Bimodal Party

I think Yglesias’s “stolen” graph does a lot to show that there are two discrete quanta of Democrats, at least with regards to budget issues. If the Democratic and Republican parties represented left and right economic views, respectively, one would expect the lines showing degree of Republican-ness (for lack of a better term) with respect to economic views to be parallel. Everyone should start identifying closer to the Republican Party as their economic views moved to the right. The lines should be parallel even if (as the source article, via Ezra Klein, convincingly argues) they are pushed apart due to voter’s deluding themselves about their party.

However, on both the right and left are fierce Democratic partisans, implying that the premise is wrong: the Democrats represent both extremes of the spectrum. But not the middle. Economically moderate Democrats correctly self-identify as equidistant between the parties. (Or are DINOs who lean Republican but haven’t gotten around to changing their voter registration yet. I had hoped this phenomena was restricted to our politicians; apparently it’s the base as well. Shit.)

Much has been written about how the Republican Party is a hodgepodge coalition of divergent interests. However, if the power of the Democratic Party comes from it’s heavy partisans who double as activists/donors, then our party appears to be a coalition of opposed interests.

Which is interesting, but I’m not sure what it means

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