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Searching for the Soul of the Democratic Party


Searching for the Soul of the Democratic Party

Bob Burnett

Writing in Politico,Bruce Bartlett complains the Republican Party has lost its way because it has ceased to champion ideas; he says the GOP has become the Party that panders "to the lowest common denominator in American politics." What Bartlett says is true, but the Democratic Party has also lost its way. Not because its ceased to champion ideas but rather because Democrats have forgotten who they are, they've lost touch with their soul.


The “soul” of the Democratic party is on Wall Street. both parties serve the same corporate interests at our expense. We can elect a few populist progressives but we have to work against the Dems to do so.


Yeppers, that’s the GOP all right: the
Pandering party


Learned a lot from this article.

Even though Hillary Clinton was widely believed to be the most qualified candidate to ever run for President …

Yup, living for eight years in the White House with her sleazy husband and serving one disastrous term as Secretary of State made her the best qualified. I didn’t know that.

Obama had soul …

Yep, he sure did, what with his drone strikes, extrajudicial killings, expanding endless war, setting a record for arms sales, deportations and so much more. I didn’t know that was having soul.

The Republican Party is now run by oligarchs but, to a worrisome extent, the Democratic Party is also influenced by big money.

Whew! I was worried that the Democrats were also run by oligarchs. Good to know they’re only “influenced” by big money.

Not so long ago, Democrats distinguished themselves as “the Party with a soul.” That’s what they need to do now. Democrats need to follow Bernie Sanders.

??? I thought the Democrats already were following Bernie Sanders on foreign policy or is it the other way around? So continued support for the war in Afghanistan and endless war, in general, making the defeat of ISIS a top foreign policy goal, continuing the obscenity of bloated defense spending, arms sales to every one and anyone is having soul. I didn’t know that.

Not so long ago, Democrats distinguished themselves as “the Party with a soul.”

I missed that one. When was that, by the way?

Hillary Clinton had a reputation as an intellectual? Now that one I really didn’t know.

The list goes on.

Yup, very informative article.


A ton of articles about how the D party can get back in the swing of things.

Each one of these articles has, as an unstated premise, the idea that Democrats are the good guys. Even if we can all agree that Republicans are worse guys, that doesn’t imply that Democrats are the good guys.

Imagine how much progress we could make in this country if we ditched this false premise.


Actually, the reason she was the most qualified candidate for president ever was because CNN, MSNBC, NPR, et al. kept saying so.

And one of the reasons they kept saying so they could set up the non sequitur: if you don’t vote for her, you’re sexist.


The Democratic Party sold it’s soul over 30 years ago to it’s own group of billionaires. They don’t give a good GD about the rest of us and deserve to die and go the way of the Whigs. Please join me in the #Demexit to the Green Party. Let every true progressive coalesce there in a united front to take over one party with one voice giving a truly progressive/left message that cannot be bought or corrupted. Let us be the Oligarchy’s worst nightmare, and start the process of bringing them down, once and for all. There are already many former “Berniecrats” helping take over local Green Parties from coast to coast. This is not a Stein rehash. This is a new effort to make a truly “full-service” party at all levels. We need people, now, for 2018 and beyond. Please come help us!


Hillary Clinton’s hotline to her bestie, Henry Kissinger, made her the most qualified to start a few more wars.

And here’s the thing: the D-Party has no soul to resurrect. It’s a brand. A hated, moribund brand at that.


Bernie may be the most popular politician in America, although I don’t know the source of that statement, but he certainly isn’t most popular politician among Democrats. The Democrats are not going to follow Sanders because there are a number of Democratic politicians who they would rather follow. Sander is popular for a minority wing of the party but that is going to win many primaries. Hillary Clinton probably is far more popular than Sanders among Democrats. The Democrats have more support than Republicans among the US population but many of the Democrat supporters have been victimized by voter suppression and many belong to groups with low voter turnout. I don’t know the answer for the Democrats but between voter suppression and electoral college favoring small rural states they face obstacles wining the presidential election even though they have more supporters than the Republicans.


