It’s obvious 2016 is an election year when Democratic candidates need to draw a bright line to differentiate themselves from Republican opponents.
With Donald Trump leading the GOP ticket, and most leaders of his party getting in line behind him, it’s doubtful Democrats will find urgent need to “meet in the middle” on issues such as civil rights, women’s reproductive health and equal pay, immigration, minimum wage, gender equity, and climate change.
There may be some issues that still tempt Democrats to collude with conservatives in order to woo mythological “swing voters.” But the number one fear among top Republican strategists is that Democrats will run “a base campaign, directed toward liberals, maximizing that vote, and electing a devastating ticket.”
How then, do you explain the results of the recent California primary?
A Toxic Mix
As Harold Meyerson recently wrote in an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, while the Democratic Party’s presidential candidates, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, ran on populist platforms denouncing “the corrosive role of money in politics” and “condemning the plutocratic consequences of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision,” many Democratic Party candidates down ticket funded their campaigns with big money from two corporate interests.
Former state Assemblyman Henry Perea of Fresno, seen above, headed the caucus of moderate Democrats from 2012 to 2015, when he resigned to take a government relations job with Chevron. (Los Angeles Times) Harold Meyerson
What should California’s Bernie Brigades do now? How should they proceed with the revolution once the Democratic convention formally bestows its nomination on Hillary Clinton?
If Sanders backers (or, for that matter, Clinton supporters) want to involve themselves in politics, there are a number of elections right here in California in which a keystone issue of the socialist’s campaign – breaking the hold that big money has on our system – is effectively on the ballot. The big winners in California's open primaries: big spenders
For even as Sanders was thundering against the corrosive role of money in politics and Clinton was condemning the plutocratic consequences of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, corporate money was carving an ever larger role for itself in California politics – California Democratic politics.
Over the past two years, oil companies and “education reform” billionaires have been funding campaigns for obliging Democratic candidates running against their more progressive co-partisans under the state’s “top-two” election process. In this week’s primary, independent committees spent at least $24 million, with most of that money flowing to Democrats who opposed Gov. Jerry Brown’s effort to halve motorists’ use of fossil fuels by 2030, and a substantial sum going to Democrats who support expanding charter schools.