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View Diary: Time for the DLC to die (281 comments)

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  •  Bravo!!!! (none)
    Can I give you a 400!!!!

    Your historical perspective is right on. At times looking at Dean campaign it reminded me very much of Jesse Jackson's campaign.

    This is the DLC in a nutshell in it's own words:

    What was Davis' mistake? Early in his first term, he governed as a moderate but, later on, pretty much capitulated to the left-wing-dominated legislature on critical issues such as the budget, advocacy for gay rights, and illegal aliens' drivers' licenses. Becoming a willing prisoner of the legislative party was Davis' cardinal error, one that Democrats should watch out for nationally, particularly in light of the success, so far, of the Howard Dean campaign. When faced with a recall, Davis' advisers abandoned the center and instead took a "mobilize-the-base" strategy. In Dean's borrowed phrase, they became "the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party." In California that meant energizing the poverty warlords, the ethnic pols, the labor union apparatchiks, the trial lawyers, and the activists -- environmentalist, feminist, and gay.

    Sorry but these are sick bastards.

    The Black Commentator - regularly critiques the misdeeds of the DLC:

    The Democratic Leadership Council, which now writes John Kerry's scripts, is the corporate-financed faction of the Democratic Party, conceived as a mechanism to diminish Black and labor influence and to slow the defection of southern whites to the GOP. The DLC blunts the party's ability to act as a counterweight to corporate power, domestically, and cultivates a mass base for "American" business objectives abroad. Through its role as dispenser of corporate (and corporate media) favor, the DLC wields decisive influence far beyond its membership.

    After three years of Republican rule, it is madness to say that John Kerry's DLC rump of the Democratic Party is even remotely equivalent to the rampaging Bush regime. The Bush men have a plan to "change the world"; the DLC have none. The Bush men are driven by a triumphalist ideology; the DLC have their hands out. The DLC attempts to obstruct and co-opt progressive ideas and movements within the Democratic Party; the Bush men are determined to snuff out all who oppose the absolute rule of capital on the Planet Earth, the U.S. included.


    Just as destructively, the false analysis (or non-analysis) that equates the DLC with the Bush cabal - as if they are the same people, operating on the same imperatives - discourages discussion of what Blacks and progressives face if Kerry succeeds in capturing the White House. Our job is both to defeat Bush and to prevent Kerry from taking us where he wants to go - back to the Clinton era. There must be an opposition in place in January of next year, and no honeymoon. We must anticipate the political lay of the land under a Kerry administration, and quickly move towards a strategy for dismantling as much as possible of both the George Bush and Bill Clinton legacies.


    Until he was assassinated by the corporate media, Howard Dean seemed poised to destroy the DLC's corporate stranglehold on the national Democratic Party. Progressives (including ) focused their attentions on Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman, the DLC's most ideologically outspoken candidate. Kerry and North Carolina Senator John Edwards kept the DLC at a distance - in Edward's case, almost in the closet. Now Kerry is flaming, as the Boston Globe reported, April 17

    Some education advocates got a rude shock last Wednesday when they logged onto The candidate's much-touted plan to provide free college tuition to those who commit to two years of national service had been wiped off the screen, replaced with a scaled-down version.

    Gene B. Sperling, the former Clinton economic chief who coauthored Kerry's plan to reduce the deficit, helped press the delete key. He advised the presumptive Democratic nominee to commit himself to a pay-as-you-go government, putting fiscal responsibility ahead of spending hikes on higher education, national service, housing, and local aid as campaign priorities.

    ''Fear not, I am not somebody who wants to go back and make the mistakes of the Democratic party of 20, 25 years ago," Kerry declared on Thursday, adding that he is not a  ''redistributive Democrat," even though his $30 billion National Service plan had been regularly invoked in the Democratic primaries to trump a similar but less-generous tuition plan offered by Senator John Edwards of North Carolina.

    The biggest threat from the DLC at present is that its hold on Kerry may cause a second term to be delivered to George Bush, without the necessity of theft.

