Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

August 20, 2003

by J

DLC Retreat Begins

TAP has a short article on Al From and the DLC and their increasing irrelevance. A few selected quotes here and there suggest that the DLC retreat from their earlier outrageous behavior has begun. I have mixed feelings about that, because everytime they attacked my man Dean his fundraising numbers surged. So, on the one hand I want to say "bring it on, you nimwits!" but on the other hand, I do think they and Lieberman are doing great damage to the Dems, when it's Dubya who needs to be damaged. And they're part of the reason why I still refuse to join the Democratic party.

In any event, every time I get a fundraising solicitation from the DNC, DCCC, or DSCC, I fill out the stupid, biased survey, and in the comments section I write something like: "No $ from me to DNC, DCCC, or DSCC until you tell the DLC to Stop Being Divisive. Support Howard Dean's campaign!" (I don't mean endorse, of course.) And I stick a little Howard Dean sticker in the envelope and I send it off. I'm sure someone somewhere smirks at it.
an increasing number of Democratic elected officials, consultants and campaign operatives are beginning to suggest that the DLC's campaign against Dean involves a fundamental misreading of today's political environment. In Newsweek, James Carville advised Democrats to "give [Dean] a chance" and challenged the DLC take that an anti-war candidate is unelectable. "It's not if you're against the war that matters," he said. "It's how and why you're against the war." At the DLC forum, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell cautioned against "name calling." Washington state Rep. Laura Ruderman, a John Kerry supporter, rose with dismay at the conference to decry the "rat hole" into which the DLC-Dean conflict was dragging the party. "Quite frankly, it's the kind of eating each other alive that drove Jim Jeffords out of the Republican Party," she said. Perhaps the most unexpected salvo came in early August during Al Gore's speech to the online activist group MoveOn.org. Simply speaking to the anti-Iraq War group was an affront to the DLC, and in his remarks, Gore called for Democrats to respect dissent and questioning of the war, a position From and Reed have decried as "weakness abroad."

The battle for the soul of the Democratic Party is not confined to the DLC versus Dean contest. An apparent schism between different generations of New Democrats -- between those whose defining political experiences occurred in the 1970s and those shaped by the battles of the '90s -- has been developing for some time.
Right on. I'm more than 30 years old, make a decent wage (i.e., can donate a little bit) and I do not remember '68 or '72. Clue: I don't care about McGovern or Johnson or even Carter really. My political coming of age was under Reagan (ugh) and I watched the Republicans and their bought-out media eviscerate our national political dialogue in the '90s and infect mainstream media with a creeping tolerance for radical, anti-democracy talking points. Dean speaks to me. Clark, even, if he'd sh*t or get off the pot, might speak to me. The DLC and the same-old, same-old don't rock the boat Democrats like Kerry and Gephardt and, god forbid, Lieberman, do not.

Get a clue, Dems.
Posted by J at August 20, 2003 07:21 AM

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