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There is nothing that the political media likes, sans future presidential elections maybe, than an “inter-party” war. I’ve realized over the past few years that whenever a blogger makes a claim of the “So-And-So Civil War”; it gets more clicks than a post about millennials missing the 1990s.
Usually the “Civil War” click bait focuses on the Republican Party. Now to be fair, there always seems to be a bomb about to be dropped in the House of Regression. You have the classic conservative establishment versus the new right wing which, right when you seem to doubt they can go any further, always find a way to top itself.
But it never really goes too far even though it seems that its always hyped up. If anything; the “war” seems to be more of the occasional rebuke by John McCain and the right costing itself potential elections in the name of party purity.
If you are a progressive, and its hard to imagine you are reading this blog if you aren’t, it might be upsetting to think that a third party (which seems to be what the media is salivating over and deep down, all of us as well) will never form due to GOP fracturing. However the right’s insistence on nominating toxic candidates is all we really need to further bolster the Democratic Party.
But when speaking of the Democrats, there is a small battle going on in the party between two of its wings. It seems fairly underreported as Republican cannibalism is much more sexier because they wage their battles publicly; but there is something interesting going on.
The “establishment” side, the center so to speak, is in a precarious spot. They might be representing the slightly more popular political party of the moment but they seem to still be ruining any chance of a populist agenda by embracing Wall Street. Chuck Schumer, one of the highest ranked Senate Democrats, lobbed this Cruz missile at “left wing blogs” and comparing them to the Tea Party for their
This obviously infuriated anyone who has voted Democrat and sees themselves as a non-Wall Street insider. We are aware that the Democrats can not fully wage war on the people who essentially fund their campaigns and considering Schumer represents New York; its not too much of a surprise that he has decently close ties to big money.
But in light of the hope that the Democrats can capitalize on the Tea Party’s influence in the party; why the hell is Schumer saying these things?
Then you think about it more and it sort of makes sense to me. Schumer, as a Senate veteran and someone who is very close to being a future Majority/Minority leader, must be hearing something from the inside that is causing him to drop this boomstick.
As Markos Moulitsas, founder of the DailyKos says, he must be “feeling the heat from its resurgent populist wing: the Warrens, Baldwins, Browns and Merkleys”. That is of course referring to Elizabeth Warren, Tammy Baldwin (both elected in 2012), Sherrod Brown (re-elected in 2012 after being targeted heavily by Republicans) and Jeff Merkley (elected in 2008) who, alongside independent Bernie Sanders, have started to create a populist wing of the Democrat Party.
Now Schumer’s words won’t win him any praise from the left nor should it as attacking part of your party’s core base is fairly idiotic. Though I guess we can take solace in the fact that Chuck Schumer sees the left as more of a threat to America than regulating Wall Street.
That’s what always makes me laugh when the issue of Wall Street comes to light. We don’t need to attack Wall Street. We don’t need to make them into our enemies. Hell, all we want is slight, lawful regulation so we can take pride in the fact that the ultra-wealthy don’t have all the advantages in our society.
But nope, its those “LIBRULLLSSS” that are the problem in America. Of course. How many times do we take one on the chin for the sake of getting things done? We had a real opportunity to make headway on healthcare and we gladly settled on a market-based law in the Affordable Care Act which in most of our eyes, does something but not enough.
I’m not saying to not vote for people like Schumer. Schumer does have some good in him as evident by his stances on gun reform and being pro-choice. But he is symbolic of how hard it will be to find someone who is pro-regulation to come from the Empire State.
But he is also symbolic of something slightly more bigger. Its not a stretch to think that only thirty or forty years ago, someone like Chuck Schumer would be a Republican. You know, the good ole’ “Rockefeller Republican” that would negotiate on social issues but was very much pro-business. New York has had a rich history of those types including Jacob Javits, Charles Goodell and of course Nelson Rockefeller.
However that breed of moderate Northeastern Republicans is all but extinct. They are now either out of business or Democrats which has been a boon for the party in terms of numbers but has inched the party towards the middle when it comes to policy.
But as the Democratic Party grows it swallows up the Republicans who are sick of their party’s public quarreling. Then they come into the Democrat tent, welcomed with open arms, but the party doesn’t move much to the left.
We are a welcoming party. I’m in that boat too and have no problems highlighting candidates who are more “moderate” in the name of winning elections. But it can be frustrating for the grassroots to be attacked by its leadership even though most of them are pretty proud loyalists to the likes of Schumer.
Our tent is a mix. We have liberals, progressives, moderates, former Republicans, Jim Matheson and even some Southern Democrats who have continued their party registration against the red tide that has swallowed up the South. We should be proud of our tent.
But that doesn’t mean we should be submissive to it either. The voice of the left is just as critical for the future of the party as is the voice of the other factions. The Democrats can’t afford to lose the left either or we they could have a more public war of words in their future.