The Rise of the DLC

Within the blogosphere, I often feel that the term "DLC" is often used as a liberal straw / bogeyman to tar pretty much anyone who deviates from a widely held lefty-blogger position. Rarely, however, have I seen an actual history of the DLC that details the rise of the "new" Democratic movement. To serve this end, a couple of days ago I came across an American Prospect article from the early days of the Bush administration entitled How the DLC Does It.It is a very illuminating read, which I believe is very much connected to other recent topics on MyDD:Privately funded and operating as an extraparty organization without official Democratic sanction, and calling themselves "New Democrats," the DLC sought nothing less than the miraculous: the transubstantiation of America's oldest political party. Though the DLC painted itself using the palette of the liberal left--as "an effort to revive the Democratic Party's progressive tradition," with New Democrats being the "trustees of the real tradition of the Democratic Party"--its mission was far more confrontational. With few resources, and taking heavy flak from the big guns of the Democratic left, the DLC proclaimed its intention, Mighty Mouse-style, to rescue the Democratic Party from the influence of 1960s-era activists and the AFL-CIO, to ease its identification with hot-button social issues, and, perhaps most centrally, to reinvent the party as one pledged to fiscal restraint, less government, and a probusiness, pro-free market outlook. Considering this, it is not hard to imagine why many Democrats do not like the DLC. Further, the scope of their corporate contributions is breathtaking: One by one, Fortune 500 corporate backers saw the DLC as a good investment. By 1990 major firms like AT&T and Philip Morris were important donors. Indeed, according to Reinventing Democrats, Kenneth S. Baer's history of the DLC, Al From used the organization's fundraising prowess as blandishment to attract an ambitious young Arkansas governor to replace Senator Sam Nunn of Georgia as DLC chairman. Drawing heavily on internal memos written by From, Bruce Reed, and other DLCers, Baer says that the DLC offered Clinton not only a national platform for his presidential aspirations but "entree into the Washington and New York fundraising communities." Early in the 1992 primaries, writes Baer, "financially, Clinton's key Wall Street support was almost exclusively DLC-based," especially at firms like New York's Goldman, Sachs.

The DLC's investment in Clinton paid off, of course, after the 1992 election. Not only did the DLC bask in its status as idea factory and influence broker for the White House, but it also reaped immediate financial rewards. One month after the election, Clinton headlined a fundraising dinner for the DLC that drew 2,200 to Washington's Union Station, where tables went for $15,000 apiece. Corporate officials and lobbyists were lined up to meet the new White House occupant, including 139 trade associations, law firms, and companies who kicked in more than $2 million, for a total of $3.3 million raised in a single evening. The DLC-PPI's revenues climbed steadily upward, reaching $5 million in 1996 and, according to its most recent available tax returns, $6.3 million for 1999. "Our revenues for 2000 will probably end up around $7.2 million," says Chuck Alston, the DLC's executive director.

While the DLC will not formally disclose its sources of contributions and dues, the full array of its corporate supporters is contained in the program from its annual fall dinner last October, a gala salute to Lieberman that was held at the National Building Museum in Washington. Five tiers of donors are evident: the Board of Advisers, the Policy Roundtable, the Executive Council, the Board of Trustees, and an ad hoc group called the Event Committee--and companies are placed in each tier depending on the size of their check. For $5,000, 180 companies, lobbying firms, and individuals found themselves on the DLC's board of advisers, including British Petroleum, Boeing, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Coca-Cola, Dell, Eli Lilly, Federal Express, Glaxo Wellcome, Intel, Motorola, U.S. Tobacco, Union Carbide, and Xerox, along with trade associations ranging from the American Association of Health Plans to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. For $10,000, another 85 corporations signed on as the DLC's policy roundtable, including AOL, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Citigroup, Dow, GE, IBM, Oracle, UBS PacifiCare, PaineWebber, Pfizer, Pharmacia and Upjohn, and TRW.

And for $25,000, 28 giant companies found their way onto the DLC's executive council, including Aetna, AT&T, American Airlines, AIG, BellSouth, Chevron, DuPont, Enron, IBM, Merck and Company, Microsoft, Philip Morris, Texaco, and Verizon Communications. Few, if any, of these corporations would be seen as leaning Democratic, of course, but here and there are some real surprises. One member of the DLC's executive council is none other than Koch Industries, the privately held, Kansas-based oil company whose namesake family members are avatars of the far right, having helped to found archconservative institutions like the Cato Institute and Citizens for a Sound Economy. Not only that, but two Koch executives, Richard Fink and Robert P. Hall III, are listed as members of the board of trustees and the event committee, respectively--meaning that they gave significantly more than $25,000.

Clearly, any organization that raises money like this is not going to be very popular among the netroots. However, I do think that we should at least understand an organization before we attack it. To learn about the history of the New Democratic movement would make us all the wiser.

