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

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  •  DLC and Winning Elections (none)
    I am not saying the DLC has the right mix of policies for our country, but I am saying that they have the right mix of policies to win the votes of people who actually bother to vote.

    If the DLC doesn't have the right mix of policies to govern, then what difference does it make whether they have the right mix of policies to win? What are they winning for? Power for the sake of power? Their own careerist impulse? This is where the Republican true believer is superior in every way to the pragmatic Democrat. The Republican might be nuts, he might subscribe to policies that will eventually turn the United States into Brazil, but he believes in an agenda, and it is his life's goal to enact it.

    The pragmatic Democrat says he'd rather be in power, so he embraces positions he suspects are bad for the country. The pragmatic Democrat is willing to do long-term damage to the country for his own short-term gain. History shows that political tides do not change slowly, they are tsunami. The Republican ascendancy was cemented after the Civil War, and endured until FDR's New Deal wave swept them out of power for 70-years. The New Deal expired with the birth of Reaganism. Democrats held on until Gingrich vanquished the old guard for good in 1994. Changes in politcal fortune might be slow in occuring (the GOP ascendancy started under Goldwater) but one party or ideology seizes power suddenly. Perhaps the Republicans will need to muck things up badly enough that there is a ferocious backlash against conservatism in this country that creates an environment for another liberal tidal wave. I'd rather the GOP gut everything, and create a firestorm of political recrimination that ultimately destroys their political philosophy, then go on watching the Diane Feinsteins of the world kill progress with small dagger thrusts. Five Bill Clintons would ultimately have the same effect as one George Bush, it would just take longer for the electorate to see the carnage.  

    Now the existence of 401(k) voters is not disputed by me, they exist and unfortunately, they exist much as you describe them, but the Democrats were the dominate party for 70-years and they did not enjoy that primacy by preaching about the virtues of the stock market. Wages and benefits matter a whole lot more than the stock market to the vast majority of workers. Many of them envision themselves working until they drop dead, retirement is but a fantasy. In the span of about 13-years, the stock market experienced two large crashes, one in 1987, the other in 2000, both were the result of irrational market run-ups made possible by out-of-control borrowing, and Wall Street lawlessness. Arthur Anderson happened because the Glass-Steagal Act was repealed. Auditors and consultants were allowed to work under the same roof. Investment bankers and analysts were too. The reason? So investment banks and accounting firms could expand their bottomlines, no other economic logic existed, in fact, the Republicans and their DLC handmaidens ignored the overwhelming economic logic for maintaining strict seperation of these types of activities. But good economic policy meant less to the DLC than fat corporate contributions.

    How do you think the 401(k) voter felt after $7 trillion was lost after the New Economy bubble burst? The Democrats could have capitalized on that seminal event to push progressive reforms, things that market-obsessed voters would have approved of, if for only selfish reasons. But the Democrats were either too compromised by their own actions in helping to dismantle the original market protections, or they still believed in the sacred cow of neoliberal economics. Both are indictments of how much damage has been done to both the Democratic party, and the country itself by DLC machinations. Without Democratic votes, none of those market reforms could have happened, therefore the Democrats that went along with the neoliberal gameplan are especially odious in my estimation.

    •  Idealist (none)
      I have an opinion.

      The most important thing in politics is power.

      It is never good to lose an election. Ever.

      Now more important than politics is the political system.  And if you undermine the political system, then it is not worth having power.

      With these two principles in mind, it becomes clear why the DLC makes sense.

      The DLC does not advocate stealing elections, or stripping civil liberties, as our opponents do.

      They look for a way to win elections.

      And despite a lot of finger pointing about the 2000 election, the DLC has done better than a Naderite campaign would have done in 1996 or 1998.

      Again, unless we can boost turnout to over 70% and maintain it, we cannot win consistently with a high regulation, high tax, anti-corporate message.

      I advocate boosting turnout any way we can.  But I don't advocate dismissing the DLC, or especially blaming them for electoral defeat.

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