The Death of the Moderate Democrat

by Sonny Bunch on May 30, 2012

One of the punditocracy’s favorite pastimes is concern-trolling the right over the supposed extremism of the Republican Party. It is doomed to rump status; conservative presidents past like Reagan and H.W. Bush and Eisenhower never could have been nominated; the country suffers because of the death of the moderate Republican. You get the idea. With the exeunt of Artur Davis from the Democratic Party, I thought it might be fun to turn the tables.*

I mean, moderate politicians have been drummed out of the Democratic party or silenced as its leaders have played ball with the extremists throughout Obama’s term, rarely calling out their most outlandish and mendacious attacks. Artur Davis was your classic conservative Democrat, the sort of guy willing to reach across the aisle to get things done, you know? It’s sad to see him go.

The problem is, right before our eyes, American liberalism is becoming something very different from what it once was. Yet this transformation is happening by stealth because moderates are too afraid to acknowledge what all their senses tell them.

You seeI think this is part of a broader picture: the Democratic Party that’s left after this election will probably be even further off in left field, even further out of touch with the rest of the country, than before. You might say that Democrats will be a national party no more. Doomed to status as a rump in the northeast with an ally on the west coast, Democrats simply won’t be in tune with the needs of the country as a whole.

Let us think about this. Bill Clinton, who, as I recall, is not accused of being a right wing maniac, understood repeatedly that making deals on things like welfare reform and getting the deficit under control was an important part of governing. He could not get through a Democratic primary today. And Truman! Good god. Try getting that warmonger into office these days.

The real problem is wealthy liberals like Warren Buffett and George Soros have been stepping up their contributions to liberal causes. With the election of Barack Obama in 2008, the party lurched farther left, and modern Democrats became scarcer still.

Et cetera. Geez, this is fun! No wonder pundits rely on this silliness so much.

*You’ll note in the passages below long, italicized sentences. These are lifted directly from the material linked to with a few tweaks here and there to ensure it makes sense in the current context. I only add this disclaimer so some yahoo doesn’t accuse me of plagiarism. This is satire, not plagiarism.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Borepatch May 30, 2012 at 9:55 am

Makes me think of that says about how fascism is always descending on America, but always landing in Europe.


Karlub May 30, 2012 at 11:22 am

This is the exact sort of thing we all walk around with in our heads, and mention in conversation, but never actually get around to doing. Mostly because it is such a chore to read the same conventional wisdom liberal punditry over and over masquerading as broad-minded concern.

God bless you for wading through that swamp, and executing with precision.


jvermeer May 30, 2012 at 7:57 pm

I don’t believe the “moderate” Democrats were actually moderate. They just said what was needed to get elected in non-San Francisco style districts. When important votes came up, the whip would count the votes needed and those unneeded voted the other way so they had some spin back home. The next time an important vote came up, the whip rearranged the chairs so, in the end, everyone got some spin for the next campaign. When you regard the American people as neanderthals, “bitter clingers”, it’s OK to lie.


Peter Verkooijen May 30, 2012 at 8:30 pm

From a European perspective the Democrats in the 1990s were social-Democrat to liberal – liberal everywhere in the world means individual liberty, free enterprise and limited government.

Barack Obama is an old-fashioned marxist-leninist. The Democratic Party has always had a communist fringe; they now run the party.

Conservatives don’t see the difference. To them they are all (social) “libruls”. The conflict of conservative versus liberal is all about social and cultural issues. That is all conservatives care about.

Conservatives have helped create the situation where a communist could take the White House. True liberals, libertarians, Clinton Democrats, fiscal conservatives are lost in the middle.


Don May 30, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Clinton pushed HillaryCare, which was father left then ObamaCare.

Clinton’s “moderate” classification relies upon budgets and legislation passed in Newt’s House.


LizardLips May 30, 2012 at 9:39 pm

Guess he wasn’t black enough.


doubletrouble May 30, 2012 at 9:51 pm

“… a national party no more.”
Interesting choice of words. That was the title of Zell Miller’s 2003 book in which he explained the disintegration of the party he knew. One of the last good ones, he is…


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