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Leftward March

by Ramesh Ponnuru

The Democratic party further abandons moderation

Both victory and defeat have been radicalizing experiences for the Democratic party during this century. Democrats moved left after losing to George W. Bush; they moved farther left after winning with Barack Obama; and now they seem to be moving farther left still under President Donald Trump.

The cumulative effect of all this movement has been to put the party well to the left of where it was during Bill Clinton’s administration. Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign felt it necessary to disavow many of her husband’s old stances, and some of her own. President Clinton signed a tough-on-crime bill; Hillary Clinton said it had gone too far. Bill Clinton appointed a commission that recommended a reduction in legal immigration, and briefly endorsed that recommendation. Hillary Clinton campaigned against “large-scale raids and roundups” of illegal immigrants and vowed to bring back some of those who had been deported.

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