Tags: Democrats (all tags)



You left out the best parts
Simon Rosenberg, the former field director for the DLC who directs the New Democrat Network, a spin-off political action committee, says, "We're trying to raise money to help them lessen their reliance on traditional interest groups in the Democratic Party. In that way," he adds, "they are ideologically freed, frankly, from taking positions that make it difficult for Democrats to win."

That freedom came at a price of the Democratic base and wedded Democratic Congressmen to the NDN/DLC corporations instead.

Freeing Democrats from being, well, Democrats has been the Democratic Leadership Council's mission since its founding

To many up-and-coming politicians, NDN's events are heaven-sent forums at which they can strut their stuff and ring up contributors. Case in point: Tom Carper, the newly elected senator from Delaware. Last year, NDN raised $55,000 for Carper's Senate race. But it provided an intangible benefit as well. "He's a believer," says Rosenberg. "In addition to all the support we gave him, he'd come to a lot of our other fundraisers, and he was able to meet a lot of new people and develop new contacts. That's one of the reasons why so many elected officials come to our events." For politicians like Carper, NDN is a pipeline for campaign contributions. For donors, NDN provides precertification that none of the politicians are noisy populists. "The candidates are validated to people in the room as New Democrats," says Rosenberg.

Sounds like Rosenberg only pays the choir.

To ensure that liberals don't slip through the cracks, NDN requires each politician who seeks entree to its largesse and contacts to fill out a questionnaire that asks his or her views on trade, economics, education, welfare reform, and other issues. The questions are detailed, forcing candidates to state clearly whether or not they support views associated with the New Democrat Coalition, and it concludes by asking, "Will you join the NDC when you come to Congress?" Next, Rosenberg interviews each candidate, and then NDN determines which candidacies are viable before providing financial support.

Is this really the guy you want unifying the party...Rosenberg helped to institute an apartheid regime in the Democratic Party. You can look in my archives I have been asking for a clarification of Rosenbergs ideological stance but none were forthcoming.

by Parker 2005-01-24 11:20AM | 0 recs
interesting stuff
regardless of which way you swing on rosenberg, it's interesting to be able to get a fuller picture of who he is and where he's coming from.

i wonder if he's had a come to jeebus moment regarding the coporatisation of the party.  hmm.

by annatopia 2005-01-24 11:33AM | 0 recs
Re: interesting stuff

In the 90s we Clintonites fought each day for the forgotten middle class by raising money from wealthy Americans to finance our political operations. Voters and political activists were spoken to, not engaged in our politics. It was the classic broadcast era form of marketing - big money, lots of ads, lots of followship, all financed by the elite and the wealthy. The role of the middle class was to hear our message and vote our way. But fundamentally our politics was not about them no matter how much our rhetoric said it was.

The passage of McCain-Feingold in 2002 changed the rules. Federal office holders and candidates could no longer functionally raise and spend the big soft money checks that fueled our politics of the 90s. To raise the kind of money we need to compete in the future, we would need to go to the 45 million folks who vote Democratic and ask for their help.

Dean and groups like MoveOn have shown that the Internet is an efficient and effective way to allow many new people to participate in the system again. And what the Dean campaign understood first is that by giving a role for regular people to play in your politics it made the argument that your campaign was really about the middle class much more compelling and true. Our audience as a Party has changed. And you can hear it in our language as a Party - the forgotten middle class is forgotten no more.

What Dean and its Trippi era have done is to make the Party of the middle class more authentically the champion of the middle class by fundamentally altering how we finance and imagine our politics. This campaign is about them. No winks, no nods. We now know that we can only win this race with not just their votes but with their active participation in our politics again.

Our frontrunner Kerry has adopted this approach. He talks of his website, talks of taking back the country from the special interests, talks about how all of this is for "us" and not him. And if it sounds like he means it, he does.

My fellow New Democrats, this is what we've been calling for for twenty years - a politics driven by the interests of the middle class. What many in our movement have not understood is what Trippi understood - that to be true to our word, to be the true champions of the middle class, we would have to fundamentally change our politics, and make it more participatory, more open, more iterative, and more democratic.


Ushering in this new database-driven age of politics has to become the DNC's highest priority this year. The Dean/Trippi $100 revolution model is not only the only way we can match the Republicans' financial advantage; it is simply a better way of managing our politics:

    * The decentralized, bottom-up approach of the Dean campaign allows many more people to have a meaningful and productive relationship with our politics. Why not allow/encourage 2 million people to become essential partners in changing the country? Why not give them specific details on what we need to do to win - as Dean did - and encourage them to do much more then just give money? If millions are raising their hand and asking how they can help we better have something for them to do in addition to giving money.

    * Having our Party and our elected officials become literally dependent on every day Americans for our success in future elections is good for the Party that argues it is the true champion of the middle class. The more our money, and our passionate workers, comes from rank and file Democrats and not from wealthy Americans and our own narrow interest groups the more our Party will be free to pursue a politics truly of, by and for the people.

