Digby responds to a long, interesting piece on the differences between how Republicans and Democrats maintain their political coalitions across time and legislative battles by Robert Cruickshank. Digby writes:
Cruikshank is making an appeal to progressives to apply the GOP coalition rules to themselves and stick together, even if the centrists continue to play their games.. And that’s certainly necessary advice. Warring amongst ourselves is about as destructive as it gets. But there needs to be an understanding of how progressives are being manipulated in the Party — and a plan to thwart it — or there is going to be some kind of crack-up eventually. You simply can’t have a working coalition in which a very large faction is constantly used as political cannon fodder. If the anger doesn’t kill you the disillusionment will. The old bipartisan way is dead for now and Democrats had better adjust to dealing fairly and equitably within its own coalition or they’re going to find that they don’t have one.
I think Digby is largely right, but I guess I would just question the extent to which there actually is a Democratic coalition any more. No doubt there is a party, run by neo-liberals and conservatives, and quite a large number of progressives and progressive groups associate with this party. But it’s hard to see the various non-establishment elements of the Democratic Party as anything other than cannon fodder and as a result, not really a part of the coalition in any sense than they are sometimes used as pawns by neo-liberals and conservatives in their quest to be Serious Adults. The question then becomes, does it make sense for the Democratic coalition to learn how to operate by taking turns or should the cannon fodder recognize that they don’t want to continue to be treated like political cannon fodder?