Even the liberal New Republic…

supports third party challenges that would forcing the Democrats to lose a presidential election in order to produce a change in the party’s ideological direction:

In the spring of 1983, the magazine ran a cover story…declaring that the Democratic Party needed to lose the 1984 election. Longtime liberal subscribers recoiled with horror. But Fairlie wanted a defeat that would shock a sclerotic party into reform and recovery, not a Republican triumph. In fact, the essay did a good job laying out the path that Bill Clinton and the Democratic Leadership Council would follow on the way to the election of 1992.

When The New Republic makes this argument from the right, TNR-style liberals like David Bell, writing in the LA Review of Books above, welcome it as a healthy dose of clear-eyed realism.

When leftists make this sort of argument from the left, TNR-style liberals like Sean Wilentz, murmuring darkly of “left-wing utopianism,” invoke Dostoevsky. Seriously.


  1. Stephen Zielinski December 29, 2014 at 11:22 am | #

    Yes, it’s clear that leftists can realistically expect the successful implementation of a radical program by supporting the Democratic Party…. This strategy has been so successful that critics of the strategy appear insane while the defenders can enjoy the flattering light produced by these great achievements.


  2. Glenn December 29, 2014 at 1:49 pm | #

    Democratic Party strategy in a nutshell: Head fake to the left, run to the right.

  3. BillR December 29, 2014 at 3:50 pm | #

    The Democrats’ scam has been challenged in the last few years and here are a few books I can recall that try to point out the “dime’s worth of difference”–on anything of substance–between the “two gangs of frauds” as H.L. Mencken called them:

    Dennis Perrin – ‘Savage Mules: The Democrats and Endless War’

    Alexander Cockburn – ‘Dime’s Worth of Difference: Beyond the Lesser of Two Evils’

    Jerry Hough – ‘Changing Party Coalitions’

    Feel free to add any resource to the list (old cranks like Gore Vidal, Ralph Nader, Noam Chomsky, H. L. Mencken, et al included).

  4. Vetty January 2, 2015 at 7:56 am | #

    Dynamics inside parties are weird and often happen in a vacuum, to the extent that nobody on the inside seems to have any clue how things appear from the outside.

    Who are these mythical Democrat voters who actually want Hillary as President? Nobody outside the party establishment seems to want her around. When will the party establishment realize that clout within the party might mean exactly nothing outside of it?

    Also, The Dissent Will Be Paywalled.

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