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Dems Want to Ditch Leaders and Move Left; They’re Right


Dems Want to Ditch Leaders and Move Left; They’re Right

Richard Eskow

It’s hard to argue that the leftward path leads to defeat when the party’s had so many losses under its current, more right-leaning ideology.

"The poll shows that support for the left is greater among female voters (55 percent), Hispanic voters (65 percent), and African-American voters (55 percent) than it is among whites (46 percent) or men (49 percent)."


Was there ever a time that the Democratic Party did not want to left of its leaders? It seems to me that that leaders are almost always to right of the party. I think Democrats are willing to vote for candidates more toward the center to win elections and have a fear of voting for candidates too far on the left because they think they will lose. This is permanent situation as far I can see. Otherwise Jerry Brown might have been president rather than Bill Clinton. And if African Americans are so far on the left as this poll indicates why did they overwhelmingly vote for Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders. These polls mean little. What matters is how people actually vote and Democrats have tended to vote to the right of their own views.


The left can’t beat Big Money’s right wing bribes to politicians.


If you read the article AA voters are not as far left as other left-leaning groups, especially Latinos. ( Which is the where the biggest new block of voters are, btw. ) There are a lot of reasons; geography, historical evangelical and fundamentalist religious leadership origins and the dominance of wealthy black capitalists as role models and spokespersons for the almost entire AA population. They trend toward older " ward type " organizing and organizations, as well. Which isn’t where you’d necessarily look for the new progressives the article talks about.
I also believe almost 20% of black males who voted, went for Trump. Must been the eloquence and brilliance of Dr. Ben Carson that baffled them, I imagine. Or, the near 100% endorsements of their ancient civil rights leaders who are locked into the Clintonistas and all that " buy in ", entails. I guess they’ll find out " what do you got to lose " pretty quickly, under the proposed Republican Budget & Tax Bills, soon to be on Mr. Trump’s desk.


The thing is, the Ds want us to all make nice and squeeze our ideological differences into one big tent.

Because we have no where else to go.
Because the left should always do the compromising.
Because Joe Lieberman is someone to hold your nose for.

Guess what. F that.


So let me get this right. 52% of Democrats want to move left. So, that’s roughly 16% of voters.

According to Gallup, 25% of voters are liberals, 36% are conservative, and 34% are moderate.

While it may please the base to move to the left, the percentages don’t suggest that it’s a winning strategy. Especially given that liberals tend to be concentrated in states that the Democrats win already. (Looking at the polls, the Democrats already win 18 of the 20 states where liberals are at, or above national averages).


Moderate Dims are not growing. The article states " persaudables " are shrinking in #s. The overall movement, then, is to the left and not to moderation.


Assuming the party even CAN move left, it’s going to take time (and that is one luxury that many issues no longer have). Some progressives may get elected at the local level in the 2018 elections, but that’s only one year, away, now and the party leadership remains addicted to its centrist/neoliberal doctrines. Even more telling is the recent purge of progressive-leaning members of the party leadership. If the party was truly headed in a left or progressive direction, it wouldn’t be purging the left leaning leadership, it would be purging all the old hacks that have nothing left to offer other than they are not Trump. Anyone betting on a progressive Democratic party in 2018 or even in 2020 is dreaming.


In the party. But not necessarily in terms of the electorate. A larger percentage of the population is conservative than liberal, and the moderate percentage is larger than liberals as well. So, if the party shifts more liberal, it moves further away from a majority of voters.

In the US, ideological purity rarely wins elections


Ideological purity is working fine for Republicans in terms of winning elections.

In terms of passing legislation, not so much.

Funny how far right you CAN’T push the overall population.
Funny how that’s a jumping off point for moving left.
Funny how labels are a moving target.


They don’t need to move to the left. They need to switch their allegiances from Capital back to Labor.


That doesn’t speak well for the leaders as representatives, does it?

As to Black voters, I found Glen Ford’s analysis of why they vote for right-wing candidates enlightening (Ford writes for Black Agenda Report, but this was one of his podcasts during the election). Many of them look for the most strongly placed candidate who is not clearly and aggressively a white racist or playing to white racist sentiment. They vote for that candidate because they feel that he (or in this case she) is more apt to head off racist violence than, say, a Bernie Sanders or a Jill Stein (not to make an equivalent of those) because their experience suggests that White voters ideals will not amount to much when it comes to real action.

It could hardly be that this election made them less pessimistic about all that, even if many of them may have favored the rigging of the Democratic nomination.

