A handful of prominent Democrats are skipping September’s Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, distancing themselves from President Obama. Nation Editor Katrina vanden Heuvel sat down with Nation columnist Melissa Harris-Perry to examine the state of the Democratic Party, its messaging and how it needs to be pushed to embrace progressive causes. Katon Dawson, a former chair of the Republican National Committee, Karen Finney, a former communications director for the DNC, and Igor Volsky of Think Progress, also share their thoughts on why, even after the big win on healthcare reform, the Democratic Party is still fractured.

—Max Rivlin-Nadler