The Democrats have evolved into the old Republican Party.
Joe Biden is the first Republican president elected by Democrats. We’ve seen this party before. This is the Eastern-based party which used to be the Whig Party and the Republican Party. It is the old alignment of self-righteous utopian reformers, upper class professionals and Big Business and Wall Street.
It became crystal clear when Michael Bloomberg intervened to stop Bernie Sanders and tried to buy the Democratic nomination. The next sign of this transformation was when wealthy suburban Republicans voted for Joe Biden all over the country. Now, it is increasingly evident on economic policy where things like the $15 minimum wage are shot down while raising the corporate tax rate to 28% has become too high of a hurdle and taxing Wall Street has been ruled out of bounds as unthinkable.
“President Joe Biden is asking congressional Democrats to vote for a tax increase that will test a long-held liberal article of faith: that many wealthy Democrats won’t mind paying more in taxes if they can be convinced the money would lead to greater prosperity for everyone.
Democrats now represent 65% of taxpayers with a household income of $500,000 or more, according to pre-pandemic Internal Revenue Service statistics. And as Congress begins considering Biden’s $2.25 trillion spending and tax proposal, Democrats are being explicit with their constituents about how much it’ll cost them — and how much they say it will begin to address issues like income inequality. …”
Thomas Frank knows what is going on.
“Thomas Frank: Because the two-party system is locked in. Look at the Republican Party. What they do and what they offer is so cynical. They’ll say things that sound pretty good, but they don’t mean it. Trump said things that sounded pretty good. Drain the swamp. He didn’t mean it at all. He replenished it. There’s no way that what we need is going to come out of the Republican Party.
Then you look at the Democratic Party, the traditional bearers of the populist thread in American life. They’ve done everything in their power to squash it. Look at how they reacted to Bernie Sanders, who is as close to the populist tradition as it’s possible to get. If he had been the front runner in 2020, you would have seen Barack Obama come out against him. You would have seen them pull out all the stops to keep Sanders from being the nominee.
There are other hints as to who the Democratic Party is. White-collar elites are increasingly their number one constituency. They serve these people. They take the rest of us for granted. I don’t have high hopes for them. More and more, they are withdrawing into that understanding of themselves. “We represent the smart people and the highly educated, and we have the answers in our technocratic, meritocratic philosophy.”
The woke progressive movement is profoundly anti-populist. Again, it’s all subtraction, not addition. They show no ideological patience. They have a thirst for ideological blood, to kick people out, to get people in trouble, to get people fired. It’s the opposite of populism. …”
The Democrats are now the party of Big Business, Wall Street, Silicon Valley and wealthy suburban professionals. The class profile of the two parties has radically shifted.
We’re currently caught in a strange historical moment where the party coalitions and the voters have switched places. And yet, the governing ideologies and policy agenda of both parties hasn’t caught up to this new demographic reality. The Republicans are a conservative-populist coalition now like in the Jackson era or the Bryan era. Republican politicians go on acting like they are still in the Reagan era.