The Dems’ slashing Social Security marks the end of the Democratic “brand” and the imminent demise of the party. The weakness or strength of so-called progressive politicians is mostly irrelevant to this process. Social Security has been the Democrats’ signature issue since the time of Franklin Roosevelt, and a vote by the party to gut the program, along with Medicare and Medicaid, eliminates the most fundamental reason why Democrats have been elected. The bill also marks a definitive break by the Democrats of any allegiance to Keynesian counter-cyclical economics, the centerpiece of their economic program during their period of ascendency in the last century. The future is unforeseeable, but it is clear that the scope of the political upheaval will be comparable to that in the 1850s when the Whigs disappeared and the Republicans (a party far, far from the modern version) took their place.