The Pragmatic Left Is Winning

For once, Democrats are not in disarray.

Comments: 230

  1. What is happening on the ground in ALL districts, is that the Progressive candidates are being unequivocal in promoting policies that are indeed ''practical'',

    Things like human rights, and a women's sole dominion over their own bodies, peace, a living wage, Progressive taxes and the like are no longer ''fringe'' or ''radical'', (no matter how hard the extreme right likes to portray them as such)

    The results are showing up in primaries and special elections. (even in bright red districts that have been that way since the civil war)

    The blue wave is coming to wash away the republican swamp.

  2. @FunkyIrishman

    I certainly hope so—sans identity politics.

  3. How is it that the far right is able to portray progressives as radical extremists, when it is they who are more accurately described by this phrase -- white supremacists; children in cages; colossal transfers of wealth to the super rich from everyone else; violent, fanatical, would-be christians trying to impose a theocracy on American society in direct violation of the constitution. Who are are radical extremists?

  4. @FunkyIrishman

    Will the Dems clean out their own swamp first is the real issue for them. Or will they let the voters do it for them. We'll have to wait and see.

  5. I am very encouraged with these developments. The Democratic party isn't moving to the left as much as it is moving toward the people. Hillary's party is viewed by many as being just another flavor of Wall Street sycophants. People don't want that anymore. They don't want to swallow that bitter pill that we need their money in order to win. We can win together.

    Branding is important, and I would suggest that the terms socialist and socialism be dropped and replaced with the terms "peopleist and peopleism. We are in favor of policies that prioritize the welfare of people, not corporations and super rich that use and manipulate people for profit. I think a lot of red staters could relate to that.

    The whole point of life is living, not slaving away to create a wealth aristocracy like serfs. No one is asking for a free ride. People want and need enriching occupations. They want and need family. How can you experience family if you work 80 hours a week?

    I enjoy the weekly services at my temple. Very few young people attend. Why? They have no time. They are either going here or there or working at the office or working at home doing the work they couldn't get done at the office. This is nuts. That's no way to live. Life isn't the drive through at a fast food joint. The whole point of going to temple or church isn't worshiping, but the coming together, the formation of community. That's what we have lost. Community. That's what we should campaign for.

  6. Community building is a lovely platitude but change comes from the ballot box and when the president defames and degrades the very institutions he is supposed to protect, community building isn’t going to cut it.

    I’m a member of the ‘Hillary Party’ as you call it and I’m a little tired of people painting her with that old tired creed of, ‘she’s just too cozy with Wall Street.’ That’s a line out of Sanders playbook and I didn’t buy it then and I don’t buy it now. That attitude gave us Trump and was always caused by a nonstop character assassination committed by her political enemies.

    I remember the Clinton 90’s as the good old days and I want a return to sound government that understands that business drives this country and that it must be corralled into submission to be useful and not destructive. I’m not sure what you want besides community and that’s not pragmatic enough for me.

  7. @Bruce Rozenblit. Kids today are not afraid of either of those labels. The library and the fire department are socialist. What we need is a progressive corporate income tax so there are limits on how big corporations can be.

    In Europe it’s Social Democrats, that’s a good fit.

  8. @Bruce Rozenblit Many thanks to you for pointing out the value of "community". While religious communities can be insular and exclusive, they should be just one of the many communities people support with their time and resources. Building strong families and healthy communities does require sensible divisions between working time and time for personal work.

    Encouraging government policies which lead to healthy communities at the local, county, state, national and planet levels is an important civic responsibility which is being neglected under Trump's philosophy of "Me First". The Democratic party needs to be fighting for wages and universal benefits which allow workers to work one job, not two or three. This allocation of time would be better for families and for healthy communities.

  9. We are winning with women. Progressive women who get things done. The ones that do the work and get the results. We also voted for one in 2016 and she won too.

  10. @Suzanne Perkins - I never understand this kind of thinking, and I am a woman. Would you not vote for a qualified, smart, hardworking man who represented the issues in a way that you agree with? She did NOT win in 2016, in large part because of this kind of identity tribalism. We still have an electoral college. It is real and it will still be real in 2020.

  11. @Suzanne Perkins - I just noticed you are from Michigan. How ironic that you don't understand the electoral college!

  12. Thanks for the humor!

  13. The best takeaway is that individual candidates should have the opportunity to address their (potential) constituents in an authentic manner. It isn't consistent that there is a singular platform or outlook resonating with all Democratic voters nationwide. For instance, Conor Lamb won his PA seat as a conservative Democrat. Likewise with Senator Jon Tester and others. Citizens want an agenda that reflects them.
    It's really about speaking the language, and championing the priorities, of the people one would represent.

  14. @NM I agree that individual candidates must take on the issues of their constituents and those differ according to district, state, etc. However, a national party needs to stand for national priorities. Just as the Republicans stand for "lower taxes, less regulation", and can be depended on to enact legislation to those ends, Democrats need to stand for something on a national level that can be legislated -- not some warm, fuzzy feel-good verbiage. That should be the umbrella under which each candidate runs and then addresses more regional issues.

  15. @NM -- Perhaps Connor Lamb and Jon Tester will drift further left with time; a Republican never will. Far better to elect someone potentially open to new ideas than someone wedded to old toxic ones.

  16. Idealism is terrific, but is dangerous when it keeps idealists from voting. In a major referendum election about a well-publicized environmental issue here ten years ago, only a few of the Pacific Greens voted. What were they waiting for?

    In fact, even now, only some 40-60% of registered voters in the US vote in major elections, and far fewer in midterms. What are they waiting for? It appears they really don't care about our democracy.

  17. Maybe they are waiting for an issue to vote for such as Medicare for All.

  18. @Cordelia28 Many people stopped voting when they noticed that things that mattered to them just seemed to stay the same or get worse no matter what the candidates for both parties promised. One definition of insanity is if you keep doing the same thing and keep getting the same result (or no result) while continuing to expect something different. So who's crazy, the voters or the non-voters?

  19. Medicare for all to keep Americans healthy. Free college to thrive and innovate in the new century. Strengthen SSI to make sure Americans don't live in the streets after retirement. Rebuild the infrastructure, including a solar grid to try to tame climate change. These things are all pragmatic. This is good, smart government and something that has been lacking for a long time

  20. @Mark SSI is for poor disabled people. Do you mean social security?

  21. @ Mark in Cheboygan

    These are all desirable measures, and more to the point, saleable ideas. If only the left can realize that this country has been about selling stuff ever since the Dutch arrived; that most people in this country are not reflexive leftists; that you don’t sell people stuff by telling them that they are stupid or evil (even if you think they are); and that calm, reasoned, rational arguments don’t stand a chance by themselves without some pizazz (Hillary thought that being valedictorian would make her homecoming queen). I hope we now indeed have a pragmatic left that gets it.

  22. @Mark

    Nothing is free my friend. Everything comes from IRS revenue and it is all a matter of priorities.

  23. The Greens may be well intended
    Their sabotage here, ill defended,
    When the race was so close
    Their run makes me morose
    Our cause they have in effect rended.

    Nader gave us George Bush, recall,
    The Iraq War hardly was small,
    So do some deep thinking
    Our climate is sinking,
    Don't Trump and his minions appall?

  24. @Larry Eisenberg Ahhhh, it's our poet laureate again. Thanks Larry.

  25. "'Democrats in disarray' is a take that writes itself, but not every disagreement is a war."

    Well said. There is hardly any significant policy disagreement I can discern among Democrats and, even, Democratic-leaning Independents. One would be hard pressed to identify what constitutes a "moderate Democratic" agenda, unless it be the same Democratic agenda as Progressives with the public urgency tamped down to avoid motivating Republican voters or with cautions that pie in the sky must be translated into actual legislation before anyone can eat any of it. None of that is a bad thing. Most remarkably, well to do, educated Democrats are less ashamed of being Democrats than anytime I can remember since I was a child and Kennedy was President. Democrats are united in understanding we can do better than Trump and better than the Democratic party past that brought us to this impasse.

  26. Corporate interests and the obscenely wealthy of this country like to define many practical ideas as being left wing socialism.

    Universal medicare is a perfect example- recent polls indicate that this is an idea that not only the majority of the American people support, but also a majority of American doctors- which means it is a centrist idea.

    What is completely radical is the idea that Americans should be satisfied with a health care system that costs twice as much as what other modern countries pay for similar care that provides for every one of their citizens.

    What is radical it that a privatized prison system has strangely coincided with the acceleration of per capita imprisonment in this country to where we have about 7 times higher incarceration rates than when all prisons were government run.

    Or that we aren't spending enough on our military when we spend more than twice as much as Russia and China combined.

    Or that free college is a crazy idea when a college degree is the equivalent of a high school degree 60 years ago in terms of being needed to find good paying jobs.

    What the right wing calls left wing socialism I call common sense and, more often than not, fiscally responsible.

  27. @alan haigh
    Al, Russia according to the Dem's are our enemy, and so is China. That means they are both against us. So combine what each spend and we have to spend that to keep up. Understand. Now the president Donald trump is trying to IMPROVE relations with Russia and China. That way maybe we won't have to spend so much on defense.

  28. @alan haigh I'm with you up to the college degree part. College 'education' has morphed into something unrecognizable over the past 40 years or so. Most people, and most jobs, don't need what it provides. What they need is solid vocational training and a return to a compensation structure that allows them to build a life for themselves and their family.

  29. @alan haigh Exactly!

  30. Notice that the so-called "Moderates" cited by Ms. Goldberg have come back to Democratic values, modern ones, not 1950's ones, and are no longer "Republican Lite" (remember Susan Nunn's and Alison Grimes' bumbled and lost campaigns--running as GOP-Lite).

    Each district and race needs to be responsive to what Democrats and Dem-Adjacent voters want--like Conner Lamb and Doug Jones, or Ocasio-Cortez.

    Yet ALL of them are either avoiding or denying support for the moribund Dem "Leadership" of Pelosi, Schumer, Tom Perez, the DNC, the DSCC and the DCCC.

    And Republicans FEEL the tidal wave coming, like it happened for them in 2010.

    Remember: The old "rules" that the Dem leaders go by hasn't won the House in 10 years, and lost in 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, and 2004, then again in 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016.

    New Rules seems to be working and Dem "Leaders" need to figure this out, and accept it. And, if you look at the most conservative, like Doug Jones, to the DSA Dems, their policy goals and plans and hopes aren't really very different. And THAT is the new strength of the Democratic Party.

  31. @Dadof2 Good points. I totally agree that that Nancy Pelosi, etc. need to exit their roles for the good of the Democratic Party. Their time has come...and gone. Nancy Pelosi especially. She is toxic to many, many voters. For the good of the Democratic Party please make a graceful exit. Now. ASAP. Well before the midterms!

  32. @Dadof2

    It is truly sad to realize that the idea of listening to a constituency's issues, and then campaigning on the promise to go to the capitol and represent that constituency and those issues, is now seen as novel and innovative.

  33. Michelle, you very well show Democrats are not in disarray - it's merely a media meme promulgated by the same crowd who created the monster now known as Pres. Very Stable Genius 45*.

    Progressives will constantly be labeled by the media as "socialists" or "lib'ruls" by various outlets and talking heads whose bread is buttered by creating conflict, which we now know is cleverly leveraged by foreign interests intent on taking apart Western Democracy as we've come to know it.

    The vote in Missouri rejecting the right-to-work measure is the way forward.

    With politics in this country being regional, the platforms and interests of one region will not always easily translate to another region, just as the interests of urban and rural areas sometimes diverge. Local Progressives should run on basic Progressive issues, with the local translation of Progressive values obviously then looking different in different regions of the country.

    But Progressives have to be relentless when it comes to national elections and making sure each and every vote for POTUS goes to a Progressive who can actually win your state - Progressives are not evenly dispersed enough around the country for any of us to indulge in the luxury of 'protest votes', or letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.

    Our most powerful weapon is our vote, and the polls are a war zone.

    Else, why would GOP'ers try so hard to keep us from voting, or make our votes not count ?

  34. @R. Law: I disagree about their butter. Their butter is not creating conflict so much as creating the appearance of disarray and incompetence among those who threaten the established large pocketbooks.

  35. @R. Law If voting had any real effect they wouldn't let us do it.

  36. We have a democracy problem! Until we join the rest of the developed world in making our vote-counting process transparent there is no way to know if election results are legitimate.

    Some people are wondering if the vote count in Brent Welder’s race was manipulated. Welder, a progressive, received 52% of the vote in rural counties that make up 25% of the district. We are told that rural voters do not support progressive policies. Hmm.

    In Johnson County (75% of the district), Welder received only 28% of the vote. It’s easier to manipulate votes in large districts. Johnson County has new voting machines but it took hours to announce the final count. Hmm. Supposedly there were “glitches” with the new machines. Hmm. There were other anomalies.

