Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Help, I'm stuck in 1992, and I can't get out. 

I can understand the Democratic Leadership Council gunning for a "centrist" candidate, but for the DLC to say that attacking Bush on the tax cuts, and the reasons for this war, is a form of political suicide, I would say the DLC is practicing the very thing that it is afraid of.

The DLC is afraid of losing, and it is becoming a sort of self-fullfilling prophecy. They are in danger of throwing the baby out with the bathwater; in this case, a deanie baby.

I am encouraged these days by the enthusiasm of democratic supporters, and we need this enthusiasm, no matter who the nominee is when it is all said and done, if we are going to beat Bush. The DLC is trying hard to be a wet blanket right now, moldy and cold. As far as I can see right now, it appears most demo supporters are throwing off that wet blanket. Lucky for us, demos are not bowing down to worship the words and wisdom of the DLC. It is the DLC who are in danger of becoming irrelevant.

I can't help but feel that Bill Clinton is behind some of the attacks on the demo candidates, and the recent policy of the DLC, as the two are supposedly tight. Remember, Clinton is a past president of the DLC, and Clinton supported this war from the beginning. The blogosphere is where one can allow one's paranoia to express, if one is carefull, and it may be paranoia that I am feeling in regards to Clinton; but...what with his recent support of George Bush...I had a feeling of a Bill Clinton completely out of touch with the anguish of many Americans, whether over the war or the economy. He appears locked in his ivory, Harlem tower.

Back to the subject of Dean. I am a hard-core Kucinich supporter, but Dean is getting all the attention, and he is getting some good knocks in as well. Just check out his ad he is running in Texas this week. While Bush "fishes" for the big catches on his vacation, Dean takes him on in his home state of Texas. Coudn't be better timing.

Joan Walsh, editor of Salon.com, takes on the issue of the DLC and bad politics:

July 29, 2003 | Has Karl Rove taken over the Democratic Leadership Council? I can't think of another explanation for the centrist clique's destructive guerrilla war against fellow Democrats. Tuesday's New York Times outlines the latest assault: A DLC conference this week devoted to blasting the party's presidential hopefuls for their "far left" critique of President Bush's budget-busting tax cuts and his dishonesty in leading the nation into war. If hitting Bush on those blunders really makes Democrats unelectable, the nation is in worse trouble than the DLC thinks.

No one knows right now which issues will carry the day come November 2004. Bush is stumbling lately, but an economic rebound and some success in pacifying Iraq could send his poll numbers soaring again. The left's perhaps-fatal weakness is wishful thinking about Bush's vulnerability. Yet two facts are and will remain politically crucial: The economy is a shambles at least partly because of Bush's wrongheaded, reward-the-rich tax cuts, and the nation still doesn't know the truth about why we started a bloody, costly war that's a long way from over. Democrats can and do disagree about how to deal with both sets of issues -- how to repair the economy as well as Iraq -- but saying the party shouldn't criticize Bush's approaches is dangerous and delusional.

I live in California, though, and this behavior is familiar to me: It's the standard M.O. of the state Republican Party, whose annual conventions always feature a circular firing squad as part of the entertainment. Decades of ideological infighting and far-right litmus testing has ensured that only the least electable GOP candidates survive in California. Of course there's a key difference between the DLC and California Republicans, in that the centrist group insists it's opposed to extremism, and only wants to make the party more palatable to mainstream voters, while the state GOP seems determined to advance only the most extreme politicians to its top ranks. But the Democratic centrists seem in danger of adopting a political terror strategy that resembles the California GOP's, and it involves doing the enemy's work for them: damaging your own party's candidates by declaring them ideologically flawed and unelectable before the other side has a chance to.