Sunday :: Feb 24, 2008

DLC Readying for a Comeback?

by eriposte

Sometimes I think I should simply "outsource" some of my blog posts to Big Tent Democrat at Talk Left since he keeps saying things I had planned to say. Here is one of his latest posts (I hope he doesn't mind my quoting it in its entirety, emphasis mine throughout this post):

There is something both sad and hilarious about Kagro X's outrage that that the DLC and Lieber-types like Dan Gerstein are on the Obama bandwagon:

Please, God, don't let Harold Ford clamber onto the back of this [Obama] bandwagon now. . . . Allowing them suckerfish themselves onto what Obama's managed to build for himself would be an unimaginable tragedy. Allowing them to do it while they're also endorsing Republicans for Congress is a recipe for disaster.

UPDATE: Lord help us, it's a trend:

2 . Friday February 15, 2008

. . . Bill Bennett discussed the political landscape with Democratic strategist and Obama supporter Dan Gerstein . . .

This is sad and hilarious because not for one moment can Kagro imagine WHY the DLC and Dan Gerstein might support Barack Obama. He can not imagine that Obama's Unity Schtick is precisely what the DLC and Joe Lieberman have been preaching for decades and that the progressive blogs were supposed to be fighting AGAINST.

Excuse me, but has anyone in the progressive blogs actually been paying attention to what Obama has been saying? Probably not, too busy slamming Hillary Clinton.

I've written about Sen. Obama's adoption of the style and rhetoric of Sen. Lieberman. I respect Kagro X but I have to say I am more than baffled by the concern that the DLC is jumping on to Obama's bandwagon. In so many cases, Sen. Obama has effectively been on the DLC bandwagon - for quite a while now - even if he hasn't (yet) formally attached himself to the DLC. Let's take an example that Kagro X is annoyed by:

I can't go on. It's too depressing. Dare I even mention the Ford educational platform?

Ford also felt there was a growing problem in our educational system.

He has supported vouchers of the most expensive school in the area. Republican's have said that is too much of a voucher, and Democrats have argued that the voucher would take away from local schooling.

"If parent's are willing to pay $20,000 a year to send their kids to kindergarten, that tells me two things; one there is a problem and two, they really love their kids," he said.

Sen. Obama, in his long-standing quest for Republican and Independent votes during the Democratic primary, has been employing right-leaning dog-whistle rhetoric in many situations, education being one of them:

Obama is "Open" to Vouchers

Yesterday, I asked if Democrat Barack Obama would stand up to teachers' unions and embrace policies that they would oppose.

Well, it seems he's doing just that.

In an eyebrow-raising statement to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Illinois senator said he's a skeptic of vouchers, but that he might be open to them if studies show that's "what's best for kids." (UPDATE: Watch the video here.)

The entire passage is worth repeating, since even an "openness" toward vouchers is a major departure for a Democratic presidential candidate:

Obama said he has been a strong supporter of charter schools "as a way to foster competition in the public school system."

He pronounced himself a skeptic of private school vouchers, saying: "My view is you're not going to generate the supply of high-quality schools to meet the demand."

Obama said he was surprised to learn from Gov. Jim Doyle that "there was no assessment process" for the Milwaukee program but indicated he might be open to supporting voucher programs if studies show they work.

"If there was any argument for vouchers, it was 'Let's see if the experiment works,' " Obama said. "And if it does, whatever my preconception, you do what's best for kids."

I'm sure that as you read this, the folks at the pro-voucher Friedman Foundation and the Alliance for School Choice are assembling a binder full of studies to send Obama.

More here:

Obama said he believes the federal government should help support charter schools and look at new ways to improve performance and pay good teachers more money. He said teacher unions "haven't been thrilled" about some of his ideas.

Obama also said that on trade and other economic issues, "What I want to do is try to unify the two wings of the Democratic Party -- what's considered the more progressive wing of the party, what’s considered the more centrist wing of the party. I think that we can craft an approach that is pro-American, pro-worker, pro-business, pro-growth and is not caught up in some of the ideological battles that have consumed us for the last 20 years."

Well, I do congratulate Sen. Obama for unifying the DLC with the self-proclaimed Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party. His supporter (Lieberman shill) Dan Gerstein wrote this recently in the Democrat-hating Wall Street Journal op-ed page:

The Kossacks and their activist allies -- who skew toward the Boomers -- believe that Republicans are venal bordering on evil, and that the way Democrats will win elections and hold power is to one-up Karl Rove's divisive, bare-knuckled tactics. Their opponents within the party -- who skew younger and freer of culture war wounds -- believe that the way to win is offer voters a break from this poisonous tribal warfare and a compelling, inclusive vision for where we want to take the country.

The country got an initial taste of this tactical tussle in 2006 when the Lieberman-Lamont Senate campaign in Connecticut went national -- and an initial test of the relative merits in the general-election portion of that race (in which I was Joe Lieberman's communications director).

With a discredited Republican candidate in the race, the choice came down to two Democrats who actually agreed on most issues outside of Iraq, but differed on the kind of change we need in Washington. Mr. Lieberman called for a new politics of unity and purpose; Mr. Lamont mostly called for Messrs. Bush's and Lieberman's heads.

The hope candidate soundly beat the Kos candidate -- Kos actually taped a commercial for Lamont -- by 10 points. More importantly, Mr. Lieberman won independents (the biggest voting bloc in the state) by 19 points, which is all the more remarkable because they opposed the war by a margin of 65%-29%.


In this, you might say that Mr. Obama did not kill Kos-ism so much as co-opt it -- by harnessing its most powerful forces and channeling it in a more constructive, convincing direction for a new political moment. He recognized early on that the primary electorate was changing in the wake of Mr. Bush's departure, and that it was hungry (post-Boomer voters in particular) for something bigger and better than the same polarization wrapped in a blue ribbon.

The signs of change are unmistakable. Over the last year, the Kossacks themselves seemed to be waning -- the number of monthly page views on the site is down dramatically.

Moreover, in the last few weeks they and their avatars have been flocking to the great reconciler. First Ned Lamont endorsed Mr. Obama, a mentee of Mr. Lieberman in the Senate. Then on Wednesday, in the first Daily Kos straw poll after Mr. Edwards left the race, Mr. Obama beat Mrs. Clinton by 76%-11% (a result inflated by the Netroots' unbreakable contempt for Hillary). Just yesterday, gave its formal blessing to the "post-partisan" candidate.

The best evidence that Kos-ism is about kaput, though, comes from Kos's mouth himself. Yes, the most delicious irony of this campaign is that the supposed hatemonger is supporting the hopemonger.

Gerstein also said this:

(Not surprisingly, throughout 2007, Mr. Edwards was the runaway favorite in the regular Kos reader straw poll -- besting Mr. Obama by 21 points as late as Jan. 2, 2008.)

Now that Mr. Edwards has formally dropped out of the race, we can say it's official -- hope and unity crushed resentment and division.

As I said in my previous post, that's just code for something else that's been pretty obvious in parts of the blogosphere these past few months - the "Clinton Double Standard".

eriposte :: 8:44 AM :: Comments (32) :: Digg It!