The second Democratic debate: Opening up the centrist lane

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BROOKINGS BRIEF)

 

The second Democratic debate: Opening up the centrist lane

Elaine Kamarck

Ever since the 2018 election, the storyline around the Democratic Party has been at odds with the facts. The Democratic Party is, as it has been for many decades now, a center-left party and not a left-wing party in the style of European political parties. In the first Democratic debates in June, many of the candidates fell blindly into far-left ideological traps, causing panic among Democrats concerned about beating Trump.

But by round two of the Democratic debates, it was clear that some of the candidates had done a little homework and learned a little history.

With some exceptions, the American electorate changes slowly. For nearly four decades, the ideological composition of the electorate in presidential elections has remained more or less the same. As the following table (updated from a paper I published with my colleague William A. Galston in 2011) shows, there is no possibility of a purely liberal or purely conservative governing coalition: “To win, each party needs to form a coalition with moderate voters. But the structure of those coalitions is very different.”

Although the number of self-identified liberals has increased in recent presidential elections, they are still out-numbered by self-identified conservatives.

Table 1: The composition of the electorate in presidential election years

1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012 2016
Liberal 18 17 18 21 19 22 21 22 25 26
Moderate 51 44 45 48 48 49 45 44 41 39
Conservative 31 35 33 31 34 30 34 34 35 35

Source: CNN National Exit Poll

Playing only base politics is a dangerous game. For instance, President Trump may be making a big political mistake in spending so much attention on fueling his racist, immigrant-hating, xenophobic base. It cost him the votes of moderate suburban women (and other groups) in 2018, and Democrats and some Republicans think it will cost him in 2020. But if base politics is bad for Republicans, playing only to your base is even more dangerous for Democrats because of the simple fact that the Democratic base is smaller. While neither party can write off moderate voters, Democrats need them more than Republicans do. Table 2 shows that in the years when Democrats have won the presidency, they’ve done so by winning more than 55% of the moderate vote.

Table 2: Democratic share of the major party moderate vote

1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012 2016
46 47 51 61 62 53 54 60 56 52

Source: Author’s calculation based on CNN National Exit Poll. In the bolded years, Democrats won the presidency.

This week, the Democratic race moved into a new and more realistic phase. Clearly some of the contenders got the message about the dangers of moving too far left. Early on in the first night’s debate, former Congressman John Delaney (Md.) called for “real solutions, not impossible promises.” Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) said her bold ideas were “grounded in reality.” For 45 minutes, they attacked Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) on Medicare-for-All—especially the provision that would take away private insurance. Congressman Tim Ryan (Ohio) contended that union members who have fought so hard for good health care coverage would be unhappy to learn that Sanders’ plan would take it away from them. He also pointed out that the problem with giving illegal immigrants free health insurance is that “everyone else in America is paying for health insurance.” Warren held her ground as did Sanders, but the attack of the centrists never let up.

Night two of the Democratic debate was not very different, but this time former Vice President Joe Biden, the leading centrist, was the punching bag. Nonetheless, the fault lines were similar. The fight over Medicare-for-All centered, once again, on whether Americans would be allowed to keep private insurance. Biden defended the centrist option—Obamacare plus a public option—and contrasted with another dimension: the $32 trillion in taxes he said Sanders’ bill would cost. The debate moved on to immigration, where several candidates attacked Biden and Obama for the deportations that happened in the Obama administration. They also attacked Biden on crime, but Booker, Harris, and de Blasio turned out to have clay feet on that issue, since each one of them had been in positions where their pursuit of justice was less than perfect and open to criticism.

Unlike the first debate, Biden was more energetic and ready for the attacks against him. He reminded everyone of his work with President Obama, something that will probably help him hold onto his support among African Americans and other mainstream liberals who happily voted for the 44thpresident. Biden’s performance was just good enough to stop the bleeding, and he probably disappointed the other centrists hoping to step into that lane. But in contrast to the first debate, it is now clear that at least there is a centrist lane in the Democratic primary which, as history tells us, is not a bad place to be. It may well be the path to the nomination.

Author

Being A Moderate In Extremist America

Being A Moderate In Extremist America

 

I am going to use this first paragraph to try to qualify to you where I stand on a few issues facing every person in America and in deed I think in every country. Personally I am a fundamentalist Christian but by no means am I a perfect person and I do not expect anyone else to be able to be perfect either. Politically I consider myself to be a moderate conservative. In a perfect world I would probably line up behind the ‘Tea Party’ on most issues, but we do not live in a perfect world here in America nor anywhere else. I consider the Tea Party to be the extreme right-wing of the Republican Party so much so that the Conservative Republican base considers them to be extremist. Personally I believe that the Tea Party should be expelled from the Republican Party forcing them to run as a third Party. The Democratic Party has this same type of issue if you consider their Party to all be a bunch of liberals even to the point of people like Senator Bernie Sanders who is really an Independent as he is far to ‘the left’ of the Democratic platform. I believe that Senator Sanders who is a ‘Independent’ should split from the Democratic Party and that he should run as an Independent in the next Presidential election.