    Election Theft in the 21st Century with Jonathan Simon

    “[Optical scan ballots are] off limits to inspection and investigation. If they were footballs we would be impounding them and checking the air pressure. But this is our electoral system and, unlike apparently football, it’s not important enough to apply that level of scrutiny that would be necessary to be able to observe the process or audit the process or know that it was done honestly and accurately.”

    Fearful of Hacking, Dutch Will Count Ballots by Hand

    “Election results are the heart of our democracy. You cannot risk any of this. Even if the vulnerabilities were small, you do not want to take any chances.”

  37. @RLS

    You do us a great service by reiterating how we voters have lost control over the integrity of our voting results. Thank you.

  38. Thank you for posting about unverifiable voting systems. The greatest discrepancies between polling statistics and election “results” occur where systems are electronic and obscure.

    No bank allows transactions without an audit trail. Nationwide, many voting machines do exactly that with our votes.

  39. @RLS I don't think enough people are taking the possible manipulation of the voting machines as seriously as they should.


    " . . . 2002 and the stolen 2004 election, there was a flurry of concern in the mainstream press. Ronnie Dugger at The Nation and Paul Krugman at the New York Times wrote detailed analyses. But afterward, the newspapers and broadcast media of the liberal establishment, which science-minded citizens regularly count on for an enlightened picture of the world, have been silent or even dismissive on this issue. Since last month's U.S. presidential election, a window has cracked open, and a glimmer of light has shined in an area of darkness. Reporting has been partial and inconsistent and sometimes biased, but a question has been asked that has long been off-limits: Is someone tampering with the computers that count our votes?"

  40. I object to the implication, (much disputed), that Ralph Nader helped elect George Bush. It's well known that much of his 5% was not destined for Gore, and with the complications of the Electoral College it's an irresponsible analysis.

    My counter to that argument would be this: Hillary Clinton helped elect Trump, and was a spoiler to the favorite, who could have won: Bernie Sanders.

  41. Then why didn’t he win the majority of delegates ? Even allowing for his outsized capture of those from caucus contests - which are basically a test of which candidate’s supporters have the most free time on their hands.

  42. @Sera- It never fails to amaze me how much Sanders supporters continue to gloat about Clinton losing.Wish they cared more about the country than their self-centered egos.

  43. Sera,
    Well done.

  44. I would say that we all need to vote, but most readers here will vote. I have my primary ballot to fill out and mail back. Mostly it's trying to decide what candidates are best at the state and local levels. That takes some work to decide. I suspect most people don't want to do this work, and many couldn't care less. These are the same people who readily complain about national politics but don't understand that many of the problems we see there have their roots at the state and local levels.

    You can vote for your party straight down the ballot, or you can take time to think about who the best candidates really are and then vote accordingly. It takes time to do the research, think things through, and then to act, but it is time well spent. Promulgating that idea is the best thing we can do for everyone. You still wind up voting for your party all the way down? No problem, at least you took time to carefully weigh the options.

    Consider knocking on doors and making phone calls from your local party office. Let's face it: your vote doesn't count for much. But multiplying yourself through others makes a world of difference. Ralph Nader and Michelle Goldberg have that right.

  45. At the national level, for the U.S. House and Senate, I would vote Democratic as an essential check on Trump.

  46. Michelle Goldberg may believe that all progressives support so-called identity politics issues as much as economic progressivism--but this one does not. And I am not alone. People like Ms. Goldberg perhaps should consider which is more essential at the present juncture, and which is more likely to win elections.

  47. @Vivid Hugh: Then again, Michelle Goldberg may not believe that all progressives support so-called identity politics as much as economic progressivism. I don't believe she expresses a view on that here, and her point is that progressives are being pragmatic. She's writing about candidates who are deciding for themselves how to run. So far they've done pretty well. I agree with the people like Ms. Goldberg who find that encouraging.

  48. @Vivid Hugh

    Yes. This life long FDR Democrat/liberal hates this identity politics of the illiberal left. Goddess only knows how many votes HRC lost to those who were just plain tired of division by every conceivable variable. In fact, in gender politics, divisions UNconceivable by only a few years.

    This partially explains the rise of Jordan Peterson. I am a big fan of him, as is my similar liberal ex-fiance'.

  49. There was a time when one could have an intellectual discussion with a Republican. We could talk and argue the merits of our views in a civilized manner without having to defend our intelligence, or ancestry.

    I came from a liberal family. Those days people would come to our back door offering to work for food, my grandmother always had a sandwich for them. We were taught that people down on their luck were not bad people, just those who had been caught in the Great Depression. And that depression had been mostly the work of the Republicans.

    Unions had gained power by fighting workplace injustice. A waitress could be charged the cost of a broken plate, if you worked in an office, you had to bring your own pen and ink. Calling in sick could get you replaced immediately. The 40 hour work week was a dream, there was no medical insurance. Those were the things I saw Democrats fighting to remedy. The company I retired from had medical, dental, defined benefit retirement plans paid for by the company, along with a Christmas ham or turkey, holidays, and company paid days for the day before Christmas to the day after New Year. Our owner built ramps for wheel chairs, walked the floors of the plants looking for people to promote, even send them to school,he was one of the worlds wealthiest men.

    This to me was the foundation of a Democratic society, some made higher pay but were were all equal socially.

  50. @David Underwood

    I agree in principle with much of what you write, but do think there are quite a few Republicans with whom I could hold a conversation: . These are not the cultish supporters of Trump.

    As the likes of George Will and Michael Gerson urge Republicans to vote for a Democrat in the midterms, we can see the overt dissatisfaction with the current Trumpican Party. It is destructive to demonize all Republicans, just as it is to demonize all Democrats.

    We need holes poked in the walls of modern silos.

  51. @David Underwood David, you left out "child labor" too.

  52. @David Underwood, excellent, EXCELLENT comment, some bracing history we need to get slapped with now and then. Thank you!!!

  53. The Democratic Party is becoming itself again. At its most successful it was a coalition of a moderate-to-progressive spectrum of interests. Its decline set in when the party's brass followed the Democratic Leadership Council's pressure to shed the more progressive parts of its agenda. OK, it did elect a couple of Democratic presidents, but meanwhile it has lost federal and state offices in the thousands and seen many competitive states and districts turn bright red.

    The national party hasn't quite abandoned its habit of dictating what candidate should run where, but it's being increasingly ignored.

  54. Huh? I'm confused by your comment. Clinton triangulation a is not leftist. Obama capitulation to congress and abandoning the public option. Democrats take tons of corporate money from the same sources as republicans. Left wingers like sanders and occasio Cortez take no corporate money! This is the change.

  55. @mancuroc I beg to differ. The Democratic Party turned those thousands of offices bright red by abandoning and then vilifying those voters as deplorables.

    The old Democratic Party stood for all working people. The new one stands for working people only if they are victims: black, Hispanic, here illegally, or nonheterosexual. The Dems vilify everyone else in hopes of winning votes from the victims, ignoring the fact that the hated nonvictims outnumber the victims by two to one. This demonstrates a failure to pass second grade arithmetic and fifth grade civics.

  56. The reason why Dems lost those state elections was brilliant gerrymandering by the Republicans. The project was called REDMAP. Go to to see what they did (there is also a book written about it called "Ratfu*ked" - which may get my comment thrown out). It was all computerized and it worked. They did it after the 2010 Census with the voter demographics. It is disgusting.

    A whole bunch of states, including mine, are trying to change that process now. I've been working on a campaign to change the MI Constitution called Voters Not Politicians. Our campaign has been featured by the Times. Our premis is that the politicians are pre-selecting the voters, the votes don't really count. As in other states, we are looking to put a balanced commission in place to draw the districts after each Census. That makes more sense to me. I don't understand why gerrymandering was EVER allowed in a representative democracy.

  57. The USA is a large highly politically diverse nation.
    If the Democratic Party is to regain politic power and govern America it must itself reflect that political diversity.
    It seems unlikely that the Democratic Party will once regain political national power and govern America from the far left of the political spectrum in America.
    The real opportunity that the Democratic Party now has is to regain political power and govern as a centrist common sense consensual Party, not a Party of the left.
    A Party of the left governing America seems as remote now as it always been, despite a lot of wishful thinking.

  58. @David

    Were FDR and LBJ the "far left" of the Democratic Party? Probably. FDR got 4 terms. FDR didn't worry about where he was on the political spectrum. He worried about who needed help and how to help. Those needing help weren't the corporations and the rich that centrist Democrats pledge allegiance to. Ditto for LBJ, who would have won re-election if not for his misguided Vietnam policies.

  59. @David

    In today's politcal spectrum, FDR, LBJ, even Ike and to some extent Nixon, would be considered "far left". At the time, FDR's New Deal was what you would have called a "centrist common sense" response to the disastrous consequences of raw capitalism run amok, and it remained the mainstream national consensus through administrations of both parties until Reagan came along to undermine it. The fresh crop of Democrats from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Doug Jones to Conor Lamb, however they describe themselves, share common progressive values.

    The moment the corporate-minded DLC came along was when the Democratic Party's image of defending middle class and working people started to look ambiguous. "Far left"? Absolutely, positively not even close; more like Republican-lite.

  60. It sounds like David is so far to the right that he will never vote for a Democrat for anything. That's what calling it "the far left of the political spectrum in America" says to me.

  61. Ranked choice voting would resolve these issues. That's what all dems across the spectrum should be clamoring for.

  62. @Law Feminist In Australia we use that in our federal house of representatives and in our senate, as well as in all our state and territory elections. You are, without question, correct.

  63. @Law Feminist: Yes. In Ireland, we call it the transferable vote. It's more time-consuming, but a lot fairer. When someone wins a primary with less than 40% of the vote, that's not democratic. It's also divisive. And counting the ballots is also a lot of fun.

  64. @Law Feminist You are right that a change in the voting system is what would resolve the issue. However, ranked choice voting is not the change that would bring about the effect you want. RCV would solidify the two-party system with the need for each party to have the primary war that is endemic today, as it has done in Australia and Ireland.

    What would have the effect is pairwise rated voting. In that system, voters rate each candidate and each candidate us compared head-to-head against all other candidates with the winner being the candidate who defeated all other candidates in such a matchup. That would allow both wings to run in the general election without disadvantaging each other. That would guarantee that whoever is strongest against the right will be in the general election.

  65. It's a shame that the Green Party was the most ineffectual faction on the Left. Their issues today are the most important in history. We are looking directly at runaway climate change, as our media shrugs and putative Leftists tend to regress to the identity politics of the extreme right wing of the Republican Party.

    Yes, we need a higher minimum wage, gender equality, and respect for minorities. All of that will seem trivial if we continue to spiral toward a horrific future, beset by dessicated ecosystems and climate induced mass starvation:

    Republicans, paid handsomely by the oil companies, claim this is fake science, while Democrats are somehow intimidated, rarely mentioning it in their campaigns. Our descendants will ask where we were hiding, as their world disintegrates.

    The Democrats are not being pragmatic. They are being opportunistic. What they really need is to become courageous, and fight the dark forces that are presiding over climate catastrophe.

    You are on top of everything else, Michelle. Study the climate issue in depth, and reward us and the world with much better coverage- and determination.

  66. @Mike Roddy - The Greens behave as if they are fully supported and financed by the GOP and I am beginning to think that they actually are .

  67. @Mike Roddy.Thanks a million, not least for the reference.

    The July 2015 US DoD Report on Security Implications of Climate Change has stark warnings. The department of Defence 'sees climate change as a present security threat, not strictly a long term risk......We are already observing the impacts of climate change in shocks and stresses to vulnerable nations and communities, including the United States, and in the Arctic, Middle East, Africa, Asia and South America.'
    Case studies have demonstrated measureable impacts on areas vulnerable to impacts of climate change and in specific cases significant interaction between conflict dynamics & sensitivity to climate changes.'

  68. @Mike Roddy

    The problem is with the actual impact of the Green Party. Their strategy of running fringe candidates has effectively helped Republicans win in several notable elections. If anything, the Green Party helped bring the climate catastrophe closer by facilitating the election of Bush in 2000 and Trump in 2016.

    "Opportunistic" Democrats are the best chance for sound environmental policies. "Pure" will get you Trump and Scott Pruitt at the EPA.

  69. It's time to stop arguing. At this point in the history of our nation any Democrat is a better candidate for elected office than any Republican. That includes the half dozen GOPoliticos who are actually decent people but who are as fully invested in Trump's presidency as are the sewer rats like Mark Meadows, Ted Cruz and Steve King. We need to cast our votes for whoever wins the Democratic primaries for the House and Senate and THEN register our disapproval over the PAC money they may have turned a blind eye to or their refusal to sign off on the abolishment of ICE.

  70. @stu freeman

    Yes, Stu. The house is ON FIRE. Put out the fire, NOW.

    THEN let's squabble over the kitchen renovations.

    Common sense must prevail in order to save the country.

    Vote for any and every Democrat you can find and don't go bananas and toss your vote in the trash on some hopeless third party crank.

  71. @stu freeman

    Remarkably, even such folk as George Will of the conservative columns seems to agree with you: "...any Democrat is a better candidate for elected office than any Republican."

