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Democrats 2016 Civil War is Spilling into the States

In California, progressives continue to battle with moderates over the issues that divided Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders supporters…

Jerry Brown California Democrats

In the months since Hillary Clinton’s devastating loss to Donald Trump, Democrats have struggled to chart a path forward for a party largely “in the wilderness.” Democrats no longer hold the White House, nor majorities in either the House or Senate.

But in states across the country, the battle amongst Democrats is intensifying. In California, far-left liberals are going to war with more moderate Democrats over single-payer health care and debt-free college, two of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) pet causes and rallying cries for progressives.

Despite victories on a range of issues here in recent years, liberal activists have fallen short in other areas, unsettling progressives across the country who view California as a state in which they should be racking up wins.

Progressives this year have continued to press Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration, unsuccessfully, for a ban on hydraulic fracturing. Lawmakers proposed a “debt-free” college plan, only to settle for more modest measures to reduce the cost of higher education. And many progressives aligned with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders bemoaned the narrow election of an establishment favorite, Eric Bauman, over their preferred candidate in the race for state Democratic Party chair.

Most recently, when [CA Assembly Speaker Anthony] Rendon announced that he would not allow a single-payer health care bill to advance through California’s lower house, tempers boiled over.

As the Politico story noted, there are signs that the intra-party battle between the far left and moderates in California “may only intensify.” Business interests have cozied up to moderate Democrats, making a working relationship with the progressive wing nearly impossible.

Meanwhile, California is losing people by the thousands as the state’s bloated government prices out lower-income residents. In recent years, the state has passed laws to increase the gas tax and impose stricter greenhouse gas emissions.