 

Here in the state of Kentucky registered Independents can not exercise our Constitutional right to vote in the ‘primary season’, this is how it was when we lived in the state of Florida also. Yet when the main elections roll around in November both Party’s vigorously court the ‘Independent’ voters. During the 2012 Presidential elections Republican Mitt Romney made the comment about ‘48%’ of the voting public whom he had no chance to woo over to his side of the divide and the American Media railed against him for that comment even though he was correct in that evaluation. There are about 48% of the Democratic electorate who would rather not vote at all than to vote for a Republican. There is a flip side to this equation though, there are about 48% of the voters who vote Republican that would never vote for a Democrat. This leaves about 4% of Independent voters that the election is all about, whoever gets the majority of us Independents wins the Presidency. The term that has been used a lot in the Media for this situation is the ‘polarization’ of America.

 

Here in America the people of our country gripe a lot about how the politicians in DC never seem to get anything positive accomplished and I believe this is a fair belief. The Democratic leadership forces their members to vote a ‘far left’ agenda and the Republican leadership forces their members to vote to a ‘far right’ agenda. This reality means that nothing constructive ever gets done. There is also the issue that each Party wants all the credit on a bill if it is something that is actually a positive issue, they both vehemently do not want to share any ‘credit’ with the other Party. Because of these Politicians being so pious and egotistical they are destroying America from the inside and it is obvious that they really don’t care about the American people as a whole.

 

I am going to use my Father-in-law as an example of non-thinkers, (sorry Dad). He is a Tea Party type of believer, he hates all Unions and believes that America would be better off if there were no Unions at all, he thinks they are destroying our Country. He hates the Democrats and he wants the Republican agenda’s to be made law. Yet he is like most folks who believe that the Congress is a do nothing Congress. He doesn’t want to compromise on the issues yet he wants the Congress to get off their butts and get our Country moving again. Where Dad and I differ is that even though I wish the Country was living in a true Christian manner I know that this is not going to happen until after the Tribulation. In the mean time we must compromise with each other by working toward the middle and get at least some things accomplished for the good of the people (the Country). By the way, to my wife and I Dad’s position on Unions is really flawed, this is because he retired from two different Union Factories. Because these two factories were Union he now survives financially from two different retirement checks he gets each month. If it wasn’t for those Unions he and his wife would be in the poor-house or having to live in our basement.

 

I call myself a moderate conservative because I know that the Tea Party agenda has no chance of happening. I want to make mention that I am not a fan of everything the Tea Party leaders want as not everything they want would be something that would qualify as “Christ like” policies. I believe that if the Politicians do not get off of their ‘high horses’ they are either going to destroy our Country or the people are going to rise up and destroy these pious bought and paid for frauds. Personally, I am a fan of the NRA even though I do not like some of their policies, for example I believe that ten-round clips are big enough as long as the amount of clips and bullets a person can own should have no limits. Personally I am for many things that the Democratic Party wants to pass into law just as I am for many things the Republican Party stands for. The issue is that I am also against many things that both Party’s want to pass into law. We as a people must wake up and learn to work with each other or we as a Country are going to implode.

 

The New World Order: The Three Sides Of The Republican Party Emerge, Will The Democrats Be Next?

 

I have only one blog site where I do regular poles and that is with YouGov. In the past eighteen months or so I believe that I have been asked the same question about four times, that being, do I believe Donald Trump to be conservative, moderate or liberal. I am a person that am a registered voting (when allowed) independent and I vote that way. I said ‘when allowed’ because in my home state if you are registered as an independent then you can not vote in any Primaries. Back to Mr. Trump, my answer has always been, moderate. Mr. Trump is caught up in the more center of the Republican Party, not being a true conservative nor is he a liberal. Yes these same divisions exist within the Democratic also. I like most Americans I believe are just totally fed up both Parties BS and we the people want the politicians to meet in the middle and get this Country moving to the good of everyone. Mr. Trumps Health Bill sank because of the Republican Party, it wasn’t the Democrats this time that screwed things up for the Republicans, it was the Republicans who messed it up, all by themselves. The Democrats just sat back and watched the show. If there are wise ones within the Democratic Party they know this ‘descent’ within the Party can strike them just as easily. If Both major parties are broken into 3 parts 30% on each end which equals 60% and in both Parties the Central equal to 40%. Like a coalition within each Party to see if the Conservatives are still the soul of the Republican Party or if the far right Liberals like Hillary and Pelosi are still the straw that stirs the Democratic Party. As an old but dear friend used to say “we shall see what we shall see.”

