Divided Democratic Party puts pressure on Obama

U.S. President Barack Obama
U.S. President Barack Obama gestured during a press conference in St. Petersburg this month.
Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images

As President Barack Obama tried to rally bipartisan support for a military action against Syria, cracks in the Democratic Party's foundation surfaced and led Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to delay a procedural vote on the strike.

"Barack Obama was propelled into the White House on the shoulders of an antiwar left mobilized against George W. Bush, the war in Iraq and, later, the war in Afghanistan," wrote Peter Roff for U.S. News & World Report. "For many Obama voters, ending the war on terror was the issue of the 2008 campaign. The real fight, the real division, the real debate is not among the ranks of the GOP but among Democrats, whose votes Obama must have in order to prevail."

This wasn't the first time President Obama's largely centrist governing has alienated members of his party. His stance on the environment, gun control and the budget haven't unified Democrats.

"Democrats aren't necessarily doomed in 2014 or 2016," wrote Michael Barone on Real Clear Politics. "But they are weaker because of the choices their leaders have made."

On Tuesday's show, we talked about the fractures within the Republican Party. Today we look at how the Democratic Party compares and how it is preparing for upcoming elections.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY SPLIT:

Are Democrats About to Fracture Over Fracking?
Led by President Obama, most Democrats have tried to occupy a careful middle ground on the natural-gas industry that's transforming the U.S. energy economy. But that balance might not last much longer, as environmentally conscious "fracktivists" look for ways to press their case that the potential for pollution outweighs the jobs created by the mushrooming shale-gas drilling industry. (National Journal)

A New Guide to the Democratic Herd
The 2012 Democratic herd is charted here along a left-to-right continuum of party loyalty, based chiefly on the Pew Research Center's Political Typology as well as the views of political experts. (New York Times)

Intervention, Isolation and the Future of Progressive Security Policy
The long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with the economic crisis at home, have soured many progressives on foreign policy ideals long held dear by liberals: human rights, multilateral interventions, nationbuilding and support for democracy abroad. Recent debates over Libya, the Arab Spring, drones and Israel/Palestine have deepened this split between interventionists and isolationists. So where's the common ground? (Netroots Nation)

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