Tactics Over Policy: The New Party Divide

Oliver Willis writes:The reason Jeff [Jarvis] raises such ire on the left is that he's a reliable source for the right in getting a Democrat to bash Democrats. A similar dynamic exists with Mickey Kaus, The New Republic, and Joe Lieberman. They (and a few others) can reliably be called upon as a "voice of reason" within the Democratic party, in order to discredit the relative moderation of the party ("Balanced budgets and sensible wars!" Damn, we're crazy). Needless to say, in the case of the war in Iraq, had we ignored the so-called reasonable ones, 1,500 American soldiers would be alive today. Many in the Democratic blogosphere have long complained that the national media has consistently misunderstood the new divide within the Democratic Party as simply a rehashing of the old ideological battles of the late eighties and early nineties. In particular, we argue that the netroots have been inaccurately cast as part of a revitalized liberal wing of the Democratic Party that seeks to yank the party to the left while much of the leadership seeks to yank the party to the center or the right. However, the above passage from Willis much more accurately expresses the problem many of us in the blogosphere have with a variety of "centrist" and "hawkish" figures in the party. Our problem is not ideological, but that they consistently bash Democrats, Democratic positions, and publicly proclaim that the Democratic Party has it wrong on a regular basis (thus implying that the Republican Party has it right, no matter how many nuances and qualifiers are included in their criticisms of Democrats). For example, whenever I have directed my ire toward the DLC, it has been because I have felt their message, not their policies, help to defeat Democrats. Jerome has done much of the same.

The new party divide has become one of partisan Democrats versus partisan ideologues. At least one member of the DLC is finally starting to recognize this:

DLC VP for policy and in-house blogger Ed Kilgore observed that the overall left-leaning, Internet-driven movement is focused on "debating tactics and attitude, not policy." All the DLC officials interviewed refrained from criticizing Dean. Kilgore needs to clue in some of his fellow members that one of the main tactics we believe needs to be instituted is to refrain not only from bashing the new party leadership, but also from bashing vital, activist elements within the Democratic Party:"You've got to reject Michael Moore and the MoveOn crowd," DLC CEO Al From said in an interview about how the Democratic Party should rebuild after 2004. From argued that the anti-war Moore and MoveOn have hurt the party on national security, the issue which he says the party needs to make "central to our cause." Rank-and-file Democrats "are more like us than MoveOn," which From called a group of "elites, people who sit in their basements all the time and play on their computers."(...)

On the blogosphere in general, DLC senior fellow and longtime blogger Marshall Wittman sounded a cautionary note, arguing that the 'sphere "not representative of most of the American people," and that it actually could have a "pernicious effect" on how the party is viewed because it's getting "too much" media attention and is having a polarizing effect.

For fuck's sake, what are these morons doing? Why are they painting vital elements of their own party as extremist and/or elitist? How can Democrats win if we use Republican language to describe members of our own party? Conservative want to paint Democrats as elites, and From is more than happy to help them out. Conservatives want to paint Democrats as out of touch with America, and Marshall is more than happy to help them out. How will we ever get more votes if Democrats like From and Marshall, like Lieberman and Jarvis, are more than happy to repeat Republican attacks against Democrats? How will that do anything except serve as a justification for the Republican attack in the first place?

As if those quotes weren't bad enough, here's the kicker:

The DLC believes the party needs to emphasize values and reform, along with national security. In talking about social issues, From said, "We don't show enough respect for people who might disagree with us." Whoa. Wow. Amazing. He wants to show respect to Republicans who disagree with him, but happily paints members of his own party as extremists and elites. How much less partisan can someone get? This guy could share my stance, word for word, on every single policy issue ever invented, and I would still hate his guts because of the damage I feel he causes to the party.

