THE GOP CIVIL WAR: Inside the Battle for the Soul of the Republican Party

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Bush, have declined to attend this year's nominating convention in Cleveland and members of the "Never Trump" movement — a bevy of conservatives who have actively campaigned against the billionaire mogul's candidacy — are applauding the House Speaker's actions. Unceasing rebukes and never-ending threats have replaced limited government and strict adherence to the Constitution as the hallmarks of the Republican Party as this GOP civil war has raged on for nearly four years.

The incessant disunity and discord barreling through the party could be the possible death knell for the GOP as a national force for conservative politics. Perhaps more surprising, some prominent members on the right are publicly stating their intentions to cross the aisle and vote for likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton Biden on how to take on Trump: 'He's the bully that I knew my whole life' Democratic Senate hopes hinge on Trump tide Democrats connect with voters over beer MORE in November.

Even more troubling, this brouhaha between Ryan and Trump comes at a time when a unified GOP is most crucial to not only taking back the White House, but also maintaining control of both the Senate and House. Senate Republicans are defending 24 seats compared to only 10 for the Democrats; seven are in states President Obama carried twice.

Should more donors and voters stay on the sidelines as a result of continued in-fighting, there is a growing probability that Democrats take control of the Senate. Even the House Republican majority, the largest since before the New Deal, is in jeopardy of losing seats to Democrats as a result of the deep fissures plaguing the GOP. The rift between the GOP's most high-profile pols is real and if it continues unabated, Republicans could be looking at a historic wipeout in November. Ryan's fierce guardianship of the Republican House majority, along with his own future presidential ambitions, are being threatened by a Trump candidacy.

Meanwhile, his unwillingness to endorse the presumptive nominee is viewed by many within the base, not to mention Trump himself, as rocket-fuel for a Clinton presidential candidacy. However, a glimmer of hope exist as the two party leaders met in Washington recently to begin the delicate process of ironing out differences and potentially unifying a deeply fractured party. Yet major differences remain and the Clinton machine — with major fence-mending to do of its own — awaits. The latest blockbuster from Marvel, "Captain America: Civil War" — albeit fiction — illustrates the damage and carnage done by warring internal factions.

Again, although fiction, it could portend the direction for the Republican Party should a pathway to unity and cohesion fail to materialize. Wilson oversaw the U. However, in Wilson's political skills faltered and suddenly everything turned sour. The Senate rejected Versailles and the League, a nationwide wave of violent, unsuccessful strikes and race riots caused unrest and Wilson's health collapsed.

The Democrats lost by a landslide in , doing especially poorly in the cities, where the German-Americans deserted the ticket; and the Irish Catholics, who dominated the party apparatus, were unable to garner traction for the party in this election cycle. The entire decade saw the Democrats as an ineffective minority in Congress and as a weak force in most Northern states.

After the massive defeat in , the Democrats recovered most of their lost territory in the Congressional elections of The especially recovered in the border states, as well as the industrial cities, where the Irish and German element returned to that party. In addition, there was growing support among the more recent immigrants, who had become more Americanized.

Many ethnic families now had a veteran in their midst, and paid closer attention to national issues, such as the question of a bonus for veterans. There was also an expression of annoyance with the federal prohibition of beer and wine, and the closing of most saloons. Underwood in order to embarrass the front-runner, William Gibbs McAdoo. After much debate, the resolution failed by a single vote. The KKK faded away soon after, but the deep split in the party over cultural issues, especially prohibition, facilitated Republican landslides in and Roosevelt 's election as Governor of New York that year brought a new leader to center stage.

The internal battles and repeated defeats left the party discouraged and demoralized. To a considerable extent, the challenge of restoring morale was the province of historian Claude Bowers. His histories of the Democratic Party in its formative years from the s to the s helped shape the party's self-image as a powerful force against monopoly and privilege. His enormously popular books Party Battles of the Jackson Period and Jefferson and Hamilton: The Struggle for Democracy in America Argued for the political and moral superiority of the Democratic Party since the days of Jefferson versus the almost un-American faults of the Federalist Party , the Whig Party , and the Republican Party , as bastions of aristocracy.

Jefferson and Hamilton especially impressed his friend Franklin D Roosevelt. It inspired Roosevelt when he became president to build a great monument to the party's founder in the national capital, the Jefferson Memorial. According to Historian Merrill D. Peterson , the book conveyed:. The book was a mirror for Democrats. The Great Depression marred Hoover's term as the Democratic Party made large gains in the congressional elections and garnered a landslide win in The stock market crash of and the ensuing Great Depression set the stage for a more progressive government and Franklin D.

