dino Rossi's near win finally broke the back of that system.

The national dems are stuck with a primary system that elevates left wing candidates rather than centrists. When they figure that out, they may have some popular appeal and develop a message that resonates with the political middle.

Knucklehead said...

RogerA and Ambi,

The case you make is a good reason people should jettison "independence" and join one party or the other.

terrye said...


I agree, in 2008 the middle will win.

I am just not sure anymore that the middle is any more in the Republican party than the Democrats.

In some ways the Republicans seem to have the same problem, in reverse.

RogerA said...

maybe we arent asking the right question--maybe we all have pundititis--so who is the middle and what do they believe?

ambisinistral said...

Soros and the people are a problem, but I think they are the people who would move on to America's version of the Greens.

From the little I read on liberal boards, the far left talked itself into believing that they lost in 2004 because Kerry was too far to the right.

Also, convinced of the rightness of their positions, they rationalized it was not the message, but the megaphone that did them in. Rove runs a nasty machine that confuses the rubes dontcha know?

I could see a bad defeat splitting off the far left so they could purify their message.

As for the death of the two party system, don't forget that Lincoln was the candidate of the rump Whig party.