The Future of the Democratic Party

For those tired of hearing me rail about the problems in the GOP, an excellent long-form piece in The Atlantic explores the history of teh Democratic Party and challenges they face:

Over the previous 12 years the party itself had steadily diminished in importance, as single-issue and single-interest groups increasingly provided votes and money directly to candidates. By 1980, for instance, government-employee and teachers-union members typically constituted one half of the delegates at Democratic national and state conventions. Pension and benefit commitments were being made at the federal, state, and local levels that kept the unions happy but clearly could not be sustained long-term. Carter had created a Department of Education as a payoff for endorsement and financial support of teachers unions, in expectation of a 1980 primary challenge from Senator Ted Kennedy. The same syndrome was afflicting both major political parties. Whether you were pro- or anti-abortion, pro- or anti-gun control, pro- or anti-trade liberalization, pro- or anti-tax-code changes and had a letterhead and political money, you used your leverage directly with officeholders. The parties themselves had been reduced to the staging of quadrennial conventions and enforcing rules for the presidential-nominating process.

There had been a time in which the two major parties had served as rallying points for policy formulation and leadership between national elections. Losing presidential nominees became “titular leaders” and spokesmen for their parties until the next election. But Republicans, following the Goldwater defeat of 1964, and Democrats, following the McGovern defeat of 1972, abandoned that tradition. Losing candidates were expected to disappear and be removed from Kremlin Wall photographs. Democrats had traditionally appointed policy councils to help formulate intra-election policy proposals. The Eisenhower-era Democratic council was particularly influential in developing proposals that would later surface in New Frontier and Great Society legislation. After 1968, however, policy formulation disappeared from either party’s official mandate. It was every elected official and candidate for himself, deriving policy ideas most often from those with an interest in them. That was, of course, before the time of the present unregulated independent committees that can use their money and muscle pretty much as they please in national and state politics.

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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55 comments on “The Future of the Democratic Party
  1. Nelly says:

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  2. JohnGalt says:

    Some Republicans have said some nice things about Nelson Mandela, including a classy statement from Ted Cruz, with whom I share little common ground. It was posted on his Facebook page:

    Now, for fun, look at the comments posted to that page.

    For even more fun, Rick Santorum couldn’t get past his first sentence of praising Mandela before comparing Obamacare to apartheid.

    That hill is not getting any less steep.

  3. DanMan says:

    good way to avoid another lie is to not respond right rucas? What did I say that has been debunked? The $24 billion number your king tossed is a fabrication and has been debunked by the treasury reports from all 12 federal banking districts. I’ll give you that one.

    Are you afraid to face the fact that the risk corridor solution to keep the insurance companies fully funded is real? Do you agree with it rucas? is that too hard to answer?

    Do you not know about Obama delaying the employer mandate again, and Harry Reid exempting his staff? And delaying the unions cadillac plan tax? and eliminating the funding aspect of Obama taking over student loans and raising those 3% loans to 6.8%? Was that debunked rucas?

    and look, rucas has loyal followers that agree his non response is the best one available as well, mmm, mmm, mmm

    Generational theft is wrong whether you guys think so or not. If you like your lies, you can keep your lies. Period.

    • GG says:

      Ever thought maybe he’s not here right now? He hasn’t commented in quite awhile. Why don’t you give him some time or check back tomorrow?

      I don’t think we have “followers” here just like-minded individuals who like to chit chat and may have to leave for periods of time. You truly are a bizarre little creature aren’t you?

      • DanMan says:

        I’ll cop to bizarre although not small enough. But hey! I’m workin’ on it!

        Yeah, you guys are followers alright. You follow up my comments with snark that must be entertaining or you wouldn’t do so much of it. You follow a political agenda with no regard for yourselves unless you truly believe government will take care of you. Can you tell me where that has occurred, or perhaps what country you would like us to emulate?

      • GG says:

        Oh, what political agenda is that? I’ve said many times on this blog (or the Chron one) that I don’t belong to any particular party and vote split ticket. Some R, some D, some I, etc.

      • DanMan says:

        I’ll bite GG. Name the last R you voted for. It’s pretty easy for me to name the D’s I’ve supported because they are few over the last 10 years or so. Can’t abide any dem currently because of the herd mentality we witnessed with the passage of Obamacare.