Roosevelt won a landslide victory in the election of , campaigning on a platform of "Relief, Recovery, and Reform", that is relief of unemployment and rural distress, recovery of the economy back to normal and long-term structural reforms to prevent a repetition of the Depression. This came to be termed " The New Deal " after a phrase in Roosevelt's acceptance speech.

The Democrats also swept to large majorities in both houses of Congress and among state governors. Roosevelt altered the nature of the party, away from laissez-faire capitalism and towards an ideology of economic regulation and insurance against hardship. Two old words took on new meanings: "liberal" now meant a supporter of the New Deal while "conservative" meant an opponent. Conservative Democrats were outraged and led by Al Smith they formed the American Liberty League in and counterattacked.

They failed and either retired from politics or joined the Republican Party. A few of them, such as Dean Acheson , found their way back to the Democratic Party. The programs, called "the First New Deal" by historians, represented a broad consensus. Roosevelt tried to reach out to business and labor, farmers and consumers, cities and countryside. However, by he was moving toward a more confrontational policy. After making gains in state governorships and in Congress, in Roosevelt embarked on an ambitious legislative program that came to be called "The Second New Deal ".

It was characterized by building up labor unions, nationalizing welfare by the WPA , setting up Social Security , imposing more regulations on business especially transportation and communications and raising taxes on business profits. Roosevelt's New Deal programs focused on job creation through public works projects as well as on social welfare programs such as Social Security. It also included sweeping reforms to the banking system, work regulation, transportation, communications and stock markets, as well as attempts to regulate prices.

His policies soon paid off by uniting a diverse coalition of Democratic voters called the New Deal coalition , which included labor unions, Southerners, minorities most significantly, Catholics and Jews and liberals. This united voter base allowed Democrats to be elected to Congress and the presidency for much of the next 30 years. After a triumphant re-election in , he announced plans to enlarge the Supreme Court , which tended to oppose his New Deal, by five new members. Roosevelt was defeated by an alliance of Republicans and conservative Democrats, who formed a conservative coalition that managed to block nearly all liberal legislation only a minimum wage law got through.

Annoyed by the conservative wing of his own party, Roosevelt made an attempt to rid himself of it and in he actively campaigned against five incumbent conservative Democratic senators, though all five senators won re-election. Under Roosevelt, the Democratic Party became identified more closely with modern liberalism, which included the promotion of social welfare , labor unions , civil rights and the regulation of business, as well as support for farmers and promotion of ethnic leaders. The opponents, who stressed long-term growth and support for entrepreneurship and low taxes, now started calling themselves "conservatives".

History of the United States Democratic Party

With a near disaster in with the so-called "recession" and the near defeat in Congress in , things looked bleak for the Democrats, but FDR decided that he with the upcoming crisis that would become World War II, he was irreplaceable he broke tradition and ran for a third, and later 4th term, taking a Democratic congress with him. Harry S. Truman took over after Roosevelt's death in and the rifts inside the party that Roosevelt had papered over began to emerge.

On the right, the Republicans blasted Truman's domestic policies. Eisenhower rejected their invitation they lacked an alternative. Truman counterattacked, pushing J. Strom Thurmond and his Dixiecrats out, as well as taking advantage of the splits inside the Republican Party and was thus reelected in a stunning surprise.

However, all of Truman's Fair Deal proposals, such as universal health care , were defeated by the Southern Democrats in Congress. His seizure of the steel industry was reversed by the Supreme Court. On the far-left, former Vice President Henry A. Wallace quit the party and ran for President as an independent in Wallace fared poorly and helped turn the anti-communist vote toward Truman.

By cooperating with internationalist Republicans, Truman succeeded in defeating isolationists on the right and supporters of softer lines on the Soviet Union on the left to establish a Cold War program that lasted until the fall of the Soviet Union in Wallace supporters and other Democrats who were farther left were pushed out of the party and the CIO in — by young anti-communists like Hubert Humphrey , Walter Reuther and Arthur Schlesinger Jr.

Hollywood emerged in the s as an important new base in the party and was led by movie-star politicians such as Ronald Reagan , who strongly supported Roosevelt and Truman at this time. In foreign policy, Europe was safe, but troubles mounted in Asia as China fell to the communists in Truman entered the Korean War without formal Congressional approval. When the war turned to a stalemate and he fired General Douglas MacArthur in , Republicans blasted his policies in Asia. A series of petty scandals among friends and buddies of Truman further tarnished his image, allowing the Republicans in to crusade against "Korea, Communism and Corruption".

Truman dropped out of the Presidential race early in , leaving no obvious successor. The convention nominated Adlai Stevenson in and , only to see him overwhelmed by two Eisenhower landslides. The landslide of General Dwight D Eisenhower over Adlai Stevenson brought to the White House might of the most liked and most experienced leaders of the era. It also brought brief Republican control to both houses of Congress for one term. Johnson held the party together, often by compromising with Eisenhower.

