Destruction of the Democratic party

More and more political experts believe we are witnessing the outright destruction of the Democratic Party during the increasingly bitter, overwhelmingly petty and unbelievably angry primary season.

Much of the anger is directed at both Hillary Rodham Clinton and her former President husband who are falling from grace from within party ranks and are increasingly viewed as agents of destruction by the same Democrats who once held them in high regard.

But some of the blame also falls on frontrunner Barack Obama, who has gone from an agent of change to a candidate of increasing questions about his ability, his experience and his intentions.

How bad is it? Bad. Can it get worse? Oh yeah.

Writes Joe Klein in Time:

“This election,” Bill Clinton said in the hours before the Pennsylvania primary, “is too big to be small.” It was a noble sentiment, succinctly stated, and the core of what Democrats believe — that George W. Bush has been a historic screwup as President, that there are huge issues to be confronted this year. But it was laughable as well. The Pennsylvania primary had been a six-week exercise in diminution, with both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama — and Bill Clinton too — losing altitude and esteem on an almost daily basis. Even as he spoke, the former President was in the midst of a tiny, self-inflicted absurdity, having claimed in a radio interview that the Obama campaign had played the “race card” against him. And that was the least of the damage.

Hillary Clinton won a convincing victory in Pennsylvania, but it came at a significant cost to the Clinton family’s reputation and to the Democratic Party. She won by throwing the “kitchen sink” at Obama, as her campaign aides described it. Her campaign had been an assault on Obama’s character flaws, real and imagined, rather than on matters of substance. Clinton also suffered a bizarre self-inflicted wound, having reimagined her peaceful landing at a Bosnian airstrip in 1996 as a battlefield scene complete with sniper fire. After six weeks of this, according to one poll, 60% of the American people considered her “untrustworthy,” a Nixonian indictment.

But that was nothing compared with the damage done to Obama, who entered the primary as a fresh breeze and left it stale, battered and embittered — still the mathematical favorite for the nomination but no longer the darling of his party. In the course of six weeks, the American people learned that he was a member of a church whose pastor gave angry, anti-American sermons, that he was “friendly” with an American terrorist who had bombed buildings during the Vietnam era, and that he seemed to look on the ceremonies of working-class life — bowling, hunting, churchgoing and the fervent consumption of greasy food — as his anthropologist mother might have, with a mixture of cool detachment and utter bemusement. All of which deepened the skepticism that Caucasians, especially those without a college degree, had about a young, inexperienced African-American guy with an Islamic-sounding name and a highfalutin fluency with language. And worse, it raised questions among the elders of the party about Obama’s ability to hold on to crucial Rust Belt bastions like Pennsylvania, Michigan and New Jersey in the general election — and to add long-suffering Ohio to the Democratic column.


  1. JerryG

    Let’s put this in perspective. Joe Klein is writing for the publication that was once the Grande Dame of the magazine world. TIME is now an anemic weekly struggling for circulation and ad revenue. Naturally, he is going to craft an article that is provocative because TIME needs readers, aka subscribers! Joe Klein’s article offers nothing insightful or that which hasn’t already been regurgitated over and over again. He’s just repackaged the same old talking points in an attempt to sell them as something new and different.

    I still don’t subscribe to the fact that the Democratic Party is eating its own. What are you/we afraid of because we are in the midst of an extended debate over who our nominee will be? This is the process we have chosen. This is our version of electoral democracy at the party level. This is the people in action within the rules and processes established by the party.

    What do you expect considering the stakes? There are powerful personalities involved. This is a dog fight in the classic sense of the phrase and, quite frankly, compared to many in our history, a pretty damn good and civil one!

  2. SEAL

    To claim or even suggest that the antics of the two candidates are destroying the Democrappic party looks to me to be nothing but searching for something else to write about the contest between Clinton and Obama for the nomination. The candidates may destroy themselves but, no matter what they do, the Dem party will still be there when all the dust settles. Perhaps a little different, but still there.

