Opinion: Circular firing squad

By former Assemblymember Steven Sanders

Every now and then I like to put on my cap as a former politician and strategic election campaign thinker.

Like so many others, I have been watching the Democratic Party Presidential debates. Way back in the fall, they started out as fairly polite affairs with discussions largely on issues. It was must-see TV for issue wonks and political junkies. There were initially about 24 candidates divided into two separate groups of a dozen on a debate stage. You are forgiven if you have a hard time remembering who said this about that. It was pretty much a blur.

But with the likes of Bill de Blasio, Andrew Yang, Corey Booker, Kamala Harris and many others falling by the wayside, those debates are now coming into clearer focus. The genteel days are over and the gloves are off.

The Democratic Party has a history of divisiveness and lack of message discipline in part because unlike the more homogenized Republican Party, Democrats are much more diverse in their views and in their personal backgrounds. They call it a big tent, but it can get messy.

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