Widening cracks within party could make for an even bleaker election year
For all the evidence of a divided Republican Party, the Democratic Party has its own widening cracks that could make a potentially bleak election year even more dour.
Republicans are wrestling with their own deep splits. There's a family feud over whether the Republican Party should strictly adhere to conservative principles or be more inclusive. That infighting is prominently on display in a slew of contentious primary contests.
But the fissures among Democrats, festering for months, are striking because the party controls both the White House and Congress, and unity was in style just a year ago as Democrats celebrated the first months of Obama's tenure with bigger majorities on Capitol Hill.
Then, the governing began in earnest — and so did the complaining.
The Democratic Party has always been more of a coalition party than the Republicans, bringing together varied factions that include labor, minorities, civil rights activists, social progressives and anti-war protesters. Each part seldom gets everything it wants.
Expectations were lofty, given the Democratic control of the federal government. That only brought the potential for serious letdowns and, thus, infighting.