Saturday :: Mar 5, 2005

The Problem With the DLC

by rayman

Armando over at DKos has an interesting take on the DLC, and whether we (meaning the lowly bloggers) can find common ground with them. Unfortunately, Armando fails to answer the second half of his rhetorical question: "Does the DLC Want to Work With Democrats?" The answer, I think, is a resounding "no."

A key component of the DLC SOP lies in establishing their "New Democrat" credibility by contrasting themselves, as viciously as possible, with Old Democrats, whatever that means. This tactic has been their bread and butter for twenty years, and has only intensified since 2000. For example, the DLC was an enthusiastic proponent, throughout the 1990s, of Social Security privatization, which they've now scurried away from thankyouverymuch. But it wasn't enough to merely advocate private accounts. As Garence Franke-Ruta pointed out yesterday, the DLC braintrust felt the need to piss on FDR in the process:

In particular, the September/October 1995 issue of the DLC's The New Democrat magazine, now enjoying a second life as a PDF circulating in cyberspace, would seems to require some 'splaining from the DLC crew in light of current events. The cover line: "Time to Move On." The image: a picture of FDR waving from a car. The message, as laid out in the issue's prefatory editorial: "Al From ... explains why Democrats cannot win back middle-class voters by clinging ever closer to New Deal ideals." The clear-as-day implication: time to move on from the New Deal and FDR.

Armando writes that "I think the DLC has learned that commands from the DLC Altar and calls for purges don't do them any good." Really? The DLC's entire raison d'etre is to antagonize critical sectors of the Democratic coalition. In the 1990s, From and Will Marshall were railing against the oh-so-passe New Deal and ill-defined "interest groups" (and we all know, with a wink and a nudge, who they were really referring to, right Archie Bunker?). Now, they've seemlessly shifted their rhetorical fusillade to target the nefarious Michael Moore-MoveOn-blogger cabal. For the DLC to suddenly make peace with the Democratic base would constitute a complete repudiation of their 20-year-long schtick. And what are the odds of that happening?

rayman :: 2:39 PM :: Comments (12) :: Digg It!