Of course all of this assumes a radical culture change at the DNC and with our top-down broadcast era money/message/TV/voter model. Can it happen this year? Do we have a choice?

by Matt Stoller 2005-01-24 12:18PM | 0 recs
Re: interesting stuff
by Reverend AlX 2005-01-24 01:35PM | 0 recs
Re: interesting stuff
Well considering that the NDN just accepted monies from Koch Industries in 2004 notice that Koch is listed on Chris's list of ultra conservative corporations

so...I don't think Simon has seen the light.

by Parker 2005-01-24 12:29PM | 0 recs
Re: interesting stuff
less than one percent of NDN's budget came from Koch - but let's be clear, all of this money went to beating Republicans.

Dean and the NRA were political allies, too, but that's because this is politics and prior to this cycle there simply was no way to effectively operate a party or political organization without large donations.

by Matt Stoller 2005-01-24 01:11PM | 0 recs
Let's be absolutely clear...
Koch Indusries did not give Rosenberg funds out of the goodness of their heart they were buying influence. Which is why Rosenberg has to go thru rigorous screening process to keep out the populist librul rift raft (in other words Democrats) unacceptable to neo-con corporations.
by Parker 2005-01-24 01:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Let's be absolutely clear...
The whole premise behind your comment is childish. NDN supported and gave money to Democrats who ran closely in support of labor issues, and/or against free trade, and/or supported by NARAL, and/or supported by the National Building Trades, and/or Mineworkers, and/or Teamsters, and/or were against the war, and/or ran on platforms for gay rights, and/or stricter regulation, and/or etc..... In fact under my childish retort to your comment, I could argue that Rosenberg should be seen as an even better candidate because he was able to get Koch to give money that negated whatever money was given to a Republican opponent and went against their own ideological interests. I don't think Democrats should unilaterally disarm or refuse to accept money from a whole group of people. I'm positive the NDN's fundraisers have a high code of ethics and are progressives but in the end they care about raising money which should partly be the goal of a commitee like NDN. In fact you'd be suprised by how many NDN Democrats voted against the war. The fundraising side of the operation is 3 steps removed from the policy end of an overall Democratic agenda, but the actual use is only one step removed from fighting Republicans. I say kudo's to Rosenberg and NDN for actual fighting this last cycle.
by Kombiz Lavasany 2005-01-24 02:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Let's be absolutely clear...
Let's not be childish. Koch industries which is a neo-con corporation funded the NDN to gain influence. There is nothing redeeming about the fact that Rosenberg accepted the money.
by Parker 2005-01-24 02:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Let's be absolutely clear...
Right on! Nothing excuses this involvement with extreme right wing. Does Rosenberg take money from everybody? Koch?  What,s next? There is NO EXCUSE FOR THIS.
by morris1030 2005-01-27 03:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Let's be absolutely clear...
Is there another dimension of MyDD that I don't know about? I got this "private" reply that does not not show up on the main screen.

*Re: Let's be absolutely clear... none (#23)

by laddy on Mon Jan 24th, 2005 at 07:01:51 PM EST
(User Info)

The whole premise behind your comment is childish. NDN supported and gave money to Democrats who ran closely in support of labor issues, and/or against free trade, and/or supported by NARAL, and/or supported by the National Building Trades, and/or Mineworkers, and/or Teamsters, and/or were against the war, and/or ran on platforms for gay rights, and/or stricter regulation, and/or etc..... In fact under my childish retort to your comment, I could argue that Rosenberg should be seen as an even better candidate because he was able to get Koch to give money that negated whatever money was given to a Republican opponent and went against their own ideological interests. I don't think Democrats should unilaterally disarm or refuse to accept money from a whole group of people. I'm positive the NDN's fundraisers have a high code of ethics and are progressives but in the end they care about raising money which should partly be the goal of a commitee like NDN. In fact you'd be suprised by how many NDN Democrats voted against the war. The fundraising side of the operation is 3 steps removed from the policy end of an overall Democratic agenda, but the actual use is only one step removed from fighting Republicans. I say kudo's to Rosenberg and NDN for actual fighting this last cycle.

[ Parent | Reply to This | ]

    Re: Let's be absolutely clear... none (#24)

    by Parker on Mon Jan 24th, 2005 at 07:28:31 PM EST
    (User Info)

    Let's not be childish. Koch industries which is a neo-con corporation funded the NDN to gain influence. There is nothing redeeming about the fact that Rosenberg accepted the money.

    [ Parent | Reply to This ]

by Parker 2005-01-24 02:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Let's be absolutely clear...
That was posted for public consumption. I don't know why it dissapeared.
by Kombiz Lavasany 2005-01-24 05:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Let's be absolutely clear...
Just as an FYI, I hit the toggle button again and it brought back the comment.
by Kombiz Lavasany 2005-01-24 10:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Let's be absolutely clear...
This is appalling. Rosenberg taking money from Neo-Cons and getting corporate bucks on this basis comes with a heavy price tag for the democrats who care about our party, This cannot be tolerated.
by morris1030 2005-01-27 03:27PM | 0 recs
Dean and the NRA
Dean did not distort the principles of the Democratic Party in his alliance with the NRA. He from a rural state where guns are used for hunting. Dean abides by the assult weapons ban.

