Over at Washington Monthly, Martin Longman offers a provocative meditation on “the Establishment.”
There’s a growing consensus that our establishment has failed us and isn’t worthy. Self-correction has broken down. Accountability is in short supply.
We can’t abolish the establishment. They are always with us in every society. But they need to –we need them to– get their act together.
Longman provides some interesting historical examples – the 1972 election when the Democratic establishment couldn’t bring itself to support McGovern but tried to salvage the down ticket races, 1944 when Wilkie and FDR explored the idea of creating a new liberal, political party (abandoned because “the need was perceived at the time by the establishment of both parties because events were too fraught to leave the conservatives in charge of something as powerful as one of our two viable political parties”).
The Republican establishment is in shambles. The Democratic establishment is facing a profound challenge from Bernie Sanders (one they can’t dismiss but can’t fully engage). The establishment has too much invested in keeping things working to let them go to hell, but they need to stop being so damned complacent and act now.