The Republican Wing Of The Democratic Party Is Still Alive And Kicking
Hillary's campaign team has been relentless-- even ruthless-- in getting endorsements (and commitments from Super-Delegates). One relatively high-up party official, currently running for office, told me his neutral stance turned into a Hillary endorsement and commitment because of the ceaseless barrage of annoying calls... and implicit threats. Another told me his decision to stay neutral had turned into an endorsement of Bernie when he got sick of the pressure. Yesterday Massachusetts freshman Congressman Seth Moulton endorsed Hillary. There's no reason to think he endorsed her for any other reason than what he said: without the even more Establishment Joe Biden in the race, Moulton, a member of the Wall Street-funded New Dem Coalition was aghast at the GOP field and was ready to just bite the bullet and back Hillary. "When you look at the stakes here, when it’s not inconceivable that we could have a President [Donald] Trump or a President [Ted] Cruz, we’ve got to have a strong nominee, and Hillary Clinton is that nominee." Moulton pointed out that Hillary is "aligned with my values," which sounds about right.
Most of the state’s Democratic power structure has backed her campaign, with the notable exceptions of US Senator Elizabeth Warren, who has long held positions more populist than Clinton’s, and Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh.Bernie, Moulton said, hadn't asked him for his endorsement. I gather that isn't something Bernie does, and certainly not when it comes to the Republican wing of the Democratic Party, the Blue Dogs and New Dems.
Sunday, Dan Roberts, writing for The Guardian reported that the New Dems are in a tizzy because Sanders is pushing Clinton too far left for their GOP-lite taste. "Leading architects of the 'New Democrat' movement," wrote Roberts, "are sounding the alarm over a lurch to the left in the party, after candidates at the latest presidential primary debate confirmed a resurgence of more populist economic policies." Keep in mind that with Moulton's endorsement of her yesterday, 35 of the 52 New Dems in the House-- two-thirds-- have officially endorsed her (including 4 of the group's 5 vice-chairs) and that many of the outliers are members of the New Dems just to cash in on the Wall Street loot but are more aligned with the right-wing agenda of the Blue Dog Caucus (which they are also part of)-- like Kyrsten Sinema (AZ), Jim Costa (CA), Kurt Schrader (OR), Brad Ashford (NE) and Gwen Graham (FL).
All that talk about wage inequality flips out the Republican-wing of the Democratic Party and few Democrats vote as frequently with the House Republicans than Sinema, Costa, Schrader, Ashford and Graham-- actually no Democrats vote as frequently with the GOP as Graham. When Hillary-- desperate to fight off the Bernie Sanders challenge-- says things like "We’re at a point in history right now where both our democracy and our economy are not working for the majority" and "People rightly believe that corporations and the powerful have stacked the deck in their favour and against everybody else," New Dems reach for their smelling salts. "How committed Clinton is to her new anti-establishment agenda," wrote Roberts, "remains a matter of fierce debate, not least among Sanders supporters" but he points out that the right-wing of the Democratic Party is not curling up in a ball and dying yet. "[S]igns are growing of a backlash within what remains of the party’s more business-friendly and economically conservative New Democrat wing.
At Columbia University in New York this weekend the Progressive Policy Institute, which helped Bill Clinton and Tony Blair pioneer so-called third way politics in the 1990s, held a closed-door strategy session for congressional staffers that was designed to find ways of promoting growth.Really? Tell it to progressives trying to run for Congress who are constantly being undermined and sabotaged by the corrupt, Wall Street-oriented New Dems, Blue Dogs and conservaDems high up in the Democratic House leadership-- from New Dem Debbie Wasserman Schultz, former New Dem chair Joe Crowley, former Blue Dog fanatic Steve Israel, and New Dem DCCC recruitment committee chairman Denny Heck to master puppeteer and K Street shill Steny Hoyer. Roberts spoke with 3 grubby right-wing Democrats, all in the pocket of Wall Street and writes that even they acknowledge that the good old days of unchallenged corporate domination of the Democratic Party is in trouble.
