Thursday, October 4, 2007

Democrats and progressives...

Although many Democrats embrace the label, few of them are "progressive"-- politically. This is evidenced by, among other things, their failure to defend the lower and middle income classes on a range of issues. Like the Republicans-- and as one would expect in a democracy-- they are largely captive to various interest groups. As a result, ironically, they're quite "conservative" in many ways, seeking all sorts of painful aspects of the status quo.

That said, many Democrats are what could be called progressive-- socially. But there are some noteworthy and significant exceptions. Some Democrats are socially conservative and support big government on a range of social and economic issues. And some Democrats are not exactly among the politically correct-- for example, many rank-and-file union members-- in their approach to matters of gender and race.

A friend of mine brought this to mind and drew an interesting application to contemporary politics. One of his clients told him that he didn't know who he was going to vote for, because he couldn't vote for a woman or a "ni**er". Classy...

This remark also got me thinking that this is one more reason why a Clinton/Obama ticket is impractical. And it may make electing either more difficult than is commonly assumed. In recent months, the talk has been about Republicans struggling to turn out their base. But for unfortunate reasons, something similar may be afoot among some Democrats as well.


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