Good article. Democrats have lost their way and sold out. The oligarchy wins. Workers and the unproductive will remain at each other’s throats while it rapes, pillages and plunders the people and the planet.

Is “representative government” “democracy”? When a people’s candidate wins, the Electoral College, Supreme Court, corporate politicians, institutions, media, spies, prisons and guns ensure oligarchy remains in power. Big Money is rigging the system everywhere and woe to countries that don’t accept its rule.

Direct Democracy


“The Democrats need to follow Bernie Sanders”. Your’re about a year and a half late with that message.The Democrat Party will never be anything other than it currently is, a party owned by big money. Wall Street’s latest gift of $400,000 to Obama should make that clear even to hopeful fools.
The party is dying. In its death throes. Please don’t attempt to resuscitate it. Let it go.


Isn’t that how Trump won?


As long as amerikans continue to support the republicans and democrats and think that they can change the parties from within, i. e. Thom Hartmann changing the democratic party from within, the death spiral will continue until the inevitable crash and burn. Anyone who still supports these corrupt minions of Crock Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton deserve to burn in the deepest and the hottest parts of christian hell along with their heros! Both the republicans and democrats deserve to be kicked to the curb so a new source of governance can take over in this country! The sooner the better!


Here’s a source, Lrx. (It’s time you did some reading. It isn’t 1995 anymore. :grinning:)

And yes, Sanders is extremely popular amongst Democrats.

There’s also a Fox News poll, for which Sanders had the highest favorability ratings of any of the other elected politicians (including Warren and Trump, but this time excluding Clinton) and almost the lowest unfavorability ratings.


I don’t know that there’s been any post election polling of the popularity of either Sanders or Clinton specifically amongst Democrats. But Clinton has always had extremely high unfavorability ratings across the political spectrum, and it doesn’t seem that that has changed.


Hillary’s propaganda wing DNC (dirty Debbie) repeated the “best qualified” deception rubbish over and over, but qualified for what, servicing Goldman Sachs? On her knees for Big-Pharma? As far as her not being popular, that’s a belly laugh - “visceral sense of attachment”?? People had a visceral sense of detestation for numerous good reasons, not least of which was/is obvious complicity with Billy’s tenure, and her “We came, we saw, (we lied)” comment and despicable depraved cackle at a very ugly murder!

As others here have noted, the Dem Party is also controlled (not “influenced”) by big-money/corporate-banker campaign contribution bribes. Its current establishment “leaders” (corporate whores) failed utterly to learn a damn thing (or alter course) from two consecutive mid-term election ass-whomping’s by the R’Cons. What was it brother Albert said? “insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result”?
If Sanders would have been the Dem candidate, he, not the ginger pig, would be prez today!

Many had hope at Obama’s election but were immediately betrayed by his true nature and “centrist” sellout agenda. Once bitten twice shy. Remember that about 42% of eligible voters didn’t even bother, and they will not unless a candidate of integrity - authentic and honest - like Bernie Sanders, who does have soul, is the candidate! (regardless what BS detractors write and bash him about, especially the self-identified “real left”!)


I want to push back hard on this claim that being an intellectual is bad. Rubbish. This is a meme often foisted on us, but I’d like to see a solid case made for a candidate who can be shown to be pretty sharp (say from articles they have written themselves) who at the same time a) doesn’t use overly complicated words when they aren’t the least bit necessary (I used to be really annoyed at William F Buckley for this - his writing was terrible), b) doesn’t shut themselves away from the middle class and the poor by having fundraising events where only rich people can go, c) isn’t biased in the decisions they make how to best run the economy and the government by associating mostly only with rich people and hoping to hit that revolving door after office for a payout, c) and is generally an authentic person as this author describes Bernie - and then show me that being an intellectual has hurt them with the voters.

There is nothing wrong with being an intellectual!