In , the party made dramatic gains in the midterms and seemed to have a permanent lock on Congress, thanks largely to organized labor. Indeed, Democrats had majorities in the House every election from to except and Most Southern Congressmen were conservative Democrats and they usually worked with conservative Republicans. The counterbalance to the conservative coalition was the Democratic Study Group , which led the charge to liberalize the institutions of Congress and eventually pass a great deal of the Kennedy—Johnson program.

Although the Republicans gain brief control of Congress in , the Democrats were back in control in Johnson worked closely with President Eisenhower, so the partisanship was at the lowest intensity in the 20th century. The election of John F. Kennedy in over then-Vice President Richard Nixon re-energized the party. His youth, vigor and intelligence caught the popular imagination. New programs like the Peace Corps harnessed idealism. In terms of legislation, Kennedy was stalemated by the conservative coalition.

Though Kennedy's term in office lasted only about a thousand days, he tried to hold back communist gains after the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba and the construction of the Berlin Wall and sent 16, soldiers to Vietnam to advise the hard-pressed South Vietnamese army. He challenged America in the Space Race to land an American man on the moon by Kennedy also pushed for civil rights and racial integration , one example being Kennedy assigning federal marshals to protect the Freedom Riders in the South.

His election did mark the coming of age of the Catholic component of the New Deal Coalition. After , middle class Catholics started voting Republican in the same proportion as their Protestant neighbors. Except for the Chicago of Richard J. Daley , the last of the Democratic machines faded away. President Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, in Dallas, Texas.

Then-Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as the new President. Johnson, heir to the New Deal ideals, broke the conservative coalition in Congress and passed a remarkable number of laws, known as the Great Society. Johnson succeeded in passing major civil rights laws that restarted racial integration in the South.

At the same time, Johnson escalated the Vietnam War , leading to an inner conflict inside the Democratic Party that shattered the party in the elections of The Democratic Party platform of the s was largely formed by the ideals of President Johnson's " Great Society " The New Deal coalition began to fracture as more Democratic leaders voiced support for civil rights, upsetting the party's traditional base of Southern Democrats and Catholics in Northern cities. Segregationist George Wallace capitalized on Catholic unrest in Democratic primaries in and After Harry Truman's platform gave strong support to civil rights and anti- segregation laws during the Democratic National Convention , many Southern Democratic delegates decided to split from the party and formed the " Dixiecrats ", led by South Carolina governor Strom Thurmond who as Senator would later join the Republican Party.

Thurmond carried the Deep South in the election, but Johnson carried the rest of the South. Meanwhile, in the North far left elements were leaving the Democrats to join Henry A. Wallace in his new Progressive Party. They possibly cost Johnson New York, but he won reelection anyway. On the other hand, African Americans , who had traditionally given strong support to the Republican Party since its inception as the "anti-slavery party", after switching the vast majority of their votes in the thirties due to the New Deal benefits, continued to shift to the Democratic Party, largely due to the advocacy of and support for civil rights by such prominent Democrats as Hubert Humphrey and Eleanor Roosevelt , and the switch of local machines to the Democrats as in Chicago.

Although Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower carried half the South in and and Senator Barry Goldwater also carried five Southern states in , Democrat Jimmy Carter carried all of the South except Virginia and there was no long-term realignment until Ronald Reagan 's sweeping victories in the South in and The party's dramatic reversal on civil rights issues culminated when Democratic President Lyndon B.

Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act of The act was passed in both House and Senate by a Republican majority and support from Democrats in Northern and Western states. Many Democrats and Republicans from the South opposed the act. The year marked a major crisis for the party. Senator Eugene McCarthy rallied intellectuals and anti-war students on college campuses and came within a few percentage points of defeating Johnson in the New Hampshire primary :Johnson was permanently weakened.

Four days later, Senator Robert Kennedy , brother of the late President, entered the race. Johnson stunned the nation on March 31 when he withdrew from the race and four weeks later his Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey , entered the race, though he did not run in any primary. Kennedy and McCarthy traded primary victories while Humphrey gathered the support of labor unions and the big-city bosses. Kennedy won the critical California primary on June 4, but he was assassinated that night. Even as Kennedy won California, Humphrey had already amassed 1, of the 1, delegate votes needed for the nomination, while Kennedy had about Meanwhile, Alabama's Democratic governor George C.