        What was it? 2,700 pages of law followed by another 25,000 pages of additional regs? Funny how the dems have screamed for years about abortion being an issue only between a woman and her doctor but general medical interaction now has to go the HHS route. Doesn’t make sense to me, maybe you can explain it.

    • rucasdad says:

      “good way to avoid another lie is to not respond right rucas?”

      I dunno. You tell me. It took you nearly 4 hours and ten minutes for you to respond to me. But see, I know that this isn’t your full-time job (hopefully) but rather a blog so the coming and going of responses is naturally slow. You of all people should know this. We’ll chalk that up as a minor oversight on your part. No worries.

      ” What did I say that has been debunked?”

      Let me rephrase that for you…”What haven’t you said that hasn’t been debunked?” I think I recall you specifically, without a shadow of a doubt, say after (please insert made up conspiracy here) that Obama would be impeached. PERIOD. This is just one of the many things you’ve said in the past that was ridiculous. Unfortunately for you, although I know you don’t intend to, I find a lot of your comments/predictions adorable, laughable and rather harmless. Similar to a puppy in a lion’s suit.

      Believe you me, if I really wanted to, I mean, if I reeeeeally wanted to, I could copy and paste your comments for days to not only show your inconsistency and hypocrisy but to point out your blatant dishonesty. But I feel as though that’s not necessary since most people here know you’re nothing but a shill and “loyal follower” of Sparkle (how’s her email chain doing by the way? Are you still solely keeping it active?). Also, there’s a thing, you may have heard about it before, that’s called “burden of proof”. Of course I’m sure the theory of having to back up your claims with hard evidence is foreign to you since you spend a lot of your time on Sparkle’s email chain (Please see Chris’s past blog about how the right is so uninformed due to their sources of information) but here, we take it seriously. This is why no one (who doesn’t believe as you) takes you seriously nor should waste their time in proving you wrong.

      So my friend, it’s not really up to me to prove or disprove your claims. Unfortunately for you, we all know you’re a BS artist so it kind of goes without saying. Have a good one Dan and tell Sparkle I said hi!

      • DanMan says:

        hmmm, still too tough to respond to the comment, eh rucas? Obama should be impeached but what are we gonna do? Harry Reid has the senate for now. How about commenting on today’s topics?

        I don’t think Sparkle has updated her page in a month. It’s y’all that throw out Sparkle and Fox all the time. You guys sure stay amped about others conversations while denigrating same, why can’t you focus on the matters at hand?

        Do you support fully funding the insurance companies per the risk corridor language that has been revealed? and now modified to allow them to make estimates of what they will require.
        Do you support your democratic party carving special exemptions for the law they wrote and apparently didn’t read?
        I’ll give you link to the Treasury report discussing the fake $24 billion gambit you forwarded if you’ll give me the source of your claim of $24 billion.
        Do you support the government taking over student loans and pushing the interest rates to 6.8% when they were 3% as private loans?
        Do you support certain unions being temporarily (so far) exempted from the Cadillac plan tax?

        These are simple questions that go to the topics of the day. Are you afraid to engage rucas?

      • rucasdad says:

        So, let me see if I can get this right….

        Never mind your horrible record of getting EVERYTHING wrong or the fact that you’ve never showed one sign of being nonpartisan, objective, reasonable or logical but we’re to simply look past those extremely important facts and give you our hard earned time and trust (some more than others, obviously) in trying to debate/discuss important matters of the day? Did you think all of that disappears when you go to a new blog/website? However, I can see and understand your insistence on staying on topic of stories that are just breaking…this buys you time to be correct. Of course, that’s until the real facts come out. Then, wash, rinse, repeat.

        And yet, you still don’t give any links, posts or facts to back up your claims. Yes Dan, I am afraid to engage with you. Just not in the way that benefits you.

      • GG says:

        I thought Dan and Sparkle were one and the same since no one reads her blog except her. God knows she’s had many “names” in the past.

      • DanMan says:

        rucasdad is unable to engage without his posse, c’mon guys, help him out. Apparently he needs links to know what I am asking of him.

        Except for the $24 billion dollar deal, which I have offered to link if you will, those were simply yes or no questions. Are you unable to even make a guess as to where you stand on them?

        Any topic you want rucas, bring it and let’s discuss it without the insults. Or are you unable?

