Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The Democratic Leadership Council (DLC)

is the single greatest barrier to progressive politics in this country. Extreme, you say? Follow along and then we'll see.

The DLC has appointed Hillary Clinton to define a party agendy for the 2006 and 2008 elections. (Who made the DLC keepers of the party agenda?) Apparently some believe that this means a united party. After all, the senator immediately said " I think it's high time for a cease-fire -- time for all Democrats to work together based on the fundamental values we all share."

I expect she does. However I continue to believe that the DLC and Mr. Clinton's presidency, in spite of the attractiveness of his charm and wonkishness, paved the way for the reign of George W. Bush. I've said this before, but let me remind you. Mr. Clinton, actually a rightish Democrat, was painted as a liberal by the right. By allowing them to do so, the perception of where the center of the political spectrum was shifted. What was once perceived as the extreme right -- Barry Goldwater right -- became to be seen as centrist by many Americans. The DLC and Senator Clinton seek to retain this erroneous presentation of the spectrum of ideas.

If you doubt the Republicanness of the DLC, follow me to Will Marshall's screed on the DLC's official website arguing in an incomprehensible and roundabout way that Democrats aren't patriotic enough. I'm going to defer a more extensive critique of this piece to Digby who has articulated the key points in his usually masterful manner. Let me, however, quote from Mr. Marshall's final paragraph where he says "Democrats need to be choosier about the political company they keep, distancing themselves from the pacifist and anti-American fringe." Bill O'Reilly, who also can't tell the difference between patriotism and jingoism, couldn't have said it better.

Senator Clinton should begin by looking within, at the DLC, and ask that they stop taking pot shots at non-right wing Democrats. And those of us who actually hold centrist and left of center views need to hold our values closely, say what we mean, and articulate our vision of a better America, instead of calling those who don't agree with us 'anti-American'.

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