Back in 1901, Finley Peter Dunne’s character Mr. Dooley said, “The Dimmycratic Party ain’t on speakin’ terms with itsilf.” Is that happening again now? You might think so, given the talk about a populist revolt on the left.
But Democrats are in fact remarkably united on most issues. They agree on everything from increasing the minimum wage, to extending unemployment benefits to raising the debt ceiling.
Yes, there are divisions emerging over trade and energy. But it’s not anything like the bitter confrontations we used to see among Democrats over civil rights and the Vietnam War. It’s also not anything like the bitter civil war that’s broken out in the Republican Party. No one is threatening to walk out.
The 1960s was a time of open warfare among Democrats. The party establishment faced rebellions on two fronts. The George Wallace voters on the right, who objected to the party’s embrace of civil rights; and antiwar voters on the left, who objected to the Johnson administration’s war in Vietnam. The Wallace voters left the party. The antiwar movement left blood on the streets of Chicago during the 1968 Democratic National Convention, but it ultimately persuaded the party to its point of view.