    The ancient Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times" is upon us. These really are *interesting times.*

  72. @stu freeman
    No self-respecting rat would share a sewer with the likes of Mark Meadows, Ted Cruz or Steve King.

  73. "The new generation of left-wing activists, by contrast, is good at self-multiplication."

    So are viruses.

    "It’s true that several candidates endorsed by Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders lost on Tuesday, including Abdul El-Sayed in Michigan’s gubernatorial primary and Brent Welder in a congressional primary in Kansas. But it’s testament to how far left the Democratic Party’s center of gravity has moved that the winners in those two races — Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan and Sharice Davids in Kansas — could be considered establishment."

    That might seem like a good thing to you Ms. Goldberg, but it will also turn many Democrats to Republicans, supporters of independents or just stay at home on election day former voters.

    If Mr. Trump wins again, and it is not impossible, the new Democratic party will have much responsibility.

  74. The apparent differences Among democrats is more a matter of emphasis than substance. We all fight for adequate health care for all, the right for everyone to vote, fair treatment for the poor and struggling and a system that honors everyone justly.

    But it is often the media which thrives on differences and the opposition that paints democrats as radical free spenders that shape the conversation. Democrats though spanning a wide spectrum of ideas really represent the needs of the majority and this is always what we as democrats need to emphasize.

  75. @just Robert Trump is president because the young Democrats had ideals but no pragmatism. When the could not have Bernie as the Democratic candidate they either refused to vote Democrat or just refused to vote.

    From my personal contacts, they have not changed. If they don't get a far left candidate they refuse to vote.

  76. It's to the ever-lasting credit, honor and political courage of Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that they endorse and campaign for somewhat long shot candidates, like Abdul El-Sayed and Brent Welder.

    Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez endorse based on whether their candidate embodies the values they believe in, not whether their candidate is most likely to win. Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez aren't concerned about endangering their reputations or expending their political capital on currently less favored candidates. Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez are all about supporting people who want what they want, win or lose.

    Slowly but surely, Sanders' and Ocasio-Cortez's selfless commitments to values, rather than chalking up winnings, will pay off in creating a better Democratic Party. Even in losing, El-Sayed and Welder have become prominent Democrats, and the issues they ran on have become more important.

    It is immensely reassuring to have politicians like Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez who, win or lose, are more concerned about promoting their values than they are about attaining self-glory by always winning.

  77. @Steve C - it's great that they have "values," but who is going to pay for everything being free? I have yet to see a reasonable policy suggestion from Ocasio-Cortez, who freely discusses the fact that she is more concerned with her vision of the future than with a reasonable path to make measurable and possible improvements. It's pie in the sky. She's pretty, young, articulate, but completely impractical.

  78. @Steve C It was Bernie's refusal to tell his followers to vote for Clinton that got Trump elected. In the world of politics one has to take the long view. The left elected Trump by their refusal to vote and it will be the Left that will keep Trump and his henchmen in power if they refuse to vote for Democrats that are not "left" enough for them.

  79. @Steve C

    Uh......." win or lose"................yes, that has put so many Dems in the Congress and legislatures, hasn't it?

    Nader and Stein had their principles they stuck to and we got Bush II and Trump.

    Nice going.

  80. I’ll believe it when I see it.

    Conspicuous self-discipline and any dominant spirit of shared-sacrifice aren’t noteworthy personality traits in the professional ranks of either mainstream political party. Most political leaders are cynical, amoral, self-aggrandizing, self-seeking careerists. But for Democrats to win in 2018 and 2020 the hoary Old Guard of the House and Senate needs, at a minimum, to retire from view, if not retire from Congress and disappear.

    And Harris and Booker need to “curb their enthusiasm” for the American presidency because it will ruin the Party’s chances. Some of the American nation might seem to be receptive but most of it simply isn’t ready for them.

  81. @Steve Singer,
    “And Harris and Booker need to “curb their enthusiasm” for the American presidency because it will ruin the Party’s chances.”

    Why? Because they’re black?

  82. Well I digressed more than I expected to do. I have been a small contractor, worked asa contract employee, belonged to several unions, even had a conservative streak engendered by four years in the AF during the cold war, when propaganda had us all believing the Russians were going to attack us at any time.

    But in all my working life, I can not remember when the Republicans were our friends. Everything we gained they have been trying to destroy since 1932. Any progressive action is derided as Socialistic and costs money. No matter how rich they are, they can not bring themselves to let the working people enjoy a better life, their argument is, if they make more it will trickle down to the rest of us, that it is good for them to become richer than any historical potentate.

    We now have an administration that seeks to give our public lands to profiteers, to allow pollution of our land,water, and air to save money for their insatiable friends who think profits are more important than our rights to enjoy those things unpolluted.

    To accomplish their ends, they are working to deny many of the right to vote, to take away the power of unions to get better wages and working conditions, to create a society of Lords and Serfs. We as Democrats have to hang together,or as it was said, we will all hang separately. (sic Ben Franklin).

    Some of you may not like the choice of candidates, HRC was seen as unacceptable by certain parties, that got us W and possibly Donald the Mad.

  83. Great comment, David Underwood!

  84. Would it not be trilling to have a Congress were more than two polar philosophies were represented? Where a diversity of views were aired and debates were discussions?

    A spread of Democratic ideas would still be united against the mindless conformity of the Republican automatons and yet still be able to innovate policy and to let Americas govern again.

  85. If the pragmatic left wins, perhaps the majority of of American citizens will endorse the following:

    Democratic republics are founded on certain fundamental principles, similar to those set out in the United States Constitution's Bill of Rights. These principles are now accepted and recognized in all mature democracies. They limit and control the effect of any decisions made by government officials. The rule of law requires courts to uphold these principles and to protect the rights they articulate. In a rights-based constitutional democracy, checks and balances are in place to guarantee that no person is sovereign and no decision or action is above the rule of law.

    Democratic institutions are designed to protect individuals against the dangers inherent to both dictatorial authoritarianism and majoritarian "populism": bias against and scapegoating of religious, racial and ethnic minorities; neglect of the vulnerable; rank political opportunism; consolidation of anti-democratic power; restrictions on and control over the free press; xenophobia; jingoism; abuse of power by governmental and economic elites; and conflicts of interest on the part of elected officials.

    Is there still a “market” for such an ideal?

  86. Conspicuously left out of Michelle Goldberg's piece is any mention of immigration policy.

    In the 20th century, prominent socialists and labor leaders like Norman Thomas, Samuel Gompers and Eugene V. Debs were vehemently opposed to the US absorbing large numbers of immigrants, on the grounds that doing so would drive down wages and benefit only the capitalist class at the expense of workers.

    As recently as 2015, Bernie Sanders was asked about policies approximating open borders, which he dismissed as a "Koch brother idea." Sanders' position was consistent with that of of most pro-labor politicians and leaders for the past 100+ years.

    The "Democratic Socialists" cited in this piece, with the possible exception of 2018 Bernie Sanders, are 180 degrees from what would have defined a socialist in most of the years I can count leading up to the 2016 election. Those candidates who wish to appeal to independents, rust belt voters and voters who were raised as democrats but no longer see themselves represented by the party need to seriously re-examine their stance on immigration policy unless they plan on handing the 2020 election to Trump.

  87. @Middleman MD

    Socialists were never against immigration. That's a fake fact.

  88. @Middleman MD

    The history of labor unions in the early 20th century is much more complex than your assertion. Immigrants played a big role in the fights for wages, etc., in the early 20th century. Of course, sometimes the companies brought in immigrants to be scabs; sometimes those would be scabs revolted as well, sometimes not. But the bosses loved playing the various groups against each other and used this as a excuse to cut wages.

    Another issue of that time were the severe boom and busts of the 19th and 20th centuries which those leaders lived through (Gompers as a child of immigrant cigar makers from the UK and an immigrant himself). He was also no socialist.

    Perhaps had the rulers of the US economy NOT used immigrants and the threat of immigrants as a way to cut wages at every downturn in the economy (or whenever they felt like it), those leaders might not have seen immigration as a threat. Perhaps we should look to the rulers to see the source of that as a wedge issue.

  89. @Middleman MD

    You are so right about immigration. Labor is a commodity. The more of it there is, the lower the value. It doesn't matter if we are talking bakers or brain surgeons.

    The other great migration of labor is women, moving from the kitchens to the work force. I know that will cause screams of anguish, but the law of supply and demand cannot be eliminated.

    I say that as a life long FDR liberal and the proud father of three daughters with four STEM degrees.

  90. Either the pragmatic left will become thoroughly pragmatic and win or we will stay the course:

    GOP “representatives” of the people will continue to use short-term economic efficiency as the justification for all socio-economic programs and policies irrespective of the consequences for persons. Short term capital accumulation and profits will remain the be all and end all of "social interactions." “Human" relations will become increasingly transactional and fungible. Whatever is legal will be deemed moral and honorable. The inevitable outcomes of unfettered "free"-market, casino-capitalist exchanges will be celebrated as the embodiment of justice. Freedom will be viewed as the opportunity to expend one's time, talent and resources in any way one deems conducive to the pursuit of one's private and subjective self-interest—no matter what further degeneration of communal life results.

    “Realists” will enjoin us to abandon all ideals and ignore the fact that the “invisible hand” of the market is attached to a very strong plutocratic arm.

    Communal bonds and institutions that actually conserve civil society will further unravel and democracy will be consigned to the dustbin of history.

  91. Right! I keep reading about divisions within the Dems. Fake news! We look to be forming not just a pragmatic, but grass-roots led pragmatic party. Unlike what we had with the elite-in-front disaster in 2016. Plus a loyal far-left wing designed to keep the rest honest. The temptation of the center to cosy up to the moneyed interests will be enormous. It will be up to the likes of Ms. Ocasio-Cortez to keep that from happening. What could be better?

    Identity politics! Embrace the label! Teachers, nurses, working class people, and yes, minority groups of all stripes. A diverse group of people from various backgrounds and perspectives, working towards the same end. Let Soros and Spielberg spend their money supporting our worthy non-profits. Some giant donations to Planned Parenthood would be greatly appreciated. And to many other needy causes. Let the politics be local.

  92. That was then. This is now:

    "In the 20th century, prominent socialists and labor leaders ... opposed to the US absorbing large numbers of immigrants ... As recently as 2015, Bernie Sanders was asked about policies approximating open borders, which he dismissed as a 'Koch brother idea.'"

  93. @MyThreeCents\

    A source for the qute "In the 20th century, prominent socialists and labor leaders ... opposed to the US absorbing large numbers of immigrants ..." would be nice. The 20th century did last from 1900 to 2000, so that quote covers a lot of time and history. And given that a good number of the socialists and labor leaders in the first decades were immigrants or children of immigrants, it makes little sense as a 100 statement.

  94. @MyThreeCents

    Oops, sorry, wrong spot to ask for the quote as you were quoting a quote!

  95. For the midterms none of this matters. What matters is that Trump is on the ballot-if not literally- and Clinton is not. Huge advantage for the Dems

  96. I wish that Alexandria, like Bernie before her, could articulate how her ideas would be financed.

  97. How about the 3 trillion dollars the Republicans handed to the rich and corporations with that tax cut? And the billions of dollars they want to send to rich by inflation indexing capital gains?

    It should not be that the Republicans make the rich richer and the Democrats spend everyone's money frivolously. But honestly, the Republicans are going to use the high debt and the legacy of it, higher and higher interest payments on the debt as rates rise, as an excuse to go after the social welfare net. Too many people who are Trump supporters prefer to block the idea out, even though Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, Disability and Unemployment insurance are extremely important to them.

    The Democratic Socialist are perfectly right that we need to be spending on our future - which means better education and training for both children and adults, a better medical care system so that we can have a more productive workface, and giving people a hand up not merely a handout. And we can afford it as a country, we just need to make our future and our people the priority.

  98. @GC - Here is how you should think about federal government financing:

    Most people believe that the purpose of taxes is to pay for government operations. If you ask yourself the question "Where does the money I use to pay my taxes come from in the first place?", you will see you are putting the cart before the horse.

    The federal government can create as much money as it needs. It then spends this money on government operations, e.g. the military, roads & bridges, research, education, etc. In this way money gets to you, to pay you taxes, for example.

    Now while there is no theoretical limit on the creation of money, there is a practical one. If too much money is sent to the private sector, there will be excessive inflation. Taxes take some of this money back. Hence the purpose of taxes is to adjust the amount of money in the economy.

    Note, however, if the budget is balanced, there will be no new money sent to the private sector to support a growing economy. Even worse, if the government shows a surplus & pays down the debt, money will be leeched out of the private sector. If enough money is taken out of the private sector, the economy will crash. This has happened every time, 6 times, the debt has been paid down 10% or more.

    Also a trade deficit takes money out of the economy. Hence to support a growing economy, the deficit must be larger than the trade deficit. Except for a brief period in 2003, this condition was not met from 1996 to 2008. And the economy crashed.

  99. @GC Wow, that's easy! Just reduce the defense budget to $1.00 above our next biggest spending competitor and enjoy free healthcare, college tuition, retirement and fewer wars initiated by the defense industry.