      • Turtles Run says:

        Danny Boy: why do you need to be asked to provide your support. Just give us the links to each official document from the fed to prove your point.

        Please, pretty please

      • Turtles Run says:

        Just to get the ball started. The far right is pretending the economic impact from the shutdown did not exist because the newest commerce department report a 2.8% gain in GDP in the third quarter.

        Unfortunately for the wingnuts the shutdown occurred in the 4th quarter of the year.

        S&P reports the the $24BN loss that caused the initial 3% predicted growth in the 4th qrt to be revised downwards to 2.4%. Cut it anyway you like the GOTP are the job destroyers in this economy.

        Can’t wait to read those 12 fed bank reports from DanMan.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Not one of those links is to the treasury report you claim repudiates (in my best Palin gibberish) the S&P claim. Even your articles do not support your claim.

        I will make it easy on you.

        Treasury Department

        Federal Reserve Beige book

        Please point out your evidence of the fake $24BN claim.

      • DanMan says:

        um turtlehead, the first link was a summary of the December beigebook synthesized through Obama’s megaphone the AP. Pull your head out and read sometime. The opening statements are almost identical. Even they couldn’t lie about the facts presented in the report.

        If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Period.

        Can you tell us why MD Anderson would not be included in Obamacare’s list of authorized hospitals?

        The $24billion? ‘splain this turtle

        there’s probably 20 links from November 7 & 8 all spawned from Obama’s press corps. The reason they did so was to cover the tracks they laid on October 16-18th declaring the costs at $24 billion

        The google has a memory. By simply changing the query from $2 billion to $24 billion you get the same journ-o-listers that claimed $24 billion in mid October reporting $2 billion three weeks later once the actual numbers could be assessed. And here’s another little hint we’ve learned from your party’s tactics. Be skeptical of news at the beginning of the week and pay attention to the news dumped on Friday. Check the dates for confirmation.

        DanMan 1, rucas posse zero. Next topic?

      • Turtles Run says:


        First, you still have not posted that link to the treasury report (The treasury dept is not the fed) debunking the $24BN claim.

        Second, it is S&P that made the $24BN claim and gave the breakdown. Not the news media. Your own links even state that.

        Third, glad you keep score because I would count anything with you as significant. I am just bored and feel like feeding the troll.

      • DanMan says:

        where’s S&P link? Is it dated in mid October? poor turtlehead, I see why you run.

        ” I am just bored and feel like feeding the troll.” reads a whole lot like
        “I would really love to take the time out and debunk all that DanMan has put forward but where does one start in such a vast sea of misinformed and biased opinions?”

        another member of the rucas posse rides away in boredom and malaise again

        Straight up question to turtle or anyone else in the rucas posse. Did you know Obama was lying when he made his claims or is it more of the ends justify the means so the lie is okay type of deal? We both know had he run on the reality he was concocting he would never have been elected in the first place.

      • Turtles Run says:

        What lie? The law is that if you have a grandfathered policy then you get to keep it. The President cannot force companies to keep these plans. A grandfathered plan can lose its status if:

        – out-of-pocket costs increase above the rate of medical inflation plus 15 percent
        – co-insurance rates increase
        – annual benefit limits decrease
        – employer contributions decrease by more than 5 percent
        – the plan eliminates coverage for a previously covered condition.

        Name one person with a grandfathered plan and the insurance company is retaining without violating the rules and was sent a cancellation notice. Because the law does not force insurance companies to keep these plans. Or are you suggesting the POTUS be given that power.

        Maybe the GOP alternative keeps these plans in place. Wait there is not other plan or are they are keeping it well hidden.

      • DanMan says:

        okay, you decided to keep the lie by denying it exists, even though Obama made another change in the law to address the lie, go with that turtlehead…where’s the S&P link? run turtle run!

      • Turtles Run says:

        Where is your link? This conversation started with your claim “I’ll give you link to the Treasury report discussing the fake $24 billion gambit you forwarded if you’ll give me the source of your claim of $24 billion.”

        Show me yours and I will show you mine.

      • DanMan says:

        poor turtlehead, can’t keep up? go back and read the thread. You won’t link because I smoked you out. Your link is from the journolisters from mid-October isn’t it? awwww, poor baby

        keep runnin’ turtlehead, you’ll push through!