    What has been destroyed is any remaining faith I had in the people of this country. How any of them could continue to support and vote for Hillary Clinton after she was exposed for her fabrication of the sniper fire “non-incident” exposes the american electorate’s lack of integrity. The absense of any concern for the truth or what is right or wrong. For them it is OK for the president to be a liar but don’t speak the truth about how they handle their unhappyness.

    Yeah, she made up a story to make herself look better but that’s what people do, isn’t it? But this uppity “boy” insulted me. He doesn’t know me and I sure as hell don’t “cling” to anything.

    So, there we have the american voter. Basing their decision on what is important to them. This is why the nation is in so damn much trouble.

  3. dtotire


    It apparent that both candidates have become flawed, and neither could win the election. If the Convention becomes deadlocked, the delegates do not have to nomimate either. It would be better for the party if they choose a third person who would be acceptable to most Democrats. I would suggest John Edwards, who was the second choice for many. He has high favorability ratings, and could easily win the election. I have already written my Senator and Congressman suggesting this.

  4. NotoriousJP

    I am leaving the Democratic party, just like I left the Republicans. I will register as an independent for the upcoming election and from now on. Insert multipage rant here_____________. ‘Nuff said.

  5. Sandra Price

    I left the GOP during Bush 41’s term as I saw the future in this neoconservative lust for world power. I have to agree with SEAL that the discussions and debates have opened our eyes to weakness within the voters. It has been fairly polite but the problem is that few of the real issues are being discussed.

    I do not believe that any of the candidates will follow through on their statements. The power in D.C. comes from the Congress. The lies from Clinton show her inability to be open and honest with the America People. Do they care? How strong is the racism in America? Do we care?

  6. knockknock

    Sadly, women are casting revenge votes for Hillary. Any woman who ever got dumped, stood up, or ignored on child support by an ex — all want a woman in the White House — they don’t care who it is as long as it’s a woman they can identify with.

    In order to vote, we should have a test on current events to be sure the voters know both sides and all candidates in order to make an informed decision.

    Otherwise, just for this primary, we should temporarily repeal the 19th Amendment.

    I, too, became an Indie — the Democratic Party doesn’t stand for the things it once stood for, and neither does the Republican Party… well, maybe the Republicans do, since they can’t seem to enter the 20th Century, let alone the 21st.

    I’m just sayin’

  7. Sandra Price

    I give the women a higher score on this. The glass ceiling is being chipped away and many women are doing the right thing by getting a good education so they can raise a family without depending on the charity of men. Yes men think they are being used just for their money.

    American individuals are a thing of the past. I’ve been single a long time and will always talk to young girls about making a life of their own “just in case.”

    The GOP ia living in Genesis where women were given to the men for breeding purposes. It is a rare sight in this senior development when married couples even talk to each other. They all have fallen into a domestic cage as they are too cheap to even think of divorce.

    In looking back at my own homelife, I figure that it was a gift when the old man was caught with his secretary. I’m no Hillary Clinton and wanted a better male model for the kids.

  8. Hoosier_CowBoy

    I take the Contrarian view, the Democrats have needed this type of dustup since Jimmy Carter when down in flames in 1980.

    While the Republican candidate has been talking to the electorate through the one way mirror of the MSM, this prolonged engagement has forced the Democratic contenders to get out amoung the people and see what is happenning in home town America.

    Imagine! Here I live in a little white bread town in Northern Nevada, and who came to see us? Senator Hillary Clinton! NO Presidential candidate has ever set foot in the county since Nevada joined the Union in 1863.

    Its exhausting only if you don’t watch it on the MSM, as far as the MSM SpinMeisters go, it gives them something to talk about, and another reason for the general population to be bored with the talking heads, turn off their TVs and ignore them.

    Just like what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger, we will see a stronger, more united Democratic Party emerge, one that has been out spending time with the electorate, and one that the electorate can touch and feel.

  9. Sandra Price

    Hoosier, you could be right. I have been captured by the GOP for 54 years when I was 21 years old and could vote. The party fit well until Bush 41 declared his intention of building an American Empire. Okay so now I am an Independent and will likely vote for Obama.

