This is awkward for too many people, so it will be ignored:
…a paper on polarization and inequality released in August by political scientists from Princeton, Georgetown, and the University of Oregon (and highlighted this week in a Washington Post article) provides some empirical evidence that Democratic Party’s leftward drift is more pronounced than the GOP’s rightward drift, at least at the state level. The study’s overall argument is that income inequality has increased political polarization at the state level since the 1990s. But the authors find that that this happens more by moving state Democratic parties to the left than by moving state Republican parties to the right. As the Democratic Party lost power at the state level over the past 15 years, it also effectively shed its moderate wing. Centrist Democrats have increasingly lost seats to Republicans, “resulting in a more liberal Democratic party” overall. The authors find that the ideological median of Republican legislators has shifted much less.
Even though it handily explains our political history since 2007. The Democrats ran in 2006 and 2008 on the appearance of a non-ideological, pragmatic style of governance: and once they got full power in 2009 they promptly dropped the act and went Full Metal Progressive on the government and the economy. The American people have been reacting to that every since, usually hostilely. It’s no accident that Maryland and Illinois and Massachusetts have Republican governors now, or that Democrats lost control of Southern state legislatures that they had owned for a century, or that comparing a picture of the Democratic caucuses in 2009 with one from today would lead one to assume that there was a fairly nasty plague epidemic in the intervening period*. These things have all been the inevitable effect of the Democrats running hard Left.
This state of affairs will not continue forever, of course. When the Democrats lose the Presidential election next year they will have to decide whether or not to take the time to purge the superannuated relics of the New Left from their leadership, once and for all. If they do, they will have a better 2018 than expected; if they do not, well, by then the aforementioned relics will probably start dying of old age anyway. Either way, eventually the Democratic party will drift back to the center. Our entire system assumes two parties, after all; which is frustrating to partisans on either side of the ideological spectrum, but multi-party states have their own problems and the American voting public seems to have at least a subconscious awareness of that. You just have to wait for things to shift.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*At this point somebody will say What about Barack Obama? …What, indeed? He ran as somebody above the partisan din, and won handily. The mask had not slipped enough for him to lose reelection, although Barack Obama lost ground across the board and managed the win mostly on superior organization on his part and extremely poor organization on ours. Now the mask has totally slipped; even if he could run in 2016 Barack Obama would get his clock cleaned.