Where is the Democrats’ primary push to the Left?

posted at 5:01 pm on December 4, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

Some of the way, way too early 2016 speculation surrounding Hillary Clinton this month has gotten me to wondering about one of the key differences between the parties, particularly when it comes to primary races. One of the defining characteristics in Republican primary battles during the last couple of cycles has been the much maligned “push to the Right.” I’m sure you’re all familiar with it. We saw a lineup of characters on one debate stage and primary state campaign stop after another where they found themselves in a footrace to prove precisely who was the “most conservative” in an effort to wrangle the vote of the base. And there are few indications that we won’t see the same thing two years from now.

You see Candidate A take the podium, and he has a position on, for example, immigration. Perhaps he’s concerned about the cost of line to line enforcement and suggests the possibility of electronic monitoring in some areas. Candidate B immediately jumps on him and she’s got a plan to line up soldiers and agents shoulder to shoulder. Three more people try to top her and by the time it gets back to Candidate A, he’s suddenly decided that we can find the money to dig a one mile wide canal from San Benito, Texas to Imperial Beach, California, stocking it with electric eels to boot. Parallel themes can be found on many other issues of the day.

But why doesn’t this happen to the same degree with the Democrats? During the 2008 primary there were plenty of candidates, though it was really a race between Obama and Clinton pretty much from the beginning. The difference was that the two of them were so nuanced in their platforms that they were basically bringing micrometers to the debates to try to find some daylight between their positions. They mostly relied on fairly mild personal attacks on character, resumes and preparedness when they felt like throwing an elbow.

It’s not as if their base doesn’t have dreams of a far Left agenda. This piece at KOS should be a clear demonstration of that.

Why the Third Way hates Sen. Elizabeth Warren

The obsessive centrists of the punditverse were abuzz today with praise for supposed centrist Democratic organization Third Way and their grumbling op-ed condemnation of Democratic liberal populism in abstract and “economic populists” like Sen. Elizabeth Warren in particular…

It is not all that shocking that the Wall Street Way put out an editorial in the Wall Street Journal condemning attempts to point out that Wall Street has, long before the economic crisis and now long after, taken the lion’s share of America’s economic wealth and left the rest of the nation’s citizens to eek by on the increasingly meager crumbs. You form an organization made up almost entirely from wealthy Wall Street partners, ex-partners and other equity managers who don’t like the notions of regulation or taxes, that’s pretty much what you’re going to get.

There is clearly an appetite out there for a serious push to the Hard Left. So why doesn’t it manifest itself on the debate stage? If Hillary gets up there and says she’d like more taxes to curb the profits of the oil industry, shouldn’t there be somebody else like Warren pushing for more and more socialist style management, forcing Hillary to go all Chuck Schumer and demand the nationalization of the industry?

But we don’t see it. Warren is all, “I’m Ready for Hillary!” and there doesn’t seem to be any indication of other challengers to force her into increasingly outrageous positions. Why is that? Your thoughts on the subject, as always, are welcome.

Update (AP): For what it’s worth:

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren pledged today she will not run for president in 2016 and will finish her term…

“I’m not running for president and I plan to serve out my term,” she said at a press conference in Boston with Mayor-elect Marty Walsh.

When further pressed, she added: “I pledge to serve out my term.


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At this point, I don’t give a damn!

Scrumpy on December 4, 2013 at 5:03 PM

Party of Old White Women.

Del Dolemonte on December 4, 2013 at 5:03 PM

There is clearly an appetite out there for a serious push to the Hard Left. So why doesn’t it manifest itself on the debate stage? If Hillary gets up there and says she’d like more taxes to curb the profits of the oil industry, shouldn’t there be somebody else like Warren pushing for more and more socialist style management, forcing Hillary to go all Chuck Schumer and demand the nationalization of the industry? But we don’t see it…

Because they are too cowardly to actually s p e l l it out, they’d rather piecemeal their agenda in bit by bit…

Insidious ‘Rats that they are, worse then the Bubonic Plague…

Scrumpy on December 4, 2013 at 5:05 PM

There really isn’t any room on the left. All the democrats have gone full socialist nutjob. Some try to hide it a little better, but Shrillary is as hard core socialist as there is.