Dean allied with the NRA in Vermont in an environmental issue to set aside and protect thousands of pristine wilderness. Dean's penny pinching allowed him as govenor to buy land to put into a state trust. The NRA were his natural allies as they benefited from protected forrests.

Whereas Rosenberg took money from neo-con corporations in order to "free Democrats" from the principles of the Democratic Party...not quite the same thing.

by Parker 2005-01-24 01:28PM | 0 recs
The ACLU and the NRA
In the mid-90's, the ACLU teamed up with the NRA and other usually-right-leaning gun groups on certain issues.  (Both were concerned about law enforcement actions at Ruby Ridge & Waco, and possible overreaching by the Clinton administration.)  As they say, "politics makes strange bedfellows," and today's adversary could be tomorrow's ally -- if a common interest comes up.

However, in the case of the DLC and the corporations, they weren't simply lobbying together on individual issues where they they happened to agree.  The corporations were donating money to fund the DLC's general operations, and getting leadership positions within the DLC in return.  That suggest a far broader alignment of their respective agendas.

Even if the corporations were donating more to curry favor with member officials than out of ideology, the fact that the DLC got so much money from them and gave them leadership roles would inevitably force it to stick to an agenda that pleased them.  "If you take the king's coin, you're the king's man."

by Horq 2005-01-24 09:19PM | 0 recs
Re: interesting stuff-Not really
There is no excuse for Rosenberg taking money from neo-cons under any circumstances. There's payback, don't you know??
by morris1030 2005-01-27 03:30PM | 0 recs
Re: interesting stuff-Not really
Do you just cut and paste the same comments over and over again?
by Alex Urevick 2005-01-28 05:12AM | 0 recs
Re: You left out the best parts "DLC"
Rosenberg makes me more and more uneasy, and as for DLC, just read "Party Cannibals" in 2/7/5 issue of "the Nation" written by Rick Perlstein.  This is a clear look at this bunch of opportunists, losers, old thinkers, [and more], who have been particularly divisive to the Democratic Party. They have courted and received  corporate cash, have been disloyal democrats, and have followed a highly destructive agenda that plays right into GOP hands.  Read this article, and see why we should rout them out.
by morris1030 2005-01-27 03:20PM | 0 recs
April, 2001 - that's when this article was written
NDN changed after the radicalism of the Bush Presidency became apparent; the DLC did not.
by Matt Stoller 2005-01-24 11:30AM | 0 recs
that's when this article was written
I think both Dean and Rosenberg seem committed to reform. However, there is one thing that should bother people about this idea of who really intends reform. Namely, how do you determine who will actually be in a position to be a forward thinker? Your post about how the NDN saw Bush until 2001 bothers me because they had to have known based on the election of 2000 and how it went down, what way the wind was blowing. Still, giving the benefit of the doubt, we will see how things turn out.
by bruh21 2005-01-24 11:41AM | 0 recs
Re: April, 2001 - that's when this article was wri
Does this mean that Rosenberg would not institute some sort of "liberal filter" on the DNC? I have to tell you, I've like what Simon's said so far, but this kind of "no lefties (read populists) allowed" talk is a bit worrying...
by Reverend AlX 2005-01-24 12:03PM | 0 recs
How did NDN change?
NDN is still the candidate funding branch of the DLC.

I didn't see Rosenberg fund any  "damn libruls".

by Parker 2005-01-24 12:33PM | 0 recs
in 1994,
al from said he was "happy" at democratic losses (the house, NY governor, etc) because they could reinvent the party that way.
by heterodoxy 2005-01-24 11:47AM | 0 recs
Amen!  To learn about an organization before attacking it is a wise thing.
by kydem 2005-01-24 12:00PM | 0 recs
Ya, then you can attack more intellegently and forcefully.


by michael in chicago 2005-01-24 12:13PM | 0 recs
Wondering if Bush should have done a little of that before attacking Iraq.

</shameless rhetoric>

by nanoboy 2005-01-24 12:22PM | 0 recs
Yea, he should have.
by kydem 2005-01-24 12:24PM | 0 recs
Yes, now I find the DLC to be even more revolting than it was before.

And I'm a moderate liberal.

by Covin 2005-01-24 02:59PM | 0 recs
Re: DLC &quot; Party Cannibals&quot;
In Rick Perlstein's excellent article on the DLC, "Party Cannibals", in 2/7/5 issue of[The Nation], he clearly deconstructs the shennanigans of Al From and Bruce Reed....machers at the DLC. The DLC actually claims it "has saved the Party once, and we're bound to do it again". This revolting bunch of opportunists have only managed to be destructive to the party, and when so few of DLC'ers were nominated to positions in Clinton's cabinet, they innaugurated "something" called, "The Third Way" project. I urge you all to read this article They are a shamefully cynical bunch of losers who misuse the Democratic Party to fit their own agenda, by creating illusion and confusion, that play into GOP's hands.
by morris1030 2005-01-27 03:10PM | 0 recs
Hate the employer, love the employees...
I always get that when I talk to neo-cons... "You libs all say you hate the employers but love their employees... can't have it both ways!"

