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View Diary: It's Not The DLC and I Can Prove It (318 comments)

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  •  Sample Size Insignificant (4.00)
    I'm sorry, but people have been complaining about the DLC for a lot longer than the current session of Congress. Your analysis only covers the first session of the Congress, and the DLC has been in existence for about two decades. This analysis is flawed by the same type of error that Republicans used in the 2004 campaign to paint Kerry as the "most liberal" Senator by examining only a single year's worth of votes. You're only evaluating eight votes.

    I was complaining about DLC founder Bill Clinton's policies before he was elected thirteen years ago and I wasn't exactly the first person to do so. Members of the DLC held leadership positions in the White House through the 1990s, in the Democratic Party since the late 1980s, and in the 2000 and 2004 campaigns. Democrats haven't had majorities in either house of Congress since 1995. DLC members were in charge during that time, not Blue Dogs. Certainly, the Blue Dogs deserve any crap that sticks to them, but they weren't in charge of the direction of the party, members of the DLC were.

    Those who do not learn from history are stupid. --darrelplant

    by darrelplant on Thu Apr 28, 2005 at 05:02:50 PM PDT

    •  Well (4.00)
      The DLC gets blamed unfairly for the Democrats losing Congress. First of all the Democratic erosion in Congress was primarily due to the two factors: the 1990 redistricting and the south's progression toward the GOP.

      First of all, in the 1990 redistricting, many well-intentioned (and less well-intentioned) state legislatures created House districts that looked like amobeas and snakes. These districts were heavily black and Latino. In some places they were just creekbeds and lanes on interstate highways.

      These seats changed the political dynamics in many states completely. Where you once had maybe three or four Democratic seats, two Republican seats, and one swing seat, the pattern reversed itself. These heavily minority districts took all the blacks and Latinos from the other seats, turning them into white Republican bastions. As a result many Democrats had difficult re-elections in 1992; the 1994 Republican Revolution wiped them all out.

      Secondly, by the late 1980s and the early 1990s, the last generation of southern Democrats elected in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s retired, died, or lost at the polls. Incumbents like Charles Bennett, Jamie Whitten, Sonny Montgomery, Don Bevill, Claude Pepper, and William Natcher (most of the Kos membership would deride them as "DINOs" today anyway if they were still in office) left office. Although these incumbents had been able to keep these seats Democratic, Republicans had been winning local offices and carrying these areas in presidential and statewide offices. When these incumbents finally left office the GOP won those seats, even though they probably should have been Republican-held decades earlier.

      Also in 1994 the public took out its hostility agianst the Democrats due to the ill-fated military intervention in Somalia, the Clinton Healthcare plan, gays in the military, the assualt weapons ban, and the House Bank. That was hardly the DLC's fault.

      I do agree that the DLC has not changed with the times. That is, back in the late 1980s, when the Democrats had lost five out of six presidential elections, it had a purpose. But I think the DLC gets blamed unfairly for electoral trends that had been manifesting for decades.

      •  Exactly what I said (none)
        The DLC is obsolete, and frankly has been getting ever more intemperate since the 90s.  The DLC gets a worse rap than it deserves, but it's partly their fault for not realizing the 80s are over.

        All your vote are belong to us

        by Harkov311 on Thu Apr 28, 2005 at 06:31:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Agreed (none)
          You are right. I think the DLC still thinks we are in the Nixon/Reagan era. I will say this about the DLC. Yes, Gore and Kerry lost; but they were able to fare much better than Humphrey, McGovern, Carter, Mondale, and Dukakis in their races. The DLC seems to have made a 40-43% party a 48% party.

          What the DLC seems to have done is win back suburbanites who left the Democratic Party after the 1968 election. Starting in 1992 they returned to the Democrats, making IL, CA, MI, PA, and NJ blue states. For example, Montgomery County, PA, north of Philadelphia, gave 60% of its votes to Bush I but gave 55% of its votes to Kerry in 2004.

          Conversely what seems to have happened is that while the Democrats have won suburbanities they've lost rural America horribly. And that is why they have been unable to win the White House. One of the most shocking trends I noticed from the 2004 election was that counties that supported Dukakis in 1988 by comfortable margins were not only red, but dark red. They gave Bush solid margins.

          So I think the DLC helped the party win back affluent suburbanities, but this came at the expense of rural Democrats.

      •  DLC & Clinton (none)
        You claim that the policies of the early Clinton administration weren't "the DLC's fault." But Clinton was a founder of the DLC. He supported the DLC and its goals after gaining the Presidency. Many of the policies he successfully put through, like welfare reform, were DLC policies. The health care policy he attempted to put through was DLC inspired -- it sure as heck wasn't coming from the Progressive Caucus. The intervention in Somalia started under G.H.W. Bush.

        The Democrats had a successful election cycle after the 1990 redistricting where they maintained an 80 vote margin in the House over the Republicans in the 1992 elections. The Senate, of course, isn't affected by redistricting. It wasn't until the first election after Clinton -- a DLC founder -- actually took office that the Democrats lost both the House and Senate.

        Those who do not learn from history are stupid. --darrelplant

        by darrelplant on Thu Apr 28, 2005 at 10:18:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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