After two nights of the Democrats’ presidential field debating each other, it’s clear that they are doing harm to their party’s prospects of regaining the presidency in 2020. Part of the problem is a field so large that a circular firing squad is inevitable. As the field is winnowed down, there will be fewer grenades hurled at the frontrunner(s), but it is likely that the surviving candidates will be the most ambitious and ruthless among them, and they will not be tempted to take the high road. So, if anything, the attacks will intensify and gain focus.
But a bigger problem is the nature of the party’s base voters, whose support is essential for winning the nomination. That base has become so radicalized that the positions necessary to win its support — socialism, the Green New Deal, and impeachment among them — are repellant to the rest of the country and ensure a loss in November 2020.
Best of all, there is absolutely nothing the Democrats can do to solve these problems; they are baked into the party and the structural situation it faces. […]
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