    Sounds like the Great America I want.

  100. There are not enough space alien votes for the Green Party to make that a political contest. That is not where politics is, it is just a distraction. That is not what the left is either, it is just misdirection.

    Yes, Democrats are still in disarray. Their right wing, calling themselves centrist from out to the right of Nixon, are still there and still shaping our the Democratic Party into something well to the right of Rockefeller Republicans.

    In Michigan, we have a Democratic Party apparatchik running for Governor, against Darth Vader.

    There ought to be real concerns about Democratic turnout, because the 51% of the Democratic vote she got was sharply divided from the 49% she did not get, that had Bernie and Alexandria campaigning here in rallies.

    It could still be saved. Although she was a Hillary supporter in a state Hillary lost twice, first to Bernie and then to Trump, she could still pull it out if she does not go full Hillary.

    But can she do outreach to the rest of the Democrats? Will she? Or will Darth Trump win again here by another default coming from Democratic disarray?

    The defeated Team Hillary has not gone away. It has a lot to answer for, before and now again. How long will we have "Democrats" to the right of Nixon and Rockefeller?

  101. @Mark Thomason

    Make up your mind. If Democrats are to appeal to more white, working class voters, as we've been told over and over and over and over, don't they need conservative candidates to appeal to these voters?

    Try to remember these are primaries and don't waste your time applying general election strategies and principles to them.

    There can be "disarray" in a primary. In the general there is only ONE party candidate so disarray is impossible.

    As for Michigan Democratic primaries, let's see:

    1972 George Wallace
    1988 Jesse Jackson
    1992 Hillary's husband
    2016 Bernie Sanders

    Not exactly a good barometer of party sentiment.

  102. @Mark Thomason

    Dude. She won. And she won handily.

  103. @Mark Thomason

    You are too downbeat. I know; the last decade of total spectrum dominance by the Koch and deVos funded Republicans in Michigan can lead one toward a gloomy outlook. But my sense is many if not most of those who voted for el Sayed were fully aware that Whitmer would win and they will fully support her, but wanted to nudge the party leftward. And in an era where we obviously need a strong healthy Democratic party, calling Whitmer an apparachnik is not helpful, particularly when she is clear not a placeholder but a very progressive and competent candidate. And for calling Scheutte Darth Vader, well, that's correct.

  104. I wish this article were true

    A searing memory of the 2016 election was the left most part of the Democratic party saying there was no difference between Hillary and Trump

    They then stayed home or voted for Stein. Consequence: we now will have an activist conservative Supreme Court for a generation.

    They voted for Nader: consequence untold thousands died in Bush’s war

    And sadly I fear they will find fault with the Democratic nominee because it wont be Bernie.

    Consequence: four more years of Trump.

  105. Your opinion, which you are entitled to. The rest of us are NOT giving up, are getting active, and will be voting BLUE in November.

    Also, Mr. Rosenstein is my hero!! He has stood strong against very powerful and corrupt forces. I think he'll be just fine on Judgement Day.

    #bluewave #resist #mullertime

  106. @Blue - Chin up. You're describing a minority of progressives in all cases. And we love Bernie and support his continued leadership, but I think most realize that we need a different generation of leaders (guided by the wisdom of elders!) running for President now.

  107. @Blue--Hey Blue--most of my friends are on the left and I haven't heard a single one of them say, ever, that there was no difference between Hillary and DT.

    Things may be different where you are, or maybe you're just trying to drive a wedge between us.

    Moderate Democrats, I believe, recognize the contributions of their more radical brethren and more radical Democrats recognize the contributions of moderates. We work with and feed off one another; we figure out how to align our goals. There are, of course exceptions, but we work best when we work together.

    Unlike Republicans, we don't require people to march in lock step.

  108. The 2006 House election was defined by a willingness to elect Blue Dog Dems in districts where that was the best option. 2018 is marked by a willingness to nominate and elect genuine liberals to districts where the electorate leans that way, and to contemplate that suburban and rural districts might actually be open to the idea of true universal healthcare and a better deal for wage workers.

  109. Leftists/Socialists will lose. The majority of the country is moderate on both sides, with the remainder being more conservative than liberal.

  110. @Olivia: Your wish is apparent.

  111. @Olivia - Labels are a poor excuse for thinking. The majority of the country agrees with most of the Liberal platform including cutting the Pentagon, more money for education, higher taxes on unearned income, single payer medicare for all. Those ideas are considered moderate.

  112. @Olivia

    Olivia, enough with the labels, already. Yes, they are handy for folks who can't do nuance.

    What most on the left advocate for, universal health care, women's rights, college educations that don't bankrupt, strong SS and Medicare programs, are all in favor not just by libs, but most Americans. And that includes a very large percentage of Republicans.

    Try cutting SS benefits in Florida, where I'm from.

    The summary: You are wrong.

  113. I always feel that, in a callow way, Michelle lets her hopes and values dominate what should be better reporting, better assessment. What she argues might be true, but it is way too early to state as fact.

  114. She's a columnist, not a reporter.

  115. I agree that the image of 28-year-old Ocasio-Cortez as social democratic king-maker is entertaining. This is obviously a bright person, she worked hard to take the primary nomination from Joe Crowley, and she clearly has a future in Democratic politics; but let’s put her own win in perspective. She’s a young, striking Hispanic liberal Democratic woman who was running for a congressional seat in a district (NY’s 14th) that has become overwhelmingly Hispanic and she was running against an old-time Irish pol whom some suggested had phoned-in his re-election efforts. She simply happened to be the person of whom it could be said “it was time”. Her social democratic messages resonate with her prospective constituencies in The Bronx and Queens, but far less so to most venues that saw Democratic primaries last Tuesday; and even more questionably to most of America.

    If indeed the pragmatic left is winning over them, then that’s good news for Democrats and not good news for Republicans, who still may not have gotten the message that America would prefer a vast center represented in Congress rather than two extremes that can’t work together. I’ve been egging Dems on to do this for YEARS. If it’s finally happening, then I regard it as healthy.

    Don’t expect to see a lot of social democrats actually elected in November. Marginal voters will look at them, consider their messages, and many will vote Republican when they might have voted Democratic with a more moderate candidate.

  116. @Richard Luettgen: RL has no doubt, just as he has no doubt about reading Trump's secret mind. Way to go, Republicans!

  117. @Richard Luettgen She is not bright. She cannot answer complex questions about anything. In one of her latest interviews she used the word, “like” seven times in less than 90 seconds. You know, like, a high school kid or you know like an uneducated person or you know, like something or other. Like, you know.

  118. I've said this before but I think Bret really lets himself down when he uses the terms "left" and "leftist". I'm of the left but I largely agree with him on this issue - and on others. How on Earth is this possible? Why suggest politics is like following one team or another in a two team league?

    I'm inclined to think Bret is better than that, but just barely, perhaps I'm wrong. Personally I get great satisfaction from intellectually "cutting off at the knees" those both too far to my right AND to my left. I love pointing out to the latter that they are so close to the former they could kiss.

    It hardly seems wise to me for Bret to represent himself as siding with all on the right against all on the left. Surely he rather sides with those respectfully close to him, whether to his right, or more likely, to his left on the right AND the left?

    I don't know Bret, but he seems to me to be someone who, in becoming himself, looked around for 'the right people" and adopted their thinking as "right thinking" and his own. I think he's recently discovered that many of them are "empty suits","hollow men", with "headpiece[s] filled with straw".

    A day is swiftly coming when everything that melted into air will be solid again and human beings having realised what they are "with sober senses", will participate willingly in their own civilisation, seeking to become what they may become.

    I can imagine Bret rehearsing for that day: "I'm of the right, sure, but I was never that far right".

  119. If progressive values are not allowed to infiltrate the Democratic Party and form the basis of a new foundation of liberalism, then in the long term Democrats will remain in minorities everywhere because there really will not be any substantive differences with Republicans.

    As much as I like President Obama, in retrospect, how much did his centrist agenda really do for middle class and lower middle class workers? Not much at all and that is one reason Trump is in the White House. His focus was really on ensuring that the financiers and big business had their ways. The one initiative that he and Tom Perez put together was to raise the minimum amount a salaried worker could be paid. It was estimated that would have given significant raises to 4 million low salaried, essentially abused workers in America. What did they do? They sat on it forever and Obama finally signed it right before the election, it was challenged in court and instead of a Hillary Clinton administration fighting the challenge and winning, Trump became President and 4 million workers were denied their more than justifiable raises.

    If we do not stand for a $15 minimum wage, a guaranteed federal job for all, healthcare as a right for everyone, aggressive environmental protections, a sustainable green economy, social justice, equal pay for women and criminal justice reform, then what truly is the difference between a Republican and a Democrat? Not much at all.

  120. @Rich D Trump is in the White House because he spoke to people who have been maligned and neglected for being white, so -called privileged people, many of whom are poor in Appalachia, middle America, the South and inner cities and all over this country. He caught their ear and they won’t let go. He has my ear as well. Trump will win in 2020. Brace yourself. He also decreased the black unemployment rate. Winning.

  121. @Rich D. Are you seriously claiming that there's no "substantive differences" between the executive branch during the Obama years and what we have now? Obama gave the middle class many things, especially the start of national health care, which Democrats had been trying to do since WWII. Now, because too many leftists like you threw away their votes on third parties (or didn't bother voting at all) Trump is slowly taking that all away.

  122. How many parties, left or right, are represented on the ballot in a primary election matters only to the individuals running, their families, close friends and staffs.

    What matters is the general election and the weeks of campaigning which lead up to the first Tuesday in November.

    If self-identified liberals, socialists, centrists and whatever plan to caucus in Congress with the Democrats, their differences in focus harm no candidate and no movement – as long as the differences do not deteriorate into personal insults or the questioning of motives.

    Democrats are not in disarray, but it might come in handy to keep the Republicans thinking that.

  123. What the left needs is political organizations that are like the left-wing parties in days of yore: Running candidates but not as the sole or even main focus of their activities. They can organize people in lots of other ways to do many things. The left historically had trouble with elections, but to the question, work within the government or outside it?, the only answer is: yes. The DSA is the organization that is now best positioned in this regard. They are both a faction of the Democratic Party and a separate entity that does not depend on it. This also enables getting around somewhat the absence of a multiparty system guaranteeing minor parties representation.

    Any left worth its name will not take existing debates among politicians and mainstream media as setting the agenda. Liberal Democrats do that, and this ties them to less important matters as they market themselves as nothing more than the anti-Republicans. The Democratic Party lots its dependence on a formerly left-of-center labor movement, and it chose to embrace both cultural issues appealing to rich urban liberals and identity politics, making itself in theory the coalition of all the disadvantaged groups. But this is corporate liberalism: inclusion and bans on insults. This politics failed.

    The left must be inventive as well as pragmatic, and it should draw freely on political thought in Europe and elsewhere. If "there is no alternative," as Thatcher said, we must construct one.

  124. The left, right, or center discussion is counterproductive. The path to Democratic Psrty victories lies in sticking to the fundamentals of campaigning, and having a message that resonates with voters.

    That Ocasio-Cortez is a Democratic Socialist is less important than her energy, work ethic, charisma, and the simple clarity of her message. “I am like you, and we deserve a seat at the table.” is a message that speaks directly to her constituency’s need to be seen and heard. It’s a message voters throughout the nation are waiting to hear.

  125. @Mark Hale Wrong, the majority of Americans don’t want increased taxes to pay for those who won’t do for thenselves. Socialism has worked so well in Venezuela and Cuba. Hmmm.

  126. "Abolish ICE" means what?

    If it is to be taken literally, meaning no immigration or customs enforcement at all, then "progressives" mouthing it are arguably as disconnected from reality as those who claim ancestry from space aliens.

    One can infer that Ms. O-C does not really mean it, because her platform also said "more welcoming" immigration policy ... meaning that some immigration policy would still exist, and so require enforcement.

    Presuming she wins in November (a safe bet in her district) she will then enter congress, and be forced to either work toward some changes in immigration and enforcement that could pass -- or achieve nothing.

    "Progressivism" will be measured by what it achieves. Remember Phil Ochs great line "they won all the battles ... but we won all the songs!"

  127. @Lee Harrison Don’t worry Lee. Any of these leftist/socialist fools calling for the end to ICE have dug themselves a grave at the polls. There are millions of Americans who experienced September 11 and lost loved ones, especially here in NYC. My firefighter brother searched for survivors and remains immediately after and for weeks later. Thank you to ICE. I wish they had existed before September 11.

  128. ICE is a rogue agency. It was created in the wake of 9/11 with very little oversight and accountability. It's power structure is lacking legal expertise, so they have a tendency to violate the law. The militant culture within the agency is one that you might find in the armed services, but should not be present in an ostensibly civilian agency. Their power structure is not beholden to the president (or at least a president they don't like), as was proved by their defiance of Obama's policy directives during his tenure.

