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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Democrats: Net Roots, Trade Unions, Third Way

Kenneth S. Baer, Reinventing Democrats, The Politics of Liberalism from Reagan to Clinton
(click here for the Romanian version)

Reinventing Democrats, the book of Kenneth S. Baer, is the chronicle of the New Democrats: how they emerged in the eighties, their battles of ideas with the other Democratic groups, how they got to recapture the White House for the Dems with the two-term presidency of Bill Clinton.

Where stands the Democratic Party today? Bill Marsh offers in the NY Times issue from October 1 a Guide to the Democratic Herd. The New Left groups together the liberal elite from the coasts and the young bloggers (the famous Kossacks); antiwar, antiglobalization, antiestablishment; the expression of today’s Net Roots power. The Old Line Coalition expresses the Trade Unions views, supporting the philosophy of the New Deal. The Social Justice Coalition groups the major part of core democratic voters; younger, more cosmopolitan, more liberal than those in the Old Line, while much more moderate than those in the New Left. The New Democrats offer the Third Way, a constructive approach for today’s realities and challenges. Their major figure is Bill Richardson, the governor of New Mexico. Democracy – A Journal for Ideas, edited by Kenneth S. Baer and Andrei Cherny, is the ideological tribune of them.

So the Democratic Party offers quite heterogeneous positions: from the antiglobalization stances of the New Left to the free trade and market based growth supported by the New Democrats, from the New Deal approaches of the Old Line on Social Security and Medicare to the Information Age and Choice Generation approaches of the New Democrats. The views over the mission and scope of government of John Edwards differ significantly from those of Bill Richardson. The various isolationists, new or old, are also far from those who realize the necessary role of US in today’s world.

What will happen on November elections? Probably the different groups will look for some common ground, compromising around the moderate views of the large Social Justice Coalition. But who knows?


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