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Sanders' Wing of the Party Terrifies Moderate Dems. Here's How They Plan to Stop It.
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=44535"><span class="small">Alex Seitz-Wald, NBC News</span></a>   
Tuesday, 20 November 2018 09:30

Seitz-Wald writes: "If Sen. Bernie Sanders is leading a leftist political revolt, then a summit here of moderate Democrats might be the start of a counterrevolution."

Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. (photo: J. Pat Carter/WP/Getty Images)
Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. (photo: J. Pat Carter/WP/Getty Images)

Sanders' Wing of the Party Terrifies Moderate Dems. Here's How They Plan to Stop It.

By Alex Seitz-Wald, NBC News

20 November 18

Party members and fundraisers gathered for an invitation-only event to figure out how to counteract the rising progressive movement.

f Sen. Bernie Sanders is leading a leftist political revolt, then a summit here of moderate Democrats might be the start of a counterrevolution.

While the energy and momentum is with progressives these days — the victory of rising star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York, buzz about Democratic Socialism and the spread of the "Abolish ICE!" movement are a few recent examples — moderates are warning that ignoring them will lead the party to disaster in the midterm elections and the 2020 presidential contest.

That anxiety has largely been kept to a whisper among the party's moderates and big donors, with some of the major fundraisers pressing operatives on what can be done to stop Sanders, I-Vt., if he runs for the White House again.

But the first-ever "Opportunity 2020" convention, organized here last week by Third Way, a moderate Democratic think tank, gave middle-of-the-road party members a safe space to come together and voice their concerns.

"The only narrative that has been articulated in the Democratic Party over the past two years is the one from the left," former Delaware Gov. Jack Markell told NBC News.

"I think we need a debate within the party," he added. "Frankly, it would have been better to start the conversation earlier."

Pragmatism may be a tougher sell in the Donald Trump era, but with the 2020 presidential race just around the corner, moderate Democrats know they are running out of time to reassert themselves.

The gathering here was just that — an effort to offer an attractive alternative to the rising Sanders-style populist left in the upcoming presidential race. Where progressives see a rare opportunity to capitalize on an energized Democratic base, moderates see a better chance to win over Republicans turned off by Trump.

The fact that a billionaire real estate developer, Winston Fisher, co-cohosted the event and addressed attendees twice underscored that this group is not interested in the class warfare vilifying the "millionaires and billionaires" found in Sanders' stump speech.

"You're not going to make me hate somebody just because they're rich. I want to be rich!" Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, a potential presidential candidate, said Friday to laughs.

The invitation-only gathering brought together about 250 Democratic insiders from key swing states. Third Way unveiled the results of focus groups and polling that it says shows Americans are more receptive to an economic message built on "opportunity" rather than the left's message about inequality.

"Once again, the time has come to mend, but not end, capitalism for a new era," said Third Way President Jon Cowan.

For the left, Third Way represents the Wall Street-wing of the party and everything wrong with the donor-driven wet blanketism they've been trying exorcise since 2016. Thom Hartmann, a liberal talk radio host and Sanders friend, once called the group's warning about Sanders "probably the most stupid thing I've ever heard," before ticking through all the investment bankers on Third Way's board.

But some elected officials in relatively conservative areas say progressives are clueless about what their agenda would mean for Democrats outside major cities and the coasts.

"We will be a permanent minority party in this country," said Iowa state Sen. Jeff Danielson, a firefighter who represents an area that saw one of the biggest swings from Barack Obama to Trump during the 2016 election.

Single-payer, government-run health care may be a popular party plank in New York City, where Ocascio-Cortez, a Democratic Socialist, recently won a high-profile primary, Danielson said, but added, "it does not work in the rest of America ... and I’m tired of losing."

Moderates said they feel they're being drowned out by louder voices on the left.

Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., a member of the House Democratic leadership who represents a district Trump won, invoked Richard Nixon's "silent majority."

"If you look throughout the heartland, there's a silent majority who just wants normalcy. Who wants to see that people are going out to Washington to fight for them in a civil way and get something done," she told reporters.

"There's a lot of people that just don't really like protests and don't like yelling and screaming," she added.

And they worry the angry left will cost Democrats a rare chance to win over those kind of voters, including Republicans who no longer want to be part of Trump's GOP.

