Glenn Greenwald lays it out. Very Smart Liberals dismiss this stuff, but they’re so smart that they support the cohort that’s driven this party into free fall.
calcified the Democratic Party is: They even unite behind an incumbent who is drowning in sleaze and corruption, who was just “severely admonished” by the Senate Ethics Committee, whose legal defense was funded by far-right figures, and who has used his senior leadership role to repeatedly join with the Bush-Cheney and right-wing GOP factions against his own party’s supposed positions. Not only do they unite behind him, but they ensure that no primary challenge can even happen — they deny their own voters the right to decide if they want Menendez — by making it impossible for any such challengers to raise money from funders who rely on the largesse of Democratic officeholders and who thus, do not want to run afoul of their decreed preferences.
In the 2018 cycle, spent the year documenting, the entire party apparatus is designed to ensure that only rich, establishment candidates can win, while doing everything possible to block and destroy the chances of outsider, insurgent candidates (see the superb reporting from my colleague Aída Chávez on Sunday about the obstacles put in front of working-class Democratic primary challenges, often by their own party’s structures). has yet been defeated by a primary challenge. As The Intercept’s political reporting team has
It’s a party that lacks any vibrancy or movement. It’s stilted, stifled, and ossified. They don’t even allow primary challenges to rotted incumbents who have oozed a suffocating stench of corruption during almost three decades of incumbency in Congress, even if that incumbent has repeatedly blocked the party’s own agenda. As was also demonstrated by Hillary Clinton’s recent endorsement of the corruption-tainted Andrew Cuomo over his progressive primary challenger, Cynthia Nixon, seeking to become New York state’s first female governor: All that matters to them is closing ranks around one another, clinging as tightly as they can to their own prerogatives, preventing anyone from disrupting their ability to greedily feed at the corporate-fueled trough which keeps them fat and satiated.
Those who think that this critical focus on Democrats will empower Trump and the Republicans, or that it serves the GOP’s interests, have it exactly backward. As Vox’s Matt Yglesias so deftly documented after Trump’s victory, “The Obama years have created a Democratic Party that’s essentially a smoking pile of rubble.”
A refusal to attempt to improve the party, to inject a new form of politics and new voices, to change what has caused its collapse as a national political force, will ensure more victories by more Trumps and more Republicans for years to come. And it’s hard to imagine anything that better exemplifies that sickness, that danger, than rank-closing around someone like Bob Menendez.