As the Democrats, in spite of themselves, are grappling with the polarities in their party, it behooves us, one and all, to ponder who they thought they were and how they got there.
We would all do well to remember: in President Clinton's first few days in office there was part of a Metroliner Train that was cordoned off, velvet rope style, as if it were some VIP lounge at an exclusive club; where the press and common citizen were kept away: Well, it turns out that's exactly what it was: a group of Wall Street millionaires and billionaires were going to meet President Clinton to essentially figure out how to become more like Republicans. (Clinton had more millionaires in his administration than any previous president!) From this cabal was born the Democratic Leadership Council: a capitalist endeavor down to it balls.
Traditionally the Democratic base had always been the working class, lower middle class, African- Americans, professors, artists and entertainers (the kinds of people Conservatives find to be most annoying and electorally irrelevent). For some surprisingly heartless and what they, I assume, thought was a brilliant way to transform the party into a more "business" savy entity. This of course required amnesia about the great lesson Robert Kennedy's presidential campaign made clear. Not only did he inspire the traditional base of the party but, people who, after his assassination then supported George Wallace!
What does all this mean? It means that the too clever by half DLC has alienated the party's massive base and never attracted those from the other side: hence we truly have by definition one major party in this country: "The Business Party."
It is not impossible to succeed as a social democracy, where business and free enterprise thrive AND not abandon the disenfranchised, poor, sick and elderly. In other words: What would Jesus do?