    ICE needs to go; it's responsibilities should be brought back under the umbrella of the CBP to make a new INS, hopefully without the failings of the old INS and the current ICE

  129. Lee Harrison,
    ICE is just one segment of our border security.
    To abolish, or re-make the dept. wouldn't come close to leaving our borders unprotected.
    This simple link provides some easy answers.
    No, no one is calling for open borders. That is a Russian meme pushed on twitter and picked up by Rightwing trolls.

  130. What's powerful about elections for things like local prosecutor is that the Democrats are focusing serious efforts on winning.

    There is a huge lack of farm team Democratic candidates that starts with local elections and move up. Those thousand state elected positions we lost feed bigger positions, more experience, and more visibility.

    We're focused on the midterms, sure. But creating a group of elected officials across the country, in positions large and small, is the longer game.

    We're off to a great start.

  131. There's nothing pragmatic about keeping Pelosi as a standard bearer. She's been unjustly vilified, but facts are facts and politics is politics: she should announce her retirement tomorrow and let the party move on.

  132. @Mford Now that they have won the war on Christmas they are going after Pelosi. McConnell should retire first.

  133. Fragmentation of the Democratic Party would be a Republican dream come true. In this critical time when we are fighting for the restoration of decency, fairness and justice in our government, when we are fighting against a corrupted electoral system engineered by the GOP, Democratic Party unity is essential. After Trump and the one-party Republican state has been removed by concerted voter action, the Democrats can begin again to fight amongst themselves.

  134. The GOP governs to benefit only two constituencies today: the uber wealthy (for their money) and fearful, lower economic class whites (for their votes and passion). The party has stopped even pretending they care about the rest of the people. All of its captive media (Fox, Sinclair) and talking point deliverers focus all of their messaging on these two groups.

    The Democrats need to focus on winning, not intraparty squabbling. It is not about who can outflank the other to the left. It is all about voter turnout and demographics. The uber wealthy have a lot of money, but few votes. The lower economic class whites, as a group, are demographically shrinking. So voter turnout is the entire story. You don’t get to govern if you don’t win. You can fight about how left you go, or not, later.

    This is what it means, to use Ms. Goldberg’s term, to be pragmatic. If the Democrats can stay organized and focused, they will take the House. If not, it will be another two years of Devin Nunes, Mark Meadows and Donald Trump setting policy.

  135. The Progressives both within and outside the Democratic Party are tired of getting nothing but lip service from the Corporate Democrats that have been running the joint since just after the Mondale campaign loss to Reagan back in the 1980s. We have been served a steady diet of almost Republicans and told to take one for the team for decades now and watched supposed "Liberals" bargain away the social safety net, consumer protections, anti-trust provisions and all the rest and got nothing in return.

    We were always told we had to do it for the Supreme Court, yet watched it march steadily to the extreme right and become the least representative body of government. The Supreme Court is entirely made up of grads of a handful of schools and exactly two religious faiths in a large diverse country- and this includes Democratic nominees.

    Well we got tired of being told to sit in the corner by the money changers in the political temple. We are not going to support anyone just because they have a D next to their name on the ballot and they had better have concrete evidence that they have been fighting the good fight if they expect to get re-elected.

    The path the corporate Democrats are on leads to decline and fading to irrelevance. America does not need two Republican Parties- one Crazy Right and the other Center Right, but that is what we have at the top of the food chain at the DLC.

  136. Democrats should not fall into the trap of demanding ideological purity that has completely derailed the GOP. I believe, and hope, that the democrats will do great in 2018 and will defeat Trump in 2020. While it is easy to get together in opposition to the worst president in recent history, the building of a long last coalition will require the center and the left working together. I hope that a next generation of leaders will rise that can articulate a common set of principals that all Democrats can rally around even though we may all occupy different points along the ideological spectrum.

  137. Pragmatism in politics involves fitting candidates to discrete districts. I think it's wonderful that Ocasio-Cortez speaks well for the Bronx and Tlaib is a good fit for Detroit, but imagine either of them running in Ohio's 12th District, where the most active voters are rich enough to have a reason to like the recent tax cut, instead of Danny O'Connor, who fits the bill for the non-rich, often non-voting majority of residents. Were a Democratic Socialist to run in that district there would clearly be no need for a recount because Troy Balderson would have won in a landslide and therefore given Trump something else to crow about, as if... Doesn't it make more sense to run a candidate in districts like this who appeals more to working families and small business owners than neo-socialism? Isn't it a risk to choose shiny new left-wingers as ambassadors of the party and then introduce them in areas where they are curiosities who can't help the local candidates? Sometimes progressive theoreticians forget that each time the Democrats win, the Republicans lose. Maybe we should be pragmatic in what we call pragmatism.

  138. It's that same old question of whether we learned from the loss in Vietnam. Or from McGovern's loss in '68. Or HRC's loss. The winning-the-hearts-and-minds thing only works if your ideas resonate with people where they are at. No matter how right we are, if the Dems don't connect to everyday, middle America- insisting on their superior ideology & arguments, instead of learning from the Vietnam of Trump- we're doomed.

    The more stressed people are (Future Shock is real), the more they need to be met in the fear. The more they need to be assured that you really get them, rather than insisting that they get you. If people trust you, they follow you, even if they don't understand you.

    When times are stressful and change rapid, people will contract & withdraw- tragically- into tribal identities. The 'other' is perceived as a threat. It's possible for individuals to overcome that impulse- it's one benefit of a liberal education, but large-scale collective change in a time of stress, requires patient, empathetic leadership. The expansiveness required goes against the urge to contract.

    Every human being needs to have a sense of safe borders. In Maslow's hierarchy of needs, social values are secondary to survival. If ending ICE is a Dem demand, they'll lose in the general election. If it's a call for a fairer, more humane ICE, Dems will win in Nov.

    I know it's hard to be patient when the earth is burning, but if Dems want to win this Nov, they need to respect human nature, too.

  139. Very wise comment.

  140. Having read some of the very cogent comments on the need to tailor the candidate to the needs of the electorate I wish to weigh in with the thought that is just what the Democrats did to get FDR and the New Deal into office. Their genius was making a party that represented poor farmers and out of work middle class people. The Democrats have to become the party that represents, and cares for, all parts of the population, perhaps excluding billionaires.

  141. @Jack That may work but with Trump at the helm out of work middle class people are very rare.

  142. The fuel of the modern left is not socialist thought, it is democracy. It is outrage at the hubris and cupidity of the monied class who have sought to unravel all American progress. All of it.

    Name your cause—women’s equality, civil rights, union organizing, environmental protection, gun safety—and you will find a billionaire-backed group opposing it. And not just opposition but unhinged notions of government intrusion into women’s bodies, support for lethal force by police as a first response, requiring binding arbitration in labor disputes, denial of the science about climate change, and actually calling for the arming of school teachers. That's just the starter set. The mind reels.

    No wonder pragmatists are winning elections. Whether one agrees with them or not, their arguments are founded in the real world. You can actually have a conversation with them. We elected the fantasists to the White House and Congress, and look at the early results. It’s time for the adults to take charge.

  143. @David Potenziano - you nailed it!
    This is not so difficult and it does not take new ideas, just return to simple ideas. It is the GOP who has become unhinged with anti-science, anti-minority, anti-woman, anti-justice, anti-democracy policies. Democrats need to simply call out these unpopular policies and run against them and a return to our best values.

  144. Yes and no. They're winning in left-leaning areas. Whether they can win in the heartland is undetermined.

  145. So long as the pragmatists don't turn around and empower the ideologues, they will continue to win.
    The question is how much people who want to vote for Democrats will trust that the party to stay pragmatic and focus on kitchen table issues for the American working and middle class.
    At the national level, there is little evidence Democrats have learned that they need to refocus on the citizens they were always elected to represent. The ideologues are still simply too deafening.

  146. I am from Michigan and thrilled that Tliab won and voted for Whitmer. But as someone who grew up in a blue-collar family where my parents idolized FDR, I don't want to see the Dems go as far left as the Rs have gone far right. Please learn a lesson from the ugliness that the GOP is now fighting. Fight for working class families, public education, climate science, fair taxation, full equality, but don't get caught up in purity tests that exclude moderate, reasoned voices. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

  147. Ms Goldberg misses the mark (again). As others have noted, DSA-type candidates can win in already-progressive districts; but notice Ms Goldberg said nothing about Cori Bush (in Missouri), someone for whom Ms Cortez campaigned. Ms Bush was demolished; so until the DSA can start winning in places like Missouri and Nebraska, they will do nothing to expand the reach of the Democratic Party, and will even hurt us by advocating for such imbecilities as abolishing ICE.

  148. OK. There are true Socialists. There are Democratic Socialists who don't believe in government ownership of industry. They focus on the programs that improve the quality of life for not just the individual, but the community - they are perhaps closer to the New Deal heritage of the Democratic Party.

    The Democratic Party appears to have morphed into a group of elites who act and think more like Republicans, thinking that is the only way to win elections. They are so concerned about the national party, that they ignored the collapse of the state and local parties after Obama's election.I

    At present, the Left, which isn't very left at all, is rising is influence because they are listening to the needs of the typical American. What they always have gotten criticized for is the cost of their policies. But, to the average person, who has seen squat from Trump's huge tax cut, an argument that says - the Trump administration has just increased the debt by 3 trillion dollars to give tax cuts to the wealthy, well what could we have done if we could have spent that money on things that would help out real Americans.

    Americans understand that the economy is good but that many of them have to hold two or three jobs, they can't afford medical insurance, they can't afford high college tuition for their children and few have $400 on hand if they have an emergency. Life might be better than right after the financial crisis, but are American living high on the hog? I think not.

  149. Just as many of those who voted for Trump were just voting for change and didn't really care about specific issues, the liberal "socialists," who are now winning, may be the beneficiaries of a reaction against the Trump administration and are supported by many who are just interested in change. I suppose the definition of "socialist" is also important. I, for example, don't consider Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid as socialists policies. Many conservatives do. I suspect that most Democrats are centrists in their political thinking, but there are some on the far left and some conservatives. May we all live in harmony.

  150. I wouldn't get too carried away with the primaries. But I would like to see a new conception of moderate Democrat that includes people like Elizabeth Warren. Regulating Wall Street and large banks is not "progressive," it's basic democratic governance. The problem has been how do you look out for the average citizen without losing the campaign contributions of the wealthy interests that often exploit them? The Clintons tried to have it both ways.

  151. I thank Bernie Sanders for making it acceptable to be a liberal once again. You can argue about the terminology, liberal or progressive or something else, but Sanders' campaign brought ideas that have a lot of appeal these difficult days out of the shadows.
    That being said, I don't think Sanders should be the face of the Democratic party. He's not even a Democrat for heaven's sake.
    The fact that young women are stepping up to advocate for policies that we all need is encouraging. I hope the news media avoid trying to create a "narrative" that hurts the movement.

  152. @Betsy S
    I object to the tribalism that rejects Sanders as a Democrat. He did more for the Democrats than they did for themselves. I find it offensive that this anti-Sanders "stuff" is still going on. There also is some truth to what Sanders says about Democrats having left him. He is a Democrat in the FDR tradition, no question.

  153. The progressive wing of the Democratic Party articulates an inspirational vision, its sense of mission, and through unambiguous statements of political beliefs. Small wonder that Bernie Sanders’ primary bid caught the attention of young voters. They offer a positive alternative. Progressives seem passionate about public education, gun control, fair and open immigration policies, environmental policy and the need to reign in the disproportionate influence of lobbyists.

    In contrast, so-called mainstream Democratic leaders lean upon a tired formula by which the Old Guard devotes itself to fundraising, controlling nomination processes, oppositional politics, and a conspicuous absence of core beliefs. Pelosi and Schumer are classic political operatives who mastered the rules of yesteryears game in which power meant everything. Shame on the DNC for its unabashed efforts to game the 2016 presidential primaries, thereby contributing to low voter turnout.

    Younger Democrats running for office are discovering a need to connect with the concerns of their local constituents, and campaign accordingly. This was how Patrick Lamb won the House seat vacated by Tim Murphy in a district cobbled together by Republicans as a bastion designed to remain in their control forever. Just as Republicans built their support over many years at the grass roots level, so too must the Democrats.

  154. We have to be careful not to take as fact what pundits or the headlines on opiniions (especially) decry. Writing opinion on either side does not make it so. I am happy to read this one in refutation of the conventional line about Democrats disarray. And I hope the progressive appeal gets positive results.

    I have a feeling that democratic socialist's positions while being oppositional to Trump's apparent agenda fills an unmet need in the electorate, giving a better way forward. One would think this should get a big positive response. The more it gets around that this kind of change for the better is actually possible if we vote it so. It may even snowball and be as surprising as to the numbers. Trump's appeal is bound to wane; it does not feel good to hate and wreck.

  155. It's refreshing to see these forces at work. The Democratic Party, fat, slow and boring, needs an infusion of energy and new ideas. Much of the New Deal was inspired by Socialists like Eugene Debs. FDR simply absorbed many good ideas and new approaches from Socialists and may well have saved this country when it badly needed a savior. The moment I saw Ms. Pelosi reject any consideration of Medicare for all, I realized that my party's leaders were living in another political universe.
    May these new voices continue to shake things up by refusing to toe the line.