Being A Moderate In Extremist America

Being A Moderate In Extremist America

 

I am going to use this first paragraph to try to qualify to you where I stand on a few issues facing every person in America and in deed I think in every country. Personally I am a fundamentalist Christian but by no means am I a perfect person and I do not expect anyone else to be able to be perfect either. Politically I consider myself to be a moderate conservative. In a perfect world I would probably line up behind the ‘Tea Party’ on most issues, but we do not live in a perfect world here in America nor anywhere else. I consider the Tea Party to be the extreme right-wing of the Republican Party so much so that the Conservative Republican base considers them to be extremist. Personally I believe that the Tea Party should be expelled from the Republican Party forcing them to run as a third Party. The Democratic Party has this same type of issue if you consider their Party to all be a bunch of liberals even to the point of people like Senator Bernie Sanders who is really an Independent as he is far to ‘the left’ of the Democratic platform. I believe that Senator Sanders who is a ‘Independent’ should split from the Democratic Party and that he should run as an Independent in the next Presidential election.

 

Here in the state of Kentucky registered Independents can not exercise our Constitutional right to vote in the ‘primary season’, this is how it was when we lived in the state of Florida also. Yet when the main elections roll around in November both Party’s vigorously court the ‘Independent’ voters. During the 2012 Presidential elections Republican Mitt Romney made the comment about ‘48%’ of the voting public whom he had no chance to woo over to his side of the divide and the American Media railed against him for that comment even though he was correct in that evaluation. There are about 48% of the Democratic electorate who would rather not vote at all than to vote for a Republican. There is a flip side to this equation though, there are about 48% of the voters who vote Republican that would never vote for a Democrat. This leaves about 4% of Independent voters that the election is all about, whoever gets the majority of us Independents wins the Presidency. The term that has been used a lot in the Media for this situation is the ‘polarization’ of America.

 

Here in America the people of our country gripe a lot about how the politicians in DC never seem to get anything positive accomplished and I believe this is a fair belief. The Democratic leadership forces their members to vote a ‘far left’ agenda and the Republican leadership forces their members to vote to a ‘far right’ agenda. This reality means that nothing constructive ever gets done. There is also the issue that each Party wants all the credit on a bill if it is something that is actually a positive issue, they both vehemently do not want to share any ‘credit’ with the other Party. Because of these Politicians being so pious and egotistical they are destroying America from the inside and it is obvious that they really don’t care about the American people as a whole.

 

I am going to use my Father-in-law as an example of non-thinkers, (sorry Dad). He is a Tea Party type of believer, he hates all Unions and believes that America would be better off if there were no Unions at all, he thinks they are destroying our Country. He hates the Democrats and he wants the Republican agenda’s to be made law. Yet he is like most folks who believe that the Congress is a do nothing Congress. He doesn’t want to compromise on the issues yet he wants the Congress to get off their butts and get our Country moving again. Where Dad and I differ is that even though I wish the Country was living in a true Christian manner I know that this is not going to happen until after the Tribulation. In the mean time we must compromise with each other by working toward the middle and get at least some things accomplished for the good of the people (the Country). By the way, to my wife and I Dad’s position on Unions is really flawed, this is because he retired from two different Union Factories. Because these two factories were Union he now survives financially from two different retirement checks he gets each month. If it wasn’t for those Unions he and his wife would be in the poor-house or having to live in our basement.

 

I call myself a moderate conservative because I know that the Tea Party agenda has no chance of happening. I want to make mention that I am not a fan of everything the Tea Party leaders want as not everything they want would be something that would qualify as “Christ like” policies. I believe that if the Politicians do not get off of their ‘high horses’ they are either going to destroy our Country or the people are going to rise up and destroy these pious bought and paid for frauds. Personally, I am a fan of the NRA even though I do not like some of their policies, for example I believe that ten-round clips are big enough as long as the amount of clips and bullets a person can own should have no limits. Personally I am for many things that the Democratic Party wants to pass into law just as I am for many things the Republican Party stands for. The issue is that I am also against many things that both Party’s want to pass into law. We as a people must wake up and learn to work with each other or we as a Country are going to implode.