I reply "No I only hate the employers who HATE their own employees... I LOVE employers who treat their employees well..."

I think that was the kind of 'reform' many 'moderate dems' hoped the DLC would lead... no one at the time thought it was going to become another 'Club For Growth'... but since then that is what has happened.

by dryfly 2005-01-24 12:01PM | 0 recs
Uh, isn't that the GOP?
 " rescue the Democratic Party from the influence of 1960s-era activists and the AFL-CIO, to ease its identification with hot-button social issues, and, perhaps most centrally, to reinvent the party as one pledged to fiscal restraint, less government, and a probusiness, pro-free market outlook."

That sounds like the GOP platform more than the Democratic platform to me. What the hell? Rescue the party from its core beliefs?

This is not good news to me. More Democrats should know about this. This is a prescription for GOP-Lite. It's a damn endorsement of it.

by michael in chicago 2005-01-24 12:12PM | 0 recs
The people get the government
(all together now) they DESERVE.

Americans don't deserve a first class government because they are no longer a first class people. Rather than lead the world, we wish to retard it because it scares us. We have become fat and lazy on our post-war couches.

The fundamental problem with the Progressive movement is that it talks about the people, but it doesn't talk to them. Alexander Himliton said it best in the Federalist Papers: public opinion is the root of all government power.

When white middle class America tries to tell you that they are tired of paying taxes to help minorities and other non-white, non-middle class people, Progressives either pretend not to hear them or start Harrumping around about racism, etc.

This is your precious people. The 60 million that voted for Bush are your precious people. Don't bother trying to get that magic 50.1% of the vote: renew a dialog with the people on why it is better to be a decent human being, than a petulant, self-centered hog.

Talk to the damn people. For real.

by Paul Goodman 2005-01-24 12:48PM | 0 recs
Re: The people get the government
The key to this is focusing on return on investment.

How does the democratic party improve the efficiency of America?  Most of the truely efficient aspects of America were once liberal ideals.

No child labor allows more children to learn and grow up to be even more productive than they would have been etc.

The aspects of liberalism that are losing battles are the expensive things that do not have a return on investment.

Education?  Basic Healthcare?  Social Security?  These can all be explained in economic terms if we take the time because they all save money.

Ebonics?  Maybe not so much.

by donkeykong 2005-01-24 01:12PM | 0 recs
Conservatives treat the Democratic party... they treat the government.

They want to get the government small enough, so that, as Grover Norquist has said, that they can "strangle it in the bathtub".

The DLC's job is to get the Democratic party small enough so that it can be strangled in the bathtub.  So far, it has succeeded-the Democratic party is in deep doodoo nationally.

This is why uber-conservatives like Koch support them.

This is why we need an anti-DLC like Dean as chair.

The NDN is no better, at least at one point in time, which is why Rosenberg can't become head of the DNC or hold any other official Democratic leadership position-I don't care if they have since seen the light.  It's like Frost-once you cozy up to Bush, you're out.

by Geotpf 2005-01-24 01:57PM | 0 recs
Keep learning...
Even though this posting started out with a good premise: let's learn more about a group before bashing them, those who chose to comment decided not to do any further research or actually read the whole text and think. Instead, they did the old "selective quoting" technique as pioneered by Ann Coulter.

The DLC agressively fundraises sure, and from corporations at unlimited amounts. But what do they do with the money? They write papers and do studies and publish their magazine, host events, host websites, etc. All of these things are done in the name of furthering their vision of what the Democratic Party ought to be: generally free trade (with cavates for improved working conditions and environmental protects), pro-growth (in the sense that more people have good jobs, earn more money, economy does well, etc. NOT the Conversative code word for Tax cuts), tough on crime/national defense/homeland security, and not blindly pro-union or anti-business.

In general, these are admirable goals. You may disagree with their policy positions, but I think it is a distortion to suggest they are trying to make the party GOP-lite or weaken it like Norquist wants to weaken the Federal Government.

More over, Simon Rosenberg and the DLC had their falling out when he left around 1996. There are NO TIES between the two. Sure, they share similar positions on issues (and like many of the same politicans), but they don't talk to each other or anything like that. Rosenberg liked the DLC's positions but didn't like that they couldn't campaign or support candidates, so he left.

The DLC is even more upset with him after he "cozied up" to Dean in late 2003. Folks at the DLC think he sold his principles to have a taste of power, and think it backfired on him. We shall see how Dean and Rosenburg do in the DNC race to judge if the DLC folks are right.