It was a mistake at best; voting against one’s interests to game the system probably is most of the time. But it is not one that closely follows the policies that the voter favors. But the mistake is not much different, really, than the considerations of very many voters who remain in or with or around the Democratic Party that is so grossly to the right of their preferences and palpable interests, and has become so progressively, since arguably 1972. Many white people who saw themselves as liberal or left or progressive voted for Mrs. Clinton, making essentially the same error.

This practice has made the Democratic party easy to usurp. There could hardly be a more complete proof of that than the near-total failure of the official party to address the rigging of its own nomination, the apparent felonies by central figures, and the acceptance by its candidate of campaign money–and why should we not say bribes?–from at least five foreign heads of state.

Sadly, despite my sympathy with Eskow’s requests, I do not see that the party’s resources are adequate to move left at this time, at least not in terms of national office. It has the voters to do so, but it lacks the officials. The field of Democratic presidential hopefuls in 2007-8 included several people who might be reasonably characterized as left or liberal as easily as is Bernie Sanders. But not one of these survived the processes that the party leaders imposed after 2008. Moreover, the party has shown that itself eager to deflect money from left and moderate candidates for rightist ends–to Donald Trump’s nomination coffers, no less, since Clinton had him figured for a patsy (though, honestly, I still do empathize with the assessment).

The central party wanted to disable the party as a workers or progressive alternative to neoconservative/neoliberal Reagan-Clinton-Bush-Obama politics. With Sanders’ capitulation after the election, I’d say that their success is pretty nearly complete.

Any of you-all wish to tackle it from the inside, best of luck. I don’t see why it might not be easier in any 3rd party of your choosing. But if you want to go blue, start local and replace the people in local office until you at least get people who will work against the “superdelegates” and similar stranglehold devices that the Party has exercised against the populist left.


Here in my county we had one Berniecrat decide to follow Bernie’s advice and run for office.

She was very involved in the local campaign for Bernie, is very astute, charming, and out going, and declared her candidacy very early on. She has a long history of helping others as a social worker. There was no incumbent for the position because the county had recently changed up our districts from three with two from each but elected by all in the county plus one at large to five smaller districts each electing one and two at large. The only council member residing in this district was not up for reelection. Plus our county is known as a progressive one in Democratic politics.

But guess what? The incumbent, a political science professor at the local university, at the last minute decided to run for the same new seat, meaning if he is elected he’ll have to resign his current one. This was obvious a ploy by the local machine to keep out the Berniecrat. He actually sent out campaign materials promoting the Republican as if the Berniecrat wasn’t even running. To his disappointment she did come in as one of the top two with him in the primary and now he has to run against her in the general. His campaign has been dismissive of her, arrogant, elitist, condescending, and fully backed by all the supposedly progressive organizations- despite the fact if he wins his old seat could be given to a conservative while if he loses he remains on the council.

They will do everything that they can to keep the real left out of the party.


Actually it isn’t - in case you haven’t been paying attention, there’s a bit of a civil war going on over there. I believe the Alabama primary was the latest battleground


this is the worng metric. it’s old knowledge that when the GSS survey’s identity, they come up with a lot of misplaced memberships (conservatives identifying as liberals, liberals identifying as leftists, etc.) and the did that by cross-referencing policy preferences versus self-labeling.

The reality is that when it comes to policy, the American people are fairly progressive. If you strip ideological labels from policies, they support a lot of left-leaning policy in the majority, from single payer health care to full employment laws to superior retirement and social security support systems.

this country can–and is largely ready–to move left if properly led. Sanders proved that. However, that move cannot be made within the framework of the Democratic party, whose elites repudiate virtually every progressive wish list there is.


What makes me hoot is the ongoing delusion that elections even matter under plutocracy.


So put a real liberal in the position to win an election and let’s see if these theories about Americans being unwilling to move left are really true. From my perspective when a voter has only the choice between a right wing conservative and a centrist conservative, it’s pretty easy to claim the country is conservative. Senders popularity at the moment seems to undercut your premise.


If Sanders runs again and wins, more power to him. I’m simply looking at the demographics, which, on their face, don’t appear to suggest that a move to the left is a winning one, politically. It could result in another case of winning the popular vote and losing the electoral one. Maybe the solution is the reverse of the libertarian “Free State Project” - get liberals to move from CA, NY etc to places like WY and ID where a small number can sway the electoral vote.


If anything, the Alabama primary was a referendum on Trump himself.

The candidates themselves were all about who was the most far right wing.

Guess what: They both were.


In my totally blue city, the entire process of gentrification has been overseen by Democrats.

They’re the best party that real estate oligarchs ever met.