Shaking up the GOP after Obama

Wallace launched a third-party campaign and at one point was running second to the Republican candidate Richard Nixon. Nixon barely won, with the Democrats retaining control of Congress. The party was now so deeply split that it would not again win a majority of the popular vote for president until , when Jimmy Carter won the popular vote in with The degree to which the Southern Democrats had abandoned the party became evident in the presidential election when the electoral votes of every former Confederate state except Texas went to either Republican Richard Nixon or independent Wallace.

Humphrey's electoral votes came mainly from the Northern states, marking a dramatic reversal from the election 20 years earlier, when the losing Republican electoral votes were concentrated in the same states. Following the party's defeat in , the McGovern-Fraser Commission proposed and the party adopted far-reaching changes in how national convention delegates were selected. More power over the presidential nominee selection accrued to the rank and file and presidential primaries became significantly more important.

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McGovern's forces at the national convention ousted Mayor Richard J. Daley and the entire Chicago delegation, replacing them with insurgents led by Jesse Jackson. The effects that George McGovern 's defeat in the election had on the Democratic Party would be long lasting, but was interrupted by the Nixon scandal temporarily halted the party's decline in ways that were entirely unexpected.

In , mistrust of the administration, complicated by a combination of economic recession and inflation, sometimes called " stagflation ", led to Ford's defeat by Jimmy Carter , a former Governor of Georgia. Carter won as a little-known outsider by promising honesty in Washington, a message that played well to voters as he swept the South and won narrowly. Carter had served as a naval officer, a farmer, a state senator and a one-term governor. His only experience with federal politics was when he chaired the Democratic National Committee's congressional and gubernatorial elections in Some of Carter's major accomplishments consisted of the creation of a national energy policy and the consolidation of governmental agencies, resulting in two new cabinet departments, the United States Department of Energy and the United States Department of Education.

Carter also successfully deregulated the trucking, airline, rail, finance, communications and oil industries thus backtracking on the New Deal approach to regulation of the economy , bolstered the social security system and appointed record numbers of women and minorities to significant government and judicial posts. In addition, he championed human rights throughout the world and used human rights as the center of his administration's foreign policy. Even with all of these successes, Carter failed to implement a national health plan or to reform the tax system as he had promised in his campaign and inflation was also on the rise.

Abroad, the Iranians held 52 Americans hostage for days and Carter's diplomatic and military rescue attempts failed. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan later that year further disenchanted some Americans with Carter. The Democrats lost 12 Senate seats and for the first time since the Republicans controlled the Senate, though the House remained in Democratic hands. Democrats who supported many conservative policies were instrumental in the election of Republican President Ronald Reagan in Bush in , producing their landslide victories. Reagan Democrats were mostly white ethnics in the Northeast and Midwest who were attracted to Reagan's social conservatism on issues such as abortion and to his strong foreign policy.

They did not continue to vote Republican in or , so the term fell into disuse except as a reference to the s. The term is not used to describe White Southerners who became permanent Republicans in presidential elections. Stan Greenberg , a Democratic pollster, analyzed white ethnic voters — largely unionized auto workers — in suburban Macomb County, Michigan , just north of Detroit.

The county voted 63 percent for Kennedy in and 66 percent for Reagan in He concluded that Reagan Democrats no longer saw Democrats as champions of their middle class aspirations, but instead saw it as a party working primarily for the benefit of others, especially African Americans, advocacy groups of the political left and the very poor. The failure to hold the Reagan Democrats and the white South led to the final collapse of the New Deal coalition. It worked to move the party rightwards to the ideological center in order to recover some of the fundraising that had been lost to the Republicans due to corporate donors supporting Reagan.

The goal was to retain left-of-center voters as well as moderates and conservatives on social issues to become a catch all party with widespread appeal to most opponents of the Republicans. Despite this, Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis , running not as a New Dealer but as an efficiency expert in public administration, lost by a landslide in to Vice President George H. For nearly a century after Reconstruction , the white South identified with the Democratic Party.

The Democrats' lock on power was so strong the region was called the Solid South , although the Republicans controlled parts of the Appalachian mountains and they competed for statewide office in the border states. Before , Southern Democrats believed that their party, with its respect for states' rights and appreciation of traditional southern values, was the defender of the Southern way of life.

Southern Democrats warned against aggressive designs on the part of Northern liberals and Republicans and civil rights activists whom they denounced as "outside agitators". The adoption of the strong civil rights plank by the convention and the integration of the armed forces by President Harry S. Truman 's Executive Order , which provided for equal treatment and opportunity for African-American servicemen, drove a wedge between the Northern and Southern branches of the party. With the presidency of John F.

Kennedy the Democratic Party began to embrace the Civil Rights Movement and its lock on the South was irretrievably broken. Johnson prophesied: "We have lost the South for a generation". Modernization had brought factories, national businesses and larger, more cosmopolitan cities such as Atlanta , Dallas , Charlotte and Houston to the South, as well as millions of migrants from the North and more opportunities for higher education.