    • Crogged says:

      Well, quibble and parse and claim every statement, or statistic is a lie and conspiracy from now until another million or so people have Obamacare insurance and you will be in the same place. It’s here and functioning and rather than waste fury about what happened propose something/anything better if your goal is a Republican election victory beyond an existing Republican US House seat.

      • DanMan says:

        Well, lie and parse and claim every statement, or statistic is a fact and …see if you can govern on lies Crogged. Yanking the filibuster is a tactic to pack the 9th circuit court in an attempt to rebuff the lawsuits that are coming when this administration is gone. Democraticals have given up the senate.

        It’s here and functioning? Tell it to Obama and Sebelius. Repub plan? Not socialized medicine is a great start. Medical savings accounts are there, buying across state lines is there. They have a whole lot of market ideas to make insurance available. All you guys have are lies you have to tell to get past the next election. Those young people you are keeping down will figure it out pretty soon. Enjoy your deceit while you can.

      • Turtles Run says:


        Keeping those young people down with allowing them to stay on their parents insurance plans till they are 26

        Oppressing those with pre-existing conditions by letting buy health coverage

        THE TYRANNY!!!

      • DanMan says:

        no link turtlehead? did you lie to me? run turtlehead run!

  4. rucasdad says:

    Hey Chris, just wanted to take a moment to thank you for keeping your word in regards to finding a new platform/blog apart from the now horrendous Chron (which saddens me to see that my once favorite place for commenting has now become another or The Blaze). I know it would have been quite easier to have not done anything about it and continue down the path you were. But doing what you did, it’s blatantly evident that you take your readers and our sometimes very needy requests, seriously. Rather it be complaints, compliments or requests for future discussions. And for that, I thank you my friend. I wish you and the rest of the regulars here Happy Holidays and a Merry Christmas!

    • GG says:

      Nice to see you Rucas. Wish Owl and Sassy would get over here.

      • rucasdad says:

        And you as well, GG. Hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful.

        Yea, me too. This is different but FAR better than what the Chron has become.

      • rightonrush says:

        The old blog looks mighty lonesome over at the Chron. I rarely go on the boards now, I just read the Chron hard copy that’s delivered to our home. We are missing some regulars, hope they show up soon.

    • GG says:

      It really sucks now doesn’t it? It seems as if all the funny, good folks have abandoned ship.

      Totally off topic but my neighborhood had DHS there searching a house yesterday and talk is today they are back again on another street. I’m DYING to know what the scoop is. Hopefully, they don’t raid mine while I’m gone. 🙂

    • GG says:

      I’m curious as to why old Capt. Sternn didn’t make his way over. You’d think he would have liked to come over and go on with his TP nonsense.

  5. Turtles Run says:

    National Republican Congressional Committee is tutoring candidates on what not to say when running against female Democratic opponents. They are doing their best to ensure that there will be no more Todd Akins in the next election cycle.

    To me this is a glaring signal of what is wrong with the GOP. If you need to teach a man how to speak to a woman in public or heck how to speak to anyone then you have got some real problems.

    • rightonrush says:

      It’s the Tea Party wing that they are having to school. True Republicans like Lugar, Huntsman, Frum, Corker, Chris are gentlemen. It’s the neocon TeaPee’s that have no respect for the ladies, and even less respect for our country. They want to “take it back” to 1770’s. Piss ignorant group.

      • GG says:

        Hell, RoR, I think the 1770’s are more progressive than the TP which seems more suited to the Dark Ages. Our FF were progressives and liberals at that time.

      • rightonrush says:

        That’s true GG. The TeaP’s are more in line with Benedict Arnold.

      • DanMan says:

        Lugar? the guy hadn’t lived in the state represented since the 70’s wasn’t it?

        Huntsman? Had his daddy released Romney’s tax records to Reid. He’s make a good democrat.

        Frum? really?

        Corker is a mild back bencher. No worries.

        Chris? To borrow from Jay Carney, I personally know three or four Chris’.

  6. Bobo Amerigo says:

    I heard an interview with Peter Schweitzer today. if only 50% of what he said reflects reality, it’s difficult to care much about the status of any party. [Granted, that he was an advisor to everyone’s favorite Alaskan VP candidate lessens his credibility.]

