Posts Tagged ‘big tent

02
Apr
13

Politics and the big tent

I’m not a member of any organized party—I am a Democrat.

—Will Rogers

The wonderful thing about being a modern-day Democrat—as opposed to a modern-day Republican—is that it’s a coalition which accommodates both Bernie Sanders and Joe Manchin. Unfortunately, among many of us, that’s also a problem.

I’m not talking about those who are of the Purity Left, for whom clones of Ralph Nader are the only acceptable representatives of the progressive movement. I’m not talking about firebaggers, who see any sort of compromise as a death knell to the party. (Just don’t tell them that their revered leader did business with Redstate and Drudge.) I’m talking of rank and file Democrats, of Democrats who are pragmatic, who are cut to the core when Blue Dog Democrats go against what they consider to be a defining Democratic position such as stricter gun control, or action on climate change.

I will admit that I am often frustrated by the likes of Manchin and Kay Hagan. The recalcitrance they exhibit on supporting what most of us consider core Democratic positions can be more than confounding. I sometimes lapse into the position of wanting them shunned from the Party, as they’re poor representatives of it.

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