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4.08.2016

Dustbin of Fringehood

Interesting comments here in this panel on Charlie Rose regarding the current state of the Democratic Party compared to 25 years ago.  Pairs nicely (ish) with Bernie's interview with Rose from yesterday.

Rose Is the Democratic party of Bill Clinton dead?  ....the idea of a guy who because he'd been in Arkansas politics understood that you had to be very centrist to win?  

Mike Barnicle I think that it's on life support.... the politicians in power today...especially in the Senate seem to have no idea and they can't articulate the pain, the hurt, the damage that was caused  in 2008, 09 to so many people who lost jobs, homes, their 401K, any sort of hope for an immediate future for their children.  

Mike Halpern  And i'll tell you the other thing that Bernie Sanders speaks to to that's also in the past is the Iraq War and the pain that that's caused America.  [it resonates with] so many families, again, left and right....Wall Street's ripped people off, the Iraq War was was a mistake.....people in New York and Washington talk about those things as unfortunate public policy choices...losing a family member, having a family member wounded, not being able to retire--these are big relatively recent events that Sanders and Trump talk to with emotion.

John Heilemann  I've talked a lot with Senator Sanders and he is very clear when he first he got into the race he wanted to prove....that his positions....were not fringe positions and his great fear was that he would lose very badly and that he would in fact do the opposite....that the arguments he was making would therefore be consigned to the dustbin of fringe hood.  That is the exactly the opposite of what's happened....The Democratic Party of Bill Clinton is dead.  The party of Bernie Sanders and the arguments he's making are where the Democratic Party is now and he has dragged Hilary Clinton to the left on almost everything.  The heart of the party, the soul of the party.... is now a much more progressive/liberal party than it was 20 years ago.


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Although I find Heilemann and Halpern a bit difficult to stomach as they co authored that awful book Game Change (porn for liberals, essentially--an analysis of the Obama/McCain election that included zero source notes) they seemed a bit more palatable in this interview, or really I found their comments interesting.

Heilemann's the only one who really answers the question, however; addressing the actual issues that the Democratic party is standing for rather than it's politician's ability to emotionally connect with voters.  And he doesn't provide any specifics as to the particular issues, although I suppose that stating that Bernie is at the heart of the party is a succinct way of answering this.

Hm, not sure, though, that I'm buying that Bernie is the cause of the Democratic party's shift; basically Heilemann is saying that in the past 6 months or so of Bernie's Presidential Campaign, he's dragged the Democratic party to the left, and that from 1992 (when Clinton was running) until mid 2015, it was still moderate.  No, the shift had to come much sooner.  Although I, too, think that it has taken place.  And that the Democratic Party of the 1990s was a much different beast than the one we have today. 

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