"Republicans have chosen the far right, which means that they have ceded a good portion of the middle of the road," said former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who is considering a presidential run. "The Democrats, in my opinion, would make a big mistake if they decide to run a base election and just say, ‘Our base is bigger than your base.'"

With much of the recent policy innovation on the Democratic side happening on the left, the "Opportunity Agenda" unveiled here tries to equip moderates with their own big ideas.

Some of the key initiatives are a massive apprenticeship program to train workers, a privatized employer-funded universal pension that would supplement Social Security and an overhaul of unemployment insurance to include skills training. Other proposals included a "small business bill of rights" and the creation of a "BoomerCorps" — like the volunteer AmericaCorps for seniors.

Meanwhile, they say the progressive agenda is out of date. They dismiss, for instance, a federal jobs guarantee as a rehash of the New Deal.

"Our ideas must be bold, but they must also fit the age we are in," Cowan said. "Big isn't enough. If it's bold and old — it’s simply old."

Matt Bennett, Third Way's senior vice president for public affairs, acknowledges that Sanders "had a big head start."

Many of the party's biggest stars, including Sens. Kamala Harris of California, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Cory Booker of New Jersey, have already signed on to Sanders-backed policies like single-payer health care. But Bennett said he thinks they'll reconsider when they examine the details. "I think they were a little hasty," he said.

Notably, the proposed moderate agenda does not take issue with the party's broad consensus in favor of abortion rights, LGBT equality, stricter gun control and support for immigrants and a path to citizenship for the undocumented.

In a twist, the agenda is based largely on geography, rather than class or race, which are more popular on the left. It focuses on trying to address the fact that cities are thriving as rural areas fall behind.

Clinton was pilloried earlier this year for bragging that she "won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward," but Democratic losses in the rest of America have been politically disastrous for the party.

The difficulty will be selling this approach in the Democratic presidential primary to a base that has seemed to move in the opposite direction.

Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., the chair of the New Democrat Coalition, said members of his side are not "naturally arbiters of emotion and anger."

"How we tell our story and put forward our polices in a way that makes people want to mount the barricades is one of the biggest challenges we have," said Himes, a former Goldman Sachs banker who represents Fairfield, Connecticut.

He pointed to calls to "Abolish ICE," for instance, which he characterized as emotionally understandable but politically illogical.

"It hurts us in areas where we need to win," Himes warned of "Abolish ICE" in the midterms. "You have now made life harder for the 60 or 70 Democrats fighting in districts where we need to win if we ever want to be in the majority."

"We're going to figure it out, though," he added, looking down at his tie printed with little blue waves. "We're going to figure it out."

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+73 # stevb 2018-11-20 10:17
It's the failure of the moderate democrats that is the reason for the progressive wave. Moderate democrats have been moving further and further to the right since Carter to where now moderate democrats are barely distinguishable from republicans.
+60 # jwb110 2018-11-20 11:25
The moderate Democrats are just Republicans in different suits. The downfall of the Democratic Party was Centrism. Centrism drove any debate farther and farther to the Alt-right. The debate must move farther to the left if there is to be any change from the business, and I mean business, as usual. Obama was not a liberal and never said he was. He was a moderate Republican and gave them their way time after time while President and then was vilified by the GOP for having done so.
Bringing a Nation back together after it has been torn so completely apart will not require Moderation. Moderation didn't put the Trump administration in office and perhaps taking a page from their playbook is something to look at.
Tim Ryan's remark about not wanting to hate the rich because he wants to be rich points a finger at a big part of the problem. A man who wants to be rich probably should have considered getting it in some way other than being in public office. Go play in the Capitalist World of the US and then tell me how easy it is. Progressive ideas are not Socialism. They are ideas is that look at the Taxes the average 99%'er pays being returned to them in services instead of being shoveled into the pockets of the 1% and the Military Industrial Complex. The system is broken and the poverty being bred by that system puts the Nation in far greater danger than asking the 1% to pay their fair share and give the 99% a seat at the table.
+48 # chrisconno 2018-11-20 11:31
Suggesting that if the progressive ideas are "bold and old...they're just old" is suggesting that any different ideas are no good because they are old. Bernie Sanders could have garnered a winning number of Trump voters. It seems the biggest problem was how well the vilification of Hillary took with those that wanted change. Because republicans moved the middle so far right I think too many of these 'moderate' Democrats are really moderate republicans. We do need a bold approach to our newer and older problems and Bernie Sanders is a brilliant light in that direction. I think we need to ask how much money do these 'moderate' Democrats get from big oil, pharma, and many other big monied interest?
+7 # ljslotnick 2018-11-23 01:10
Sanders won the 2016 primaries in 23 states ... many red and purple: AK, CO, DA, HI,ID, IN, KS, ME,MI, MN, MT, NE,[e]NH, ND, OK, OR, RI, UT, VT, WA,[f]WI, WV, WY
The quotes in this article are simply DNC apologists wanting to continue the gravy train for their favored lobbyists, pollsters, PR firms and other bought and paid-for loyalists. Disgusting way to live. This country will be a better place when they are sent packing. Because they have clearly demonstrated that they do not want to have a meaningful dialog with progressives. Enough!
+2 # librarian1984 2018-11-24 05:49
You are so spot on. The other group of insiders that has proved relentlessly, viciously anti-Sanders are the political consultants, whose money depends on ad buys.