Meanwhile, the cotton and tobacco economy of the traditional rural South faded away, as former farmers commuted to factory jobs.

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As the South became more like the rest of the nation, it could not stand apart in terms of racial segregation. Integration and the Civil Rights Movement caused enormous controversy in the white South, with many attacking it as a violation of states' rights. When segregation was outlawed by court order and by the Civil Rights Acts of and , a die-hard element resisted integration, led by Democratic governors Orval Faubus of Arkansas, Lester Maddox of Georgia and especially George Wallace of Alabama. These populist governors appealed to a less-educated, blue-collar electorate that on economic grounds favored the Democratic Party and opposed desegregation.

After , most Southerners accepted integration with the exception of public schools. Believing themselves betrayed by the Democratic Party, traditional White Southerners joined the new middle-class and the Northern transplants in moving toward the Republican Party. Meanwhile, newly enfranchised black voters began supporting Democratic candidates at the 80—90 percent levels, producing Democratic leaders such as Julian Bond and John Lewis of Georgia and Barbara Jordan of Texas.

Just as Martin Luther King had promised, integration had brought about a new day in Southern politics. In addition to its white middle-class base, Republicans attracted strong majorities among evangelical Christians , who prior to the s were largely apolitical. Exit polls in the presidential election showed that George W. One-third of the Southern voters said they were white Evangelicals and they voted for Bush by 80— The Democrats included a strong element that came of age in opposition to the Vietnam War and remained hostile toward American military interventions.

President Bush formed an international coalition and secured United Nations approval to expel Iraq. Congress on January 12, authorized by a narrow margin the use of military force against Iraq, with Republicans in favor and Democrats opposed. The vote in the House was — and in the Senate 52— In the Senate, 42 Republicans and 10 Democrats voted yes to war, while 45 Democrats and two Republicans voted no.

In the House, Republicans and 86 Democrats voted yes and Democrats, three Republicans and one Independent voted no. In the s, the Democratic Party revived itself, in part by moving to the right on economic policy. During President Bill Clinton 's term, the Congress balanced the federal budget for the first time since the Kennedy Presidency and presided over a robust American economy that saw incomes grow across the board. In , the economy had the lowest combination of unemployment and inflation in 25 years.

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President Clinton also signed into law several gun control bills, including the Brady Bill , which imposed a five-day waiting period on handgun purchases; and he also signed into legislation a ban on many types of semi-automatic firearms which expired in His Family and Medical Leave Act , covering some 40 million Americans, offered workers up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-guaranteed leave for childbirth or a personal or family illness.

He deployed the U. However, the Democrats lost their majority in both Houses of Congress in Clinton vetoed two Republican-backed welfare reform bills before signing the third, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of Labor unions, which had been steadily losing membership since the s, found they had also lost political clout inside the Democratic Party and Clinton enacted the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico over unions' strong objections. In the s the Clinton Administration continued the free market, or neoliberal , reforms which began under the Reagan Administration.

Historian Walter Scheidel also posits that both parties shifted to free markets in the s:. Both Carter and Clinton quietly abandoned the New Deal style of aggressive support for welfare for the poor and support for the working-class and labor unions. They downplayed traditional Democratic hostility toward business, and aggressive regulation of the economy. Carter and Clinton agreed on a greater reliance on the market economy—As conservatives have long demanded.

They gave control of inflation priority over reduction in unemployment. They both sought balanced budgets—and Clinton actually succeeded in generating a federal budget surplus. During the presidential election , the Democrats chose Vice President Al Gore to be the party's candidate for the presidency. Gore ran against George W. Bush , the Republican candidate and son of former President George H.

The issues Gore championed include debt reduction , tax cuts, foreign policy, public education, global warming , judicial appointments and affirmative action. Nevertheless, Gore's affiliation with Clinton and the DLC caused critics to assert that Bush and Gore were too similar, especially on free trade, reductions in social welfare and the death penalty. Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader in particular was very vocal in his criticisms. Gore won a popular plurality of over , votes over Bush, but lost in the Electoral College by four votes.

Many Democrats blamed Nader's third-party spoiler role for Gore's defeat. They pointed to the states of New Hampshire 4 electoral votes and Florida 25 electoral votes , where Nader's total votes exceeded Bush's margin of victory. In Florida, Nader received 97, votes and Bush defeated Gore by a mere Controversy plagued the election and Gore largely dropped from elective politics. Despite Gore's close defeat, the Democrats gained five seats in the Senate including the election of Hillary Clinton in New York to turn a 55—45 Republican edge into a 50—50 split with a Republican Vice President breaking a tie.

