Joe Lieberman's nightmare
Back in December former Sen. Joe Lieberman gave what he probably considered a dire warning.
To the Democratic Party in particular, which not only failed to regain either chamber of Congress but also lost the White House, Leiberman said he thinks there will be a "real attempt by the left-left" to take command of the party.
"It's not the party I worked so hard for when Bill Clinton was president," Lieberman said on John Catsimatidis' radio show "The Cats Roundtable."
How terrifying! Dirty commie lefty hippies!
What's happening to Clinton's neoliberal party?
Note what happened today on the Sanders-Perez Unity Tour.
The leader of the Maine Young Democrats opened the rally by asking the audience who or what brought them out. When she mentioned Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, the crowd applauded and cheered his name. When she mentioned Perez, the room changed.
Metaphor alert. pic.twitter.com/RAJU5qmdke
— T. Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) April 18, 2017
Today also saw a new book in which Sanders gave an opinion about Hillary's campaign last fall.
In the ad, Sanders would tout Clinton for her education, healthcare and minimum wage proposals.
And he would talk about how then-Republican nominee Donald Trump was wrong about climate change and the economy.
At the end of the script were the words: "I'm with her."
“It’s so phony!” Sanders said. “I don’t want to say that.”
Sanders did not use the slogan in the ad.
This is not your father's Democratic Party. 2016 changed things.
Consider what happened when the Republicans tried to repeal Obamacare.
“I thought this repeal bill would sail through,” he said. “It was the president’s number one priority. And what was incredible about this process was the phone calls — we had 1,959 phone calls in opposition to the American Health Care Act. We had 30 for it.”
On Friday afternoon, as congressional Democrats learned that the GOP had essentially given up on repealing the Affordable Care Act, none of them took the credit. They had never really cohered around an anti-AHCA message.
Think about that for a moment. A political victory that politicians don't take credit for. How often does that happen?
They couldn't take credit because the Democratic establishment had no plan.
Their only health care plan - Obamacare - is collapsing.
But someone did have a plan, and he's not part of The Club - Bernie Sanders.
Last year around this time the Democratic Party establishment was attacking Bernie because he supported Medicare-For-All.
Now half of the Democratic Party are cosponsors.
This tidal change in the Democratic Party is beginning to show up in the races.
James Thompson, a Bernie-inspired progressive, almost won a shocking upset despite zero support from the DCCC.
In Montana, progressives sidestepped the establishment and nominated Rob Quist for the May special election.
In North Dakota, a Sanders supporter named Dustin Peyer is going to primary Blue Dog incumbent Heidi Heitkamp.
Heitkamp is near the top of her caucus in supporting Trump's nominees. She and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) were the only Democrats to vote for Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. She was also considered for a Cabinet position.
But the big race is for Virginia governor.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Tuesday backed former Rep. Tom Perriello in the Democratic primary for Virginia governor, the senator’s first big endorsement since the 2016 presidential election.
Perriello, who served a short stint in Congress from 2008 to 2010, will face off against Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam in the Democratic primary on June 13...
Northam was expected to have the primary field to himself and had secured endorsements from McAuliffe and a majority of elected Democratic officials in Virginia. But Perriello has upended the race with his anti-Trump rhetoric.
Polls show that Perriello has a real shot at winning against a candidate with the entire party establishment behind him.
Joe Lieberman's nightmare must come true. Leftist populists must reclaim the party.
(As I never get tired of saying: Republican populism is fake, but Democratic elitism is real).
When they made their deal with big business, the Democrats became a wonky party of technocrats and expert administrators who balanced all the various interests and came up with the answer which was best for everyone, and they distanced themselves from their earlier party-of-the-common-man pretensions. Rather than to represent the majority of the electorate, they increasingly defined their constituency as a hodgepodge of special interest. Political parties inevitably do represent plural interests, as the Democrats certainly had done ever since the Civil War, but the post-Fifties Democrats made a fractionated constituency a deliberate goal and did everything they could to avoid majoritarian appeals and to marginalize majoritarianism within the party.
The concept of "solidarity" and majoritarian appeals is incompatible with a fractionated constituency and identity politics.
Piecing together a majority is a failed strategy, but appealing to a majority's interests right from the start still works.