Political writer discusses Democratic tug of war

09/06/07 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday | Listen to this entire show:

Ever since Howard Dean announced more than four years ago that he represented the “Democratic wing” of the Democratic Party and received thunderous applause for his anti-war views, the battle for the heart of the Democratic Party has surfaced in public, most notably on the internet, where young bloggers have become a force for a more liberal, politically savvy change.

Matt Bai of the New York Times Magazine has been covering this battle over the past several years, and has just written a new book about it called The Argument: Billionairs, Bloggers, and the Battle to remake Democratic Politics.

WMNF spoke with Bai today. We began by recounting one of the last stories in his densely packed work. It involves one of the standard bearers of the American Left, former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo. Cuomo was speaking to a Democratic leaning audience after last year’s Congressional elections, where the Democrats took over the House and Senate for the first time in 12 years.

Cuomo told his audience that the Democrats were given a gift: Iraq. He said other than that, the party still didn’t have many new ideas, certainly not anything new since the 2004 election.

WMNF asked Bai if this anecdote wasn’t, in essence, the whole point of his book. Democrats have new machinery to win elections, but are their philosophy and ideas bringing anybody new to the party?

Part 2 of our interview with Bai will air tomorrow night.

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