Writing in The Week on Monday, Ryan Cooper argued that the Democrats have betrayed their New Deal heritage for a mess of neoliberalism. “Up through about the early 1970s, it had been a fairly straightforward working-class party, but after a generation of reform, under Bill Clinton it stood for a muddle of capitalism worship leavened with means-tested welfare programs,” Cooper contended. “At bottom, it was a left-inflected version of the same neoliberalism that comprises Republican Party doctrine.”
Perhaps the main takeaway is that the left critique of the Democratic Party can be valid without resorting to nostalgia. After all, the New Deal had a mixed legacy and was compromised on issues like race. So instead of simply pining for a mythical labor-dominated Democratic Party of the past, leftists might be better off trying to just make that a program for the future.