It is long past the time for the Democratic Party to embrace its true electoral base, that portion of the 99%, not so encumbered by racism that they are incapable of voting their own interest. I suspect that the Democratic Party will find that there are a lot of us out there. While what constitutes the majority of the progressive movement is to the left of our previous (and present) "centrist" presidents, the extreme left is essentially held at bay. However, the Republican Party has been high jacked by, and has embraced, its extreme right and true electoral base, perhaps irrevocably.
Their fears of a "socialist" or far left leaning Democratic president has never been warranted, and certainly was not realized in the election of President Obama. In my opinion, President Obama is slightly right of President Clinton.
This is a nation that hasn't seen a real progressive presidential administration since FDR. At best, what America has seen, over the last few generations, were a series of "centrist" presidents from both parties, ironically with the exception of Presidents Johnson and Reagan. We even had a Republican president who warned us of the emergence of the "Military-Industrial Complex".
It was President Johnson's aggressive support of Civil Rights legislation and his "War on Poverty", both inextricably bound by race, that set the stage for the election of President Reagan, with his war on "welfare". What followed, were the conservative presidential appointments to the Supreme Court (which led directly the Supreme Court’s appointment of George W. Bush as President of the United States in 2000). The right’s assaults on social safety nets only became worse, and for a Democrat to be elected president, the furthest "left" he (or she) could be was "center-right". And for the most part they were.
Even still, the rightwing threw everything they could at President Clinton. While they failed on one level, and Clinton was re-elected, they succeeded on another. They set the stage for George W. Bush, and the ascension of far right conservative ideals. Mobilized and financed by rightwing billionaires, coached by the likes of Karl Rove and Grover Norquist, these far right ideals so impacts the poor and middle class, they have to lie about their true agenda, and lie about the progressive agenda.
Bush further seeded the Supreme Court with even more right wing biased appointments. Thus, came the Supreme Court’s “Citizen’s United’ decision, giving corporations personhood and, as such, the freedom of speech. In this decision, the Supreme Court said they leveled the playing ground between unions and corporations. Corporations, with billions of dollars in resources, could now compete with the unions with its hundreds of thousands of dollars in resources. This, along with the voter suppression tactics implemented in many states, is designed to solidify conservative ideology in American governance.
While the far rightwing ideals gained purchase, partly because they were camouflaged (albeit thinly), by far, what the far right's battle with Clinton lacked was an important element that would propel them into national prominence and influence, RACE.