As Both-Siderism has it, there are equivalent intra-party political battles within each of the two major parties this cycle. The presumptive GOP presidential nominee, Donald Trump, a reality teevee show celebrity, is the evidence that the Republican Party, also known as the GOP establishment, has been soundly rejected by GOP voters. Republican primary voters rejected every establishment primary candidate....allegedly because establishment Republicans have been lying to voters about what they would do, if elected. No, I don't buy it either, but that's the meme.
What has been striking about the intramural GOP presidential primary process is that political policies have not mattered much to Republican primary voters. "Winning", whatever that means in the moment, has replaced the typical focus in the process on where a candidate stands on taxes, economic growth, foreign policy and the like. Not to worry, says the GOP candidate, he'll guarantee that America will "win" if voters choose the teevee celebrity as their president....and that seems to be good enough for the angry base voters who made Trump the party's nominee.
Republican voters who cast their lots with the reality-teevee celebrity do not seem to care that their candidate flip-flops on policy answers within the same 24 hour period, or that he lies just as often as he tells the truth, or that Trump has no knowledge or experience, whatsoever, that would qualify him to become the president.
On the Republican side of things, voters have taken a "blind faith" approach to Mr. Trump's candidacy. Just believe in The Donald....and wait for all the "winning." Trump's campaign has explained that Trump has no intention of informing voters about what he will do as president....until voters elect him president. Campaigning for the presidency, according to the Trumpsters, is not about talking about all that boring policy stuff....it's about entertaining audiences for 45 minutes to an hour with stream-of-consciousness ramblings similar to what one hears from celebrity hate radioers. And then the closing statement about "we're going to win so much"...blah, blah.
But "both-sides" are not doing it. The Hillary-Sanders contest has been all about policy.
Where Republican primary voters have given up on their political party, and decided to take a "blind faith" route with an unqualified candidate who has no idea what he is doing.....Democrats have been arguing over realistic policy differences between their two primary candidates, both with decades of experience in working to create a "more perfect Union."
That said, there most definitely is a divide among progressives this cycle....just as there was a Dem divide in 2008 when Hillary and Obama battled it out to the end of the primary process. Then, as now, Mrs. Clinton was regarded by many primary voters as the candidate of Third Way-ism, a New Democrat, like her husband.
New Democrats, like their Republican counterparts, seek to please the Big Money Boyz by advocating for the privatization of most federal government responsibilities. When Slick Willie said that "the era of big government is over"....that's what he meant. No longer would the Democratic Party fight against the Big Money Boyz for the sake of the trampled many. Instead, New Democrats would now help Republicans in rewarding the privileged few. Bill Clinton's Third-Way triangulation led directly to massive government debt and deficits of the 00's, the collapse of the deregulated Bankster industry, and the wretched and ugly income and wealth disparity millions of Americans are still wrestling with today.
Those POLICIES are what Bernie Sanders has been campaigning against relentlessly...and with unexpected success. Sanders has not been relying on the "blind faith" of his supporters...instead, he has clearly detailed his POLICY differences with Clinton's anticipated Third Way approach. It is a POLICY fight that the Democratic Party desperately needs to have.
And so, I'm glad that Bernie has recently taken his POLICY fight to New Democrats like Barney Frank and Debbie Wasserman-Shultz. In this, Sanders is taking an aggressive POLICY stance against the New Democrats...the ones I call corporate Democrats. It is a POLICY fight that's long overdue. The American People have not benefited from Third-Wayers capitulating to Big Money. Just the opposite.
Most "expert analysts" are oh-so-worried that the POLICY fight between Hillary and Bernie will do damage to the eventual nominee's ability to win in November. I don't hold that viewpoint. I think what Bernie is doing is what has been needed for quite awhile. He's forcing a re-evaluation by Democratic voters of the reality of Third Way-ism. I want Bernie to fight all the way to the Convention. I want Sanders to challenge the party's POLICY platform. I want Bernie to point out the New Democrat traitors to the working class.
For those who are skittish about Sanders "fighting a losing battle" and possibly doing harm to Hillary's chances in November by causing a ruckus at the Convention, let's take a look at some empirical data. The "blind faith" GOP candidate has gotten his "bump" from winning the nomination. Yet Real Clear Politics averaging polls show Hillary still ahead nationally by a couple points against Trump. Furthermore, in important swing states....and before Hillary gets her "bump" from winning the Dem nomination....Mrs. Clinton is up 2 points in Florida, up 1.4 points in Ohio, up 5.3 points in Pennsylvania, and up 4.3 points in Virginia.
So, no, I'm not worried that Bernie is damaging Hillary's chances. And, if Bernie's relentlessness moves the Democratic Party to the left....and away from Third Way-ism, even in the slightest.....it will be advantageous to the working class of America.
Voters have the right to take a "blind faith" approach, a cult-of-personality approach to the presidential contest. They have the right to vote for a candidate who refuses to explain what he has in mind for America other than "winning." They have the right to choose the person who throws the most entertaining rallies, even if those rallies are substance-free.
Just don't confuse what Trump is doing with what the two Democratic candidates are doing.