Overall, just because they take their money doesn't mean they take their opinions. Sure, the donors are trying to buy influence and have access to politicans, and politicans are trying to have access to potential donors. That is the name of the game in DC.  I went to a couple lunches sponsored by lobbyists, and it was cool to have such a nice meal at such a nice place, but it didn't change a single word on a single policy paper.

The fundraising people don't tell the rest of the staff how much they  bring in except at the end of fiscal years, they don't tell the rest of the staff even how much Al From makes. All I can tell you that during 2002 and 2003 while I was there, the DLC was much leaner than in the Clinton hey days in terms of how much money we had for events etc. They were worried about meeting the budget for events and salaries etc.

by DaveB 2005-01-24 03:09PM | 0 recs
The Neo-Cons the ties that bind
They write papers and do studies and publish their magazine, host events, host websites, etc.... yeah...and a whole lot more.

Why is this man smiling

Will Marshall founded the closely affiliated Progressive Policy Institute (PPI), a think tank that shares offices with the DLC.  

Marshall was one of 15 analysts who wrote the Progressive Policy Institute's foreign policy blueprint, "Progressive Internationalism: A Democratic National Security Strategy".  Using language that mirrors that of the neoconservative Project for the New American Century (PNAC), in October 2003 PPI hailed the "tough-minded internationalism" of past Democratic presidents such as Harry Truman. Like PNAC, which warned of the present danger in its founding documents, the Progressive Policy Institute declared that "America is threatened once again"

This is a well used tactic of the PPI/DLC they come up with the exact same proposals as the Neo-cons but written in Progressive-speak. Listed at the think (stink)-tank) you will find the EXACT proposal the Neo-Cons have for such policies as dismantling Head Start etc.

Like PNAC and the Bush administration, the Progressive Policy Institute has a vision of national security that extends to fostering democracy and freedom around the world in "the belief that America can best defend itself by building a world safe for individual liberty and democracy." It's likely that PNAC itself would heartily agree with PPI's criticism of those who complain that "the Bush administration has been too radical in recasting America's national security strategy." In fact, in assessing the Bush administration's foreign policy agenda, the institute stated, "we believe it has not been ambitious enough or imaginative enough

So what are the chances of the DLCers being against the Draft???

Although Marshall calls himself a "centrist," he has associated himself with neoconservative organizations and their radical foreign policy agendas. At the onset of the Iraq invasion, Marshall signed statements issued by the Project for the New American Centurycalling for the removal of Saddam Hussein, advocating that NATO help "secure and destroy all of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction," and arguing that the invasion "can contribute decisively to the democratization of the Middle East."

On February 25, 2003, Marshall joined an array of neoconservatives marshaled by the Social Democrats/USA-a wellspring of neoconservative strategy-to sign a letter to President Bushcalling for the invasion of Iraq. Marshall and others asked the president to "act alone if that proves necessary" and then, as a follow-up to a military-induced regime change in Iraq, to implement a democratization plan. The SD/USA letter urged the president to commit his administration to "maintaining substantial U.S. military forces in Iraq for as long as may be required to ensure a stable, representative regime is in place and functioning." Others signing the SD/USA letter included Hillel Fradkin, Rachelle Horowitz, Bruce Jackson, Penn Kemble, Robert Kagan, James Woolsey, Nina Shea, Michael Novak, Clifford May, and Ben Wattenberg.

So it is getting clearer why the anti-war Dean got under the DLC skin.

full profile

Will Marshall is also a member of this little group below along with such notables as Newt Gingrich,Richard N. Perle,George P. Shultz, James R. Hoffa, Jr.,R. James Woolsey, Jr., former etc

The Committee for the Liberation of Iraq (CLI) bills itself as a nongovernmental organization comprised of a "distinguished group of Americans" who want to free Iraq from Saddam Hussein. In a news release announcing its formation, the groups said it wants to "promote regional peace, political freedom and international security through replacement of the Saddam Hussein regime with a democratic government that respects the rights of the Iraqi people and ceases to threaten the community of nations." It has close links to the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), important shapers of the Bush administration's foreign policy.

Many CLI, PNAC and AEI members were previously involved with the Committee for Peace and Security in the Gulf (CPSG), a hard-right group created in 1990 prior to Operation Desert Storm.

The Washington Post reported in November 2002 that "the organization is modeled on a successful lobbying campaign to expand the NATO alliance. Members include former secretary of state George P. Shultz, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and former senator Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.). ... While the Iraq committee is an independent entity, committee officers said they expect to work closely with the administration. They already have met with Hadley and Bush political adviser Karl Rove. Committee officers and a White House spokesman said Rice, Hadley and Cheney will soon meet with the group."

Let's be clear as to the ideology behind the DLC and that they in no way intended to represent the majority of Democratic voters.

