The Wall Street Journal had a story today about Bernie Sanders supporters winning numerous state-level party positions as Democrats search for a way out of their deep wilderness. This might have major consequences as the party selects a national chairman on Saturday.
“It is absolutely imperative that we see a major transformation of the Democratic Party,” Mr. Sanders said in an interview with the newspaper last week. The party has “to do what has to be done in this country, to bring new energy, new blood.”
I find it interesting that Bernie Sanders, who carried so much damaging-and-false right-wing water against Hillary Clinton in the primary, is so interested in the Democratic Party. He didn't even become a Democrat until late 2015. At least Barry Goldwater, who took over the GOP in 1964 and began its long journey into today's hardcore extreme right organization, was a lifelong Republican.
The simplistic state of play has the Sanders-Elizabeth Warren "populist" wing of the party against the "old guard," denigrated as "corporate Dems" by the insurgents. In reality, the situation is far more complex and I don't see an easy way forward.
Despite President Obama winning two national elections, the Democrats lost hundreds of seats in state legislatures and ultimately both houses of Congress. As FiveThirtyEight reports, "At the beginning of Obama’s term, Democrats controlled 59 percent of state legislatures, while now they control only 31 percent, the lowest percentage for the party since the turn of the 20th century. They held 29 governor’s offices and now have only 16, the party’s lowest number since 1920."