Culture Wars/Current Controversies

A liberal diagnoses the Democratic Party’s pathologies

By Damon Linker, The Week

Joe Biden’s steep slide in the polls since mid-summer is bad for the Democratic Party and, if it contributes to Donald Trump winning a second term in 2024, it could be terrible for the country. But it’s been very good for political punditry.

The latest example, following on the heels of numerous smart Substack posts by Matthew Yglesias and several illuminating interviews with data analyst David Shor, comes from Jonathan Chait at New York magazine. In a cogently argued, lengthy essay, Chait examines Biden’s political woes through the lens of two pathologies in the Democratic Party, one on the progressive left, the other in its centrist bloc.

On the progressive side, Chait points to the politically detrimental influence of a small class of wealthy left-wing donors who are using their money and influence to steer prominent liberal nonprofits further to the left on a range of issues, but especially on culture-war disputes where the progressive position is quite far from the median Democratic voter.


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