 

Speaker Paul Ryan Doesn’t Understand That He And Conservatives Aren’t The Base Of The Republican Party

(I FIRST WROTE/PUBLISHED THIS ON MAY 5-th, 2016)

I am sitting in my living room watching CNN where the Speaker of the House is telling the world that he can’t get behind Donald Trump as the Republican candidate for the Presidency. Also in this clip we are told that the last four Republicans that were the Party’s Presidential candidates have said that they will not back Mr. Trump. Jake Tapper the  CNN reporter doing the interview along with Wolf Blitzer kept floating the concept of the Republicans floating a different candidate as a “3rd party” choice instead of Mr. Trump. This is what is going to end up happening in the Democratic Party with Mr. Sanders as I believe that he will run as an Independent because of the un-Constitutional actions of the Democratic Party (there is no way that ‘Superdelegates’ are Constitutionally legal). There system is also very rigged for the purpose of making sure the ‘establishment candidate’ wins the nomination no matter what the voters said during the primaries. (I PERSONALLY STILL BELIEVE THAT IF SANDERS HAD WON THE DEMOCRATIC  NOMINATION OR IF HE HAD RAN AS AN INDEPENDENT, HE WOULD BE THE PRESIDENT ELECT RIGHT NOW.) (11-09-16)

 

What the Republican establishment does not understand is that it is they ‘the establishment’ are exactly that the people of America were voting against during the primaries. The so-called ‘conservatives’ are not the ‘real base’ of the Republican party any longer. Mr. Trump has brought out millions of the people in America to vote that normally don’t vote at all, even the ones that are registered voters and the reason is that they have felt and rightfully so that the Republican Party doesn’t represent anyone but the far right conservatives and at best, they are only about 20-25% of the people here in America that do lean away from the Democrats. In past elections the people have stayed quiet and just didn’t vote at all because they just couldn’t vote to elect the trash that the Democrats or the Republicans were putting forth as our only options. There are so many of us people here in America that are registered Independents that aren’t even allowed to vote at all in any primary election (which is un-Constitutional) whom would vote for a Republican candidate if they could, but you alienate us all with your policies and your out of touch candidates.

 

Mr. Ryan, it is you and the Republican establishment that must change if you ever want to see the White House Oval Office ever again. The Democratic Party only seems to be interested in going as far to the left that they can get and your Party only wants to represent the top far right .01% and we the people are telling you that you and your Party are totally out of touch with the REAL BASE OF THE REPUBLICAN VOTERS. We are telling all of you right now that either you change or you will not be in office much longer. The Tea Party folks whom are even farther to ‘the right’ than your so-called Base are not the answer to getting Our Country moving forward again. Listen to what people like the fraud Christian Ted Cruz kept promising on the campaign trail when he kept saying that “he would not negotiate with the Democrats” as he constantly degraded any other candidate whom might. All of you bought and paid for idiots on both sides of the Congressional Isle create the gridlock that is killing the people of America’s chances of survival as you play your petty ego laden games. Politics is the art of compromise, if both Parties refuse to work together nothing constructive ever gets done for the masses of the American people and we know that. Mr. Ryan you and your Party’s leaders have shown us all that you have no interest in leading our Nation forward so now we the people are telling you very plainly, either follow or get the hell out-of-the-way! The days of the ass (you folks) wagging the dog are over!!!

Hopefully Mr. Trump Is Indeed The End Of The Tail That Has Been Waging The Dog

THIS IS A COPY PASTE FROM THE REAGAN REPORTS!  (My personal comments are just below this article, please read that paragraph also. I do agree and I do disagree with what is being said in Mr. Reagan’s report, please check my comments out at the bottom also.)

Donald Trump News
Lindsey Graham: Donald Trump Could Spell End of GOP

Sen. Lindsey Graham is warning that Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump could destroy the GOP.

In a radio interview with John Catsimatidis on Sunday, the South Carolina Republican offered why he is supporting Sen. Ted Cruz.

“I’m supporting Cruz because I think he is a reliable conservative; I think the election will be much more competitive with Ted Cruz,” he said. “The people of New York voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump in the Republican primary — I respect that.

“I have never been more worried about the Republican Party breaking apart than I am today.”

But Graham did concede that the excitement over Trump shows people are tired of “big-government liberalism.”

“What we have to do as Republicans is offer an alternative that’s common sense, that people can understand, that’s hopeful and optimistic, not hateful,” he said. “I pray the Republican Party can nominate somebody that can beat Hillary Clinton.