    •  When to ignore the Campaign Rhetoric (none)
      Making another little historical point...there are times when one smiles a small smile, and lets some of the Campaign Rhetoric pass by.  Remember the only totally consistent issue FDR addressed during the 1932 campaign -- in all states, rural and urban, was THE NEED FOR A BALANCED BUDGET.  If you made your decision about FDR from stump speeches -- you would have been way off the mark.  Electorial deception is a necessary evil, given the electorial college intent of protecting the interests of small obscure states.  

      But I agree that Progressives and minorities need to have an agenda should Kerry become Mr. President, which more and more I assume will happen.  What should that be? -- I suspect we need a blog so as to have a virtual conference about it all -- making certain the webmister makes certain a very diverse set are invited -- but I am not necessarily mechanistic about what should be discarded, and what retained from Clinton's years.  

      What I would remind is that many good reform ideas came from outside the party.  Social Security for instance was not really a Dem party idea, FDR had the program drafted because of the threat of the Townsend Movement which was going like wildfire in 1934 through his electorial base.  To set a firebreak, he set a young Wilber Cohen to drafting something, and after some terrible compromises on matters of sex and race, he got a minimalist program that could pass -- but it happened not because of the Dem Party -- it was those mass movement Townsend folk who drove the issue.  Key is to use campaigns for "organization" that helps the candidate -- but keep your organization going after election if you want anything delivered.  

    •  This sounds alot like... (none)
      a group of people that have no answers of their own to convince people not to vote for Bush so they are setting up the DLC to be the scapegoat if Bush wins again.

      The DLC is nothing more than a policy forum and policy think tank. The DLC has been blamed for a number of things on this thread including the loss of Jimmy Carter in 1980, 5 years BEFORE the group was founded.

      I would argue on behalf of centrist Democrats and the "Third Way" all day but I think the point I would make to all the bitter Dean supporters is the DLC isn't what killed the Dean canidacy. The major tactical error in going negative on Gephardt in Iowa killed Dean pure and simple. You can come up with as many scapegoats as you want be the fatal blow came from within.

      If Kerry doesn't win it's not going to be because of the DLC it will be so-called Democrats voting for the fraudulent Nader.

      I think moderates would LOVE to meet in the middle with so-called Progressives to form a better Democratic coalition but we just don't see a plan beyond the anger.

      There is so much talk about winning back the Senate, House, and White House and how the Progressives will be the reason this happens. If so, great but how do you propose doing this without people like Brad Carson, Ken Salazar, Blanche Lincoln, John Edwards (possibly), John Kerry, Chris John (possibly in LA)?? Do the math you can't get to 51 in the Senate without at least working with the DLC and its very likely that the entire Presidential ticket will be DLC.

      I don't believe in a litmus test for Democrats. I am a full paying member of the DLC and I support most of the policies they put forth but I also work for other Democrats such as Mark Dayton and formerly Paul Wellstone here in MN who are most certainly not DLC.

      •  Not quite. (none)
        The DLC is nothing more than a policy forum and policy think tank


        •  So what else do they do?? (none)
          Other than acting as the Progressive scapegoat all this group does is formulate policy.

          They have no active function on the ground, within campaigns, or even grassroots organizing.

          They put out policy papers and hold press conferences.

          I know the far left needs to demonize the centrists to have someone to blame for everything that Republicans have done to the implosion of Howard Dean but I just don't buy that they are irrelevant. Just using the internet doesn't make policy formulation irrelevant.


          •  They are a Pimp (none)
            They prostitute politicians to the highest paying corporate special interests group. That is the only reason they still exist.

            Politicians need money to fund their campaigns...the DLC obliges ...for a fee.

            •  Except (none)
              The DLC doesn't fund candidates. That isn't what the organization was founded for.

              They endorse candidates but they do not contribute funding.

              By you own logic there isn't any difference between the DLC and other groups like, The Sierra Club, and The Media Fund. I think you are much more willing to turn your head when these more liberal groups are engaged in money politics.

              I would argue the DLC has less direct influence than those other groups because they do not directly fund their campaigns.

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