They can call themselves what ever, centrists, moderates, progressive moderates, progressive centrist but in actuality their ideology is aligned with the far-right neo-cons further right than the moderate Republicans.

by Parker 2005-01-24 03:33PM | 0 recs
glass houses
I find it amusing that organizations that are funded by the likes of George Soros and Andy Rappaport (and his cadre of silicon vallyer millionares) are still called "grassroots."  A corporation is a corporation is a corporation.
by Polk011 2005-01-24 04:10PM | 0 recs
Re: glass houses
Well I don't see George Soros and Andy Rappaport funding right wing republicans and think tanks.
by Parker 2005-01-24 05:24PM | 0 recs
Re: glass houses
i think you missed the point.  im saying certain "grassroots" organizations are not as grassroots as some people think, since they get huge sums of money from wealthy donors, PACS, and sometimes...even corporations.
by Polk011 2005-01-24 06:35PM | 0 recs
Polk is right.
Nader has a point when he says both parties are subsisted on the same special interests. Corporate power HEDGES its bets. Go take a good look at the donor lists for both parties. You really think these millionaires care about average joe? Not a chance.
by Vote Hillary 2008 2005-01-24 06:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Polk is right.
While you are at it look closely at Nadar's donor list that included the republican party in 2004 by way of getting him on the ballot in as many states as possible.
by donkeykong 2005-01-24 08:58PM | 0 recs
With dems lobbying and politicking against Nader's right to run as a 3rd party candidate, can you blame him? I don't.

Did the republicans do the same to the Libertarian and Consitution party candidates as well? No. Gee, I wonder why considering Badnarik was equally as effective as Nader in 2004. Badnarik drew 400k votes to Nader's 400k. Add in the 186k from the Constitution party and it looks like Bush lost plenty more votes than Kerry did.

Any natural citizen of this country has a right to seek presidential office, period. You don't want him to win votes? Fight him with ideas and win the minds of those who'd vote for him. The republicans didn't start counter-activism pro-Nader efforts until the dems began an all out campaign to shut him down.

At the end of the campaign, both sides were manipulating the system regarding Nader so much it was damn shameful. This is why I'm independent. Too much hypocrisy in both your parties.

I was a Kerry supporter since 2002 and stuck with him through the ups and downs until he became the nominee. I wouldn't have voted for Nader but I don't hold it against anyone who did. They have their right just as I have mine.

by Vote Hillary 2008 2005-01-25 01:49AM | 0 recs
Re: And?
I hold it against the 200-300 Nadar voters in Florida 2000.

IMO the iraqi, afghanistan and massive debt all replace the Nadar legacy.

Nadar is mini-me Bush

by donkeykong 2005-01-25 05:56AM | 0 recs
Re: And?
I'm a FL voter, Volusia county -- one of the disputed ones that came down to about 180. I don't hold it against them. I blame Gore and his lousy campaign for failing to win them over. The last 30 days he went on some angry populist rhetoric binge which was pretty weird, considering the 1990s were such nice years. He should have stuck with Clinton instead of shunning him.
by Vote Hillary 2008 2005-01-25 07:23AM | 0 recs
Re: And?
Nader voters are spoiled and have no concern for the people harmed by their "vote of conscience".  Some ACTUALLY hoped Bush would win because then everyone would see how bad it could get and would embrace Ralph's vision.

How selfish can you be?

by fightforamerica 2005-01-25 09:07AM | 0 recs
How quaint.
Ah yes, the spoiled Nader voter who's candidate never wins elections, is sidelined by the two-party corporate political system, and gets his campaign castrated by democrats using republican tactics.

Here's a suggestion: quit being a hypocrite. You either believe in democracy and every American's right to run for president or you don't. Apparently democracy for you only matters so long as it is convenient -- how typical. And I'm sure you were one of the first dems to cry out about voter suppression and disenfranchisement in Ohio and FL. What a laugh.

Pull such tactics again in 2008 and I'll sit my FL vote out or vote the oppressed candidate in protest.

by Vote Hillary 2008 2005-01-25 07:05PM | 0 recs
BTW PPI is a wholly owned subsidary of the DLC, it is there think tank. This was From's attempt to counter the CATO institute and the like.

It doesn't surprise me that much that Marshall would  sign on to getting rid of Sadam Hussein. Since 1991 or so the organization has been in favor of getting rid of him.

This is all part of their "can be trusted with national security" meme. They saw the string of Democratic losses from McGovern to Dukakas (with Carter only making things worse with hostage crisis) and thought that it was because voters didn't trust Democratic candidates would keep them safe. They believed that they had to show themselves willing to go to war to get rid of threats if necessary, but were always in favor of multinational/international forces and alliances.

Clinton and Gore if you recall, supported the Gulf War (although Clinton was a bit soft on it) in 1991. Moreover, it was Clinton and Clark that pushed for war in Kosovo (and Clark who pushed for action in Rawanda in 1994).

All of the DLC supported candidates in 2004 (save Clark) supported the idea of this war, but not the execution.

Perhaps Americans need this symbolism to show that  a candidate is tough and willing to fight, but I personally feel it is unnecessary.