    I am seeing a stronger Democratic party growing under the two contenders for the chance at running McCain out of a job. In the past I have never wanted any part of Socialism but in those days, we had jobs, retirement funds, we had payable taxes and good sense of security.

    A year and a half after Bush 43 entered the oval office, we found ourselves at war, in debt, no jobs, no retirement funds and a sense that our government was far more corrupt than in my 54 years of paying attention.

    Sadly my distrust of the religious right fell apart after listening to Bush’s plans for making a Christian nation. His list of prohibitions was staggering to me and his doing this as a Republican slammed that party out of my reach for certain. My hope is that Obama can stick with it. I do not feel that I let down the GOP as they changed so drastically that only pure fools could follow them.

  10. dbumRob

    Let the demo begin

    The author makes it sound like this destruction would be a bad thing. Ah, but the viewpoint of static dualism. How wrong it often is.

    The party itself is undergoing a major internal change anyway. Things always do. Even Republicans. The party, like any other institution including the government, is made up of people. People with egos. Some egos are getting bigger, and some smaller. Ideologies are changing in the face of conditions we find ourselves in. So be it.

    So lets remake the party. Or make a new one. Or several new ones. Let’s relegate to the bone pile those who are using public service for their own benefit. And those who promise war. And those who support war. Those who support treaties that send jobs overseas. Deny children insurance. Those who make it easier for media conglomeration. Those who don’t understand church and state separation. Those who aren’t willing to disclose lobbyist activities and bills on the internet for public viewing. Those not willing to take public financing only.

    You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one….

  11. Ladywolf55

    Quote: Sadly, women are casting revenge votes for Hillary. Any woman who ever got dumped, stood up, or ignored on child support by an ex — all want a woman in the White House — they don’t care who it is as long as it’s a woman they can identify with./Unquote

    I have had every one of those scenarios happen to me, and I would not vote for Hillary Clinton if she were the last woman standing, period.

    Sandy Price, I salute you. I feel the same. Women should get an education and support themselves. If they will do this, there is no need for a man with the thinking pattern of an ape (aka GOP or any MCP for that matter)to be hanging around trying to give orders.


  12. the Don

    Since neither party represents me and since the Council on Foreign Relations controls both parties (Ron Paul is the only candidate who is not a member of the CFR) I must support the efforts of those who will be on the streets of Denver during the convention.

    We no longer have a government of, by and for the people but a fascist, corporate state. Witness our loss of freedoms since the election of Ronald Reagan.

    Continuing to tilt at windmills………..

  13. Flapsaddle

    Small loss! Ditto the GOP. Both parties are disease-ravaged whores that are beyond redemption. The sooner their chancre-ridden corpses are buried in the quick-lime of history, the sooner we may recover something of the republic envisioned by the founders.

    Most sincerely,

    T. J. Flapsaddle

  14. surgethis

    Hillary is disgusting. Her campaign is nothing but attacks and lies. She will say and do anything to win this. The corporate media is also on her side. Why … because this is not about the label Democrat as clearly Hillary is not a real Democrat. Hillary is a Leiberman Democrat. Both her and her husband have thrown in with the Bush crime family and the global elite who have a private agenda that is contrary to our constitution. Obama being for the people was always a long shot in the face of a corporatized America run by big money and global interests. What drives me crazy is how they are able to keep us snarled up in lame arguments while they continue to rob the treasury and run off with our country. God Damn the corporations and the Clinton’s who are nothing but more of the exact same lies and propaganda we’ve been force fed for so long.

  15. ekaton

    surgethis, I shouldn’t do this to you, because you are already angry. But, watch a documentary called “The Corporation”. Be sure to have a double dose of blood pressure meds close by, because you’ll need them.