  156. Thank you, Michelle Goldberg. I've been watching the midterm primaries and special elections with great interest, pleased with the energy and passion of the new candidates.

    What I like most is their focus on issues--every district is different, so their message seemed honed to their locale, but inclusive of overall Democratic values.

    I love it when candidates can state the obvious without naming names--all they have to do is point out some of the ways their future constituents are impacted by policies put in place by this "corrupt and cruel" administration.

    Even incombents in my own state--my representative is Katherine Clark--are simply showing what they and their peers are doing to combat the opioid crisis in this state, something forgotten after some sort of "event" promising to fix this, without stating how.

    My only concern is an over-analysis by pundits and an anxiety-inducing fear about the outcome of the midterms.

    While the Dems seem to be coalescing around a specific messages about healthcare, immigration, and the economic needs of the working class, I just hope they can stay focused and ignore the noise surrounding the importance of this election.

  157. Democrats may not be in disarray, but if recent history is any indicator they sure seem to have an affinity for missing the main chance.

  158. One of the important things Ms. Goldberg points out here is that individual losses do not mean the "Blue Wave" is dead. One of the things that I love about the unexpected candidates in this election cycle is that they are not running on a unified party identity. That is what is killing us under this administration. PARTY line politics.
    The candidates that are winning, like Ocasio-Cortez in NY and Beto Cortez in TX, is that they are listening and speaking to the needs of their constituents. Local politics have long been neglected, and we are paying for it now. The PEOPLE want to be represented, not a party-line.

    What I believe the Democrats have as a strength is that they are showing that you CAN chew gum and walk at the same time. Single issue politics will not keep us a united and strong nation. But improving lives will, and I believe that is the message that will prevail. After all, any wave holds more than one species of fish and other marine life. The "Blue Wave" is showing INclusion vs. EXclusion. I hope we are not too late.


  159. This undoubtedly will be the most consequential midterm election of my 80-year lifetime.

    The choice is either 2 more years of Trumpuglican mendacity, corruption and cruelty or a return to some semblance of civility and sanity.

    If we the people care to preserve our democratic republic, its institutions, its norms and the rule of law, the choice should be obvious: vote for each and every opponent of the used-to-be-GOP candidates.

    If we the people fail ourselves and our republic, what further appalling horror and embarrassing buffoonery will the future hold?

  160. Spot on, Ms. Goldberg, including your critique of the clueless Green Party. And let's remain open to the notion that different kinds of Democrats are suited to win in different parts of the country. This should be true in any year, but it's especially crucial in 2018, when winning back the House is at stake and the alternative is a dangerously unencumbered Donald Trump.

    As Ben Franklin put it, "We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately."

  161. The Democratic party may not be in disarray, but we do have real problems that are simmering. Every time I hear a fellow liberal castigate, berate or demonize someone who doesn't use the up to the minute gender identity terms or gender or racial language that is deemed insensitive by one judge, I think we play into the hands of the right and alienate otherwise moderate people who are independent or put off by Trump but don't want to be lectured or told they are ignorant and bad for not using terms like cisgender. Liberals need to unite and keep our eye on the ball to achieve our policy goals while also improving the discussion about issues of race, gender and sexual orientation.

  162. how nice to read an article where at the end i am not angry. this is all great news. the younger voters in america with a sharing economy are catching on rapidly. they are delaying having babies because the true futility of life is swimming with all the others. i am about to receive my first SS check in a couple months. the young think about these checks as entitlements because that is the word bantered about the last 15 years. i hope for them they realize how short life is and will enjoy themselves without onerous college debt. QUIT supporting the rich.

  163. "The new electoral left — is trying to take over the Democratic Party from the ground up." Really? If that ever happens then run for the hills, the party will implode. Progressives have a role to play in in Berkeley and the Bronx. But it's absurd to think that they have any appeal to mainstream Americans. They don't. They never have in the past thirty years, and are unlikely to make much progress in the future. Progressives have been losing so often, so consistently, that they can't be blamed for seeing any victory as a turning point. But Goldberg needs to dial back the hyperbole a tad. She's acting like we turned Mississippi blue. All we did was notch a few minor primary wins in reliably blue districts. The real question implied but not answered in this column is can moderates and progressives co-exist in the same party. If one honestly looks at the facts the answer is absolutely not. It's going to have to be one or the other. Centrists will win this civil war because the voters we need to Presidency,Congress, The Supreme Court,the majority of governorships & state legislatures are by and large moderates. The Socialist moniker frightens a lot of people. And lets be frank a lot of working class people ....especially in red states have different values. The far left has mocked these people for decades. You are bad for eating factory-farmed meat, owning a rifle, & driving an SUV. There’s no way to bridge the gap. If the far left ever takes over the party we are doomed.

  164. Bill Brown,
    That's funny.
    The world is doomed from staid pragmatic moderates who have governed our country into a 3rd world caricature, and a global melt down.

    But those Leftish candidates, scary.

    As the world burns around them and their children's future will be worse than the previous worse generation before them.
    That's a winning plan. Same old same ol'.

  165. "Greens will sometimes justify these runs as movement-building tools, but they never seem to actually build a movement."
    What the Green Party has built is a legacy of gifting Republicans. When just a big enough sliver of the voting public brings their broadest idealism to the ballots, it takes away just enough support from a liberal candidate that close elections go to the most reactionary, cynical candidate.
    Once and for all, there is considerably more than a dime's worth of difference between Democrats and Republicans (to borrow from Ralph Nader's absurd charge). Only one party seeks to trash the environment, leave the sick without insurance, discriminate against LBGTQ individuals, control women's bodies, allow workers to get exploited, put guns everywhere, deprive the needy of a safety net, legislate from far right religious ideology...That's not the Democratic Party.
    Ideological purity tests for candidates are ultimately helpful only for the party with a distinctly backwards looking platform.

  166. We need to start winning seats. The 46 or so special state legislative elections that have been won are about 4% of what has been lost since 2010. Regaining the House is a minimum requirement for survival at this point. Some of these jerk cabinet appointments need to be called before real oversight committees. We need to hit some home runs in the state legislatures and governorships so as to be able to undo the horrific damage that followed the 2010 election and census. The WSJ was correct in calling HRC the weakest democratic candidate since Dukakis. But the defeats across all levels of government--that wasn't HRCs fault, it was a systemic inability of the Dems to recognize what was going on. It's still the case that the Koch and Mercer families et al are much better organized in the pursuit of their goals.

  167. Whether we are far-left or center-left is no longer of importance. In fact, we are unnecessarily splitting hairs. What does matter is that we are uniting as one force. What we are finding is that at its heart, its core, our aspirations, our needs, our concerns are on the same page. We want the same for all peoples, no matter their race, creed, ethnicity, or gender.

    If anything good has happened from this disgrace of a past election and this utterly amoral president and his GOP Congress, it is that it has united us. We have together seen not only the eroding of our democratic rights but also behavior bordering on betrayal of all that is good and necessary for this nation.

    This November, let us stay focused on our diverse candidates along with our common goals. I do not care if the person is purple-skinned with antennas, just as long as s/he saves us from this trajectory toward the River Styx that this horrible man in Our House has us on.

  168. If the party is in such disarray why have they won the popular vote in 5 of the last 6 presidential elections. You never heard Republicans in disarray when they got hammered in 2006 and 2008 and 1992. Democrats represent a large swath of people so it is harder to represent all their interests. This has always been a tired media narrative along with attacking progressive candidates like Sanders and Cortez who are really just calling back New Deal Policies which were and are still very popular. Get rid of Social Security-no bigger third rail in American politics. If it weren't Paul Ryan would have gotten rid of it a long time ago.

  169. @Gingrich - they may have won the votes you mention, but they are out of power in WH, senate, house, governorships, state houses, etc. - duh.

  170. Michelle Goldberg lost me early on, when she referred to Ocasio-Cortez as "charismatic and a rousing spokesperson for her values. "
    If you've heard or watched her speak, she is clearly, most definitely, lacking as a spokesperson.
    Perhaps if she spent less time spanning the country and believing ridiculous accolades such as "wunderkind" and "rock star", and spent more time acquainting herself with American history and contemporary political thinking she'd come across in a more intelligent, informed manner.
    Listen to Sharice Davids speak (the woman opposed by Sanders/Ocasio-Cortez/Justice Democrats) alongside Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, and the difference is clear.
    As long as Sanders and his crew pull stunts like decrying money from PACS, while omitting the fact that Justice Democrats is a PAC itself, they maintain the same level of privilege and hypocrisy that they displayed during the primary.

  171. The ascendancy of Barak Obama was a result of the train wreck of the Bush II administration. I believe the same political forces are energized now as a result of the Trump junta. (The term "administration" just does not apply.)
    It seems that we need a Republican step backward to sling-shot us two steps forward. Or perhaps another metaphor; Republicans make the mess and Democrats clean it up.
    If all Democrats and left-leaning independents would get to the polls for every election, perhaps this tiresome pattern of fits and starts might smooth out, hopefully before it all crumbles down around us.

  172. @Ralph Averill - i will agree the T is 180 degree image of Obama in more ways than one. probably in all ways. he's probably gonna damage the R's just as much as Obama did to the D's.

  173. I wish I could be as optimistic as you about winning and Democrats not being in disarray, but I simply don't see it. Yes, there was likely a backlash to Ocasio-Cortez’s celebrity as no single person was ever going to be able to step forward and save the country by vanquishing Trump and his Republican enablers, defenders, dissemblers, and propagandists. However, part of the problem is much bigger than Ocasio-Cortez. It's structural. The left is mired in previous grievances, and that isn't getting better. I'm probably closer to the likes of Ocasio-Cortez, especially on economic issues, but I understand what's at stake in the upcoming election, which is everything, because we’re that close to authoritarian rule.

    What worries me is that the same conflicts which led to Trump winning in the first place are playing out again. A fine example was the response to the "Down Goes Socialism" Politico headline. It was written by Bill Scher, liberal pundit, Politico editor, and contributor to RealClearPolitics. His larger point was that the election results meant Socialist Democrats had no path to victory in Red states. Socialist Democrats were livid, invoked Bernie Sanders, and were ready to burn Scher at the stake. Mainstream Democrats defended Scher, invoked Hilary Clinton, and insisted her endorsements made the difference on election night.

    Deja Vu All Over Again.

    If this is "Winning" I need someone to explain what that word actually means; please explain "disarray" and "unity" too.

  174. We can not simply be the I Hate Trump party. We need to go into states that felt left behind and tell them what we can do for them. It's easy for Trump. He preaches hate, tweets like a jilted 12 year old, and gives the extreme right whatever they want. We need a greater approach and we need to unite our nation again. Trump is doing to the nation what he has been doing to every con project in his career. Throws his name on it, drives it into the ground, declares bankruptcy, and runs off with his 20%. We can not let that happen.

  175. The Pelosi/Shumer/Clinton/DNC/Wall Street establishment is fighting desperately to hang on to power in the Democratic Party. The headline in question is easily explained by their connections to the current ownership class in the big media. Wall Street is scared to death that there will be a real left sponsored reform movement which will actually limit their ability to gamble with taxpayer money as backup. They were quite satisfied with the phony reforms in Dodd-Frank which fooled the public for a while and let them recover and further enrich themselves under its cover. Of course now, with Republicans who are acknowledged 1% supporters in control, rather than the covert supporters in the DNC, they can even attack those mild reforms.

    The biggest problem the US faces is the great transfer of wealth , income , and power from the middle class to the 1% aided and abetted by the bought politicians of both parties. Every other issue from our underemployment, stagnating wages, economic anxiety to our insane, self-defeating wars, to our institutional racism, to our lack of medical care, to the destruction of our environment, to our failing, increasingly privatized schools, prisons, etc can be traced to this control by the super wealthy. That must be the issue that we put front and center, and the left is pushing it there.

  176. In an effort to distance itself from Trump and the GOP, it would appear that the Democrats are making what would appear to be a bold move to the left and throwing the shackles of the old establishment system that has held the party down for decades. All I can say is, it's about time.

  177. In 2016 I calculated that Bernie Sanders could not win the general election, so I supported Clinton. I, like so many others, valued her experience and her intelligence, but disliked her "typical politician" behavior. Because of that experience and what has followed since, I will be far more willing to support candidates like Sanders and Cynthia Nixon. Do you really think that Medicare for all, universal child care, and free college tuition are so out of touch with what the mainstream voters value? The choice cannot be more stark. Republicans try to convince the voters over and over their policies will lead to higher incomes for average Americans so they can afford health care, child care, and tuition. But that is not going to happen. Didn't happen back then, won't happen now. So the question then becomes, if the private sector is unwilling to share the profit produced by the workers with those workers, then the government needs to step in. If you don't want that to happen, pay people more money. It's not really all that complicated. And the argument that you can't pay people more and stay "competitive" in the marketplace, is less and less a strong one as the competition is being gobbled up left and right. VOTE.

