James Conner used an expression I have heard often before, “big tent,” which refers to the need to win elections over advancing any ideology. (He uses the opposite, “small tent” to criticize a fellow Democrat.) In theory, it means that politicians have to forge coalitions of people often at odds with one another, the real talent required in that profession, necessitating the art of the well-told lie.
In practice, it opens the floodgates for Republican leadership of both parties. It’s an odd thing to watch, but Democrats are absorbed in partisan sniping based on party name only. The policy pursued by Senator Conrad Burns was vile, the identical policy (with a new name) pursued by Senator Jon Tester is thoughtful, wise, well-considered and only opposed by “purists.”
In the “big tent” there is only one objective, winning elections. Those events are fraught with high emotion, as if life and death were at stake, when in reality either party is bound by financial backers and the corporate-owned media to pursue the same objective, exactly contrary to anything they might have campaigned about.
This system of fake elections goes back in time to the introduction of the mass franchise and use of mass propaganda in the early twentieth century. In theory, everyone’s vote mattered. In reality, voting ceased to matter.