Seems like only yesterday we were being treated to earnest worries among the pundit class about the dead end facing the Republican Party. But what’s this? As noted here Wednesday, the elements of a civil war inside the frustrated Democratic Party are rapidly taking shape. It’s starting to remind me of a remark from January 1968 by John Bailey, the then-chairman of the Democratic National Committee: “We know who our nominees will be. [LBJ and Humphrey, of course.] I’m happy to be able to say the Republicans have all their bloody infighting to look forward to.” Heh. Hillary, are you paying attention?
Item: Ted Van Dyk, a veteran Democratic operative, took to The Atlantic to talk about what Democrats need to do to “save” themselves. He understands that Obamacare is a catastrophic mistake for Democrats:
Comprehensive healthcare reform was a worthy priority for the administration. It was undertaken, however, at a time when the country remained financially and economically unstable—and when people of all outlooks were wary about an ambitious remake of a huge part of the economy. Unlike Medicare, Medicaid, or the Medicare prescription-drug benefit, it was formulated and narrowly passed on a one-party basis without public opinion supporting it. If he were to do it over, Obama would no doubt take the Lyndon Johnson/Ted Kennedy approach to healthcare reform and enlist a few Republican leaders and ideas, such as tort reform or selling insurance across state lines.
I doubt this last sentence is true. Van Dyk is being too charitable to Obama here, but perhaps this is a rhetorical necessity for the audience he hopes to reach. But here is a more interesting paragraph:
Democrats also must reconsider the habit of seeing Americans as senior citizens, African Americans, Latinos, Asians, Jews, single mothers, Baby Boomers, Generation X and Y members, secular or religious, higher-educated or not, debtors or savers, union or non-union, wealthy or members of the middle class. These are useful categories for pollsters and campaign consultants as they try to figure out what certain people think and the best way to influence them. But they are a trap for policymakers.
Why isn’t Van Dyk switching parties? Dividing people into groups has been the core of liberal ideology for nearly a century now. Might as well ask the Pope to stop doing his business in the woods.
Item: Paul Waldman, an editor with the lefty American Prospect journal, appears in Politico Magazine today joining the Third Way folks in warning against Warrenism:
But history tells us that such a challenge is highly unlikely to succeed. . . if one of the non-Clinton Democrats considering a run thinks it’s possible simply to ride an economist populist message to the nomination, he or she is almost certainly wrong.
Waldman is surely in the bag for Hillary, but it’s still fun to sit back and watch the infighting begin. I know Warren has said she’s not running. Bobby Kennedy said that, too.
But hey—what’s with swiping the Ashbrook Center’s old logo?