Friday, December 29, 2006

the (holy) blog wars

As many of you know, I used to work for the DLC. I agree with some of their philophosy, but I can't say that I agree with every tenant of their platform. I consider myself a Democrat, but I don't consider my party's platform to be akin to a religious dogma. One can believe in transsubstantiation, so to speak, and still be a good Episopalian.

So I feel the need to defend Will Marshall of the PPI/DLC from attacks from MyDD/DailyKos/SwingStateProject folks when they talk about the need to "excommunicate" the DLC from the Democratic party. Sure, Will was dead wrong about Iraq. When we argued about it in the fall of 2002, he said it was "all about the weapons of mass destruction" that we couldn't stand idily by while someone acquired such weapons and threatened their neighbors. We agreed that Afghanistan was already mismanaged and that it was his job as a war hawk to stay vigilant to prevent the Bush Administration from mismanaging Iraq. But I didn't see the threat as imminant.

And we may disagree about free trade to some degree. I think it needs to be fair in order to be effective. Just opening up one side of the market without worrying about fundamental unfairness, social, environmental, or labor conditions is a mistake.

But that doesn't mean he deserves to be banished from the party. Like I have said before, Lieberman needed to be primaried not because he was too conservative but because his political instincts were dead wrong and listening to him would be disasterous to the Democratic party.

Will Marshall is a smart nice man, and it is perfectly fine to disagree with him. But it is quite another to be setting up minimum standards for who deserves to be in the party. That is elitism if I have ever seen it.