In DC everyone judges everybody else based on how much money they raise. It's all they think is important.

Groups like these only see that the status quo is at risk, even though opporrunists like them always land on their feet; they lack imagination, and not one iota of them cares about people like US.

Even if Sanders makes the case he's the one who can reliably beat Trump, they don't care. The people are so far ahead of the 'leaders' and their 'elite' enablers.

All I want .. demand .. is a fair nomination process, and I don't have much confidence we'll get it -- but it will be harder for them to hide. People will be watching. Will they do anything? Will Sanders?
+13 # lorenbliss 2018-11-20 11:34
...And so begins -- exactly as I predicted -- the Democratic (sic) Party's most-brazen-off icial-alliance ever with the forces of ChristoFascism.

So too -- in this newest iteration of "change we can believe in," the most devastating Big Lie in U.S. political history -- ends forever any hope of progressive change without actual revolution.

And since there is neither the ideological discipline nor the collective courage for successful revolution, so ends forever the charade of "American democracy," consigned (like the Weimar Republic) to the dustbin of history.

Welcome therefore to Capitalism's newest most euphemistic version of Hitler's New Order.
+8 # Inspired Citizen 2018-11-20 17:02
We need a revolution in the United States, and Bernie or Bust: Pioneers of Electoral Revolt was written for the specific purpose of fomenting such an electoral movement.

Please find, acquire, read and the #ShareThisBook.
+47 # Moxa 2018-11-20 11:56
Actually, I applaud NBC News for publishing this. The billionaire class and their henchmen--the politicians who take their money--have ALWAYS undermined progressives, and the media, who are owned by the same billionaires, are their natural allies. So it is refreshing to see a mainstream news outlet actually admit to what's going on.

The content is, of course, disgusting, but almost laughably so. They're trying to figure out how to fire up the voters while remaining steadfastly lukewarm themselves. A dilemma indeed.

The bogus argument about appealing to mainstream voters is just a cover story for a lack of honesty and integrity. It is well known that many people who voted for Trump actually voted for Sanders in the primary. Even Richard Ojeda (the first Democrat to announce his candidacy for the 2020 presidential race) voted for Trump, though he had originally supported Bernie.

People are not turned off to Democrats because they are too progressive. A majority of Americans favor almost all of Bernie's policies. What they are turned off to is empty rhetoric and meaningless chatter. They've never had the chance to choose real substance, because it has never been offered to them.

Bernie's amazing rise in popularity, IN SPITE OF his being undermined by the DNC and the media, is extraordinary and speaks to the power of the truth to excite the electorate.
Bernie's problem is not the voters, but the power brokers, who are terrified of him.
0 # Caliban 2018-11-20 20:54
"Even Richard Ojeda (the first Democrat to announce his candidacy for the 2020 presidential race) voted for Trump, though he had originally supported Bernie."

At the moment, Bernie Sanders seems the only potential candidate on the left who has the power and appeal to mount a meaningful challenge to Donald Trump. And only the Democratic Party can give Bernie the voter base and campaign apparatus to bring Bernie to the White House.

