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Old 01-09-2019, 06:55 PM
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asahi asahi is offline
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Will the Democratic party remain united, or will it tear itself apart?

The Democrats were energized enough to win back the House in 2018, but there are signs of trouble ahead. The insurgents within the Democratic party and the forces of party purity appear to be at odds with centrism and forces calling for party unity.

Can the Bernie Sanders/Ocasio Cortez wing of the party coexist with the Beto O'Rourke wing?
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Old 01-09-2019, 06:59 PM
Steve MB Steve MB is offline
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After the Republican Party fully implodes, the Democrats will have a few good election cycles and then fission into Third-Wayers and Progressives, much like the previous case of a major American political party done in by hitching its wagon to foreign enemies (the Federalists withered away after the War of 1812; the Democratic-Republicans enjoyed a brief "Era of Good Feeling" until factions coalesced into new (Jacksonian) Democratic and Whig parties.
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Old 01-09-2019, 07:14 PM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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The Democratic Party has always been a big-tent party, but since the New Deal, and especially the Civil Rights Era, has been a progressive party in which all members generally agree on broad values like social justice, good government, equality, fairness, and policies based on reason, data, and the long-term good of all people. All Democrats believe in these values, even if there are specific policies they disagree on. I see no reason why the recent gains on the left should 'tear the party apart' any more than it has in the past century.
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Old 01-09-2019, 07:23 PM
penultima thule penultima thule is offline
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Nothing unites a political party quite like the imminent prospect of elected office.
Nothing fragments a political party quite like the prospect of an extended period in opposition.
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Old 01-09-2019, 08:06 PM
RTFirefly RTFirefly is offline
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Aside from a handful of Bernie dead-enders, the party strikes me as more unified than it's ever been. Pelosi's showed she's willing to work with AOC and the other newcomers, give them a voice, and put them on major committees. AOC and friends recognize that, and the good will seems to be mutual.

The party's biggest internal problem after the election was the mini-revolt by Seth Moulton & Co., and that went out with a whimper, not to mention a significant likelihood that the ringleaders will mostly be primaried next year. So there's not going to be a bunch of Blue Dogs being a problem.

As Dave Weigel (IIRC) mentioned on Twitter the other day, the Dems have always had a significant minority of Southern and rural Congressmen in their House caucus, enough of them to prevent bills they didn't like from passing. And now they don't. The biggest structural factor that's militated against Dem unity over the years is now a nonfactor.
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Old 01-09-2019, 08:33 PM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is online now
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I don't know if liberal purity tests are a big thing among the democrats. I could be wrong, but I don't see the kind of stuff we saw in the tea party where they basically said 'its better to win a primary and lose the general than to appoint a moderate'. The GOP lost a lot of easy senate pickups in 2010 and 2012 due to this mentality. At least 5 from what I remember in NV, MO, IN, DE, CO, etc.

As a liberal I voted for moderate democrats because they are vastly superior to the alternative (conservative republicans). I would assume a lot of democrats do the same.

I don't know. At the end of the day only 1/4 of voters are progressives, but progressives/liberals now make up a slight majority of the democratic party (55% if I'm not mistaken). I think a lot of us just want the democratic party to actually listen to us, rather than demand purity tests from everyone. A liberal would've lost in WV, and Manchin is vastly superior to a republican. But the democratic party has taken liberals for granted for years, and now that liberals are the majority of democratic voters (and I'm sure an even bigger % of primary voters) they will have to start paying attention to us rather than giving liberal lip service, and then once elected promoting pro-corporate legislation.

Anyway, who knows. Becaue almost all the authoritarians have moved to the GOP, I don't think the democrats will have the same problem the GOP has. Fake news, purity tests, winning primaries just to lose the general, etc.

What will happen is the democratic party will become much more militant and aggressive. Voters will demand the democrats take advantage of every loophole and scrap of power they have to get their agenda done.

However, again, I don't really forsee purity tests or picking candidates who win the primary and lose the general (AOC for example, was from a very safe blue district).
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Old 01-09-2019, 08:56 PM
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The Democratic party needs to be militant and aggressive at some point. It's all in the timing. Right now, with most morons in this country twerking over the economy (which doesn't give shit to the lower or middle classes), I doubt the average idiot has any real mandate for change. We need a massive economic depression to change the mood.
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Old 01-09-2019, 09:37 PM
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I see no signs of schism within the Democratic party, and that includes Sanders. The "division" you're referring to is between Democrats and Russian trolls.
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Old 01-09-2019, 10:08 PM
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I see no signs of schism within the Democratic party, and that includes Sanders. The "division" you're referring to is between Democrats and Russian trolls.
Agreed. Any current Bernie or Bust stuff is more astroturf than anything else.

