With A New Slogan, The Democratic Party Begins To Slowly Shift

Certainly, the new Democratic Party rebranding effort is not very good. However, it might–emphasis on might–mean that the Democratic professional class is slowly coming around. Consider the following:

•Sen. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) says that single-payer healthcare is on the table.

•Schumer also admits that no one knows what Democrats stand for–a point many liberal/left Democrats have been making for years (e.g., Atrios).

•The slogan, unlike much of the last twenty years of New Democrat rhetoric, does recognize the problem of wages as its own problem. There’s still the unfortunate blather about ‘skills’, but at least it implies that low wages aren’t an unfortunate necessity in a new economy.

The problem remains, however, that these are small steps, and right now the Democrats need bigger ones. That said, it makes it clearer to the Democratic Party professionals (e.g., campaign consultants) that these issues and rhetorical approaches are on the table.

This is not a trivial thing–in the past, any liberal-left candidate who adopted these positions would find herself cut off from party support (financial and advisors). This could mean that candidates who propose policies like single-payer health insurance or a $15/hour minimum wage will receive Democratic Party support (even if the majority of the caucus today won’t support that policy). It means that a candidate like Randy Bryce isn’t automatically dead-on-arrival.

We’ll see.

To a considerable extent, this shift, such as it is, is due to Sanders and Warren, who, each in their own way, were able to galvanize a financial support network outside of the mainstream party.

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