But Bernie supporters must be willing to follow the Democratic Party in a situation where Bernie is not the candidate. If, like Richard Ojeda, they cannot or will not do so, then more (and worse) Trumpist dominance follows.
+31 # dsfingers 2018-11-20 12:12
II started out to catalog all the things wrong with this article, but gave it up. The problems middle America's face have to do with the same issues brought up by coastal America (which by the way makes up by far the majority of the population. That is that money has been sucked out of the economy into the financial sector leave the industrial and agricultural sector struggling to breathe. So of course the financial structure is alarmed and are seeking to market their same old ideas to the "masses". They have money so are a threat to progress in this market driven world. Two points really jump at me. The problems of inequality and lack of opportunity really are two sides of the same coin, not opposing ideas.

Only a person who believes everything is only a marketing problem thinks that the conversation should be about political vs emotional realities and would fail to see the problems are really failures of ethics, logic and reason. I would argue that political realities are really only emotional realities in disguise. This is what people are sick of if they could reason it through.

I would hope the new leftward move was really about a move to reason and integrity.
+37 # tedrey 2018-11-20 12:14
What a back-handed approach! Play to big donors and Republican voters, and soft-peddle the popular issues that gave Democrats control in the House. They want to win by offering nothing Democrats claim to stand for. They really want to make money, keep their cushy protected posts, and lose the nation and the future!
+27 # 2018-11-20 12:17
The old line so-called "moderates" are finally realizing that clinging to failed policies is not a viable course of action. Hillary and Debbie Wassermanh Shultz kept Bernie on the side lines once and in doing that s... the nest. Now they have to lie in it! Get some new leadership! Out with the old and in with the new. Resist Ghandi style. No screaming or violence tolerated.
+7 # Concerned Citizen 2018-11-20 12:23
The corporate wing of the Democratic Party may believe that it can continue to win elections by running on a progressive agenda then pivoting to the right to serve the interests of their corporate backers once in office. But new generation voters are not as gullible as their predecessors. Progressives prevailed at the ballot box this November precisely because voters are increasingly connecting with the reality that campaign contributions before the election drive policies after the election. The sooner all Democrats rally around an agenda which genuinely serves what people want--good jobs, affordable healthcare, and safe communities--th e sooner voters will reward them with a permanent majority. Until then, voters will continue to alternate between the parties, removing whichever party is in power once it fails to deliver on campaign promises!
+9 # librarian1984 2018-11-21 18:38
I agree completely. Maybe it's just because the midterms are over but the Third Way-ers DO seem a little frantic. And now they've mutinied against Pelosi without putting forward a challenger. I agree with wanting NP out, but know I'd hate their candidate. They really bungled it (good!) while the progressives seem to have supported the future-Speaker. Will their be an oddbedfellowshi p there?

Imagine what Pelosi's savvy and AOC's agenda would accomplish!

I think deep polls must confirm that the progressive agenda is immensely popular. Idiot Fox keeps advertising the progressive planks as they try to vilify their number 1 fascination. haha Once people see that they'll be flocking to progressives. We need to make sure state parties let Independents vote in the primaries. RNC reform only 'suggested' to state parties they do so, so we should follow up on this.

We should also pressure Nancy to go out 'beloved and with dignity', thumbing her nose at her donors. Get shit done, Madam Speaker!

Imagine President Bernie and Speaker Ocasio-Cortez. We could have a chance at addressing climate change. We could do this. We ARE running against Trump, after all. He's going to have two more years to show his stripes.

We could end these wars, reduce the military budget, give Americans healthcare, jobs, an education .. invest in our people, who've been neglected and abused for a long time.
+2 # economagic 2018-11-21 21:42

"I agree with wanting NP out, but know I'd hate their candidate."

If you don't like this one you REALLY won't like the other one.

"Imagine what Pelosi's savvy and AOC's agenda would accomplish!"
"We should also pressure Nancy to go out 'beloved and with dignity', thumbing her nose at her donors. Get shit done, Madam Speaker!"

I vote for that!
+4 # economagic 2018-11-21 21:30
"The corporate wing of the Democratic Party may believe that it can continue to win elections by running on a progressive agenda then pivoting to the right to serve the interests of their corporate backers once in office."

Continue? Five out of the last 13 presidential terms, including four that either were a wash or furthered Republican agendas?
+9 # bobmiller101 2018-11-20 12:32
The FACTS belie the "moderates:" Just look at Orange County, CA. One of the most RED areas in the US went TOTALLY BLUE! It ill take COURAGE, but I will NO LONGER SUPPORT the centrist wing! It's funny how BIG $ clouds the brain.
+10 # JCM 2018-11-20 12:41
Sanders has said he is a socialist but all his programs are really based on Social Democracy that supports democracy and capitalism but promotes legislation that benefits all in an equal way. This includes helping those in need.
0 # NAVYVET 2018-11-23 16:02
He's basically a Keynesian. Keynesianism was an economic system (read John Kenneth Galbraith) that understood the use of broad spectrum CHOICE in solving problems. Use mild socialism when that's needed, mild capital-based theories when they can be useful, but stay flexible and don't allow any idea to get too extreme or stay too long.