“There is no question that the prevailing temper of the Democratic party is populist: strongly sceptical of what we like to call capitalism and angry about the perceived power of the monied elite in politics,” says PPI president and founder Will Marshall.
“But inequality is not the biggest problem we face: it is symptomatic of the biggest problem we face, which is slow growth.”
Al From, a leading figure of the centre left who chaired the Democratic Leadership Council during the first Clinton presidency, argues that a focus on inequality, though understandable after the banking crash, risks driving all candidates too far from policies that would promote growth.
“They rev up the base of the party, but if all you are doing is redistributing golden eggs and you’ve got a dead goose, you aren’t going to get very far,” he says. “That’s what I worry about more than anything else.”
He adds: “It’s feelgood politics. It’s very easy to say, ‘When I’m elected we are going to increase social security’, but we might not be able to pay for social security as it is.”
The Wisconsin congressman Ron Kind, who chairs the New Democrat Coalition in Congress [and who, pointedly, has not endorsed Clinton], even compares some progressives in the House of Representatives to the Tea Party movement among Republicans: a sign that redistricting of once tightly-contested seats has left American politics “way too polarised, way too partisan, and way too much about playing to niche interests."
But despite PPI’s Columbia summit and a burst of recent policy papers from another centrist group, Third Way, the influence of the New Democrat Coalition and a similar grouping of moderate southern Democrats known as the Blue Dogs is widely seen as in terminal decline.
“Culturally, the country has progressed a lot and we are not going back,” says From, who points especially to changing attitudes to gay marriage and women’s rights. “But the question is whether a major political party can sustain itself solely on cultural issues and can have a real shot at governing, if it doesn’t have a growth agenda as part of its programme.”Garbage fake-Democrats like Marshall, Kind and From will never acknowledge that Democratic voters are sickened by right-wing Democrats who sneak into Congress claiming to be real Democrats and then vote for the GOP/Wall Street agenda and then refuse to vote for them. In the last few years-- because of the role of corrupt Wall Street conservatives in positions of power within the party-- think Rahm Emanuel, Wasserman Schultz, Steve Israel, Hoyer, Chuck Schumer-- the Republicans have captured Congress because a lack of anything other than a "lesser-of-two-evils" choice was available to Democratic voters.
...On Friday, Clinton was barely distinguishable from Sanders and O’Malley – even denying her hawkish foreign policy reputation by insisting she would be no “more aggressive” a commander-in-chief than Obama.
But many moderates believe she will come around once the primary contest is over, particularly over trade when her opposition to Obama’s Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal is the biggest thorn in the side of pro-business Democrats.
“I’d lie if I said I wasn’t disappointed with the statement that she made on TPP,” says representative Kind. “Everyone knew where she was on that and where she will be, but given the necessities of the moment and a tough Democratic primary she felt she needed to go there initially.”
From agreed. “Hillary will bend a little bit but not so much that she can’t get herself back on course in the general [election] and when she is governing,” he said.
Yet others on both right and left believe Clinton may have gone too far to turn back.
“The danger is that she and other Democrats may believe that there is no political risk in appeasing core partisans with an ideological message,” warns [conservaDem Will] Marshall.
...Paradoxically, some New Democrats may even relish a Sanders resurgence, pointing to the similar experience of Ed Miliband and Jeremy Corbyn in the British Labour party, which they claim will ultimately prove the folly of pandering to the left.
“If we are going to be a governing party we have to [focus more on economic growth], but there is not going to be any pressure in the presidential process until we lose an election or two,” concludes From.
“I think we are in for a long period of the Republicans dominating Congress and state legislatures and the Democrats holding the presidency.”
No New Dems, Blue Dogs or conservaDems here, not now, not ever. This is something New Dems, Blue Dogs and Republicans will never get: