The pre-debate spin before tonight’s Democratic debate included David Brock, the conservative writer from the 1990s who became an enthusiastic left-wing Hillary Clinton backer, appeared on MSNBC to ironically question the loyalty of the candidates opposing Clinton. He noted that Bernie Sanders has been an independent during most of his career and contrasted that with Hillary’s tireless “building of the Democratic Party over three decades.” He concluded by saying Democrats who will ask if they want someone who is an inconsistent supporter of the Democratic Party.
Actually, Brock has half a point. As the website Vox reported today:
“Perhaps the oddest feature of tonight’s first Democratic presidential debate is that most of the candidates participating are barely even Democrats.
One, Lincoln Chafee, is a former Republican senator who just became a Democrat in 2013. Another, Bernie Sanders, is a longtime independent who calls himself a ‘democratic socialist.’ And a third, Jim Webb, served as Ronald Reagan’s secretary of the Navy, only becoming a Democratic politician during George W. Bush’s presidency.”
Of course, it would be impolite but accurate to point out that the Democratic Party didn’t fare so well while Bill and Hillary occupied the Oval Office. The Clinton years began with Democrats having solid maorities in the House, the Senate and among the nation’s governorships. When they left office, Democrats held a majority in none of those bodies for the first time in over 40 years.