However, when Republican Senator Jim Jeffords of Vermont decided in to become an independent and vote with the Democratic caucus, the majority status shifted along with the seat, including control of the floor by the Majority Leader and control of all committee chairmanships. However, the Republicans regained their Senate majority with gains in and , leaving the Democrats with only 44 seats, the fewest since the s. In the aftermath of the September 11, attacks , the nation's focus was changed to issues of national security.

The Democrats were split over entering Iraq in and increasingly expressed concerns about both the justification and progress of the War on Terrorism as well as the domestic effects from the Patriot Act. In the wake of the financial fraud scandal of the Enron Corporation and other corporations, Congressional Democrats pushed for a legal overhaul of business accounting with the intention of preventing further accounting fraud.

This led to the bipartisan Sarbanes-Oxley Act in With job losses and bankruptcies across regions and industries increasing in and , the Democrats generally campaigned on the issue of economic recovery. That did not work for them in , as the Democrats lost a few seats in the U. House of Representatives. They lost three seats in the Senate Georgia as Max Cleland was unseated, Minnesota as Paul Wellstone died and his succeeding Democratic candidate lost the election and Missouri as Jean Carnahan was unseated.

The election led to another round of soul searching about the party's narrowing base. Democrats had further losses , when a voter recall unseated the unpopular Democratic governor of California Gray Davis and replaced him with Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger. The campaign started as early as December , when Gore announced he would not run again in the election.

Howard Dean , former Governor of Vermont, an opponent of the war at first was the front-runner. His erratic public behavior doomed him. Democrats pulled together in attacking Bush's war in Iraq. Kerry by a 3 million vote margin out of over million votes and lost four Senate seats.

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The Democrats had only 44 Senators, their fewest since the s. A bright spot came with the win by Barack Obama in Illinois. After the election, prominent Democrats began to rethink the party's direction. Some Democrats proposed moving towards the right to regain seats in the House and Senate and possibly win the Presidency in , while others demanded that the party move more to the left and become a stronger opposition party. One topic of deep debate was the party's policies surrounding reproductive rights.

These debates were reflected in the campaign for Chairman of the Democratic National Committee , which Howard Dean won over the objections of many party insiders. Dean sought to move the Democratic strategy away from the establishment and bolster support for the party's state organizations, even in red states the fifty-state strategy. When the th Congress convened, Harry Reid , the new Senate Minority Leader , tried to convince the Democratic Senators to vote more as a bloc on important issues and he forced the Republicans to abandon their push for privatization of Social Security.

Negative public opinion on the Iraq War , widespread dissatisfaction over the ballooning federal deficit and the inept handling of the Hurricane Katrina disaster dragged down President Bush's job approval ratings. As a result of gains in the midterm elections , the Democratic Party had control of both houses of Congress. The Democrats also went from controlling a minority of governorships to a majority. There were also gains in various state legislatures, giving the Democrats control of a plurality of them nationwide.

No Democratic incumbent was defeated and no Democratic-held open seat was lost in a major race. Both conservative and populist candidates did well. Both had won more support within a major American political party than any previous African American or female candidate. Before official ratification at the Democratic National Convention , Obama emerged as the party's presumptive nominee.

With President George W. Throughout most of the general election , polls showed a close race between Obama and John McCain. However, Obama maintained a small but widening lead over McCain in the wake of the liquidity crisis of September On November 4, Obama defeated McCain by a significant margin in the Electoral College and the party also made further gains in the Senate and House, adding to its gains.

On January 20, , Obama was inaugurated as the 44th president of the United States in a ceremony attended by nearly 2 million people, the largest congregation of spectators ever to witness the inauguration of a new President. During the meeting, they agreed to bring Congress to a standstill regardless of how much it would hurt the American economy by pledging to obstruct and block President Obama on all legislation. One of the first acts by the Obama administration after assuming control was an order signed by Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel that suspended all pending federal regulations proposed by outgoing President George W.

Bush so that they could be reviewed. This was comparable to prior moves by the Bush administration upon assuming control from Bill Clinton , who in his final 20 days in office issued 12 executive orders. Bush's weekly radio addresses. Also during his first days, the Obama administration reversed the following significant George W. Obama also issued Executive Order , ordering the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp , although it remained open throughout his presidency. He also lifted some travel and money restrictions to Cuba, ended the Mexico City Policy and signed an order requiring the Army Field Manual to be used as guide for terror interrogations, which banned torture and other coercive techniques, such as waterboarding.