Flange on December 4, 2013 at 5:06 PM

But why doesn’t this happen to the same degree with the Democrats?

Because they are all in ideological agreement. It’s a matter of who will be bold enough to speak the most Marxism.

Update (AP): For what it’s worth:

Negative currency AP.

nobar on December 4, 2013 at 5:07 PM

But why doesn’t this happen to the same degree with the Democrats?

Scrumpy beat me to it. They don’t have to challenge from the left. They can lie like a rug ala Obama and then go hard left once in office. Same as it ever was Jazz. When has a democrat ever run on their true agenda?

DanMan on December 4, 2013 at 5:10 PM

Party of Old White Women.

Del Dolemonte on December 4, 2013 at 5:03 PM

Chris Christie will be the Dem nominee. Bank on it.

Party of fat white turncoats. That endorsement of Obama at the cusp of the 2012 election was the opening salvo of his plan. Next comes a denunciation of the GOP because of “extremists” like Ted Cruz.

Happy Nomad on December 4, 2013 at 5:11 PM

If you turn the flame up too quickly, the frog jumps out of the pot. Leftists have a vested interest in the frog staying in the pot.

Kafir on December 4, 2013 at 5:12 PM

W.-S. Says that’s coming when they all run on Obamacare & amnesty for all, not to mention aboloshing parts of the Constitution and laws they don’t like (and ignore anyway).

easyt65 on December 4, 2013 at 5:14 PM

There really isn’t any room on the left. All the democrats have gone full socialist nutjob. Some try to hide it a little better, but Shrillary is as hard core socialist as there is.

Flange on December 4, 2013 at 5:06 PM

An intern for Saul Alinsky a hard core socialist? I am shocked.

BTW, the framework for Hillarycare was a better starting point for real healthcare reform than Obamacare.

Happy Nomad on December 4, 2013 at 5:14 PM

But why doesn’t this happen to the same degree with the Democrats? During the 2008 primary there were plenty of candidates,
================================================

Democrats get in Locked-Step line, and worship at the DNC Alter, but not America tho!!

canopfor on December 4, 2013 at 5:18 PM

Come on, Jazz, you’re killing me here. With the possible exception of 1976, every contested Rat primary cycle since JFK has seen a lurch leftward, both in the body of candidates and the eventual nominee (and yes, Bill Clinton circa 1992 was further to the left than Michael Dukakis).

Steve Eggleston on December 4, 2013 at 5:18 PM

Happy Nomad on December 4, 2013 at 5:14 PM

We all know what is needed, Tort reform and a truly open market place for all Ins Co’s and for the Govt to damn well get out of the way!!

Scrumpy on December 4, 2013 at 5:19 PM

Steve Eggleston on December 4, 2013 at 5:18 PM

You will love this latest book:

http://tinyurl.com/pvronyh

Scrumpy on December 4, 2013 at 5:21 PM

One of the defining characteristics in Republican primary battles during the last couple of cycles has been the much maligned “push to the Right.”

This is the result of a bunch of bad candidates. The Republican fields in 2008 and 2012 were weak, weak, weak. If we have candidates who knew what they believed in beforehand, they would not be trying to define themselves in a debate.

With Pence, Jindal, Christie, Walker and a few other wuality governors – hopefully – in the 2016 field, we should have a different dynamic shaking.

Deafdog on December 4, 2013 at 5:23 PM

BBL on qotd.

have a great evening all!!

Scrumpy on December 4, 2013 at 5:24 PM

BBL on qotd.

have a great evening all!!

