Walter Russell Mead has a very interesting post on the origins of the modern Democratic Party and the challenges it faces. Here’s a snippet:
President Obama–an African-American urban candidate who is also an intellectual comfortable with elevated talk about the nuances of reform with upper middle class whites–is the ideal candidate for the new Democratic core. One hundred years ago Woodrow Wilson played a similar role; a white southerner (and the first southerner in the White House since before the Civil War), he was also a college professor and president.
But the coalition President Obama heads is a much more fragile one. On one side you have the old time pols of the urban machines (like House Ways and Means Committee chair Charles Rangel); on the other you have the grim and determined brigades of morally uplifting upper middle class reform. It is a coalition of The New York Times and the contemporary version of Tammany Hall.
Read the whole thing.