Democrats: Party of the Rich Revisited

I’ve written before that Democrats have become the party of the rich, and how this would scandalize an earlier generation of liberals from Franklin Roosevelt to Hubert Humphrey. A few days ago Thomas Edsall wondered about this in the New York Times in “How Did Democrats Become Favorites of the Rich?

Democrats now depend as much on affluent voters as on low-income voters. Democrats represent a majority of the richest congressional districts, and the party’s elected officials are more responsive to the policy agenda of the well-to-do than to average voters. The party and its candidates have come to rely on the elite 0.01 percent of the voting age population for a quarter of their financial backing and on large donors for another quarter. . .

In this respect, the Democratic Party and its elected officials have come to resemble their Republican counterparts far more than the public focus on polarization would lead you to expect. The current popularity of Bernie Sanders and his presidential candidacy notwithstanding, the mainstream of the Democratic Party supports centrist positions ranging from expanded free trade to stricter control of the government budget to time limits on welfare for the poor. . . the Democratic Party has in many respects become the party of deregulated markets.

Well that last sentence will come as news to . . . oh, let’s start with the electric utility industry and continue to banking and health care, but never mind. The broader point is right, and you can cue the outrage on the left. Read the whole thing, and the comments too if you have time.