And can we stop with the ridiculous line about Clinton being the most qualified? The author should read https://www.vox.com/2016/8/1/12316646/hillary-clinton-qualified before spouting such nonsense. I don’t think even Obama believed it, but at least he has an excuse in that he’s going to say anything to get Hillary elected. (Too bad Obama wasn’t willing to DO something that might have mattered like dropping the TPP as Thomas Frank suggested.) What is the author’s excuse? He doesn’t even believe the party should follow her - is he trying to appeal to people who really liked her in 2016 (as opposed to people who voted for in the primary in the mistaken belief that she had the best chance to win in November)? I don’t think those people are that enamoured with her anymore.


The Democratic Party was the target of a tremendous amount of anger during the 1970s and 1980s with regard to African Americans receiving benefits that were perceived as not deserved and big government in general. In the 1990s Bill Clinton attempted to defuse some of this anger by getting rid of the welfare program which was a lightening rod for anger and reducing the size of government to the extent that he declared the era of big government is over, although there does seem to be any evidence to support that. Now 20 years later the Democrats are still dealing with a lot anger regarding their support for African Americans and big government. While the center left of the Democratic Party has struggled with this Bernie Sanders has come along with the view that we should double down on big government. More government is better. And many assume, perhaps incorrectly, that African Americans may benefit the most. Basically he is saying ignore the anger and go ahead anyway. This has led to sharp disagreements within the Democratic Party. Trying to resolve this dispute within the party is proving to be very difficult.


This article seems to suggest that Bob Burnett worked with others to establish Indivisible as a portal to the Democratic Party.


Emphyrio: I wish I could hit the “Like” button a thousand times. What you said here distills my views exactly. It wasn’t just Hillary that I snubbed with my vote, it was the lying turncoat Obama. “Hope and Change” my ass. I wish I had one of those bumper stickers that said, “I Voted for Hope, but All I Got Was Change.” The Change we got was more war, more cozying up to Wall Street, and NO PURSUIT OF THE BUSH WAR CRIMINAL and his ilk.

Unless the Dems run Bernie Sanders or someone like him, I will never vote for them again.

Lrx: you have been making more sense lately, but you sure stumbled on this one. I don’t know how high up you are in the Democratic Establishment, but I suspect it is quite high. Please take a message to them. There are millions more like me in this country.

dahlia11: Thank you for your insights. You’d get another 1000 “Likes” from me. Despite your valiant efforts, I doubt that Lrx (the Democratic Party) will EVER GET IT!


I see you got a eleven true believers supporting the lies you told about Sen. Sanders.
Sen. Sanders: " I think $80 Billion ( cuts ) is doable, " referring to the DoD current budget. With Trump’s $64 Billion proposed DoD increase, that is a $1.4 Trillion dollar difference in spending on the MIC in ten years. You’re contempt blinds you.
On the ACA: the difference is another $1Trillion in tax cuts and cost-shifting over a decade vs.TrumpCare proposals. Again, your contempt blinds you.
On the Infrastructure: $1Trillion plus in proposed additional spending over a decade. Sen. Sanders proposes a mix of borrowing, Wall St. stock trading fees on rapid computer transactions and gas tax increases, etc. Trump proposes toll roads, toll bridges and privitization through private investors. A regressive tax of the highest order and a giant example of rent seeking by billionaires. Your contempt blinds you, and others, who think centralized gov’ts run on misleading rhetorical diarrhea. Talk is cheap, so are your smears.
That $3.4 Trillion difference of opinion ( Sanders v. Trump ) over a decade, has a multiplier effect as well. It really means about $4.3 Trillion to our Federal Budget, debt and borrowing costs, etc. Economists generally say that for every $1Billion in government spending, 40K private sector jobs are created. Do the basic math of Sen. Sanders v. Trump. Who’s really trying to make America much better, as opposed to great, again? Your blind contempt and misdirected anger shows your hate for the most popular political figure in America. That’s really sick and ultimately benefits the 1%.
Finally, if you want to change foreign and endless wars, you must first change the gov’ts spending and investment habits. Direct your hate and anger, as Sen. Sanders is, on those things. And, quit lying about Sen. Sanders’ record.