From 1932 to about 1936 FDR used Keynes' ideas, but they were diluted or wrecked by foolish right wing extremists in SCOTUS and both Repubs and Dixiecrats in Congress who ended his most visionary programs. It took a war to put people back to work and gain both unionism and higher pay, but that was very bad for the US, which has pumped up endless war ever since 1945--and look at the messes we're in. To have a really successful Keynesian economy--visual ize Scandinavia--pe ace works best for prosperity and social contentment.
-7 # mblockhart 2018-11-20 15:29
It amazes me to read how many don't get it that the way forward for Democrats is to focus on the people, especially the people in need. It's not in set cookie-cutter agendas or plans. E.g, instead of demanding single-payer health care, first negotiate to achieve access to quality health care for everyone.
What is also amazing is how many liberal/progres sive have bought into the lie that Democrats moved to the right and especially the lie that Democrats are the same as moderate Republicans. We moved left years ago and have remained reasonably left of center for some time. The key difference is a focus on the needs of the people.
+11 # librarian1984 2018-11-21 19:01

When's the last time you heard any Democrat mention peace or cutting the military? That used to be a Democratic 'thing'..

When's the last time a Democrat mentioned education or M4A?

33 DEMOCRATS voted to EASE bank regulations. Six voted to give TRUMP increased surveillance and military powers.

The DP has been moving right for 30 years, ever since Bill hooked up with toe-sucking Dick Morris. Together they passed welfare and sentencing 'reform', setting up the private prison industry. Clinton signed NAFTA, harming unions and workers, and the Telecommunicati ons Act, resulting in 6 corporations owning 90% of media.

80% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, 20% of American kids don't eat regularly. When do you hear Democrats mention poverty, or schools, or even climate change, our most imminent danger?

Obama took us from two wars to eight, and went after journalists and whistleblowers more than all other presidents combined. He shit on habeus corpus, drone killed children, destroyed Libya and commited to a $trillion nuke makeover.

Do you know anything about what your government's doing in your name? Was Obama more transparent than W? Did Holder go after torturers or domestic spies or bank fraudsters?

They're corrupt and pro-corporate, bought and sold, a few working for citizens.

Please, tell me five things the Democrats have done in the past 30 years that is remotely liberal. (And don't try the GOP health plan.)
+5 # economagic 2018-11-21 21:55
Say WHUT?!? As I say to likely troll BKnowswhitt (who has negative knowledge, "what ain't so" (Josh Billings)), "On what planet have you been spending most of your time these last few years?"

And "quality health care for everyone" IS single payer. There is no way that a for-profit system can provide quality care for everyone while turning ever-increasing profits, as virtually every other "industrialized democracy" has shown for decades.

(Historically, seven percent annual return on investment was considered pretty good. Now it ranges from 15% to several hundred.)
+3 # librarian1984 2018-11-22 19:21
Obama said that in the 1980s he'd be considered a 'moderate Republican' .. OBAMA said that!!
+12 # tedcloak 2018-11-20 16:12
And no mention, anywhere in this thread, of the Climate Crisis! We can't fight global warming "moderately". All the climate fighters are in the progressive camp. If we lose that fight we lose everything.
Unite Humanity Against Climate Catastrophe!
+2 # NAVYVET 2018-11-23 16:08
ABSOLUTELY! If we lose global scorching and flooding--along with massive pollution, extinction and ruin of arable land, which are intimately related--we have no civilization and most of us will die, therefore all our other good causes are moot. We are so close to that point!
+6 # LionMousePudding 2018-11-20 17:44
..because their way has worked for so long...

