This is fine I guess, but too often the term is used in a way that shows that the user is entirely unaware of what the DLC really is, and, just as important, what it isn't.
More on the flip...
The DLC was founded in 1985 by Democrats who were concerned that traditional liberalism would doom their party to permanent minority status. The group advocated traditionally conservative economic policies, such as decreased government regulation of business and free trade, that often conflicted with the views of traditional Democratic allies, especially labor unions. The organization started as a group of forty-three elected officials, and two staffers, Al From and Will Marshall.You can see what they believe in here.
Second, Bob Casey is not DLC. Socially conservative labor democrats are not DLC. In fact, they and the DLC are in direct contradiction on many issues. The DLC is most marked by economic policies. In particular, the DLC is a pro-corporate, pro-free market organization. It champions free trade agreements like NAFTA and CAFTA. Such positions are in direct contrast with a labor dem like Bob Casey, and the DLC has often come in conflict with labor groups that believe that the DLC is abandoning core Democratic principles.
Third, the DLC is not the DCCC, the DNC, the DSCC or Democratic leadership. The DLC is not an official campaign organization. Chuck Schumer is not affiliated with the DLC. Neither is Howard Dean (obviously). The top three members of Senate leadership, Harry Reid, Dick Durbin and Debbie Stabenow are not affiliated with the DLC. Neither are Nancy Pelosi or Steny Hoyer in the House. In fact, of Democrats in official capacities, only Rahm Emanuel, chair of the DCCC has real ties to the DLC. Leadership is not "cowardly" because of ties to the DLC, because leadership generally doesn't have ties to the DLC.
Fourth, the DLC is not all-powerful. In fact, the case can be made that the DLC is much less powerful now than it was in the mid-1990s, when founding members Bill Clinton and Al Gore ran the country, and NAFTA, welfare reform and balanced budgets were all passed. 102 Democrats voted for NAFTA in the House. A grand total of 15 voted for CAFTA. John Kerry spent much of his campaign railing against free-trade, a policy the DLC is strongly in favor of. Futhermore, as already mentioned, today's Democratic leadership and the DLC have very little overlap. It's not some scourge infecting every aspect of the party, and membership in the DLC is likely not the reason that (insert politician here) is not pursuing policies you would like them to. Joe Lieberman, Hillary Clinton and Rahm Emanuel are noteworthy because they are some of the few prominent Democrats (along with Tom Carper and Tom Vilsack, who is the current chair) who still associate themselves with the group. If you're criticizing a member of Democratic leadership for being "DLC", you're probably wrong.
Finally, there are many legitimate criticisms of the DLC, and they will only be more meaningful by using them correctly. There is a lot to criticize in the DLC economic policy, and NAFTA can clearly be laid at their doorstep. They've been far from enthusiastic supporters of labor. And they have taken an absurd position on national security, standing firmly behind President Bush and shouting down those who dare to disagree, mostly because the DLC believes a weakness on national security is a big cause of Democratic defeats. And they've been as hostile to the left as the left has been to them, especially on the issue of the Iraq War. As Wikipedia says,
The DLC has dismissed other war critics such as filmmaker Michael Moore as "Anti-American" and members of the "loony left". Even as domestic support for the Iraq War plummeted in 2004 and 2005, Marshall called upon Democrats to balance their criticism of Bush's handling of the Iraq War with praise for the President's achievements and cautioned "Democrats need to be choosier about the political company they keep, distancing themselves from the pacifist and anti-American fringe."Such rhetoric is completely uncalled for and unproductive. Furthermore, their method of triangulation has not been nearly as successful without a gifted and dynamic politican like Bill Clinton, and it's a valid criticism that DLC stances don't do enough to draw contrasts between Democrats and Republicans.
But these valid criticisms of the DLC get mixed in with nonsense uses of the term around here far too often. Labor pols aren't DLC, most leadership isn't DLC, and the DLC isn't infesting the Democratic Party in every facet. The term needs to regain its meaning; a pro-corporate and hawkish wing that attempts, increasinly unsuccessfully in my mind, to influence Democratic politics.