Kire Schneider Online

Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
Father of American Liberalism

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Fiscal Times: Opinion- Bruce Bartlett- "How Democrats Became Liberal Republicans"

Source: The Fiscal Times- U.S. President Barack Obama-
Source: The Fiscal Times: Opinion- Bruce Bartlett- How Democrats Became Liberal Republicans

Being a Democrat myself and a member of one of the three ideological factions in the Democratic Party, I know something about the DP's ideological diversity.

We have a classical liberal faction people like John Kerry that I'm a member of. That believes in a lot of personal freedom, but we also have a economic liberal bent to us thats not as social democratic as the Social Democrats in the party. Another political faction, people like economists Robert Reich and Paul Krugman. Liberal Democrats believe in infrastructure investment and that the Federal Government should and can help the less-fortunate, but we also combine that with limited government that there's a limit of what government can do for people. So government, taxpayers and people who are in need and need help the less fortunate should be empowered to do for themselves as much as possible. Which is how Welfare to Work came about in the 1990s, something that Bill Clinton ran on for President in 1992.

Whereas Social Democrats/Democratic Socialists (the Bernie Sanders wing of the party) tend to believe that a role of government, especially the Federal Government is to take care of people for an indefinite amount of time. And doing things like putting poor people in job training and forcing them to go to work is mean-spirited or something. Social Democrats want America to become Europe where taxes and regulations are not only high, but popular. To fund a welfare state where the country would be dependent on the Federal Government to take care of the people. This might sound like me being over partisan, but it's true. The Democrats are essentially made up of two large factions. The FDR wing of Social Democrats who build their philosophy around the welfare state and JFK-Bill Clinton wing. That's made up of Liberals who want to solve problems that America and the country faces, but wants to empower people themselves as much as possible to solve their own problems.

And right now the Liberals are running the party with Barack Obama being one of them as President of the United States. So that's who is directing policy for the party right now and as much as the right wing wants to label President Obama as a Socialist, he's clearly not. And more of a New Democrat who has strong liberal leanings, but which is different from the FDR coalition that's more government-centric. It's not as if the Democratic Party has moved to the right or even center to now where they are a center-right, or centrist party. But they've moved more to the center and since Bill Clinton, or I would even argue since Mike Dukakis in 1988, but who didn't have the political skills of Bill Clinton, the Democratic Party has become the Liberal Party in America. A center-left party that's no longer the Social Democratic Party in America. And a lot of the Social Democrats are now members of social democratic third parties.
Christopher Weeks: The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell- Bruce Bartlett: Barack Obama vs Ronald Reagan On Taxes