Scrumpy on December 4, 2013 at 5:24 PM

Scrumpy:You too,….will do———-:0

canopfor on December 4, 2013 at 5:27 PM

Update (AP): For what it’s worth:

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren pledged today she will not run for president in 2016 and will finish her term…

“I’m not running for president and I plan to serve out my term,” she said at a press conference in Boston with Mayor-elect Marty Walsh.

When further pressed, she added: “I pledge to serve out my term.
=====================================================================

Oh ya, she says that now, but Socialists do lie!!

canopfor on December 4, 2013 at 5:30 PM

To complete the thought – there really hasn’t been a “center” component to the Rat Party since 1968.

Steve Eggleston on December 4, 2013 at 5:32 PM

Steve Eggleston on December 4, 2013 at 5:18 PM

Very true – and none of those candidates were as far left as Barack Obama.

But we have a dynamic building in the Democrat Party that is not only just the inverse of the ‘civil war’ dynamic in the GOP, but has the potential to be far more explosive and destructive than the GOP’s.

This dynamic has to do with the massive build-up of ‘hope’ in the wake of the 2008 Obama election – and the utter collapse we are seeing today of the progressive-fascist agenda in the wake of the Obamacare fiasco – seriously damaging the credibility of the far-left ‘the government is us’ agenda.

There are already rumblings in the corners of the far-left that this is yet another failure, not of the agenda or vision, but of implementation – and that the solution is to advocate even more forceful hard left / authoritarian steps than it seems Barack Obama is will to undertake. That’s one of the reasons why I think Fauxchontas was floated as a trial balloon, she’s seen as even further to the left than Obama at this point.

I suspect that as the Obamacare fiasco continues to fester and expand, as the electoral prognosis for 2014 looks increasingly grim, and as the President’s approval rate continues in the 30′s (or lower), the very hard left, like OWS, are going to be more militant and insistent that the only solution is to go hard fascist / authoritarian left.

This will be the battle to watch next year, and should make the TP vs Vichy Republican battle look tame in comparison.

Athos on December 4, 2013 at 5:39 PM

Athos on December 4, 2013 at 5:39 PM

Paging Mr. Nader. Paging Ralph Nader. Please pick up the white red courtesy phone.

Steve Eggleston on December 4, 2013 at 5:41 PM

The center of the Democrats now are the Clintons. Everyone is to the left of that corrupt couple. If any Democrat runs to the right of Hillary, they are aiti-woman, anti-LGBT, hater of minorities. Take your pick who they hate today, African-Americans, Latinos, Japanese, Chinese, Indians, Native Americans, pugs, thugs, and Methodists!

simkeith on December 4, 2013 at 5:43 PM

Funny that Jazz is lightheartedly making fun of conservatives trying to appear more conservative on immigration by advocating “alligator filled moats,” or whatever. Of course, border security is important, but the main thing is to get an effective e-verification system with teeth for employment. Then the illegals will stop coming, and most will go back home. They will “self-deport,” but only a clueless idiot would describe it as such.

anotherJoe on December 4, 2013 at 5:45 PM

I think the left is better at politics of fear than the right. One can lead through dazzling brilliance or through shear thuggery and intimidation. I think the left is more of the latter and less of the former. The right is in disarray, unfortunately, and has neither great leadership nor enforcers. There seems to be hope on the horizon, but time will tell if any of these governors pan out.

STL_Vet on December 4, 2013 at 6:01 PM

Did I miss somebody else make this point? The issue isn’t the candidates, it’s the media.

If the moderator asks the first Republican candidate “According to a recent statement, Candidate X says they support full abortion rights in some cases – as when a young teen is forcibly raped by a family member. Do you also support unrestricted abortion in some cases?” to which the Republican simply MUST move right of that position.

When was the last time you EVER saw a Democrat asked a position like, “Candidate X feels that a baby that is born and living on its own after a botched abortion should be cared for and supported. Do you agree with this, or do you think that a mother has the ultimate right to determine the fate of her body and that abortion rights must not be restricted in any way?”

It’s the MEDIA that drives Republicans to the right in primaries, but that does not pose tough questions to Democrats to force them to the left.

