Friday, January 21, 2005

RE: They don't fight

In response to Paperwight's lengthy reply to my rant/comment on his blog, I would like to thank him first for driving some traffic here. But I wouldn't consider myself as a DLC apologist. I feel that I have a duty as a person who has actually worked there to dispel some of the myths/misconceptions about the organization which the blogopshere and far left seem to spread.

only natural for the grassroots/netroots to conflate the two, and to inject as well their frustration with the lack of fighting spirit among the clubby DC crowd, so that "DLC Democrat" or "DINO" becomes shorthand for "cowardly appeaser pissing on the people who worked their asses off in the ground game". Is that fair? No, it's probably not entirely fair.

This is a very good point, and probably the main source of the problems the DLC faces. They were outsiders, and then with the success of Clinton, they got thrust into power and now they intermixed with the pre-existing status quo/establishment folks. I agree with what you say for the most part; the DLC needs to repudiate the establishment guys like Paul Begala and shame Tim Roemer. But Tim was their good foot soldier for the most part (except the tax cuts and Clinton 93 budget) and I am sure Paul is tight with the senior staff at the DLC.

For their part, the DLC has repudiated Shrumism for many years now (since about 2000 as far as I know) and folks like Ed Kilgore has agreed with folks at Tapped and elsewhere that ideology is a trivial concern at this point and we need to reform and rebuild the party. Ed has made some very positive noises about Dean's quasi announcement speech. They have been remarkably quiet, at least publicly, as to whom they like for DNC chair. I have trouble thinking of who they might want.

I will let Ed do more defending of the DLC since A) he still works there and B) he is a much better writer than me. But to sum up, the DLC doesn't appease, the Congressional "leadership" does/has. I don't agree with the DLC all the time, but I think the real enemy of Reform Democrats everywhere are not DLC members but folks like Bob Shrum, the folks who staff the DCCC and DSCC (those who cross-pollinate with said Shrums), the soft money men/women, the John Dingle's of the congress (career over substance, party, values etc.) We need to change how the party runs.

A group of what Paperwight indirectly calls "has-beens" is not the threat, it is those who hold the keys to the party and its purse-strings. The Dean campaign helped weaken the hold these people have on the party, but at the same time it reaffirmed their power (since Dean sunk like a stone).

Hal on comment board didn't like my closer that "I look to the Blogosphere for the next great promise of reforms for America." He said "I look to the people." But the blogosphere is made out of people. That is where it's power derives, not software. True, many smart and capable people don't go online yet, or aren't members of the blogophere. But I trust their ideas, if good enough, will trickle into the 'sphere over time. This is the promise of Open-Source policy making that Matt Stoller and Stirling Newberry advocate.

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