Friday, August 10, 2007

The Faded Centrism of the Democratic Party

Kimberly Strassel's got a great essay on the Democrats and the radical left in today's Wall Street Journal. Apparently, the hard left netroots base is critical of the Democratic Leadership Council, a centrist advocacy group co-founded by Al From in the pre-Bill Clinton era. From argues that 2008 represents perhaps the best political environment for the Democrats in years. To which Srassel notes:

That is, if his party doesn't blow it...The far left has found something to unify it - hatred of George W. Bush. Technology has given it the means to organize; what the right found in talk radio, liberals have found in the "netroots" Internet, from to Daily Kos. Its activism has of late overshadowed groups like the DLC, which still believe in such creaky notions as ideas....

Markos Moulitsas, chief flogger-blogger on the Daily Kos, this week slammed the DLC as a group that wants to "blur distinctions with the GOP," and reveling that Democrats had won in 2006 because liberals like himself had "forced" Americans to pick sides.
Strassel says that the left's ultimate goal is to get the Democratic presidential candidates toeing their line, and the Kos crowd has been having some success:

At least a few activists danced a victory lap...a few weeks back when every last Democratic candidate spurned the DLC's annual convention in Nashville, instead turning up at Mr. Moulitsas's YearlyKos event in Chicago.
But I particularly like Strassel's argument regarding the radical left's influence on the new Democratic congressional majority:

Nancy Pelosi shrewdly presented her party as more centrist in last year's election, yet upon winning tossed the gavel to her liberal wing. Egged on by activists, Congressional Democrats have spent eight months fighting for surrender in Iraq, tanking trade pacts with Latin America and South Korea, and maneuvering to institute backdoor socialized health care. This undoubtedly has something to do with Congress's approval rating, which now stands below that of even President Bush.
Read the whole thing. Strassel begins and ends the piece with comments from Harold Ford - now the new DLC chairman, and peeved with the netroots - who notes that it was DLC-backed candidates in the 2006 elections who helped build a Democratic majority.

The hard left's narcissism blinds it to its failed record of helping the Democratic Party (for example, with brilliant attacks on centrists like Joseph Lieberman). Interesting too is that as news of the surge's progress continues to come in, the hard left forces of the Democratic Party will look even more wacky than they already are!

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