There is a Coming Divide for the Democratic Party

There is a Coming Divide for the Democratic Party

We are all well versed about the factions of the Republican Party. From Tea Partiers, to social issues supporters, mavens of foreign policy and establishment GOPers, the rifts are well known. But not so thoroughly discussed are those rifts among Democrats, gulfs that may be growing ahead of what promises to be a hard 2014 midterm campaign for Democrats.

Alex Roarty notes at National Journal that the venom is already flowing among the left.

“Earlier this month,” Roarty says, “Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas argued liberals had successfully purged so-called squishy moderates from the Democratic Party’s ranks–even if those same lawmakers had helped the party retain conservative-leaning Senate and House seats. From the middle, the centrist Democratic think tank Third Way has become more outspoken in criticizing progressive leaders, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, for advocating an agenda that will compromise the party’s ability to attract moderate voters.”

The vitriol may also not be as short lived as just the 2014 midterms. It may also spell trouble for the 2016 presidential election season.

“This is a coming divide for the Democratic Party,” Roarty found one progressive to tell him. “Not only about explaining 2014, but laying the groundwork for 2016.”

A spokesman for the moderate Democrat group Third Way feels that this growing split is proof that the liberal wing of the Party have forsaken the middle class with its push to destroy moderate Democrats.

“Democrats lost touch with the middle class. We engaged in arguments that have intellectual but not emotional resonance. Income inequality is a problem, but that doesn’t make it something that will land in public,” Third Way cofounder Matt Bennett said.

Oddly, in the article, the “disappointing” loss by Democrat Alex Sink in the recent Florida special election was deemed as a fight lost over Sink’s past support of cuts in Social Security. This “mixed message,” Roarty reported, has added to Democrat’s confusion over their election sales pitch.

It is interesting, however, that Roarty ignored the issue of Obamacare, the elephant in the room–or perhaps the donkey in the room in this case.

Louisiana Democrat Senator Mary Landrieu, for instance, is finding stiff opposition and falling favorable ratings mainly for her vote in favor of Obamacare. Her vote for the President’s take over of the national healthcare system is becoming an albatross around her neck and is quickly becoming the defining issue of the race.

It is becoming such a sticking point that Landrieu avoided a recent Obamacare event held by her party’s leaders.

Obamacare has become such a problem that the issue is putting Democrats on the defensive all across the country.

Public support for Obamacare recently fell to an all time low of 26 percent favorable and Democrat candidates are stuck with standing up for Obama’s signature “achievement” or being able to appeal to voters, few of whom seem to like Obama’s healthcare policy.

In addition to all this, an entire phalanx of Democrats are retiring from Congress hinting that many feel that 2014 and 2016 are going to be a tough slog for Democrats ending in a loss of power in both houses.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at


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