Kilgore spends a lot of time online, so among the DLC at least he is aware that the rising tide of the netroots is much more concerned with opposing Republicans and developing new tactics to help Democrats win than yanking the party to the left. This is one of the reasons it is easy to hold a conversation with Kilgore: even though I imagine we are at least somewhat different when it comes to policy positions, we dispute tactics, not policy. As we stand together against bush, that is what we should be doing. He should tell people like From and Marshall that being a partisan is widely accepted tactic number one, since it is impossible for me, clueless, extremist, elitist that I am, to imagine a way that bashing your allies and reaching out to your opponents helps your allies win.

I am a partisan Democrat, not a partisan ideologue.

Tags: Democrats (all tags)



That's the Ticket, "Get Rid of the MoveOn
Crowd" and create 3 million bots with the DLC Goodhouskeeping Seal of Approval on their tiny foreheads to replace us. I wonder how many of the "security pundits" ever qualified with an M-16, talked to the sorts of men and women who are in Iraq, extended their hands to those of us who were inspired (that's right, inspired) by Howard Dean? None so far that I know of.

That's why we must extend our hands outside the Beltway, from the bottom up, every day.

Thanks for the diary. TMA

by DFATMA 2005-03-01 08:53AM | 0 recs
oh thats really clever...
label the activists "at home in their basements playing on the computer" as elites.

Screw Al From. He's the elite. The blogosphere is the people, the non-elites, forming a coalition to wrest the power away from him. The blogosphere is an organizing tool that is mobilizing a coalition of the outsiders to challenge the king-makers at the DLC, and more generally centralized politics.

There is something fundamental about the internet as a dynamic organizing tool. Traditional organizing becomes more impersonal the bigger the organization gets. Members feel less of a voice, and participation is generally less intense. The blogosphere inverts this traditional "reverse ecomony of scale." The bigger the blogospehere gets, the more personal your participation feels. DKos is proving how bigger is not only better, but better on 'per user' basis as well.

On the blogosphere political donations are open and democratic. Each person decides to whom and how much they wish to donate and are given a wide swath of choices. In the DLC and centralized organizations in general, their power and prestige is maintained by their power over money. They are the middle-man, and they have a lot to lose, if they continue being an exclusively traditional political machine.

I think they could easily morph and be a large influence in the blogosphere. But here their power would come exclusively from their persuasion, whereas before the power came from their actions.

Within the political party you have two groups, the elites and the activists. Traditionally the elites decide what roles to causes the activists behind. The activist subgroup has been traditionally unorganized within the microcosm of the political party, as far as their interests are counter to the interests of the elites. Starting with Dean, activists across the country are organizing without elites. The elites are scared, as they should be. I believe 50 years from now, Dean's candicacy will be viewed as the time the 'hidden transcript' of activists broke into the public transcript, unleashing a veritable revolution in how U.S. political parties organize, seek votes, and fund-raise. The Republicans are falling behind, but they will catch up no doubt.

by srolle 2005-03-01 08:58AM | 0 recs
Well, there is some truth to that
We are "elites', in the concept that most of us are above average incomes (or are students who will likely have that in the future).

That being said, this is the same bogus argument from back in the Dean campaign. Remember when the lily white upscale MSM parroted the lily white upscale consultants from the other lily white upscale campaigns as to the Dean campaign not being "diverse"? Which was, of course, true...except the even greater lack of diversity in the MSM and the other campaigns.

In this case, From is sniping from the top 10% that those "net people" are in the top 30%. This is much akin to Louis XVI calling the Revolution "elitist", because he was being replaced by wealthy bourgois professionals like Robespierre, Danton, and St. Just. Therefore, the only "non-elitist" option would be for him to remain King, and keep the Aristocracy.

The reality is that every movement to greater democracy mostly enfranchises a larger set of the populace. Its a slow progression. Each change in the technology of disintermediation expands the circle. Which in turn changes policies, which causes a greater expansion down the road.

by ElitistJohn 2005-03-01 09:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Well, there is some truth to that
maybe in society in general...but within the party structure activists are non-elite. I was mainly refering to a revolution in power structure of political parties, not a revolution of power in the country in general.