    — Kent Shaw

  16. Klaus Hergeschimmer

    Pillary should be locked up in Guantanomo for her criminal contributions she’s taken from ‘Rupie’ Murdoch, the little Harlot!(and Dumb Dame) She’s perfectly happy to let the Democrapic party fall on a pike for her so she can ‘Na-Na-Nah-Na-Na’ to Obama.

    I don’t trust Obama either based on where he’s getting his money from. I will nøt vote for Sir Obama of Camelot either.

    No More LEXUS LIBERAL DEMOCRAPPERS! -Vote Third Party.

  17. Sandra Price

    The Clintons know of no other way to operate. Could it be that she wants McCain to win in 2008 and then she will return in 2012? The Clintons know we will take on Iran if we elect McCain and her next campaign will be a piece of cake.

    I am not willing to let her get away with this.

  18. peace

    I never ever, ever, ever listen to “Limbough,” and with that said, he told his people that we do not have to “dirty up” Obama the Clinton’s will do that! Yeap she has, but on the other hand he is better for it. Obama has the nomination, and yes the SD can pick who they wish, do you really think they will turn over the elected delegates, more states, and votes to appoint Hillary. Yes appoint as she will never catch him in elected delegates. She is using Clinton math for the popular vote using states that were not included and of course one of the states Obama’s name was not there. The media never points this out since they love this civil war. She cannot win unless she is appointed! She has to know this! It is really sad the way her ego will not allow Obama to get going against McCain who is free to say and do whatever he wants. Does she want it so bad that she is willing to take down Obama, the party and a past president. Perhaps, but Bill Clinton is doing a fine job destroying both of them.

  19. Janet

    Hopefully this is a small fringe group of ex-hippies that won’t get it’s URL too well known. And I would think the local police and FBI will take care of them. OR thousands of poeple need to contact them and let them know that what they are doing is just helping the Republicans to win.

    I DO believe that Hillary and Bill are trying to sabotage Obama for their own selfish objectives. That is despicable. The Dem leaders and elders need to sit them down and let them know that she needs to give it up and if she doesn’t, the party will not support her for anything, whether Senate Majority Leader, NY Governer or presidential candidate in 2012. They need to make this very clear to the Clintons, with no backing down. But I fear the Dem leaders don’t have the spine to do this.

  20. Walter F. Wouk

    What we’re witnessing is the “outright destruction” of the Republican wing of the Democratic Party — aka the Democratic Leadership Council — and Hillary Clinton is swinging the “wrecking ball.” Now that’s Karmic justice.

  21. DejaVuAllOver

    You da’ man, Walter. Bill Clinton was the best Republican president we’ve had since Lincoln. Only trouble is, he sabotaged any chance of real reform by running as a Democrat. Anyone who thinks Hillary will be much different than McCrazy or der Chimpenfuhrer needs their political head examined, as far as I’m concerned.

  22. Ardie

    First of all, this MSM author is wrong, Hillary Clinton did not win a convincing victory in Pennsylvania. She went into Pennsylvania with a long established “brand”. With such a strong brand she should have won by 20 percentage points, but she didn’t. Lots of voters bought the newer brand, Obama.

    Senator Obama’s campaign is consistent with his message. it is all about change: a change in how political candidates raise money to run; a change in Washington from a lobbyist run government to a people run government; and a change in MSM’s pattern of lying.

    Hillary’s campaign is also consistent with her sub rosa message. There will be no change. She will continue to run a divisive, Karl Rove, campaign against Sen. Obama. There will be no change in Washington, either. Lobbyist will rule. And Hillary will bomb Iran.

  23. 33rdSt

    Excellent point. How does one fall from 20+ point lead to not quite 10 point victory in six weeks and still get to claim a VICTORY of “comeback” proportions?

    Down 150 delegates, a net gain of 12 with only a few hundred left and an opponent who is heading into several strong states, but she gets to claim a “comeback” victory?

    Endorsed by all but one major state political luminary but it is in doubt right down to the closing of the polls and she claims a “comeback” victory?

    And the MSM is buying it because they sell more papers with an Obama/Clinton race for the nomination than they will with an Obama/McCain general election six months early.