There SHOULD be some hard fought debate over what the party should be most concerned about right now and what approaches to advocate for, and progressives are in position to control the wheel more than ever before. The debate is healthy and the impact is already real in that many formerly progressive positions are now embraced by putatively centrist candidates.
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Old 01-15-2019, 09:22 PM
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The party will appear to be tearing itself apart during the primary, but will unite quite well during the general election barring very bad luck with nominee selection. The thing about the system is that the most popular candidate doesn't necessarily win. Sometimes it's just the one that gets the best momentum and doesn't have too many competitors in their "lane". But that's not very likely, maybe a 10% chance that the large field results in a candidate winning that isn't really expected or wanted by a majority of Democrats.

But in the early going, at least on social media, the debate around the various candidates is quite vicious in a healthy way. Trump is going to go after whatever weaknesses a candidate has, so the winner needs to go through a baptism of fire within the party before taking on Trump.
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Old 01-16-2019, 01:01 AM
2nd Law 2nd Law is offline
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The House Democrats that Trump invited for lunch apparently are united, seeing as they all declined to attend.
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Old 01-16-2019, 07:46 AM
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Maybe they just didn't want cold berders and fries for lunch?

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The party will appear to be tearing itself apart during the primary, but will unite quite well during the general election barring very bad luck with nominee selection.
That's every party during every primary season these days.
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Old 01-16-2019, 07:59 AM
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I think it will actually be worse than usual this time due to social media and much sharper intraparty divisions, plus I think most people have internalized by now that going easy on candidates in intraparty races just leaves them vulnerable to unexpected lines of attack in the general. Them tires are going to be kicked real hard over the next 18 months.
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Old 01-16-2019, 12:05 PM
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Well, of course there will be competition within the party during the primaries. That's what a primary is.
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Old 01-16-2019, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by asahi View Post

Can the Bernie Sanders/Ocasio Cortez wing of the party coexist with the Beto O'Rourke wing?
I seriously didn't know those were the wings. I like all the Democrats (more or less) and will try to support the strongest candidate. While my instincts lie quite to the left of center, I'm not looking for a revolution. Let's get back to sanity, then we can talk about real progress.
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Old 01-16-2019, 01:08 PM
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I seriously didn't know those were the wings. I like all the Democrats (more or less) and will try to support the strongest candidate. While my instincts lie quite to the left of center, I'm not looking for a revolution. Let's get back to sanity, then we can talk about real progress.
Well, surely you know what is meant by the "Bernie/AOC" wing but I'd like the OP to flesh out what the Beto wing is supposed to be. Beto might be good for something eventually but he can so far be regarded as a flash in the pan that didn't stake out any ideological ground.
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Old 01-16-2019, 01:15 PM
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To his fans, Beto is whatever they decide he is. That's not his fault, he's not trying to deceive anyone at this point, but he's an inkblot right now.'

But if we're going by record, and we really should go by record, Beto is slightly to the right of the mainstream of the party and well to the right of the top candidates for President other than Biden, who he exists only slightly to the right of.

Last edited by adaher; 01-16-2019 at 01:16 PM.
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Old 01-17-2019, 02:41 PM
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Well, surely you know what is meant by the "Bernie/AOC" wing but I'd like the OP to flesh out what the Beto wing is supposed to be. Beto might be good for something eventually but he can so far be regarded as a flash in the pan that didn't stake out any ideological ground.
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Originally Posted by adaher View Post
To his fans, Beto is whatever they decide he is. That's not his fault, he's not trying to deceive anyone at this point, but he's an inkblot right now.'

But if we're going by record, and we really should go by record, Beto is slightly to the right of the mainstream of the party and well to the right of the top candidates for President other than Biden, who he exists only slightly to the right of.
The Beto wing would be moderate Republicans who are willing to vote for a moderate Democrat, which as adaher points out is where Beto is at on the spectrum. If you look at the results of the midterms from Texas, Beto did a lot better than other Democrats running statewide. He would appeal to those same voters nationwide should he decide to run.

As far as the OPs question, the only way the Democrats tear themselves apart is if they win at least 3 presidential elections in a row and one wing or the other of the party feels that they were neglected during all three of those terms.
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Old 01-17-2019, 05:04 PM
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Agreed. Any current Bernie or Bust stuff is more astroturf than anything else.
Mostly agreed, but I will say there IS still a definite genuine contingent of far left Bernie types -- but the truth is they aren't "Democrats" at risk of being lost, they're lefties who MIGHT be inclined to vote Democrat because the party MIGHT swing further left. The far-right swing of the GOP means the Democratic Party has the opportunity to shift itself left WITHOUT alienating moderates because they're STILL the only party listening to moderates.
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