Obama also announced stricter guidelines regarding lobbyists in an effort to raise the ethical standards of the White House. It also bans aides on staff from working on matters they have previously lobbied on, or to approach agencies that they targeted while on staff. Their ban also included a gift-giving ban. During the beginning of Obama Presidency emerged the Tea Party movement , a conservative movement that began to heavily influence the Republican Party within the United States, shifting the GOP further right-wing and partisan in their ideology.

On February 18, , Obama announced that the U. Obama promised to withdraw all combat troops from Iraq by August 31, and a "transitional force" of up to 50, counterterrorism , advisory, training and support personnel by the end of Obama signed two presidential memorandum concerning energy independence, ordering the Department of Transportation to establish higher fuel efficiency standards before models are released and allowing states to raise their emissions standards above the national standard.

Sotomayor was confirmed by the Senate becoming the highest ranking government official of Puerto Rican heritage ever. On July 7, , Al Franken was sworn into the Senate, thus Senate Democrats obtained the 60 vote threshold to overcome the Senate filibuster. Hate Crimes Prevention Act , which expanded federal hate crime laws to include sexual orientation , gender identity and disability.

Federal Election Commission that the First Amendment prohibited the government from restricting independent political expenditures by a nonprofit corporation. On February 4, , Republican Scott Brown of Massachusetts was sworn into the Senate, thus ending Senate Democrats 60 vote threshold to overcome a filibuster. On March 23, , President Obama signed into law his signature legislation of his presidency, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act , together with the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of , which represents the most significant regulatory overhaul of the U.

Operation Iraqi Freedom is over, and the Iraqi people now have lead responsibility for the security of their country". New Dawn was the final designated U. The U. On November 2, during the midterm elections , the Democratic Party had a net loss of six seats in the Senate and 63 seats in the House.

The Democrats lost a net of six state governorships and a net seats in state legislatures. The Democrats lost control of seven state Senate legislatures and 13 state Houses. This was the worst performance of the Democratic Party in a national election since the elections. The Blue Dog Coalition numbers in the House were reduced from 54 members in to 26 members in and were half of the Democratic defeats during the election.

Many commentators contribute the electoral success of the Republican Party in to the conservative Super PACs' campaign spending, Tea Party movement, backlash against President Obama, failure to mobilize the Obama coalition to get out and vote and the failure of President Obama to enact many of his progressive and liberal campaign promises. On December 1, , Obama announced at the U. Military Academy in West Point that the U. On December 18, , the Arab Spring began. On 22 December , the U. Senate gave its advice and consent to ratification of New START by a vote of 71 to 26 on the resolution of ratification.

The th United States Congress has been considered one of the most productive Congresses in history in terms of legislation passed since the 89th Congress , during Lyndon Johnson's Great Society. Ambassador Susan Rice and Office of Multilateral and Human Rights Director Samantha Power led the hawkish diplomatic team within the Obama administration that helped convince President Obama in favor airstrikes against Libyan government.

On March 19, , the United States began military intervention in Libya. United States domestic reaction to the military intervention in Libya were mixed in the Democratic Party. Opponents to the military intervention in Libya within the Democratic Party include Rep. Dennis Kucinich , Sen.

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Jim Webb , Rep. Raul Grijalva , Rep. Mike Honda , Rep. Lynn Woolsey and Rep.

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  • International Watercourses Law in the Nile River Basin: Three States at a Crossroads.

Barbara Lee. The Congressional Progressive Caucus CPC , an organization of progressive Democrats, said that the United States should conclude its campaign against Libyan air defenses as soon as possible. Carl Levin , Sen. Dick Durbin , Sen. Jack Reed , Sen. Bush administration. In the House of Representatives, Democratic Representatives largely opposed these agreements, while Senate Democrats were split on the agreements. This was a continuation of President Bill Clinton's policy of support for free trade agreements.

When asked by David Gregory about his views on same-sex marriage on Meet the Press on May 5, , Biden stated he supported same-sex marriage. The Democratic Party platform for Obama's reelection ran over 26, words and included his position on numerous national issues. On security issues, it pledges "unshakable commitment to Israel 's security", says the party will try to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

It calls for a strong military, but argues that in the current fiscal environment, tough budgetary decisions must include defense spending. On controversial social issues it supports abortion rights, same-sex marriage and says the party is "strongly committed to enacting comprehensive immigration reform". It "adamantly oppose any efforts to privatize Medicare ". On the rules of politics it attacks the recent Supreme Court decision Citizens United v.

Federal Election Commission that allows much greater political spending. It demands "immediate action to curb the influence of lobbyists and special interests on our political institutions". Intense budget negotiations in the divided th Congress , wherein Democrats resolved to fight Republican demands for decreased spending and no tax hikes, threatened to shut down the government in April [] and later spurred fears that the United States would default on its debt.