But on your point, the 'elites' on the blogosphere are not disconnected from society. Political junkies drive the political discourse in the country by providing information to the majority of Americans that don't follow political news at all. The 'elites' that follow politics are the conduit by which the country forms political opinions.

by srolle 2005-03-01 09:48AM | 0 recs
You don't need to be rich to post here
All you need is a $400 computer and $10 a month for internet access.  80-90% of the population (or more) can afford that-if they choose to.  A lot of them don't choose to-because they are technophobic, or don't care about politics, or both.
by Geotpf 2005-03-01 10:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Well, there is some truth to that
Who's this jerk callin' "elite"?

Is Mr. "Man-of-the-People" From calling ME elite?

I'm a Democrat. But I just joined my county Democratic Party in January 2005 - on fire and ready to work. If there's one thing I can't stand it's a GD liar, so naturally I can't stand GW Bush, or any of the rest of that Republican bunch in Washington right now.

This From guy says I'm the "elite" ?????

I was unemployed for 2 years. My new job is in the biotech industry, so I get to start all over again making about half what I made in my last job as a telecom technician. And I've finished my college degree since my last job. ELITE?

Who IS this jerk, From?

I'm a single mother with two teenagers. When I get home every evening I hit the door, then I hit the kitchen. I don't sit down or stop moving until dinner is finished and my daughter is home from soccer practice. (My son lives at our state's School of Science and Math.) I have a large veggie garden out of necessity. My credit cards are maxed and I'm doing everything I can to work my way back out of this financial hole. My savings are gone, my car needs a timing chain, my oldest goes to college next year and after two years of Republican thumb sucking and tax cutting, this From guy thinks I'M the frickin' ELITE. Boy would I like to get him in a room alone for a few minutes - he'd get a piece of my mind.

Nobody wants to follow a spineless weasel. If this guy From is a Democratic Leader ... good God help us all.

by Leslie H 2005-03-01 11:18AM | 0 recs
Dean - the "Michael Moore" democrat
I was driving and listening to NPR the other week after Dean had been confirmed, and they had a snippit from Tim Roemer - who called Howard Dean a Michael Moore democrat.   It must just amazes me how many democrats adopt the right's framing to bash their fellow dems.    
by Virginia Liberal 2005-03-01 09:42AM | 0 recs
Al From
I like the DLC, I think PPI comes up with a lot of interesting and innovative ideas. I've always considered myself a DLC'er, but I cannot for the life of me understand where Al From is coming from. The DLC has a large membership base of strong progressives. It also has a large number of Democrats who are conservative or who are in marginal districts. When From goes off on one of his crusades against the imaginary left devouring the Democratic party it does nothing but hurt Democrats in those marginal districts. It doesn't help From win any seats when's he's parroting RNC talking points and opposition research.

The media loves conflict and the Conservative media devours Dems beating Dems using Republican talking points. For From to bring his inner party struggle for more control (as in power)to the surface by blasting other Democrats and using Republican straw men is well of the mark. First off, MoveOn is not a monolithic left wing orginazation. They raised money and organized volunteers for a slew of conservative Dems from Mongardo to Carson. Their only post election ad has been attacking Bush on Social security (we're not redrawing the line on Social Security are we now?) I didn't see all their pre-election ads, but the ads I saw were never out of line, so maybe I missed something, but I can't imagine there's anything move-on has done where they would deserve the negative reponse they've gotten from Al From much less the RWNM.

