Energizing the Base(s)
by Deacon Blues
We can now safely assume both Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney are running for the GOP nomination in 2016. Both have some of the same financial backers as would Chris Christie, who still has delusions of being a viable 2016 GOP presidential nominee. So all three will be jostling amongst the 1% base of the GOP to demonstrate why they have what it takes to beat the Tea Party base and Hillary Clinton in the same cycle. Bush will be doing a balancing act of looking like a reasonable adult for the 1% against the base while reminding that same base he's quite conservative himself.
Against this backdrop and recent events over the Cromnibus, it's easy to accept the conventional wisdom that there will also be a "base versus the establishment" battle on the Democratic side between Hillary and Elizabeth Warren or others. But despite MoveOn.org's best efforts, is Warren really interested in running for president and possibly slowing her long-term arc to becoming the leading progressive on the national stage, or is she as David Axelrod suggests really interested in making sure Hillary puts forward a reason for her candidacy that is as populist as possible? Despite the best efforts of the Beltway media to cast the recent battle within the Democratic Party over the Cromnibus as a chasm-inducing moment, the release of such energy on the left with Warren's leadership and that of Sherrod Brown and others is a welcome tonic to the lethargy facing the party these next two years due to its congressional minority-party status.
Even if the Cromnibus provisions upon further reflection may not be as dire as originally thought, and even if those who went along had a solid longer-game reason for doing so, it doesn't hurt for Obama, Clinton, and Harry Reid to know that the base has put them on notice for the next two years.