Despite being a known Sanders sympathizer, as discussed before, I’m not a socialist, just what used to be (yoostabee!) a liberal, ‘anti-war’ Democrat (the anti-war just meant strong skepticism about blowing the shit out of everything as an AWESOME foreign policy tool). So this post by Atrios that I missed (can’t read everything) pretty much describes my take on what is often referred to as the Democratic establishment (boldface mine):
Post-impeachment, post-Bush selection, post-9/11 was a weird time in American politics (I suppose a specific weird time, it’s always a weird time). One thing people forget about the impeachment era was that it was basically The Left (sometimes actually The Left like The Nation magazine writers and sometimes people who found themselves being branded The Left because of this) who defended Bill Clinton in the whole Monica Madness era (and before). Mainstream media (hi New York Times!), columnists, cable news personalities, all the respectable prominent “centrist” Democrats, were falling all over themselves to condemn that nasty Bill Clinton and his nasty penis, and Ken Starr was treated as the second coming of Jesus in respectable DC circles. It was a weird time in which the crazy left were actually the biggest defenders of the Democratic party, much bigger defenders of it than the Democratic party itself. It was a time when you wouldn’t have been surprised if you woke up one morning and half the party hadn’t decided to switch teams and become Republicans. “I was a Democrat before Bill Clinton did nasty things with that woman, but now I don’t think rich people should pay taxes anymore…”
And then the selection, and then Iraq, and then Bush’s re-election, and the whole Social Security privatization nonsense… It was always the “crazy left” that was trying to make the Democratic party just, you know, be Democrats, and everybody else basically being like “Why can’t a Democrat be more like a Republican.” Being against the war or against Social Security privatization (the Dems finally woke up on that one, but it took a lot of yelling) wasn’t exactly calling for full communism, and plenty of people who thought they were just standard squishy Democrats suddenly found themselves being lumped together with radicals.
So I found myself on the crazy left.
Much of the Democratic #Resistance seems to have finally caught up to liberal Democrats. That said, I don’t entirely trust them, because one thing Atrios left out, is that what he calls “the Democratic party itself” spent an incredible amount of time crushing any power liberal Democrats held within the party (again, liberal Democrats, not far Leftists et alia). Ironically, this, which both removed liberal personnel from positions of authority within the party and which also led to shitty policy (with the obvious political outcomes), gave space to and helped power the rise of the Dreaded Brocialist Left*.
So, as I’ve mentioned in passing a few times, this life-long Democrat is out of patience with–and trust in–the Democratic Party. You just can’t shit on your base** for a quarter century and not expect some consequences and demands.
*On economic policy, Sanders is to the right of Hubert Humphrey (who proposed a Jobs Guarantee). He’s really not radical at all, to anyone who knows the history of the Democratic Party.
**Oddly enough, both labor Democrats and black Democratic women are also getting pissed off. Go figure. (and, of course, these three groups overlap–intersect, if you will…).