As far as why so many DLC Democrats in close races looked for and received Move-On's endorsment (and money) should say something about where Al From really stands. It's a rhethorical circle he can't square, he can't be for DLC policy Democrats while at the same time undermining those same Democrats on the pages of Wall Street Journal editorial page and on Fox News. As far as perception, he's the one legitimizing RWMN talking points. I can't imagine From was blasting Bill Clinton for opening up the military to gays, but Bill Clinton did in '93 and I'm sure the big dog would have made the head of the DLC powerless if he would have parroted Rush Limbaugh in '93.

by Kombiz Lavasany 2005-03-01 10:01AM | 0 recs
Big Dog created this monster
It's up to Big Dog to destroy it.  He's the only one that can, because From uses the Clinton connection as a sword and a shield against anyone that criticizes him.  Clinton neds to publicly disavow, to rebuke From for damaging the party, cmon Bill, lay a "Sister Souljah" moment on Fat Al From.

Holding my breath?  Naah.

by DancingLarry 2005-03-01 08:07PM | 0 recs
I think srolle has it exactly right.  This is about power.  The DLC is under seige in D.C. and are desperately trying to hold on to the power they had under the pre-Dean DNC and grab more if they can get it.  They know they're lying when they attempt to frame netroots as crazy lefties who worship at the altar of Michael Moore; they're doing it to make any person connected to netroots radioactive in the halls of DC.  That way they can continue to present themselves as "serious," and representative of "centrists" in meetings with officials.  They won't stop dumping on us until they see that it actually hurts their cause.
by levinson 2005-03-01 10:03AM | 0 recs

www.washingtonpost.com :
The chamber is at the forefront of a quiet revolution in business lobbying. Corporate groups now raise big money to advance broad issues, largely to help the Republican president enact his fiscal agenda.

www.washingtonpost.com :
The chamber also contributed more than $4 million to the November Fund, a group that attacked Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry for choosing a former trial lawyer,for choosing a former trial lawyer, John Edwards, as his running mate

www.washingtonpost.com :

The chamber has hired the Swiss Guard of paid consultants from both political parties. Several showed up at a recent dinner hosted by Donohue at the chamber, including Al From

www.ndol.org :

From is a member of the Board of Directors for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce National Chamber Foundation.

Can we now agree that AL From is a rat fuck couldn't give a shit about Democrats or anyone who is not putting payola in his pocket. It is getting ridiculous that Democrats are still taking this asshole seriously.

by Parker 2005-03-01 10:24AM | 0 recs
Power over principle.
Putzes like From, Marshall, Lieberman, et al are all pushing the same thing as the right wing--fear--with the same goal in mind--power. So they use a chant that is only slightly different than the one we are subjected to from the right-wing: Run away from liberal values, run away, or the Democratic party will crumble!

I bet even Karl Rove gets pissed at these backstabbing assholes sometimes because they make his job too GD easy, which means he can't take all the credit.

by dicta 2005-03-01 10:25AM | 0 recs
great post
Tactics vs. policy is a good description and I appreciate your comments.  

I think we are winning on tactics and should continue full steam ahead.  However some policy wonking would be beneficial to our cause.  It would expand the discourse and provide public education.  Help define through discussion the progressive notion of government.

Facing loss of power the DLC is taking it out on the new kid on the block.

by aiko 2005-03-01 10:29AM | 0 recs
holy hell
This is why I hate the DLC. Imagine if the leader of a Republician think tank spent all his time talking how how horrible the religious right were for the Republicians.

Fuck you Al From.

by ben114 2005-03-01 10:50AM | 0 recs
Re: holy hell
I see your point but we're not the religious right, and we're not LGF. We're passionate and clearheaded, and we may be wrong from time to time but our ideas for government don't include the control of the very habits of people's life here or abroad.
by Kombiz Lavasany 2005-03-01 11:08AM | 0 recs
Here's my take lifted from a diary I just wrote
Why Clinton Still Matters

In 2003, Democracy Corps' Stanley Greenberg published his book, The Two Americas. In it, Greenberg presents a compelling case for what would essentially be a continuance Bill Clinton's political strategies of pursuing progressive, yet broad policies which would conceivably appeal to a wider swath of Americans than a more left of center, base-oriented strategy would entail. Greenberg, drawing on a huge sample of voters, concludes that on the whole, Americans tend to have a more progressive point of view on most foreign and domestic policy issues. Greenberg therefore posits that the Democrats should do their best to bring as much unity and conciliation as possible to the American political environment.