    Liistening to him ruined my day.

  7. Turtles Run says:

    With the decline of union membership the Democrats are becoming more reliant on single-issue voters to build their base. The Democrats have been able to control their message better than Republicans for two main reasons. The establishment Democrats have not felt the need to give the more extreme members a megaphone to speak at the table and because the party is more accustomed to diverse interest groups that must debate each other to set up core goals. The GOP is accustomed to top down messages that generally suit the core members of the party base with the directive that no Republican shall speak ill of another Republican in public. This has also helped control their message.

    The GOP got in trouble when it started to court more radical elements and allowed them to gain a growing share of the party leadership. This along with establishment leaders that foolishly thought tea party members would respect traditional rules and procedures. Now any Republican that dares question the far right-wing ideology of these newcomers is labeled a RINO and tossed out.

    The Democrats have the potential to go this same route if they perceive the GOP starts to moderate their positions. They could turn more to their special interest groups and begin focusing only on short-term gains. In someways the Democrats can learn the tea party lesson and avoid the mistakes that the GOP made but history and human nature dictate they will fall in the same trap.

    I guess I will be a Republican then and listen to Democrat left-wingers whine about the DINOs.

    • DanMan says:

      We like how you guys consider us radical elements for wanting to return to fiscal sanity and normal order re: running the country. The problem you have is reality will eventually catch up to your methods. I’m hoping if we have to crash it comes sooner instead of later though.

      Here’s a dirty little secret. You guys still blame Bush for every problem you perceive. We just blame him for going along with your spending.

      • rightonrush says:

        Oh wow, that’s some BS DanMan. Shutting down the gov. to the tune of 24 billion is fiscal responsibility in your book.

      • Turtles Run says:

        I guess those years that Bush had a GOP Congress and the deficits were rising never really happened.

        Here is a clue for you: threatening to default on the full faith and credit of the nation is not fiscally conservative. Sure you guys like to talk a good game but the hypocrisy of the Republican economic policies stand out like the doodie floating in the pool in Caddyshack, except this time it is really horse-shaite.

      • DanMan says:

        Hilarious take you guys, Obama and his posse said they would not negotiate, no way no how and not under any circumstances in order to keep his Obamacare intact and he has gutted more of it since the roll-out and has several of your senate candidates on the run. Ted Cruz threw him a lifeline and he ended up here still shilling insurance like the sham-wow man.

        What do y’all think of Obama those eeeeevil insurance companies getting a direct money pipeline into the treasury? That’s got to hurt after having him denigrate them for all these years and it makes your Cheney /Halliburton histrionics just pathetic now doesn’t it? $650 million for a broken website…smartpower! Had you ever heard of the term “risk corridor” before a month ago? One of those little gems Nancy D’Alexandra Pelosi told us about.

        And your guys exempted themselves. That is just too rich. Tell me how you justify that please. Bet you can’t do it but you’ll cling slavishly to your king all the same.

        And nobody but a sycophant believes the numbers coming out of this administration.


      • rucasdad says:

        I would really love to take the time out and debunk all that DanMan has put forward but where does one start in such a vast sea of misinformed and biased opinions? And would it really matter since these things have already been debunked? Something tells me no.

        Dan, I understand that you may have a lot of credibility on Sparkle’s email chain but you’re simply not strong enough to dumb down this blog. Good try though.

      • Texan5142 says:

        LOL! @ Rucusdad.

      • rightonrush says:

        Tea Party Zealots like DanMan aren’t worth the effort.

    • GG says:

      I really want to believe Dan is really a parody poster.

      • rucasdad says:

        Dan is just a parody.

      • DanMan says:

        “I would really love to take the time out and debunk all that DanMan has put forward…”

        for a guy that doesn’t have time to respond to current comments you sure seem to, uh have time to follow me around eh rucas? And you saved all my old comments? Cool!

        No GG, not a parody poster any more than you are.

      • Turtles Run says:

        he is just a parody. With no cappy around we only have him to screw with.

      • DanMan says:

        yoohoo! run turtlehead run!!!

  8. Crogged says:

    From the article:
    “As it turned out, the New Deal did not pull the nation out of Depression. World War II did that, and it also further concentrated power in the federal government.”

    War as economic policy isn’t the only option……….and has downsides beyond ‘concentrating power’.

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