This is an issue that folks like Senator Graham are dead wrong on. There are reason that the Republican Party has less than half of Americas registered voters not counting 50% of the eligible voters that don’t bother to even register because neither of the two party’s represent them. There are reasons that the only way the Republicans can win an election is if there is a very low voter turnout. Folks like Senator Graham as well as the Tea Party folks are the tail that has been waging the dog for way to long. I am a registered Independent who usually vote for a Republican because of the even lower quality of the Democrats candidates, not because of the quality of your candidates. About half of the people who do go vote are voting against the other candidate, not because they really like the one they did vote for, it is called voting for the least of the two evils. I am a very conservative southern white Christian male whom is supposed to be the kind of person that is the base of your party but you do not represent anything except your own wallets, not the wallets of the American workers. This is why someone like Mr. Trump whom is an ego maniac is the only Republican that can beat Ms. Hillary (whom I can’t stand) this November. Mr. Graham, Mr. Trump represents far more Republicans and us Independents than a lying hypocrite and fraud like Mr. Cruz. Put it this way, I as a conservative Christian person would never ever vote for Ms. Hillary, unless Mr. Cruz is the Republican on the November ballot. Hopefully Mr. Trump is in deed the person that “ends” the so-called Republican establishment because you do not represent but about 10% of all the American people. I do not agree with several things that Mr. Trump speaks about wanting to do but I know that the Constitution will limit some of his ideas yet he has got to be better than anything the candidates the Republican establishment as been putting forward.

 

Conservatives Are No Longer The Center Or Majority Of The Republican Party

 

What has Mr. Trump done to the Republican Party? The answers to that are many I’m sure, some good, some bad, some real bad, but at least he is bringing life to a dying old white man’s party like it has not seen in our life times. I am an independent whom most times tend to vote Republican, but not always. Until I learned more about him, I had been rooting for Senator Rubio, now I am for Senator Sanders as a first choice, then Donald Trump as a second choice. This is my first two choices of the remaining four possibilities of people who we will get to vote for. I said four because even though I personally believe he would be the best President of the five remaining candidates, I think he has the least chance of the five of getting their party’s final blessing, this person is Governor Kasich of Ohio. Because I do not believe that Governor Kasich has any chance at all I look at the reps from each party as having two possible people to choose from. Senator Sanders has brought out many new voters to the Democratic Party as Mr. Trump has done with the Republican Party. There are many lessons the main stream media as well as the talking heads on their news programs are learning, slowly but they are being force-fed reality.

 

For the Republican Party the lesson is simple, most people in our country either never bothered to register to vote or were registered but just don’t tend to bother because you as a Party never bothered to put a candidate up for Office that was worth voting for. Our media here in America as well as the Party’s themselves have grown comfortable with the theology that if you are a Democrat you are a liberal and if you are a Republican then you were a conservative but the reality is that this assumption is not correct. Within most party’s of any size there are different levels of devoutness to the leaderships policies, but because you yourself are of a minority group within the Party, you tend to stay quiet, you only strike for changes when you become the majority within your Party. Most folks know that a decade or so back a political movement was born in America called the Tea Party which aligned themselves with the Republicans, just a more conservative version of the main stream Leadership on policy issues. Since then the Tea Party has put up many different people to run against sitting Republican Congress and Senate members because this group doesn’t consider the sitting member as being conservative enough. We have forgotten a group of people in this discussion and this would be the members of the Republican Party whom happen to be more Liberal in thought than the current sitting Leadership. Liberal and Republican, never, those two words can’t go together in the same sentence can they? But yes there are many, millions in fact, they are called, the disenchanted.

 

Disenchanted as in those who oppose the Democrats platform flat-out so they won’t vote for them but you, the Leadership of the Congress and Senate within the Republican Party keep putting up candidates that are so Conservative that they won’t vote for them either. But now Mr. Trump comes into your equation and blows your stats all to helium. You and the talking heads and the Media folks just can’t figure things out, folks the problem is you yourself. If all the people in this country did actually vote the Republicans and the Democrats would find that the extreme majority of the American people whether they are Democratic, Republican or Independent do lean toward the middle. We the people are sick and tired of gridlock in D.C. and at state and local levels, we want you to compromise on most things so that the Nation as a whole can rock and roll! It is you the main stream politicians who are the most guilty for screwing up our Country! Mr. Trump and these new followers of the Republican Party are talking to you the Republican Party Leadership, if you want to keep your job, you better listen. As an Independent I am telling the Republican Party Leadership that the worse thing that could happen to your Party is if an extremist like Senator Cruz becomes your Party’s Candidate. I say extremist like Mr. Cruz because he has made it his platform that ”he will not negotiate with the Democrats”. Folks he is the king of gridlock! The majority of the American people are ‘Moderates’, we are not Liberals and we are not Conservative. The Party that understands that first and adapts their ‘platforms’ accordingly will win the most elections. After all isn’t you staying in Office what your politics are all about?