The Corner

Democratic Party We Hardly Knew Ye

For all of the talk of the “Old Democratic Party” versus the “New Democratic Party” the real lesson here is that neither Democratic Party did well. The Gephardt wing of manufacturing union types and, to a lesser extent, farmers crashed and burned. Gephardt’s getting out of the race. The “new” Democratic Party of latte-drinking, internet savvy, Bush-hating, war-opposing, young people turned out to the polls but it didn’t vote for their annointed representative either. Three-quarters of Caucus-goers were opposed to the war, but they overhwelmingly voted for 2 candidates who voted for it (though they outrageously voted against the $87 billion nation-building bill). There will be a great deal of spin about how Kerry and Edwards represent the centrist interests of a party looking to win instead of hate. Some of that spin is probably true. But the fact that the candidates who had the support of youngsters and union members did so poorly is also a sign that the traditional levers of the Democratic Party don’t pull the machinery anymore.

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