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The Center Cannot Hold: Ryan Grim on Democrats in Turmoil

  • A highly readable and timely account of the Democratic Party’s fall from power also points the way to its redemption.
  • Related: Caution: Moderate Democrats Ahead

Jessica Goodheart, LA Progressive / Capital & Main 26, 2019 | Political journalist Ryan Grim had been wanting to write a book about the battle between the Democratic Party’s progressive and centrist wings for almost a decade. But as he covered battles over Obamacare, the rise of the Tea Party and financial reform, he hesitated, not wanting to leave people feeling hopeless. It wasn’t until Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s surprise congressional victory last year that he pulled the trigger on what became the highly readable and timely We’ve Got People: From Jesse Jackson to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the End of Big Money and the Rise of a Movement, out last month from Strong Arm Press.

Grim says that Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign, the grassroots resistance to Trump and Ocasio-Cortez’s win offered him an optimistic through line. In a conversation with Capital & Main, Grim argues for an unabashed, risk-taking progressivism and pushes back on the notion that swing voters are persuaded by centrist politics.

Jessica Goodheart is Capital & Main’s senior business reporter. She has written for the Los Angeles Times, the L.A. Reader and UPI, among other publications. Prior to joining Capital & Main, she worked at the L.A. Alliance for a New Economy, where she served as research director, authoring numerous reports on labor, employment and economic issues.

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Caution: Moderate Democrats Ahead, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest / "There's nothing in the middle of the road," the progressive populist Jim Hightower of Texas famously quipped, "but yellow stripes and dead Armadillos."

  • Part 1: Beware the Moderate Democrat
  • Why the centrist extremists are an incredibly dangerous political animal
  • Part 2: ‘Socialism surging in Iowa’ gives cold feet to centrist Democrats contemplating 2020 run: report
  • it might be the centrists who are getting cold feet.
  • Part 3: The Last Thing America Needs Right Now is a 'Centrist Independent'
  • Howard Schultz is contemplating a run for president, while Kamala Harris leans into Obama-style rhetoric. God Help Us All.