Several recent news articles have suggested that, in the words of a Washington Post headline, “there’s … a big economic fight happening in the Democratic Party.”
It’s true. The corporate-friendly policies of the party’s more conservative wing have fared poorly, both as policy and as politics, and as a result the party has moved to the left. The insurgent candidacy of Bernie Sanders is the most conspicuous sign of this shift. It’s a major setback for the so-called “New Democrats” who have dominated the party since the election of Bill Clinton in 1992.
Nearly twenty-five years after they rose to power, the ideas of the “New Democrats” don’t seem so new. Hence, the phenomenon that The Huffington Post’s Sam Stein describes as “the panic of Democratic centrists.”