Bernie Sanders has reimagined the Democratic Party

Bernie Sanders has reimagined the Democratic Party, by Daniel Henninger. Clinton may be their first female presidential candidate, but the Democrats may have done something more significant in this primary contest.

Sen. Sanders has recentered the Democrats, once and for all, as a party of the political left. He has reimagined the Democrats—almost with the force of his personality—as a party of the state, of government and of redistribution. Period.

The party of Franklin Roosevelt through Lyndon Johnson and its alliance with private-sector industrial unions made Democrats aware that their fortunes ultimately were joined to the success of the private sector.

The Democrats are now the party of Bernie Sanders, the progressive icon Sen. Elizabeth Warren and—make no mistake—of Barack Obama, a man of the left from day one. Rather than distrust the private sector, they disdain and even loathe it. …

The policies of John Kennedy and Bill Clinton, now in disrepute, ensured that annual economic growth remained at its postwar average of about 3%. Those Democrats understood the private sector, even if they distrusted it. …

In the new Democratic Party, defined by the substance of Sen. Sanders’s campaign, the role of the private sector is to transmit revenue to the public purse. Private business has become an exotic abstraction, like the province of Cappadocia in the Roman empire.

Hillary Clinton doesn’t really fit in too well:

In this milieu, Hillary Clinton was the odd woman out. If she’d had any credibility as an authentic member of the party’s new Sanders-Warren center, she would have overwhelmed this obscure Vermont senator in the Iowa caucuses. Instead, liberals under 40, especially millennials, don’t believe she is one of them. …

If Hillary Clinton utters the phrase “corporate tax reform,” she will lose the election. The Sanders wing of the Obama coalition will walk away from her.