Continuing tight budgets were felt at the state level, where public-sector unions , a key Democratic constituency, battled Republican efforts to limit their collective bargaining powers in order to save money and reduce union power. This led to sustained protests by public-sector employees and walkouts by sympathetic Democratic legislators in states like Wisconsin and Ohio.

The " Occupy movement ". However, echoes could be found in the presidential nomination campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders in — Conservatives criticized the president for "passive" responses to crises such as the Iranian protests and the Egyptian revolution. Additionally, liberal and Democratic activists objected to Obama's decisions to send reinforcements to Afghanistan , resume military trials of terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay and to help enforce a no-fly zone over Libya during that country's civil war.

However, the demands of anti-war advocates were heeded when Obama followed through on a campaign promise to withdraw combat troops from Iraq. The election was characterized by very high spending, especially on negative television ads in about ten critical states. Despite a weak economic recovery and high unemployment, the Obama campaign successfully mobilized its coalition of youth, blacks, Hispanics and women. The campaign carried all the same states as in except two, Indiana and North Carolina. The election continued the pattern whereby Democrats won more votes in all presidential elections after , except for Obama and the Democrats lost control of the Senate in the midterm elections , losing nine seats in that body and 13 in the GOP House.

National polling from to the summer of showed Hillary Clinton with an overwhelming commanding lead over all of her potential primary opponents.

Battle hymns of the Republicans: Trump civil war is just getting started

Her main challenger was independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders , whose rallies grew larger and larger as he attracted overwhelming majorities among Democrats under age The sharp divide between the two candidates was the establishment versus the political outsider, with Clinton being the establishment candidate and Sanders the outsider.

Clinton received the endorsements from an overwhelming majority of office holders. Clinton's core base voters during the primary was women, African Americans, Latino Americans, LGBTs, moderates and older voters, while Sanders' core base included younger voters under age 40, men and progressives. The ideological differences between the two candidates represented the ideological divide within the Democratic Party as a whole. Clinton, who cast herself as a moderate and a progressive, is ideologically more of a centrist , representing the Third Way , New Democrat wing of the Democratic Party, as Bill Clinton and Barack Obama did.

On January 12, , the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, a organization that focuses on redistricting reform and is affiliated with the Democratic Party. The chair, president and vice president of the umbrella organization is the 82th Attorney General Eric Holder , Elizabeth Pearson and Alixandria "Ali" Lapp respectively.

The organization, formed as a result of the United States presidential election, has a stated goal of reforming the Democratic Party by running "a unified campaign to replace every corporate-backed member of Congress and rebuild the [Democratic] party from scratch" starting in the Congressional midterms. The money will be spent to conduct extensive research, reporting and polling in Rust Belt states that once formed a Blue Wall , but which voted for President Donald Trump in The Democratic National Committee chairmanship election was characterized primarily as being between the two candidates for the chairmanship, United States Representative for Minnesota's 5th congressional district Keith Ellison and 26th United States Secretary of Labor Tom Perez.

In November , the Democrats gained 40 seats in the House of Representatives. Nancy Pelosi was nominated to retake the speakership in January On January 3, , the new, Democratically controlled House took office. The focus is promised to be on healthcare, voting rights and oversight of the myriad scandals of the Trump administration. In addition, there is growing support for a Green New Deal : A set of laws, taxes, and projects that seek to drastically reduce carbon emissions and provide Americans with a plethora of jobs in the process. A notable new asset to the democratic caucus is Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez , who at 29, is the youngest woman elected to congress.

Ocasio-Cortez is an emerging leader in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, and her positions, campaign strategies, and support base indicate a leftward shift in Democratic politics. The national committees of major parties published a "campaign textbook" every presidential election from about to about They were designed for speakers and contain statistics, speeches, summaries of legislation, and documents, with plenty of argumentation. Only large academic libraries have them, but some are online:.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For information about the current Democratic Party, including its current composition and ideology, as well as a concise history of the party, see Democratic Party United States. The oldest voter-based political party in the world. Democratic Party. Politics of United States Political parties Elections.

Main article: Jacksonian democracy. Main article: United States presidential election, Main articles: United States presidential election, ; John Kerry presidential campaign, ; and Democratic Party United States presidential primaries, Main article: Presidency of Barack Obama. Further information: Political positions of the Democratic Party presidential primary candidates, Main article: National Democratic Redistricting Committee. Main article: Protests against Donald Trump. Main article: Inauguration of Donald Trump. Main article: Donald Trump speech to joint session of Congress, February Main article: State of the Union Address.

Main article: Justice Democrats. Main article: Third Way United States. Main article: Onward Together. admin