  178. For longer than I have been alive, and that's a really long time, lefties have proposed taking over the Democratic Party as the Very Latest Thing.

    And during the same period, lefties have demanded that every single progressive support the Democratic presidential candidate because "at this particular juncture of history" (quote from a left legend), this year only, the right is so terrible that we have to hold our noses and vote for, eg, LBJ, to prevent war in Vietnam, or Billy, who picked the current fight with Russia.

    Until we have a mass independent left party, we shall get nowhere. How do we get it? Who knows? However, what a tad of a sense of history tells one is that no alternative will work.

    The main principle of organization is clear. We must unite all the alienated, Blue and Red both. Otherwise, we'll never be a majority.

    We need a common denominator that reaches to the underlying source of anger. And that fire of outrage ultimately is kindled and sustained by the grossly skewed income/wealth distribution.

    Thus, the only program that can reach the majority, the large majority, Blue and Red both, is for radical ("radical means radical") leveling of income and wealth.

    Otherwise, unless you want to front for, eg Hillary, give up politics.

  179. @alyosha - Simple answer, change to a multi-party system example Sweden. The leftmost party is called that, "Vänster", a middle party is "Moderaterna", liberals have "Liberal". One exeption the party with Nazi roots can hardly admit that so, irony of ironies it is "Sweden democrat" party.

    Only-Never in
    Citizen US SE

  180. The "left" in America is only called the left because that is the label the right picked to scare people about Communism and socialism decades ago. Neither is a threat to who and what we are in America, thanks in large part to the success of policies and programs of Democrats (Social Security, Medicare, NATO, etc.)

    Republican politicians dominated American politics using divisive racial and cultural rhetoric, gerrymandering, voter suppression and the support of plutocratic mega-donors.

    Meanwhile, the American people maintained their support for programs like Social Security, women's reproductive rights, and healthcare for all. These priorities are a sound foundation for new programs to meet the needs of younger generations in a new age.

    Give Republicans credit--as a minority party, they were more strategic and organized in their efforts, leading to their unfortunate dominance of our politics for two generations. But their policies are so at odds with what most Americans want that their scams have to end.

    Better those Republican scams be ended by the "pragmatic left" at the ballot box than by other ways.

  181. Their policies are at odds with what Americans want? Explain the landslide victory in the Presidential election. Both the “left & right” have stopped listening to their constituents making room for Trump. Right agendas are alive and strong..folks on the coasts refuse to live outside their bubble. There are many Americans who align themselves with conservative beliefs...never underestimate you opponent.

  182. I consider myself a pragmatic progressive. I voted for Bernie Sanders in the primary and Hillary Clinton in the general election. I will vote for Andrew Cuomo in the gubernatorial primary, however, because Nixon has insufficient experience to serve as governor and - key point - could not prevail against a Republican in November.

    Pragmatic progressives compromise to make progress. The purists too holy to support Gore or Clinton tipped the scale to Bush and Trump. I agree that a movement is built from the ground up; local and state elections in progressive community tipped the scale of City Council’s, district attorneys’ offices and state legislatures to the progressive column. School boards are key, as the Republicans figured out a long time ago.

    These local and state officials can influence policy while making a real difference for their constituents. Younger people are progressive and many of us baby boomers have not left the fight. The key is to be pragmatic – practical. If your candidate loses in the primary, don’t boycott the general election or vote for a sure loser. Support the Democrat. S/he will not only do the better, but will be more apt to support progressive policies if we stay vocal and in the mix.

    The perfect is the enemy of the good. Supporters of Nader and Stein gave us two disasterous administrations. The WFP and other grassroots parties are shrewder and more effective, but the progressives can only rebuild the party if they remain pragmatic.

  183. Historically, the GOP's 1994 "Contract with America" has been the vision that has fed the kind of distrust in government and programs that have served citizens of all stripes since the days of FDR.

    What the Democratic Party would be well-advised to do is to create a new pragmatic "Contract" that would be acceptable to the majority of voters who are disenchanted with the Trumpist agenda. The "Better Deal" that was unveiled by Schumer last year was too enigmatic and scattershot for most people to support.

    Democratic "progressivism" needs to be defined in a cohesive way that it can be understood to have a real impact on the middle classes. Given the overt wage/social inequality that currently exists, the obvious corporate control of the GOP agenda, the impending attacks on social safety net assurances (health care, social security, food stamps), deterioration in environmental conditions, and intentional intensification of divisions between urban and rural populations, it should be relatively easy to create an agenda that proposes to subdue these GOP-led initiatives.

    By creating such a platform and allowing Democratic candidates to emphasize the most salient aspects of it on the basis of their regional electorate, there is a chance that the desired "blue wave" could become a tsunami - which is the only way that our fragile democracy can be preserved and strengthened.

    Yes, it will take a long time to reverse the damage that has already been done - but it is possible!

  184. I consider myself a pragmatic progressive. I voted for Bernie Sanders in the primary and Hillary Clinton in the general election. I will vote for Andrew Cuomo in the gubernatorial primary, however, because Nixon has insufficient experience to serve as governor and - key point - could not prevail against a Republican in November.

    Pragmatic progressives compromise to make progress. The purists too holy to support Gore or Clinton tipped the scale to Bush and Trump. I agree that a movement is built from the ground up; local and state elections in progressive community can tip City Councils, district attorneys’ offices and state legislatures to the progressive column. School boards are key, as the Republicans figured out a long time ago.

    These local and state officials can influence policy while making a real difference for their constituents. Younger people are progressive and many of us baby boomers have not left the fight. The key is to be pragmatic – practical. If your candidate loses in the primary, don’t boycott the general election or vote for a sure loser. Support the Democrat. S/he will not only do the better job, but will be more apt to support progressive policies if you stay vocal and in the mix.

    The perfect is the enemy of the good. Supporters of Nader and Stein gave us two disasterous administrations. The WFP and other grassroots parties are shrewder and more effective, but the progressives can only rebuild the party by being pragmatic.

  185. RCT,
    40yrs of pragmatic promises.
    As another generation falls behind the previous losing generation. Pragmatic politicians that wallow and waffle.
    And the pragmatic populous that is too scared, too ignorant, too staid, too pragmatic, to make the jump to perfect. Much less attempt such a leap. Always toeing the line. Doing as their told. So many hooks in their lips they accessorizes the sinkers as fashion statements. Bought and sold.

    The world burns and our country swirls the bowl, but be should be pragmatic. Sure, that will work, this time.
    Look how well it has worked before. Don't try for better, accept mediocrity. Be pragmatic and accept banality. It's only fire.

  186. If Danny O'Connor loses by fewer votes than the Green Party candidate Joe Manchik received it should be a wake-up call to Progressives that the Green Party is a valuable ally of Donald Trump. "Green" in name only since they are enabling the destruction of the environment.

  187. The assessment here of the Green Party is spot on.
    All they do is take away votes from Democrats.
    And without Ralph Nader, we wouldn't have had eight years of George W. Bush.
    It's time for them to fade into the night.

  188. Joe,
    That's Right!
    It wasn't the 308,000 Dem's that flipped to Bush, it was those 97,000 Nader voters. Of which 1/3 polled as Dems.
    Wait....3:1...and we are blaming Nader? Yeah, sure.

    Just like that Stein chick. She got 1 million voters. Trump got 7 million Dumbocrates.
    Wait...7:1...and we are blaming the Greens? Yeah sure.
    Its always those hippies. Never the backstabbing DINO's. No. Pander to the Right. Punch down and Left.
    Got it. The Democratic way. Scapegoat and cast blame 'n shame everywhere else but at your own party.

  189. “It’s certainly true that Davids’s campaign put more emphasis on identity and representation, while Welder, a 2016 Sanders delegate, stressed populist economics. The Democratic Party will likely be weighing the precise balance between those progressive priorities for a long time.”

    If the left wants to succeed, it will emphasize populist economics. If it wants to self-destruct, it will emphasize identity and representation. My bet is that the Democrats will self-destruct (as usual).

  190. Read the piece. The movement of the paper to the radical left is instructive because it illuminates your naivete about national issues. By taking positions so far off track with my world of small business owners and workers it gives me great hope that the Democrats will doom themselves once again the coming elections.
    Keep harping on Global Warming, Please. It is remarkably unpopular or folks are utterly indifferent to it.

  191. @Lloyd Graff, Trump's act is beneficial only to billionaires. And there won't be any debate about climate change in 25 years, after another trillion metric tons of fossil fuel CO2 is emitted to the atmosphere.

  192. By "pragmatic left" you mean right-wing light, of course. That's what we've from Democrats for years and it resulted in their loss of almost every important legislative body. Capitulation to right wing ideology in the name of pragmatism isn't what progressives want, no matter how much the pundit class thinks we ought to want it. We favor universal health care, educational reform and other "un-pragmatic" reforms.

  193. Points well made, and hats off to all the new progressive candidates. Yes, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

    I’d caution, however, as I did to Frank Bruni’s column on Wednesday, that moral victories are insufficient. Winning real seats is the only metric of success now.

  194. I want to be encouraged by these developments and certainly would like to see the Democrats -- of all stripes -- recover the House and Senate this fall. But I'm concerned that we're seeing a false positive here, both in terms of turnout and votes for Democratic candidates, that is a direct result of an anyone-but-a-Trump-candidate sentiment among independent voters. Time will tell, and that means creating a movement that will extend beyond the Trump era. Some independent voters such as myself don't like the Democratic party but almost invariably vote Democrat. But there are many other independents who can go either way in a given election, and very few of them will vote for a socialist in most states and districts. If Dems want to win districts in red and purple states, they need to return to their roots by focusing on economic issues and demonstrate a genuine populism -- that is, policies that benefit the greatest number of people, not the false racist and nativist strain preached by Trump.

  195. John Fetterman won this year’s Democratic primary for Lt Governor of Pennsylvania.
    The Mayor of Braddock PA, the State’s most depressed Steel town, he was the first elected official in the country to endorse Bernie Sanders.
    He’s sheltered immigrants, defended gay rights, fought for gun control in an NRA stronghold, demanded universal pre-school and proposed a State wide livable min wage.
    He did that a decade ago.
    He might deserve a mention.

  196. The most over-hyped political story of the year by far has been the anointment of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as leader of a movement of some kind. She received 16,000 votes, for God's sake, in a district that has over 300,000 registered voters! The story here was the incumbent was caught napping. Period. To turn this event into some kind of nation-wide wave is absurd. I have nothing against her, and wish her all the best, but c'mon. When was the last time a newcomer who inspired that many votes caused such a sensation? Never, I'm quite sure.

  197. The modern left is anything but Pragmatic. There was a time when I looked to more classic liberals for wisdom or a different take, but not anymore. It’s now my way or the highway with their radical beliefs.

    Healthcare is far from perfect, but universal Medicare is not the answer. One of the lefts ultimate platforms is depopulation and controlling healthcare is its center piece. It’s goal won’t be to save or increase quality of life, but rather to ration/decrease quality. Essentially picking who lives & dies.

    Just take at look at Obamacare. 30 million, roughly 9% of population, was uninsured. We literally could have increased premiums by 10% for everyone and achieved insurance for all, but that didn’t happen. Instead we got an 11,000 page bill full of 1,000’s of taxes, increased premiums 2X to 3X the normal rate, and the end result was an extra 15 million people got coverage. So essentially healthcare was ruined for all to increase coverage for 5% of the US population. This example alone is why the left should not be in charge of anything.

  198. @JOSEPH: The facts and reality are against you. All developed countries have some form of universal health care at at most two thirds of the cost in the USA and better outcomes. Imagine also the increase in productivity if workers do not have to slog through complicated paperwork choosing a health plan every year, and can switch jobs or pursue entrepreneurship without having to worry about losing health insurance? The peace of mind alone you won’t be reduced to bankruptcy due to unforeseen health care costs is worth it.

  199. @JOSEPH: Wow. I call myself a progressive, a Liberal. Most of my friends are pretty liberal. None of us want anything you write. Your description is the Fox News version of what nonsense they think Conservatives will buy. And it works.

  200. @JOSEPH
    if it was that easy, how come the geniuses in the Republican party failed to find an alternative after 10 years with the white house and both chambers of congress in their corner?????

  201. F.D.R. cited four essential freedoms as undergirding human dignity: “freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want.” These four freedoms constituted the core value-objectives of the post-World War II American-led order. America was admired because of its core principle: These four basic human freedoms must be protected by the rule of law.

    If the pragmatic left fails to reassert itself and if the GOP further degenerates into Trumpuglicanism, what future awaits us?

    Trumpublicans shamelessly denigrate the norms and institutions that embody and promote the rule of law—the rule of law that is essential to the vitality of a democratic republic.

    They replace freedom of speech with their leaders’ “freedom” to lie and to lash out at the free press and other critics of their corruption and cruelty.