The Republicans, he argues, would like nothing of the kind, however. Because most of America does not see things their way, it is in their interest to leverage wedge issues like abortion and gay marriage, making them as salient as possible so as to motivate their base to turn out each election day. This has the result of creating an "us vs them" mentality resulting in the polarization we see today--a kind of cold civil war.

It is hard not to believe that the Republicans are actively pursuing a polarized environment. It would defy the boundries of credulity to believe that as the Republican Noise Machine has grown more and more powerful, the corresponding increase in polarization has not been a by-product. Therefore, if the Republican Noise Machine actively creates polarization, it follows that it would make little sense for the Democrats to help create more polarization.

Why Conciliation

The simple fact is that any base-oriented strategy is doomed to failure. It is unlikely that we will ever reach the Republicans level of voter mobilization. There are more Conservatives than Liberals in America by an almost 3 to 2 ratio. Republican voters tend to fit the likely voter model more closely than Democrats. And they have been preparing their coalition for over three decades. It makes little sense for the Democrats to adopt the Republicans strategies when their strengths lie elsewhere.

If the more extreme policies of the Republicans make their voters more dedicated and reliable, it also makes their policies less broadly appealing. Bowers has pointed out that all demographic groups have the potential to swing one way or another. This is common sense. It follows that the Democrats most obvious line of attack would be to do as Greenberg suggests, crafting less extreme, more broadly appealing policies and rhetoric.

This may of course be hard for some people to swallow, especially those that believe that watering down progressive causes is a failure of principle--a comprise they are unwilling to make. I disagree. I think it is possible, as Bill Clinton has argued elsewhere, to craft a broadly appealling agenda which supports the progressive cause.

As to those who believe there should not be, as Hillary argued, any conciliation on issues like abortion, I would argue that this thinking is overly dogmatic. Culture and values are the most viseral and emotional parts of the political equation. So long as the Democrats seem to more socially conservative voters be completely divorced from their perspectives, they will continue to provide a solid base for the Republican Noise Machine to create the polarization it thrives off. But beyond that, these are subjective ethical queations which no one has a right claim absolute truth about. As liberals this should be obvious to us. It is not surrender to acknowledge the philosophical ambiguity of these ethical questions.

The one caveat here, of course, is that crafting a broadly appealling agenda will not be enough so long as National Security still dominates the American political landscape. While I believe that by 2008 people will have become more interested in domestic politics again, it in all likelihood will be a black ball for the Democrats if they cannot present a viable agenda on this front. On this, I admit I don't have a silver bullit to save the party with. I do, however, have a frame which I will cover in a different piece.

by descrates 2005-03-01 11:26AM | 0 recs
What's Extreme???
I would just like to know what extreme policies the Dems have been pushing that they should abandon? Clinton opposed the International Criminal Court, for God's sake! And 56% of REPUBLICANS think it's the way to go in Darfur! (Example picked almost at random. Just the most recent clearly documented item in my inbox, from earlier this morning.)

See Large Bipartisan Majority of Americans Favors Referring Darfur War Crime Cases to International Criminal Court, from PIPA (The Project on International Policy Alternatives):

As the UN Security Council prepares to consider referring to the International Criminal Court Sudanese individuals charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur, the Bush administration continues to oppose such a move. A majority of Americans (60%), however, favor referring these cases to the International Criminal Court rather than using a temporary tribunal, as the administration has proposed.

In a poll of 1,182 Americans by the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations and the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, respondents were given the context of the debate by being told that "the UN has determined that crimes against humanity and war crimes have been committed" in Darfur and that "some people say that Sudanese individuals charged with these crimes should be tried by the existing International Criminal Court," while "others want to create a new temporary tribunal for these cases, because they do not want to legitimize the International Criminal Court, which they oppose." Sixty percent favored sending the cases to the ICC, while 29% favored sending them to a temporary tribunal. Support for referral to the ICC was higher among Democrats (68%), but a majority of Republicans (56%) also favored it.

