Don't buy anybody's cheap shot effort to dismiss him as a lefty.
So, call me anything you want, so please don't call me a lefty?
....the Dukakis syndrome -- that loss of nerve that has allowed conservatives both to define and to demonize liberalism for the past decade and more? You remember, of course, that it was during the 1988 presidential campaign that George Bush I attacked Democrat Michael Dukakis both for opposing the Vietnam War and for stating he was a card-carrying member of the American Civil Liberties Union. Both proved, Bush said, that Dukakis was a liberal. Dukakis responded to that as an attack on his patriotism. He defended neither liberalism nor the ACLU.
Dukakis might have responded by saying: "I am surprised, Mr. Bush, that you are not a member of the ACLU. We do not have to agree on all the positions that the ACLU may take on this issue or that, but we should applaud its effort to protect the rights of Americans, even those charged with heinous crimes." Dukakis might have defended liberalism as the legacy of FDR and Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy -- none of whom were anything like 100 percent liberals but all of whom advanced the cause of a truly liberal democracy. But by ducking the issue, Dukakis opened the way for the far right to make "L" for liberal a scarlet letter with which to brand all who oppose them. In the course of that 1988 exchange, Bush offered a telling observation, saying, in effect, that liberals don't like being called liberal.
I'm also interested in the question of how Progressives today are different from the Progressives of 1984, especially around the issue of identity politics and presenting the party as one that is broadly representative and inclusive. Will the return in some form of progressive values like sticking up for the oppressed and those that have been left behind devolve again into a racial and gender spoils system?
I was around back then and I don't remember liberals being that way at all. It was liberals who made the Democratic Party inclusive -- and forced the GOP to begin their practice of parading minoriries onto the podium at their conventions. And enacting laws which promoted racial and gender equality and opportunity never was a spoils system. And the fact that our society is much better these days in those regards is directly attributable to the actions of liberals of the past.
Let's hope that his exit doesn't show that our strongest contenders for the Democratic nomination in '08 are appraising McCain to be such a tough opponent that they are dropping out early.
If Democratic contenders are afraid of anybody at this point it's Hillary with her bloated war chest and vast political and media machine. I'm convinced McCain is a paper tiger anyway who can't even win the GOP nomination, so any Dem who drops out because of him doesn't have the political savvy to be president anyway.
The DLC isn't a Democratic constituency group. It's a group of Democratic politicians who have wrought havoc not just upon the Democratic Party's traditional values, principles, and constituencies, but who also drove the Democratic
Party from electoral dominence to electoral disaster.