How The Left Continues To Hijack The True Democratic Party

The shamelessness of the modern Left trying to piggyback on the great achievements of their Democratic Party forebears c continues unabated today. Eugene Robinson, a columnist for The Washington Post pushed the myth that today’s Left is somehow intrinsically connected to the legitimate progressives who made Medicare a reality in 1965.

Robinson is offended by the idea that the Republican ticket would offer plans to reform Medicare. Apparently, in Eugene’s World, because the Democrats were right on this topic in 1965 and the Republicans were wrong, that therefore means that every phony left-winger today is still correct and no Republican, even those born after Medicare was passed (i.e., Paul Ryan) are allowed to say anything constructive about rescuing the program.

“It was Democrats who conceived of Medicare, passed it into law and kept it viable all these years,” Robinson writes.  Yes, Eugene it was. Why don’t we take a look at the most prominent of those Democrats.

John McCormack, the Democrat who pushed through Medicare, would never have countenanced the anti-Catholicism of the modern left.

The Speaker of the House in 1965 was John W. McCormack, one of the greatest in a long line of great Irish Catholic pols to come out of Boston. McCormack was a devout Catholic, who drew fire from not only Republicans, but from a still-minority left-wing in his own party for allegedly placing the interests of the Church too high on his agenda, notably in the battle over federal aid to education. McCormack would be subsequently be honored by the Vatican, and his commitment to progressive ideals always had Catholic values as their foundation.

Since Robinson is apparently so touched by the memory of McCormack, I’m sure his next column will rip  President Obama initial refusal Cardinal Dolan’s offer to pray at the Democratic Convention in Charlotte next week (the president thankfully reversed course for political reasons). It’s utterly impossible to imagine the real Democratic Party that McCormack represented ever turning down such an offer.

The phoniness of Robinson’s invoking of the Democratic Party’s past are a clear example of why it’s in the interest of Catholic laity who might sympathize with the New Deal achievements (of which Medicare was a natural extension) to fight back against this perversion of the party, as represented by Robinson and other financially comfortable suburban liberals.

Unlike other political movements in the history books, the Democratic Party of the New Deal still has resonance with voters today, meaning the argument over the party’s memory & identity are not just an intellectual exercise for historians. If those that value the Democratic Party’s legitimate heritage can be heard it can be a big long-term blow against the Culture of Death.

Dan Flaherty is the author of Fulcrum, an Irish Catholic novel set in postwar Boston with a traditional Democratic mayoral campaign at its heart, and he is the editor-in-chief of



  • Jonathan

    Well, it’s a good thing that the Republican Party doesn’t pander to people by invoking things from the distant past. I mean, imagine how ridiculous it would look if they called themselves “the party of Lincoln” to somehow prove that THEY are the party that supports the rights of minorities! That would just be idiotic!

  • Gary

    There is no “anti-Catholicism” in America. There’s a thread of anti-religious extremism (not unlike the brand of extremism which this website proffers daily), but there’s not a shred of anti-Catholicism or anti-Christianity. Christianity and Catholicism thrive in America. It’s this radical, SSPX/far-right brand of Catholicism that’s been dragged and then pushed into more mainstream that makes the tension apparent. Sargeant Shriver, John McCormack and the rest of their ilk would be *horrified* by today’s American Catholic conservative movement.

    • Mark

      Traditionalism is hardly mainstream, especially not in the modern Catholic neo-con circle. The neo-cons who mumble negative things about VII and go to Latin Novus Ordo Mass on occasion are not Traditionalists. Most Traditionalists I’ve encountered are paleoconservatives, monarchists, or libertarians.

  • Mary

    Santorum speaks tonight after 7. Can’t wait to see it!!

  • Third Party Guy

    You altogether strangely seem to be under the convoluted impression that today’s Republican Party is the true Democratic Party. I really don’t think too many Republicans or Democrats are buying into anything you write. If you want to initiate a third party movement that is supportive of working families and the poor and favors progressive taxation and limiting tax shelters for the rich — and at the same time takes a strong stand against abortion, fine. But that’s not the direction you’re taking if you support Romney and Ryan.

    • Dan Flaherty

      >>Quote: “You altogether strangely seem to be under the convoluted impression that today’s Republican Party is the true Democratic Party”

      Response: How you would ever intepret that is beyond me and probably a sign that you aren’t reading what I write. While this might speak well of your discernment in choosing whom to read, it’s apparent that you have overlooked the times I’ve opined (including stuff linked to here) advocating for a renewal in the Democratic Party itself. Clearly, if I thought the old Democratic Party was alive and well in today’s GOP, I wouldn’t think that.



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