Skip to comments.The Democrats' Radical Realignments
Posted on 12/19/2003 12:57:07 AM PST by kattracks
The probable nomination of former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean marks a turning point in the modern history of the Democratic Party. The Left has taken over. The tail is no longer wagging the dog. The tail has mastered the beast.
The moderates ran the Democratic Party from 1960 to 1972. Then the left took over, ruling until 1992 a period in which the party controlled the White House for only four out of 20 years, when Jimmy Carter, a moderate southerner, was president. Capitalizing on their failures, the centrists regained ascendancy in 1992 with the nomination of Bill Clinton. They ruled for 12 years and are losing power now.
Al Gore and Hillary Clinton are moving to the Left to make their peace with the partys new masters. Hillary goes to Iraq and then signs up for every Sunday talk show to blast President Bush and the war. Gore backs Dean to court favor with the liberal anti-war faction that has taken over. The Ralph Nader fringe is now in charge, and Gore is moving Left to accommodate them.
How did the Left take over? Yeats had the answer when he wrote that the worst are filled with a passionate intensity and that the center doesnt hold. The war galvanized such activism among those who felt kicked out of the mainstream when they refused to join the flag-waving patriotism unleashed by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, that it empowered the Left to take over the party.
Using the Internet to compensate for its lack of capital, the antiwar faction made its alliance with social liberals who were attracted by Deans approval of the gay civil union bill in Vermont. It is the equivalent for the Left of the deal Ronald Reagan made with the Christian conservatives, signing them up for the 1980 election.
This coalition of peace advocates and supporters of gay civil unions has mobilized online and amassed enough money, manpower and excitement to outdistance the conventional candidates in the Democratic field. They have taken over the party, and they are not planning on leaving anytime soon.
Their ascendancy is paralleled by the solidification of the Democratic minority in Congress, cemented in place by the 2001 reapportionment in which GOP leaders drew district lines to concentrate Democrats in Democratic districts and keep Republicans and independents in marginal areas.
The result has been an inoculation of Democratic congressmen against defeat in general elections. But, with huge numbers of Democrats in their districts, they do have to fear primary contests, particularly on the left. This realization impelled the election of Californias Nancy Pelosi as minority leader and marks the House Democrats move to the left and to irrelevancy.
The dilemma for moderate Democrats is similar to that which afflicted moderate Republicans until George W. Bush came along. To win nominations, they must appeal to the extremists in their own party and move so far to the left that they become unacceptable to the mainstream of American voters.
A vicious circle sets in. Moderates, repelled by the liberal stances of the Democratic Party, will move to Republican ranks and abandon their Democratic affiliation. This movement will empty the partys ranks of its moderates and make takeover by the Left more likely and more permanent.
The path the Democrats are about to tread is the same that left them impotent in the elections of 1980, 1984 and 1988 and akin to that which forced the British Labor Party to lose four consecutive national elections.
The capture of Saddam Hussein and the likely withdrawal of most American forces from Iraq by Election Day if Bush is thinking clearly and can pull it off will leave the leftist Democrats with no issues, only bitterness at having been robbed of their thunder by a fast-moving president.
Their lament at not having the economy, Iraq and prescription drugs as issues will parallel the wails of the 1996 Republicans in not having the balanced budget, crime or welfare to use as issues in toppling Clinton.
Good for President Bush.
Dick Morris is a former adviser to President Clinton.
Say what you want about Dickie, this is a brilliant point.
I agree Clinton and Algore are complete libs; but they repressed that for a time and tried to appear "Centrist," something Dean has abandoned completely.
As the Grinch would say "Wrong-o..", Hillary, Bill's co-president, was clearly a marxist before entering the white house, Bill was as pro-abortion as they come and ran on a pro-abortion plank. Bill repositioned himself as a Progressive Democrat and the American People bought the lie (just like little Cindy-Lou) and recieved his misery to this very day.
The press has been carrying water for the Clinton's since 1991 in not calling him what he clearly was (remember Flower-Gate). They are carrying water for Hillary and the nine Dwarves even now.
Watch the Nine and Hillary try to reposition themselves to the center (a fake-out operation if I ever saw one) with the help of the useful-idoits of the press, this next year. The only thing they aren't counting on is the Internet, Fox News and Rush Limbaugh keeping us mindful of the democrats words and actions.
The most interesting of all will be their Repositioning of Howard Dean who is currently Kevorkian Dean, Anti-God Dean, Anti-War Dean, and Gore-Dean. He has a long way to reposition himself even with the presses help.
Go Dean Go, Run to the Left - Dean, Go Dean Go, and take the democratic party with you!
I agree that the Dems have straddled the left and far left since Johnson right up to the boy Clinton. As far as Bush goes, you and me wish he would govern to the right more, however...
The game plan seems to be to take all the big issues away from the Dems, such as Medicare, prescription drugs, etc. This is a strategy outlined by David Horowitz of frontpagemag.com. While it has the effect of annoying the conservative base, it forces the Dems to rally around left and far left issues. The Dems are losing the center rapidly, as anticipated. This is a long term strategy that seems to be working. Yet I get ill to think that the Pubs are now the party of limited?!? big government.
This strategy begs the question of when will the Republicans start cutting government. If those in leadership would simply hold the spending at the current level for the next 10 years, that would effectively cut the government, slowly, indeed.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.