Yeah right.
+8 # chemtex2611 2018-11-20 18:13
I've been waiting 50 years for Dems to quit triangulating and get back to basics like opportunity, education and health care for all. We're to th point now that corporate doesn't provide jobs or pay taxes to support education and infrastructure. They simply collect as much money as possible and build homes in Vail and Miami and by condos in NYC and San Francisco, and then give the rest to a university to emblazon their name on a building. It is time we all had the opportunity to send out children to college and make contributions to our alma mater, instead of paying back student loans for the rest of our lives. If we can afford the most expensive medical care in the world, we can afford medical care for all. Happy children, happy families, security and good infrastructure and rules make for a strong economy.
+5 # SusanT136 2018-11-20 18:55
What a bunch of hooey. These "Dems" are really Republicans - catering to moneyed interests ahead of working Americans. None of these Dems are even up to Teddy Roosevelt's style of Republicanism; they have no interest in busting up monopolies. The rural part of America wants the same things the urbanites do: affordable healthcare, a hope of not being impoverished in old age, fair wages for work and opportunity for their children. A majority of Americans support single payer, strengthening Social Security, raising the minimum wage and free college. Their main concern is how does this all get paid for. It's the job of the new progressives to put forth in CLEAR language fair plans that show how these policies will leave everyone better off. The Walmart heirs, the Kochs, the Mars family etc will have to pay their fair share of taxes and will not be able to hoard as much money but will benefit from a better educated workforce for whom they don't have to pay for health insurance out of their business expenses.
+3 # tedrey 2018-11-22 07:14
And cleaning up and stripping down the Pentagon and ending everseas wars of choice would go a long way both towards making more funds available for these policies and actually securing the safety of the country.
0 # NAVYVET 2018-11-23 16:33
Well, Susan, Blue Dawg Dems and Teddy R's mentality both adore war, capitalism and imperialism, and have no qualms about impoverishing, outlawing, imprisoning, even killing multiple millions of displaced US Indians, or Jim Crow'd blacks, or immigrants, or Filipinos, or Vietnamese, or Iraqis, or women, or GLBTQs, etc., who somehow threaten the supremacy of flag-waving gun-worshiping hetero white men, so you can't say they don't agree on SOME things.
+5 # economagic 2018-11-20 20:47
I couldn't make it through the whole article. Third Wave Democrats as "MODERATES"?!? Anywhere in the civilized world they would be plain vanilla right wingers.

"[M]oderates are warning that ignoring them will lead the party to disaster in the midterm elections and the 2020 presidential contest."

This must have been written at least two weeks ago, as the Democratic surge in the midterms disproves that part of the claim, which as a whole is almost certainly exactly backward.
+10 # RobertlVogel 2018-11-20 21:01
FDR was popular, had high values, fought Fascism, and would have implemented his Second Bill of Rights (very similar to Berne Sanders proposals), yet he would be considered a left-wing Socialist today.

Republican red States are poor and voting against their own self-interest. By voting Republican they are going to lose their health care and most likely their social supports.

Trump is an authoritarian who allies himself with other authoritarians. He presents himself as a strong leader, motivates with racist fearmongering, and attacks all of the democratic institutions. It seems we have a yearning for Fascism. Perhaps there was no point in fighting WWII.

Ignoring climate change, which the GOP has been doing for a long time, is suicidal.
But then so is the expansion of the nuclear arsenal. What you prepare for will surely come to pass.

Kishore Mahbubani writes:
"America's relations with the 1.2 billion Muslims in the world are clearly in trouble. ... its relations with 1.3 billion Chinese could be heading the same way. In strategic terms, it would be unwise for the 290 million Americans to have a difficult relationship simultaneously with two groups of people who, combined, have a population almost ten times that of America's. Their minds enveloped in the current mood of hubris, it is difficult for some key American thinkers to accept the suggestion that a little bit of prudence should be injected into American policies."
+1 # economagic 2018-11-21 22:00
Amen to all of that. The quote was evidently written some time ago, as the US population passed 290 million in about 2001.
+8 # librarian1984 2018-11-20 22:00
Where to start?

1) Do the 'moderates' really have the chutzpah to criticize progressives for 'taking over the narrative' when they have purposely avoided a message since Bill Clinton -- because heaven forbid they'd offer voters any incentives, right? Carrots are for corporations only, apparently. The rest of us are supposed to vote out of fear.

2) "I think we need a debate within the party .. it would have been better to start the conversation earlier"

Consider my jaw dropped. Progressives were BEGGING for this conversation for the past two years. NOW they want to talk? Sounds to me like they've seen the polls.

3) I am sick of centrists being called 'pragmatists'. Since when is denying the electorate what they want, in service to corporations, pragmatic? Isn't the word 'corrupt'?

