Democrats also facing internal faction fight this year?

I’m sure you’re all aware of how the GOP’s hard-right and moderate wings have been struggling for control of the party over the past year, as reflected in the Frum-Limbaugh flap, and in insurgent primary bids by conservatives such as Doug Hoffman against moderates.

Are the Dems looking at something similar?

From The Nation:

Here’s an interesting question for debate: Suppose all such insurgencies on both sides were to succeed, and both parties’ moderates, centrists, RINOs, DINOs, Blue Dogs, etc., were knocked out of their bids for election/re-election, and all Congressional elections in 2010 were to pit hard-right-populist Pubs against left-progressive-populist Dems. Which side would come out ahead?

[li]Airlines selling one-way plane tickets[/li][li]L.L. Bean and other purveyors of camping and survival gear[/li][li]Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter[/li][/ul]

Depends on the final makeup of Congress after the dust settles.

Personally I see Tea Baggers as just a worse version of the Republicans we’ve already had. Reps thoroughly wrecked the country and Tea baggers apparently feel they did not go far enough.

Dems, while considered the “left”, have only really been a bit left of Reps. Particularly the Blue Dogs but most seem sufficiently in the pocket of some business interest or other as to hardly deserve the moniker of “being on the left”.

That leaves progressives. We thought we were getting a progressive President and with him a progressive Congress but we got anything but that (see my last paragraph). So, I sincerely hope the likes of Blanche Lincoln get tossed out. Lincoln ran as a democrat and the democrats who voted her in got something else. False advertising I say.

Given the extremes of the Reps this last year I think the Congress needs a more serious attempt from the left to dive its agenda. Democrats have been pussies long enough. A bit more fire in their bellies is needed and I think that would come from the progressives.

Also, I would not paint progressives as fringey as tea baggers. Tea baggers are on about all sorts of weird, unsupportable notions (e.g. death panels) that bear no resemblance to reality. Progressives are nowhere near as off their rocker.

Should be interesting…and scary.

Yes, yes, but how would that play out electorally? Is it even possible to get a progressive-majority Congress? Even based on the most progressive-friendly analysis, that POV, while heretofore underestimated by pollsters and pundits, does not represent anywhere near a majority. Neither does the Teabag-right, of course. But if those were the only choices offered on the ballot, which way would most districts go?

I agree progressives have little chance (and that is being charitable) to get meaningful control of Congress.

If those were the only choices on the ballot I think Tea Baggers would win over progressives. Tea Baggers is a knee jerk response, don’t trouble yourself with facts group. Progressivism (that a word?) is a lot more hard work to sort the good ideas from the bad.

America proves itself to be lazy when it comes to voting over and over again. I say they opt for the easy choice with spiffy slogans.

Yes, but of problematic definition.

Totally agree

Are you serious? Given Obama’s senate record, you thought he was a progressive and not a tax-and-spend liberal? Were you shock when the paragon of family values Bill Clinton (known as Slick Willie BEFORE you elected him) banged an intern?

On behalf of all Democrats, you may now beg my forgiveness for calling me a stupid Republican when I said President Obama would rule like this back on October 2008 and y’all denied it.

Do you think an honest-to-goodness centrist (social programs balanced with fiscal responsibilty) National Progressive Party would help? I’m tired of being told that I am not a true Republican by my own party because I’m pro-choice. But what are my options? I would love to get a grassroots campaign started for a true Progressive (Bull-Moose Party)

Let’s try to keep our terminology up to date – you are using “progressive” in a now-archaic sense. Nowadays it (mostly) means something very different – something well to the right of “socialist” and well to the left of “liberal.” See thread linked in post #6.

Sounds great on paper to me (broadly speaking since the devil is in the details).

I think the problem here is Republicans pull to the right (naturally) so if your starting point is the center, and the right refuses compromise, the legislation gets pulled from center to right. Hell, in this last Congress when Dems tried to meet a Rep demand the Reps would move the goalposts even further right.

If we were haggling over price and I am willing to pay $10 I do not start by offering $10 (see Monty Python for a lesson on this :D).

I’m afraid the nature of the game demands it. Wish it were otherwise.

How does that work? Social programs are expensive, after all.

If the parties booted all their moderates, it would kill the parties. You’d get a massive influx of third party candidates.

Why? Wouldn’t the third parties’ potential voters – and candidates – simply go with either the Democratic or Republican Party as newly radically reconstituted?

No, because a lot of people have moderate views and wouldn’t want to be part of either the new far right Republicans or far left Democrats.

Perhaps, but here is a (AFAIK) complete list, with brief descriptions and links, of all third parties now in existence in the U.S. Which of them stands for the centrists? And I don’t think there would be time to organize a new one before November.

One of them at least nominally does – the Modern Whig Party – but . . . no. I just can’t see that catching on this year, no matter what happens with or to the major parties.

Connecticut for Lieberman wasn’t an official third party until Lieberman lost the Democratic nomination either. And if both the two major parties get stuck at the extremes, new parties in between will develop.

The Independence Party, I think.

I imagine that the disenfranchised people would form up new parties. The vote’s not going to go to the extremists. They simply aren’t representative (by definition of extremism).

True; but history shows us that if extremists, while not forming a majority, do form something close to a plurality, and are really, really determined, sometimes they can win against less zealous moderates, even in a democratic setting. There are many instances, right and left.

I suspect that in those cases they weren’t extremists, you just have the opinion that they were.

Take for example that one of the largest voting blocks for Democrats is black people. Black people are overwhelmingly anti-SSM. The Democratic party is the party for SSM. Say that 80% of all members of the Democratic party are homophobic, but the other 20% happens to make up most of the leadership and therefore decide the platform. Only a small minority of the leadership is homophobes and are considered “extremists” by the other leaders. Now when the main part of the leadership is ousted and the extremists come into power and run all over gay rights, is this really an act of extremism? Or is it simply that the party has finally become representative of its actual members instead of an intellectual elite?