Kind of a truism, I know. But it can never be forgotten that Democrats’ entire political apparatus is built on appealing to such a thing, even though basically nobody splits a ballot anymore, even though less crazy Republicans will emotionally empathize with the nuts in their own party more than us, etc. (David Brooks and Ross Douthat may be #NeverTrumpers now, but go look at their columns from 2010. Like this one.) Too many Democrats run for office as bipartisan, nonideological problem solvers/civility mavens who never really want to ideologically spar with conservatives and seem to think that Republicans being unacceptable will be enough. I don’t think it’s entirely a legacy of the DLC or the Blue Dogs because Bill Clinton himself wasn’t exactly like that. He had no problem with sparring with Newt Gingrich! It’s probably more just the presumption that they don’t have to take out the bad Republicans because the people will just see the truth, or because the media will do its job, etc. In essence, that the broad center will hold. Joni Ernst can’t win because she’s nuts, so we can go for the capillaries and expect everyone else to do the job for us!

Say what you like about Bernie and his followers, but they assume none of this.

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