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Democrats to Move Left for 2016


Here’s a news story Hillary Clinton won’t enjoy reading: the liberal wing of the Democratic party is getting increasingly vocal, angling to push Democratic politicians further to the left on a wide range of areas. WSJ:

Strong pushback from Democrats in Congress this month threatened to derail the president’s planned military strike on Syria and effectively took Lawrence Summers out of the running as the next Federal Reserve chairman. Now, the hardening of positions on the left against any move to trim Social Security or Medicare spending will limit Mr. Obama’s flexibility going into the big budget fights this fall […]

Strands of a more populist liberalism are sprouting across the country in ways that Democrats predict will spill into the 2016 presidential-primary race. In New York City, liberal Democrat Bill de Blasio easily won this month’s mayoral primary with promises of tax increases on the rich to pay for more education.

In many ways Hillary is still seen as Obama’s heir apparent, but if this leftward drift continues, it could challenge her ability to mobilize the base, ensnaring her in the same trap that has stymied GOP candidates in the last two Presidential election cycles: tacking left to appeal to the base in the primaries, and to the center to win the general could create lots of PR problems and flagrant inconsistencies.

But if recent American political history tells us anything, it’s that the Clintons are consummate politicians, adept at navigating the shifting tides of popular opinion. We’ll be watching closely to see how she performs this time.

[Hillary Clinton photo courtesy of Kai Mörk]

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  • bpuharic

    As Bob Dole pointed out recently, the GOP is so right wing it’s doubtful Reagan could get elected today. And he’s right

    Saying that the Dems are moving left is saying they’re becoming moderate. To the right, of course, anything left of Rush (PBUH) is communist.

    • Michael Brazier

      Any politician who said the same sort of things today that Reagan said as a presidential candidate wouldn’t have any difficulty securing the GOP nomination; that’s clear when you notice that each GOP presidential nominee after Reagan has been forced, often against their private inclinations, to imitate him as a candidate more closely than their predecessor. Bob Dole is, therefore, mistaken.

      The truth is that the decay of the Blue Model, as it grows more obvious, is discrediting the politicians – in both parties – who wish to preserve it as it stands, and legitimizing people who want it radically altered or dismantled. In the GOP that means the “conservatives” are defeating the “establishment”. With the Dems, it means the hardcore socialists are driving out the New Deal progressives. All of these factions have existed for decades — only their relative strengths have changed, in response to events.

      • bpuharic

        Really? Reagan raised taxes 11 times. He couldn’t pass the Norquist test.

        The Blue model is an advanced country model. The red state model starts with Somalia as a goal

        And the right uses ‘socialist’ like the left uses nazi. Both are evidence of brain death.

        • Michael Brazier

          A word of advice: if you used a random talking point generator to compose your posts for you, their quality would improve significantly. Do look into it at your earliest convenience.

          • Fred

            I don’t know if it would improve his posts, but it would at least add some variety to them.

          • USNK2

            the sad part is bphuaric thinks ViaMeadia is a ‘rightwing’ blog, instead of what I consider a skeptical centrist blog.
            as for Hillary?
            At this point, what difference does it make?
            Seriously? At some point, even the NYT is going to notice the genuine fracturing of what is still called the Democratic Party.
            The Clinton’s DLC has been gutted.
            Anyway, I still do not agree that Summers withdrawing was a win for the left.
            It was a win for the world: consensus-building does not compute with Larry Summers’ temperament.

          • Tom

            Of course, the part where taxes were still lower at the end of Reagan’s time in office than when he began seems to have escaped bpuharic.

  • Pete

    “But if recent American political history tells us anything, it’s that the Clintons are consummate politicians, ..”

    Actually, the Clintons are consummate liars with slick being far better of the two.

    • bpuharic

      Interesting that none of their ‘lies’ led to 4400 US deaths in Iraq like the right’s lies have done.

  • bff426

    How she preforms? Actually, that may be an accurate way of putting it if you’re referring to the primaries.

  • Corlyss

    “tacking left to appeal to the base in the primaries, and to the center to win the general could create lots of PR problems and flagrant inconsistencies.”

    Who is this callow youth that speaks thus as if flagrant inconsistencies bothered Democrats? Take his keyboard away from him and send him to read Robert Caro’s biography of LBJ. Dems don’t give a tinker’s rip as long as they win the office. When is this fact going to penetrate the naïve consciousness of the WRM minions?

    • bpuharic

      How’s Senator O’Donnell doing…you know, the hard core right wing Tea Partier who won the MD primary then lost what was a safe seat for the GOP?

      • Tom

        Delaware. And you didn’t disprove his point.

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