By the way, Will Marshall is a really nice guy and  although I (and other jr. staffers) disagreed with him on the necessity of the war, I respect him for his intellectual honesty and would NEVER put his name and conservative in the same sentence. His wife is French, and I am sure he got plenty of beef at home about his support for Shrub's war.

by DaveB 2005-01-24 05:31PM | 0 recs
He is a signatory of PNAC...more right wing wingnut you can't get
by Parker 2005-01-24 05:33PM | 0 recs
So how about they get on the ball and ask Anthony Zinni to run for Senate in PA in 2006? Really, is there a better guy to reframe the national security debate?

Besides that, let activists hit the ground with this guy and we will kick the living santorum out of Santorum.

by Reverend AlX 2005-01-24 06:10PM | 0 recs
PNAC and the DLC
Ok, so looking at the links to letters Will Marshal signed with PNAC, I see only two, all POST-WAR and for some reason, inopperable.

To present the fullest picture possible, Mashall Wittman, ex-McCain aide and newest DLC pickup/Bullmoose Blog writer (and I believe he endorsed Kerry in 2004), signed on to two letters to president Bush only (in 2001 and 2002). These letters are not so great in my opinion, especially the Saddam=9/11 part in the 2001 letter. It seems Wittman has some regrets for these transgressions and has written lots about how bungled this war is etc.

Of course, this is in no way comparable to the likes of Bill Kristol or Paul Wolfowitz, who signed nearly every letter, according to the linked chart. Remember, Clinton was fairly supportive of going to war with Saddam in 2002/3 and I doubt many bloggers would place him in the same company as Kristol or Wolfowitz ideologically.

I am sorry the DLC is so mysterous to some that it becomes a vehicle for hate and blame for all of the Democrats post-2000 failures, but they are not the reason the Democrats have tanked in the last 4-5 years. I think there is plenty of blame to go around for those folks at the DNC, DSCC, and DCCC (as well as Schrum-type consulting firms INCLUDING Trippi's who took millions of Deaniac dollars).

by DaveB 2005-01-24 06:03PM | 0 recs
Re: PNAC and the DLC
so you mean you gave me troll rating because you had not done your research first and decided to just lash out.

Sound like you know Wittman personally yet you didn't know how deeply ingrained he is in the neo-con arena...that does not make sense.

I have yet to read Wittman or and of the DLC/NDN admit that the war was the stupidest thing to happen in the history of the United States. Perhaps both organizations were influenced by the funds filling their troughs by oil and militaristic corporations.

by Parker 2005-01-25 12:59AM | 0 recs
Re: PNAC and the DLC
I don't know Wittman personally, I do my research. I  know Will Marshall sorta, his office was near my cubicle for the year or so I worked there. And I have to say Will treated everyone the same, from Senator Kerry to us to his secretary (although Kerry didn't treat Will's secretary with the same respect).

I have never laid eyes on the ex-McCain aide. After all, he used to be, and still might be for all I know, I Republican.

I troll rated you because you are trying to smear Will Marshall when you know nothing about the DLC or the man, you just did a google search.

by DaveB 2005-01-25 07:47AM | 0 recs
DLC bogeyman
I agree with Chris. But then I like the politics of the DLC because it's very in tune with my centrist beliefs. That's why I loved the Clinton years -- I tell every blaspheming republican that Bill gave us the best 8 years in a long time. I'd have voted for him FDR style, election after election. I wish 2004 could have been his 4th term.
by Vote Hillary 2008 2005-01-24 06:58PM | 0 recs
Re: DLC bogeyman
Bill gave us the best 8 years in a long time

Tell that to all the people who lost their jobs due to nafta and the other "free"-market programs (in quotes because it actually cost American workers a whole hellova lot).

by Reverend AlX 2005-01-25 04:07AM | 0 recs
DLC's agenda was clear from the beginning
I remember when the DLC was founded. I was an activist in the Young Democrats back then. It was made abundantly clear at the time that it's purpose was to try to steer the Democratic Party more to the right, with the claim that this was necessary in order to win elections.

What's more, the DLC was set up as a splinter group -- even perhaps a rival to the DNC organization itself.  They deliberately scheduled one of their first meetings to be held at the same time as a DNC meeting, but in a different city, so Democratic officials and party leaders would have to make a choice as to which they had a greater allegiance to.

Then-DNC Chair Ron Brown had to go address one of their meetings to try to persuade them to come back into the fold.  But it was only after DLC co-founder Clinton was elected President that they became leaders in the party power structure, rather than rivals to it.

The DLC's founding immediately drew fire from liberals, and Sen. Howard Metzenbaum tried to set up an opposing group to promote liberal values within the party.  He hosted a kick-off conference I attended in northern Virginia at which Ted Kennedy and many other prominent liberals spoke.

Long story short, I find it interesting that people are now debating whether the DLC is really a bunch of right-wing party saboteurs.  Maybe I'm the only one here old enough to remember the beginning, but my reaction is, "Well, duh!"

by Horq 2005-01-24 09:52PM | 0 recs


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