The following is an excerpt from ALEXANDER BURNS and JONATHAN MARTIN | June 11, 2017 | Nytimes.com |
DUNWOODY, Ga. — Democrats are facing an open breach between the demands of their political base and the strict limits of their power, as liberal activists dream of transforming the health care system and impeaching President Trump, while candidates in hard-fought elections ask wary independent voters merely for a fresh chance at governing.
The growing tension between the party’s ascendant militant wing and Democrats in conservative-leaning terrain, where the party must compete to win power in Congress, was on vivid, split-screen display over the weekend: in Chicago, where Senator Bernie Sanders led a revival-style meeting of his progressive devotees, and in Atlanta, where Democrats are spending colossal sums of money in hopes of seizing a traditionally Republican congressional district.
It may be essential for Democrats to reconcile the party’s two clashing impulses if they are to retake the House of Representatives in 2018. In a promising political environment, a drawn-out struggle over Democratic strategy and ideology could spill into primary elections and disrupt the party’s path to a majority.
On the one hand, progressives are more emboldened than they have been in decades, galvanized by Mr. Sanders’s unexpected successes in 2016 and empowered by the surge of grass-roots energy dedicated to confronting an unpopular president and pushing the party leftward.
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