As for the endless spewing of ambiguities, it is also the media moderators that will ask Republicans questions like, “Name three specific Federal Government Departments that you would outright abolish if you became President?” And then they ask the Democrats softball questions that do not demand specifics like, “Name three ways that you think government can help people and improve their lives.”

It’s all the media moderators.

I would love to see tough Conservative media stars moderate a debate of Democrats – Limbaugh, Hannity, Levin, Elder. Imagine how easy it would be to get all the candidates to trip over each other in a race to the left to deny the premises of the questions asked by them.

If leftists like Candy Crowley or Gwen Ifill can host a debate of Republicans, I think conservative moderators for Democrat debates would certainly be more informative to the voters as well as force them all harder-left out of nothing more than sheer opposition to the conservative questions being posed.

JohnD13 on December 4, 2013 at 6:27 PM

Conservatives have been sold out by the GOP for too long. There is decades of history of GOP candidates talking a good talk, but then getting into office and doing exactly the opposite.

The base reacted by demanding purity tests and primaries. So, now the GOP politicians have to tack farther and farther to the right to meet these tests before tacking back into the center for the general election (and, once elected, renege again).

In contrast, the Dems fully know that their candidates are all closet socialists, and are free to give them a pass on any lies they may make to get elected. They trust that their candidates will govern in a manner that expands socialism in this country, and their candidates do not disappoint once elected.

Revenant on December 4, 2013 at 6:30 PM

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren pledged today she will not run for president in 2016 and will finish her term…

…see what happens when a lying community organizer gets elected…even the insane think about running!

KOOLAID2 on December 4, 2013 at 6:50 PM

Everyone in the D party and on the Left know that the candidates are lying about what they want to do: they are all Leftists at this point and there is no need to go ‘hard left’ as that is where any candidate is and anything they say to the contrary is a lie to the LIVs. The Hard Left, Far Left, LIVs and voter fraud wins elections.

ajacksonian on December 4, 2013 at 7:00 PM

Steve Eggleston on December 4, 2013 at 5:41 PM

Rather than Ralph, who is a bit long in tooth, I thought a few of these might want to step into the role Fauxchontas just decided to pass…

Bernie Sanders
Bill deBlasio
Van Jones
Martin O’Malley
Gavin Newsome
Christine Gregoire

Athos on December 4, 2013 at 7:55 PM

ajacksonian on December 4, 2013 at 7:00 PM

Exactly.

The prevailing winds in Washington blow left, hard.

Republicans want our politicians to reinforce their conservative credentials because we know they’re going to move to the left as soon as they don’t need us. This is largely a fruitless endeavor as Republican politicians will lie through their teeth to get elected, see Marco Rubio.

Democrats, by contrast, don’t care if their politicians proclaim their liberal credentials because they’ll know that move left when in office.

Everyone moves left as they gain power. What’s the point of power if you can’t use it? The ratchet only turns one way.

HitNRun on December 4, 2013 at 8:20 PM

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren pledged today she will not run for president in 2016 and will finish her term…

Why are we discussing Warren’s candidacy? It’s surprising she has a driver’s licence.

virgo on December 4, 2013 at 11:57 PM

They don’t push to the left because they don’t need to. Their base isn’t divided like ours, and they know they will all get into lockstep and vote D when the time comes. They ALL want abortion, total amnesty, socialized medicine, taxes on the evil 1%, and free stuff paid for by evil corporations and the mystical government money tree. They don’t care if God is mentioned in their platform or not. They might disagree a bit on how to get there, but all their candidate has to do is lie to gain voters from the center and then bring on the full-on socialist push once they’re in. The only reason any Dems are backpedaling now is because they are in danger of losing their seats over the CF that is Obamacare. They’d all unite to vote single payer in a heartbeat.

Boudica on December 5, 2013 at 3:55 AM

You can always accept the solemn pledge of a native American.

Viator on December 5, 2013 at 6:30 AM