Is this the sort of "polarizing," "extremist" position we're supposed to abandon?

I'm sorry, I agree with half of what Greenberg is saying: the GOP needs polarization, and hot-button wedge issues, because the vast majority of Americans are with us on the broad issues of public policy. But we don't have to "moderate" our views to win them over. We just have to state them, over and over and over again, and frame them in a way that connects with what people already feel.

And, please, let the DLC go back to the GOP where it belongs. They only get in the way of us doing what is both right, and politically effective.

56% of Republicans. Heck, the Bush-lite DLC isn't even with a majority GOP position.

by Paul Rosenberg 2005-03-01 12:36PM | 0 recs
The DLC Must Die!
Let's face it, they're nothing but a GOP front group. They've gotta go, and the sooner, the better.
by Paul Rosenberg 2005-03-01 12:16PM | 0 recs
Is it only AL From or the whole DLC?
Maybe if Al From does not get it, he probably has an agenda.

I suspect the reason why Democrats are considered weak is because they cave-in to Repub bullying and Al From Types perpetuating the meme.

Al From should just  join the Republican Party.

by jasmine 2005-03-01 12:31PM | 0 recs
We don't show enough respect for people who might disagree with us."

Why? Republicans have no problems calling us "traitors," or lying about John Kerry or lying about John Kerry, or even lying about John Kerry.

Fuck them, and fuck Al From.

by cscs 2005-03-01 12:43PM | 0 recs
Democratic Party Values
Interesting piece. I found little to disagree with in your first section on "Why Clinton Matters". But after that I  found a few bones to pick. I certainly am not dogmatic on abortion and believe that there may be compromises to be found, but compromise just for the sake of appealing to conservatives is a wrong approach. Take this for instance:

So long as the Democrats seem to more socially conservative voters be completely divorced from their perspectives, they will continue to provide a solid base for the Republican Noise Machine to create the polarization it thrives off. But beyond that, these are subjective ethical questions which no one has a right claim absolute truth about. As liberals this should be obvious to us. It is not surrender to acknowledge the philosophical ambiguity of these ethical questions.

True. If you only acknowledge the ambiguity you are not surrendering. But what would you have Democrats do? In this case, one side claiming to know truth wants to impose that truth on all women. The other, to protect the right of an individual woman to choose how she manages her own reproduction. Does not the side protecting the individual here have a greater claim to upholding the fundamental American values of freedom and individual dignity?

One thing that is clear to me now is that there is a divide that must be closed within Democratic ranks. Is the Democratic Party a party that stands for socially liberal values or is it a party that is agnostic about social values but instead is a party identified by class?

Given the Republican Party's move to occupy the socially conservative end of the spectrum along with the fact that Democrats tend to be socially liberal, it would seem that the natural niche for Democrats to occupy would be social liberalism.

You seem to dispute this. Perhaps it is me who is out of touch? I respect your voice so please take this as honest question. I really want to know whether the Democratic Party intends, in general, to stand and fight for the values I believe in. I don't expect to have such a diverse party agree with my every position but I do expect it to be socially liberal in principle.

Will the Democratic Party stand up for individual liberty or will it continue to give in to the vagaries of popular opinion and reinvent itself on a weekly basis?

The most recent poll I have seen shows that a slight majority of Americans label themselves pro-life (that's the label in the poll).


Yet if you look at the history of polls on abortion a majority of Americans for the past twenty years have supported a womans right to choose and believe that the decision is between a woman and her doctor. Should we abandon pro-choice now that the pendulum is at the top of its swing to the conservative side? That is not my counsel, although as you say, liberals should continue to gather evidence and reconsider positions accordingly. Hillary Clinton for example, has done just that by reframing a position on abortion that makes some concessions but does not sacrifice the fundamental right of a woman to choose.  