4) Uh, single payer is popular outside NYC too. Among Ds 90%, Rs 52%.

5) It's idiotic these fools want to chase GOP votes .. again, and ironic because Bernie is the one who actually appeals to the right.

6) Note it's Third Wayers who are trying to oust Pelosi. (Progressives want that too but they haven't mutinied.) AOC's even criticized the mutineers and said she'll vote for Pelosi.

Which, btw, seems awfully 'pragmatic'. AOC is steamrolling the corporatists. She's called for Election Day to replace Columbus Day. Fox is freaked and keeps advertising the progressive agenda.

7) Positive we've seen this exact article -- same people, same quotes.
+3 # DongiC 2018-11-21 06:30
The super rich never stop defending their wealth. Trying to suppress the progressives, who are coming on strong with their popular programs of sharing the goodies of our society more equitably, the moderate democrats are an insurance policy for our upper crust. They like being rich and very afraid of new taxes, especially estate taxes. They don't like social welfare programs either. These DINOS should be ignored and their criticisms recognized for what they really are: last gasp attempts to hang on to their privileged positions in our multi-layered society.
+3 # tedrey 2018-11-21 07:18
We all seem to be of a mind here, and it's cogent and it's fierce.

Let's appreciate RSN for giving us this forum to express ourselves... and then take it the next step. Send these same fierce and cogent opinions to the New York Times and the Washington post as well as to your local media. We can't write their editorials but we can lay out our reason and our anger before a far wider audience.

Which should not be an excuse for refusing to act as well. It's never either/or!
+3 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-11-21 07:49
""If you look throughout the heartland, there's a silent majority who just wants normalcy. Who wants to see that people are going out to Washington to fight for them in a civil way and get something done,""

This is so insulting to "heartland" people that I can't imagine anyone saying it. These are people who are drowning in rising healthcare costs, lowering of job benefits and wages, collapsing infrastructure, and much more. They don't want Washington politicians to argue uncivilly about trivial and pointless subjects like Russiagate or Trump's tax returns. They want real action on important issues.

I'm really surprised that anyone would use the term "third way" any longer. Most of us know that that term was the name for the democratic party's move to the hard right. It became under the leadership of the Clintons, Podesta, Pelosi, and others the sub-altern of the republican party, doing everything the republicans wanted them to do. Obama's Affordable Healthcare Act is the perfect example. It was a Heritage Foundation, Mitt Romney plan picked up by Third Way Democrats and forced on Americans INSTEAD of the universal single payer that people wanted .

The Third Way stands for neo-liberalism and neo-conservativ ism inside the Democratic Party. No thanks.

I do agree, however, that establishment is desperate to blunt the rise of both right and left wing populism, nationalism, and anti-globalism. This struggle has just begun.
+2 # economagic 2018-11-21 22:02
Gotta agree with you on most of this.
+4 # David Starr 2018-11-21 10:17
How many times already have the "moderate" Democrats compromised with the Republican Party? With the latter moving ever more right, the corporatists of the "Third Way" STILL want bi-partisanship?!

It's apparent that the corporatists are peddling an old formula. They can't except the fact that the Dems' repeated losses have been of their own making.
+3 # spenel334 2018-11-21 20:04
Maybe the moderates and progressive Democrats could join together to do something major about the massive albeit effective voter suppression, more accurately named as voter stealth, at which time the party would win with either degree of progressiveness . However I do believe that disgruntled Republicans against Trump would not be turned off by Democratic candidates voicing their opinions against the huge gap between the rich and the poor in our country, and attempts to deal with the issue. Our party traditionally paid more than lip service to taking card of the less fortunate, and that is where we belong.
+1 # librarian1984 2018-11-21 23:32
I think you're overestimating both parties.
+1 # RLF 2018-11-22 10:49
"If you look throughout the heartland, there's a silent majority who just wants normalcy. Who wants to see that people are going out to Washington to fight for them in a civil way and get something done,"

Where'd we hear of the silent majority before? I think the question is get what done? The Dems have been trying to get elected without stepping on anyone's toes...which means kissing rich donor butt! That means they have stood for nothing and that makes people distrust them because we know they can't please everyone. What the evidence shows like Econo said above, is that they have been accomplishing things like AMA(hertitage foundation's plan) and other right wing agenda items. Never again!