When I first heard the claim, I thought it was a mistake or hoax. A talking head was describing a raging war in the Democratic Party between progressives and centrists.
Centrist Democrats? Aren’t they already extinct?
Yes, they’re gone, the dodo birds of politics. But the chattering classes, needing something to chatter about and slow to face facts about their darling liberals, are just discovering that the party of Barack Obama and Bill de Blasio bears little resemblance to the party of FDR, JFK and even Bill Clinton.
I wouldn’t expect most historically ignorant Americans to know this, but there was a similar battle between the Socialists and the Communists in the leadup to the Nazi takeover of Germany:
The USPD, however, broke apart within the next two years. On the one
side, the SPD, no longer in the government, took class struggle more
seriously after the elections of 1920 and thus won back some of the
more radical workers. On the other side, the Communists started
agitating with great skill and attracted much of the left wing of the
USPD and also the prewar SPD, those who had always advocated more
aggressive attacks on the existing system instead of cautious reforms
and trade unionist bargaining.
After 1920 the USPD did not seem to make much sense any more. Its
most intimate cause, the workers’ council movement, had not received
constitutional consideration and was dead after 1920. Those workers who
were too deeply dissatisfied with the political and social conditions
and too resentful of the SPD’s repressive policies in 1919 were willing
to believe the Communists that only a revolution could overcome the
capitalist state. This was Marx’s opinion, and it made sense in the
light of events. The SPD’s reformist stand seemed to have failed and
appeared to many as an excuse for treacherous plotting with right-wing
military and paramilitary groups. The KPD’s association with the
revolutionary communist parties in other countries, even if it was
bought at the expense of submission to Moscow, looked fascinating and
promising to many workers. The fundamental changes occurring in the
young Soviet Union further added to the appeal of the KPD.
The Communists always attack the Socialists first, and then proceed from there if they are victorious. That’s what’s happened here in America with the Democrat party. The Marxists have taken it over and swallowed it whole.
And this is pretty much what the liberty-minded conservatives here in America will have to do with the GOP if they wish to survive, too.