By Dan Balz,
The election of Jeremy Corbyn, the left-wing backbencher, as the new leader of the British Labour Party raises the inevitable question: Can it happen here? Can Bernie Sanders, the independent socialist senator from Vermont, capture the heart and soul of the Democratic Party?
The immediate answer is, not likely. He remains an underdog candidate for the Democratic nomination. But some of the same forces that were instrumental in bringing Corbyn to power have powered Sanders’s rise from a hopeless cause to a candidate who now leads Hillary Rodham Clinton in New Hampshire and in one poll at least in Iowa, and who has closed the gap with her nationally.
In a time of economic insecurity and an anti-establishment mood among so many voters here and elsewhere, the unexpected is no longer unthinkable. If Clinton’s problems and Sanders’s success are part of a surprising summer of politics here, the Corbyn victory was even more unthinkable only a few months ago after Labour suffered a historic defeat in the general election.
Here and in Britain, a political evolution continues. The election of Corbyn represents a dramatic break with the recent history of the Labour Party, a full and conspicuous rejection of the New Labour philosophy of Tony Blair, the former prime minister who won three successive elections but who now is a reviled figure for his role in prosecuting the war in Iraq in partnership with former president George W. Bush.
To American audiences, it is difficult to overstate the degree to which Blair is now an outcast in British politics. He may retain some affection here in the United States, but not in Britain. If there were any doubts about his current place in the politics of his country and particularly in the party he restored to prominence in the 1990s, it became clear with Corbyn’s landslide victory.
[Jeremy Corbyn wins Labour Party leadership election]
The Labour Party has been in turmoil since the general election last May, when Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party scored a surprising victory, securing an outright, if narrow, parliamentary majority when almost all polls predicted another hung Parliament and the possibility of a backdoor path to power for Labour under its then leader, Ed Miliband.
The election proved a wipeout for the Labour Party. Miliband resigned immediately, and as the party began …Read More
Sanders, Corbyn and the coming debate inside the Democratic Party – Washington Post
By Dan Balz,