|Hail to the Chief?|
|Persons of interest|
“”It is quite certain that a moderate Republican will be nominated to stand as his party's candidate for the presidency. His name is Barack Obama.
|—Some damn Canucks|
“”Remember back when Democrats used to vote with us?
|—Leo McGarry, The West Wing|
Democrat Party Democratic Party is a political party in the United States, widely perceived to be left-wing in the American political spectrum. In reality, think of it as a decentralized tent of centre-left and centre-right politicians who can't decide on virtually anything (and that may be the key to its survival).
 A short history
Historically the Democrats acted as the more populist party, as opposed to the mercantilist Whigs and later the industrial Republicans. At the same time, however, it was rooted in many socially and economically conservative views, notably being anti-tariff (ie. the Bourbons) and supporting and upholding slavery (later segregation).
The party began to move to the left in two major shifts, starting with Woodrow Wilson in the 1910s and Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression; the latter was maintained by the "New Deal Coalition," a combination of urban constituents, immigrants, intellectuals, organized labour, farmers, and whites from the Solid South, all of whom agreed on more government intervention in the economy but not much about anything else.
These differences reached their apex in the 1960s with increasing anti-war sentiment and the passage of the Civil Rights Act (among other issues during the countercultural revolution). Tricky Dick took advantage of this using the so-called "Southern strategy," which flipped the entire American political sphere on its backside - almost every single southern seat defected to the GOP, turning the blue Bible Belt red. The remaining liberal Republicans, noticing the appeal to racist sentiment, fled to the Democrats, settling the party into its current centrist position and thus making the former refuge of Confederates the heir to Lincoln's North. And all because of those uppity darkies.
Following the rise of Saint Ronnie, this right-wing realignment continued to strengthen, leaving progressive policies difficult to implement and depressing an increasing amount of disenfranchised voters.
The Democrats have made the mistake of refusing to frame its issues in terms of its constituents' prejudices, instead offering "solutions" to "problems" that can easily be "solved" by giving powerful people money to ignore them. However, its fortunes turned around in the 2006 and 2008 elections mainly because of a group called the Club for Growth, which has proven to be a wildly successful strategy for growing the Democratic Party beyond anyone's imagination.
 Internal factions
While the Democrats have a substantial liberal wing among the public at large, the party's inability to coordinate itself properly results in a political platform that consists of rolling over to Republican schemes and failing to provide effective leadership. The sectarian violence appears below.
 Progressive Democrats
- Sherrod Brown
- Howard Dean
- Keith Ellison
- Russ Feingold (the only Senator to vote against the original manifestation of the PATRIOT Act)
- Barney Frank
- Dennis Kucinich
- Barbara Lee
- Jim McDermott
- Cynthia McKinney
- Bernie Sanders (self-described socialist; not a Democrat, but caucuses with them)
- Pete Stark (the first openly atheist member of Congress)
 Traditional liberals
Constitute half of the voter base, and take pain to avoid infighting between the separate Democratic coalitions. "A little left of center," in FDR's words, and don't share many differences with the progressives anyway:
- Joe Biden
- Barbara Boxer
- Kirsten Gillibrand
- The Kennedys
- John Kerry
- Nancy Pelosi
- Jay Rockefeller
- Elizabeth Warren
- Anthony Weiner
 New Democrats
The Third Way moderates. They've increased their clout since the Dems' neoliberal exploits since the 90s, and are roughly equivalent to the British New Labour. Represented by the New Democrat Coalition (an affiliate of the Democratic Leadership Council):
- The Clintons
- John Edwards
- Dianne Feinstein
- Al Gore
- Joe Lieberman (independent since 2006)
- Some random black guy
- Harry Reid
- Debbie Wasserman Schultz
 Blue Dogs
Here's where the shit starts to break out. Those in the Blue Dog Coalition are often accused of being DINOs, siding with conservative thought whenever they wish, most commonly on social issues and deficit hawkery. Officially they are a coalition in the House but a few ideologically aligned Senators are listed as well. They're typically elected in Jesusland, and are considered flaming lefties there, despite being firmly centre-right (which is still to the left of the GOP):
 Dixiecrat leftovers and boll weevils
To the right of the Blue Dogs. Not a significant feature in the party anymore, although occasionally one will turn up here and there as a failed Senate candidate, or a centrist Democrat will go haywire and swing far to the right.
- Virgil Goode (left the Democrats in 2000, was the Constitution Party presidential nominee in 2012)
- Zell Miller
 Random populists
These often vote with the progressive and traditional liberal wings of the party, but have their conservative quirky bits. Not easily categorized elsewhere:
- Jon Tester
- Jim Webb
 The libertarians
- Mike Gravel
- There is also an erstwhile "Democratic Freedom Caucus" influenced by Georgism whose actual influence in the party is negligible
 So who's ticking them on their ballot?
Today, the Democratic Party attracts academia, white-collar professionals, scientists, medical students, the youth vote, the working class, philanthropists, consumer activists, copyright reformers, women, LGBT, ethnic minorities, basically anyone who can't afford seven-figure bribes or isn't white, male, and psychotically religious. Considering the very nature of the Republican Party, this is not that surprising.
- I'm not a member of any organized political party, I'm a Democrat! - Will Rogers
- Democrats think every day is April 15 - Ronald Reagan
- Democrats! Democrats! Get them off me! - Rush Limbaugh
 See also
- Democratic-Republican Party - Seriously, there was a party like this.
- ↑ Hey, we didn't say it.
- ↑ Or the "Ike Republicans," vital in passing the CRA
- ↑ Yes, irony meters abound.
- ↑ 
- ↑ Obama: 'I am a New Democrat'
- ↑ In states that are effectively one-party blue states, it's not uncommon to find wingnut Democrats who are only Democrats because they can't get elected otherwise. They're almost the same as Dixiecrats.
- ↑ Inconceivable!
|United States 2008 Presidential election articles on RationalWiki|
| Topics: 2008 U.S. Presidential Election - Democratic Party - Debate:Religious beliefs and public office - Republican Party - Same-sex marriage - United States Electoral College
Candidates: Hillary Rodham Clinton - Rudolph Giuliani - Mike Huckabee - John McCain - Alan Keyes - Dennis Kucinich - Ron Paul - Mitt Romney
Running mates: Joe Biden - Sarah Palin
Winner: Barack Obama