The Origins of Progressive Agony

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

What has transformed the Democratic party into an anguished progressive movement that incorporates the tactics of the street, embraces maenadism, reverts to Sixties carnival barking, and is radicalized by a new young socialist movement? Even party chairman Tom Perez concedes that there are “no moderate Democrats left,” and lately the rantings of Cory Booker, Hillary Clinton, Eric Holder, and Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez confirm that diagnosis.

Obama, the Fallen God

Paradoxically, Barack Obama won the presidency in 2008 and 2012 and yet helped to erode the old Democratic party in the process. He ended up in opulent retirement while ceding state legislatures, governorships, the House, the Senate, the presidency, and the Supreme Court to conservative Republicans.

Obama had promised leftists — in his prior brief tenure in the Senate he had compiled the most partisan record of his 99 colleagues — that his social-justice methods and agendas would lead to a proverbial “permanent Democratic majority.” Do we remember the February 2009 Newsweekobsequious cover story “We Are All Socialists Now”?

Supposedly, changing demography, massive illegal immigration, and identity politics had preordained a permanent 51 percent “Other” whose minority statuses, as defined by gender and race, had now become a majority, given the destined demise of the white working classes. If Obama had not existed, someone like Corey Booker, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, or Kirsten Gillibrand was supposedly foreordained to be president anyway.

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