My thing though is that while Dem.s are incompetent as a party and prone to hackery, they've been more conservative and not really the party of FDR on the national level since the 90's, hence the ACA being a very conservative approach to creating more access to healthcare. Repub.s b/c of the rhetoric and the alliance with gangster capitalism and white nationalists have been undermining our system aggressively recently and seemed unlikely to ever take any kind of outreach from Obama b/c of this.
The Democratic Party became that way largely because of the tremendous electoral showing of Ronald Reagan in 1984 and the victory of George H.W. Bush in 1988. This was not a small matter; this had been the first time since FDR that a single party had won the Presidency over two consecutive times. The Democratic Party believed it was time for a course change, and appointed Bill Clinton as chair of the Democratic Leadership Council in 1989, formed the Democratic Party that we see today in response to “Reagan’s America.” So the “Clinton years” don’t start in 1992, they start in 1989 with Bill Clinton taking control of the party direction and vision in response to the strong Republican showing in the Eighties.
There are plenty of reasons to theorize why the Democratic Party moved away from the New Deal and it’s successor, the Great Society, and talking heads on both sides will give all sorts of answers of who’s to blame. I personally think it was a combination of Vietnam eroding public trust in LBJ and the Democratic Party, Watergate destroying public trust in government in general, Jimmy Carter’s political missteps and general lack of political charisma (especially when compared to Reagan, who I consider along with Barack Obama to be the two truly masterful campaigners in the modern presidential era), and the economic boom of 1983 following the stagflation of 1978 and the recession of 1981-82 being seen as the result of Reagan’s economic policies.
Thanks for the question, Anon.
SomethingLikeALawyer, Hand of the King