    Freedom of belief is reduced to the “freedom” to assert that one fundamentalist tribal religion is politically superior to all other belief systems.

    Freedom from fear is supplanted by the “freedom” to use fear as a demagogic means for promoting discord among diverse social groups and as an excuse for vastly increased military expenditures.

    Freedom from want is subverted into the “freedom” to exploit the market place in such a way that the economic disparity between the haves and the have-nots is ever widening.

    In the November elections, will we the people allow Trumpugican “freedoms” to go unchecked?

  202. @Andrew G. Bjelland, Sr. You really need to own the current chasm that exists in our body politic.

    Seriously, folks like to blame all the rancor on Trump...or all the mayhem on Republicans.

    In truth, it's physics at work.

    IN 2009, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barack Obama decided to ram through the biggest tax increase and the largest change in policy change in American history that has literally been destructive to millions upon millions of American families.

    This overreach cost 65 'moderate Democrats' their jobs; replaced with 65 Tea Party and Freedom Caucus types. You operate as if Democrats had nothing to do with Mark Meadows, Ted Cruz and others being elected to Congress, when it's directly your fault.

    Further, you belabor the inartful language and morality of Donald Trump, but it's you who allowed him to happen. Your media sycophants gave the man over $2 billion worth of free media time...and put forth a 70 year old Dynasty candidate who reeked of Establishment while defending herself in a FBI criminal investigation. You think we didn't notice? You think you can defy the laws of political physics be denying 75% of the nation who said we were headed in the wrong direction? You couldn't remember 2008 when a no name junior back bencher from Illinois beat her? You thought it wise to recycle her?

    So...keep in mind that our current state of affairs is your birth child. It's an ugly beast..but it's what happen when you don't practice safe politics.

  203. @Andrew G. Bjelland, Sr. 40 questions? If the pragmatic left fails to reassert itself and the GOP further degenerates into Trumpuglicanism, no future awaits. 39 questions.

  204. The "Democrats are in disarray" trope is the 2018 version of "but her emails." Desperate to appear fair and balanced, journalists have to find some angle to show that they aren't favoring one party over the other. This, of course, contributed to the election of You Know Who. Perhaps the media would enjoy a better reputation if it didn't engage in that nonsense.

  205. I have raised this question for years and would like a strong, decent answer: just what is it the Democrats stand for? They have been pushed into a defensive crouch by years of propaganda about how horrible liberals are and have wandered all over the map like blind men lost in a vast desert.

    One core value, an important one, is they actually believe in government, that the federal enterprise can make a positive difference in the lives of almost all citizens. Speak up. Democrats! Don't be so afraid.

    When they are out of power, the Republicans use deficit spending to pound the Dems over the head night and day. How in the world do they get away with that when they pass a tax cut of 1.5 trillion dollars, mainly for the rich, at a time when the national debt is gigantic? How do the Republicans work this magic trick of dirty politics?

    The last time we had a balanced budget was under a Democrat, Clinton. Obama reduced deficit spending even while guiding the nation out of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Republicans are for "spend and cut taxes on the rich". They favor very expensive government shutdowns and have threatened to default on
    America's bills. This is a party that uses irresponsibility as a tool and, in recent years, has been joined by a radical cult (Freedom Caucus) that does not want the national government to survive. Now, Republicans embrace an erratic, untrained amateur in the White House.

    Is that enough to run on, Democrats?

  206. The resurgence of the Democratic Party is real -- in Red States, in gerrymandered congressional districts and deep Blue urban precincts. We are not column of Republicans marching in orderly columns. We shout at injustice, at Republicans and sometimes at each other. We are a mob milling about. Make way, we are the Democrats.

  207. Labels are unhelpful, to say the least. The fact is, as the GOP recognized years ago, the electorate by and large responds to soundbites, and to labels. The GOP effectively turned the term liberal into a slur, having already done the same with the term socialist. Yet poll after poll demonstrates that policies championed by Democrats are overwhelmingly preferred by the voters. The last thing Democrats need to do is apply labels to themselves. Just run on sound policy positions, and make sure the electorate understands them. Either that will deliver the nation from the death grip of dark money, or nothing can.

  208. Michelle, in November the voters of the left coast state of Oregon will decide whether to continue with their sanctuary state status. If the liberal position loses, then it will be time to rethink the whole open borders approach to immigration. I am a Democrat. However, I am getting tired of being nailed to the cross for the sake of causes that lack the support of the majority of Americans.

    You need our permission. "Permisos!" "Permisos!" Can't you see how this issue is tearing our country apart?

  209. Glad you think so Michelle.
    As a 40 year voting democrat i, for the first time,
    Will be voting 3rd party or write in if Dems put up
    Bernie, Warren or anyone of that stripe.
    I am not alone in that regard

  210. Democrats are intent upon snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in November.

    Republicans have successfully made “Liberal” the word which must not be spoken.

    Now the Ultraliberals think that they are being pragmatic by calling themselves “Socialists”? This is the kiss of death in America.

    As a life long FDR/JFK I Democrat I am convinced that a strongly regulated capitalist economic system will bring the greatest good for the greatest number.

    Bernie was right to focus on the economic inequalities of Wall Street Reaganomics and to stay away from extreme social issues like gun control and BLM.

    Bernie would be President today if he had not identified as a socialist in his early political life.

  211. "Likely representation of Democratic Socialists in congress will double". From what? one to two? Come on.

    and another thing. Drop the name unless you really want to nationalize Apple and Amazon. It's always been known as social democracy. Socialism is completely different.

  212. Democrats generally are not flaming radicals so of course they have a quieter vision of political thought which does not scream stridently and fan the flames for anything. If Trump has not increased the public appetite for sanity,coolness and considered thought, nothing will.

  213. "Pragmatic left?" What, exactly, does that mean?

    Does one emphasize "pragmatic" and think of Conor Lamb, or does one emphasize "left" and think of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes? Or does one simply throw up his hands and confess that he has no clue what this apparent oxymoron actually means?

  214. This column was even more invigorating than the news earlier today of Chris Collins's having to face the reality that the law DOES apply to him.

    More and more it becomes clear that because - literally - millions of Americans have decided to become active in elective politics for the first time in their lives, 11-6-18 WILL be a day of jubilation.

  215. “Democrats in disarray” is a take that writes itself, but not every disagreement is a war.

    Thank you for this. The need for some political pundits to manufacture drama is perverse and usually self-serving (garners eyeballs, clicks, and attention). It is nice to see a sane assessment of what is happening on the ground.

  216. Financial insecurity is the dominant concern of the majority of American voters today. The Republicans have staked out a position that appeals to a certain segment of white voters. It claims that the root causes of financial insecurity are (1) the government hurting the economy by spending, taxing, and regulating and (2) minorities, immigrants, and foreigners taking (with the aid of the government) jobs and money from "hard-working" Americans.

    The Democrats have long had no opposing view to this Republican view. Instead, they've tried to adopt the Republican lower tax, lower spending position and just soften its rough and racist or xenophobic edges. Essentially, they've been saying the Republicans are right, just too extreme.

    Now, finally, the more left-leaning Democrats are waking up to the fact that there is a counter argument to the Republican position—and one that is both compelling and sensible. The solution to Americans' financial insecurity is a more progressive tax system that transfers more wealth from the rich to the poor and middle class through a well-designed and comprehensive social safety net. Some Democrats are terrified of this idea, thinking the GOP low tax position is still more popular. However, as Democratic Socialists start to win more, we are learning that the idea of a strong social safety net has fairly broad appeal. The Democrats, long followers of the GOP trend setters, now have the opportunity to become leaders. Let's hope they seize it.

  217. @617to416 Please read the op-ed in today's WSJ by Phil Gramm and a co-author, who report that the US tax code is more progressive than the tax system in the UK, Australia, Japan, Canada, France and Germany. If the data is correct, the call by this commenter that the US needs a more progressive tax system perpetuates a myth that is a common refrain of those on the left.

  218. @617to416 That "economic anxiety" has been somewhat debunked and racial anxiety, immigration specifically along with the general demographic trend is what most unites Donald's 40%.

  219. One step at a time. Do you think that just because you dream it, it will come? Progress comes slowly.

    Working class disaffection was fully 40 years in the making.

    I’m sure you felt a nice warm feeling voting for Bernie, but are you happy with what resulted? I doubt you’d admit it, but i think you are not.

    Maybe you think that was just an anomaly, and the fact the president is loathsome, and that thus, the electorate will flip wholesale in the span of 24 months, but I’d challenge that all day long.

  220. Let's hope the "pragmatic" "left" doesn't do its traditional thing and veer off into Rockefeller Republicanism at the first flash of bankers' money, which has been the Democratic Party's practice in the last 40 years.

  221. One of the greatest movies ever "The Best Years of our Lives" depicts three veterans from the same town; a bank VP, a disabled young man, and a soda jerk in a drugstore. The differences between the three are largely social, not economic. Even the bank VP lives in a modest home and shared hardships bring the three men together. Such a movie could not be made today. A bank VP would never go to war but would make millions from it; a disabled vet would be cast aside, and a working man would live in poverty. Welcome to 2018 and the final death of the "American Century"

  222. When there's nothing left but straws, you grab them.

    The establishment, Hillary and her various backers, and the DNC, destroyed the party. Those of us who abstained or voted elsewhere were far more than enough to have overwhelmed Trump, but we could not honestly vote for the dishonest.

    Bernie Sanders and Warren's sellout to the dishonest and hysterical in the hopes of promoting their own political game has tainted them even as their candidates have won the few wins on which you think the world will change. That is not "pragmatism".

    Yes, a Democrat majority in the House would slow the neofascist machine, but the DNC is still controlled by Hillary's Republicanized Establishment. They're in it for the money and in DC money rules. Their "special" interest, billionaire backers have poured vast sums into their pockets

    For all our hate-Trump and his crowd feelings we still do not have a party that sees beyond domestic issues like health care and wages. It's as though the CA firemen were still busy just polishing the red trucks at the wildfire scene. Deep State, in all its glory, has set the world to burning over the last 30 years and everyone in the White House and the cabinets has been an accomplice since then.

    There is no "longer game" as someone suggests below. There's just a drizzle from the hoses in the face of raging fires.

  223. Don't show sympathy to the voters who say they've been forgotten. It's a ruse. When you're done reading the NYT today, look at some of the alt-right (yes, there still is an alt-right) web sites, their YouTube videos, and their comments. Several months ago the far right became crazy about business dealings between the NRA and Yeti, a manufacturer of expensive coolers. They posted videos of themselves shooting holes through their $400 coolers, swearing to never buy another Yeti product. Exactly how "forgotten" are they if they're buying $400 coolers? Yes, there are far to many Americans who are suffering, but they are not the people creating the narratives that are so popular in the non-MSM media outlets. It only takes a small amount of research to discover this, and Democrats should challenge these narratives with the concrete examples that the far right has inadvertently provided to the public.

  224. Yes! Democratic Socialism will be a big big winner in the midwest and Swing States that decide elections. Dems need to go all in on this important issue. Let us know how to help and where we can contribute!

    Sincerely, the GOP

  225. Granted there is an increase in progressives, especially women, in the 2018 elections, but I have seen scant or no mention of Pramila Jayapal, Seattle's (7th WA Dist.) rep, elected ion 2016 as perhaps an ultra-progressive. She just garnered over 50% of the vote in out top-two type primary.

  226. This article and this author are part of the problem. There should be no talk of winning between Democrats. The party should have a single goal: defeating Trump.

    Once that goal is achieved, we can argue about everything else. Until then, the party is utterly and completely powerless. Discussion of other issues is a waste of time, pure and simple.

  227. I am a Canadian and we have three parties that may be asked to form a government. We have a conservative party, we have a liberal party and we have a democratic socialist party. Our conservatives have a left center and right. Our liberals have a left center and right and our democratic socialists have a left center and right yet somehow our government functions.
    You have one functioning political party the Democrats and a cult that smaller government and low taxes is the cure for all political, economic and social problems.
    Government works only when problems are open to discussion and debate.
    I am sure there are millions of Americans like myself who believe that higher taxes and more government oversight can solve many of America's problems.
    There is nobody to talk to whether you believe a strong social safety net to reach the point the cost benefits exceed the initial cost. Until the cult of one size fits all reaches the point where it no longer dominates the political discourse America will never again be great and it might indeed disappear. It is time for Americans who still think change or destroy a party that has lost its reason. Good government is not reflexive it is listening and considering.

  228. See today's WaPo for a review of Ms. Cortez' recent statements. Full of lies. The others mentioned in this editorial do not bode well for mainstream Dems either.

    Elevating identity politics does not help this country in November.

  229. There's nothing pragmatic about using the word "socialism" in 2018, even if you put the word "Democratic" in front of it. The word carries too much baggage. It's time to resign it to academia. "Progressive" is fast being dragged down along with it. Time for a revolution in left-wing language. Otherwise, it's just too easy to stereotype and vilify the party of ideas.

  230. @Mford

    Yes it's the word that is the problem, not the policy.

    Call it Puppies and Rainbows.