In a recent MSNBC interview, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean surprised “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough with his assessment of who belongs in the modern Democratic Party.
During a discussion about how the party can expand its reach into rural America, Dean, who previously served as Democratic National Committee chairman, dismissed the idea of moderation on social issues.
“Can the Democratic Party ever have a big enough tent to have people who are progressives on economic issues and conservative on social issues in their party again?” Scarborough asked.
“No,” Dean replied, “because the younger generation isn’t that way. I think the old left-right is an anachronism.”
The conversation then moved to abortion, with Dean pointing to a generation of social-justice warriors as the reason his party will never “go back to maybe making compromises on abortion.”
Scarborough attempted to clarify, asking his guest, “You don’t want a Democrat in your party if they’re for social justice, if they’re progressives, if they agree with you on 90 percent of the issues, but they’re also practicing Catholics who are pro-life? You don’t want them in your coalition?”
Dean attempted to backtrack, but the host pointed out that he and much of America took his statement to mean exactly that.