Thursday, August 07, 2003

The DLC is a drag. 

Further analysis of the Democratic Leadership Council, and their efforts at self-sabotage, from Tompaine.com:

Frequently offensive, the DLC potshots have recently become perverse. Consider the scene when the DLC gathered in late July in Philadelphia for its annual “conversation.” The big political news is that Bush is sinking rapidly in the polls. With unemployment up and wages down, Americans are losing patience with the Bush tax-cuts-for-the-country-club economic policy. As American soldiers die every day in the chaotic and mismanaged occupation of Iraq, confidence in the president’s foreign policy acumen wanes. And the lies and dodges of the White House are now starting to erode the president’s personal popularity. This president is increasingly vulnerable, the White House knows it, and activists across the country can sense it.

Joining the DLC in Philadelphia were the newly elected and attractive Democratic governors. These rising stars include Bill Richardson from New Mexico, Jennifer Granholm from Michigan, Janet Napolitano from Arizona, Kathleen Sebelius from Kansas, and host Ed Rendell from Pennsylvania. Here was the perfect opportunity to contrast Bush’s failed leadership, with its catastrophic effects on the states, and the governors’ leadership on bread and butter issues. The governors could connect the dots between the harsh cuts in schools, layoffs of police and firefighters and Bush’s wrong-headed economic policies. The DLC could trumpet his new vulnerability and offer their leaders as exemplars of the policies that make sense for working families.

But instead, it was not Bush, but Democratic activists -- and Howard Dean -- who were in the DLC’s line of fire. The Democrats are “at risk of being taken over by the far left,” whined DLC Chair Sen. Evan Bayh. DLC honcho Al From declared the DLC is fighting for the “heart and soul” of the Democratic Party. Like an ideological commissar, he is exercised not about the party’s direction, but about ideological deviations from DLC doctrine.