What does the Democratic Party stand for? For myself, I hope it becomes a consistent defender of individual freedom and social justice. I want Democrats to defend the poor, the weak, and the trodden upon. I don't just want to win elections, I want America to become a freer, fairer country.

It's time that Democrats decided what they stand for and then commence standing up strongly for that purpose.

by Curt Matlock 2005-03-01 02:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Democratic Party Values
Whoops. This was supposed to be a reply to Descrates post on Democratic Party Values.
by Curt Matlock 2005-03-01 02:24PM | 0 recs
I got caught up in the comments thread battle as Jarvis snarked back at Oliver Willis, and it wasn't pretty. Wingnuts flocked to Jarvis's defense, and he gloried in the attention.

One thing I discovered that was interesting was that Instapundit has linked to Jarvis well over 9,000 times! Talk about some high profile ego management! Mostly nonpolitical, but I don't think Jarvis has ever criticized the party when Glenn wasn't there to link to it.

It's a slick operation, but I also detected one very non-DLC thread running through Jarvis's feckless approach to party loyalty. He's a 9/11 survivor, and from what I've read of Jarvis, it appears that 9/11 survivors may prove to be permanent warhawks, just like Holocaust survivors raising money for Israeli weapons.

by Mark Gisleson 2005-03-01 02:51PM | 0 recs
But They Started It . . .
Seems to me that centrist Democrats criticism of liberal Democrats is pretty much balanced out by liberal Democrats criticism of centrist Democrats. It's pretty hard to say that one is allowable but the other isn't - although the article attempts to do so.
by SLinVA 2005-03-01 03:13PM | 0 recs
Big Difference: DLC Bashes The Democratic Party
Liberals are attacking the DLC for stabbing the Democratic Party in the back.

The DLC is stabbing the Democratic Party in the back for not being the GOP.

There is a big difference between the two.

Especially if you're a Democrat.

by Paul Rosenberg 2005-03-01 05:01PM | 0 recs
And please note, I have not said ONE WORD in criticism of Senate Minority Leader Reid, who is also a centrist Democrat.


by Paul Rosenberg 2005-03-01 05:03PM | 0 recs
important to remember
that the DLC is not a monolith.

Ed Kilgore is a very, very smart guy who absolutely "gets it."

Al From, on the other hand, is a fucking moron.

by JoshInNYC 2005-03-01 10:35PM | 0 recs
Re: important to remember
Then Kilgore needs to walk away from the DLC.  He can't keep defending an institution which pisses all over the rest of the party and maintain any credibility.

If he's that smart, he'll find work elsewhere.  Maybe at NDN if he and Rosenberg get along.

by paperwight 2005-03-02 06:56AM | 0 recs
Marshall Whitman's Blog...
is usually quite enjoyable, but I've never presumed him to be anything more than an out of work moderate Republican that found an opening at the DLC - a job where he could basically say all the same things he'd already learned to say while working for McCain.

I like his writing, and he makes valid points sometimes.  Unfortunately, these guys have an unhealthy fear of being thrown back down in the trenches where they have to earn their keep instead of taking the easy road with the corporate paycheck.

It's sad that they get this much press coverage, and that they use their powers for evil instead of good.

by Kentucky Blogger 2005-03-02 05:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Marshall Whitman's Blog...
Let's be clear about Wittman.  He claims to be a moderate Republican, but he worked for the Heritage Foundation and the Christian Coalition.  He spent years helping to build the vicious machine he now claims to oppose.

I have exactly zero respect for a person who creates a cesspool, realizes the cesspool stinks, and moves on to try to make a more comfortable home for himself elsewhere.  If Wittman wants to be taken seriously as even a moderate Democrat, he needs to actually be a Democrat, and stop advocating that the party become Republicans.  See, e.g., David Brock.

by paperwight 2005-03-02 06:59AM | 0 recs


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