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Sunday, April 10, 2005

Democratic Leadership Council obit

Posted by Bob Brigham

From v2aggie2 diary at MyDD:

One of the candidates was Joe Lieberman, our 2000 VP Candidate, and for all intents and purposes, the DLC candidate for 2004 (he was a former chair of the DLC). Now, I know a lot of folks around here don't like Lieberman, and the reasons have merit (though I must admit, I probably don't feel as some do on this topic), but I liked Joe in 2000, and thought he would run a strong campaign in 2004. Boy was I wrong! He ran a Republican-lite campaign, to say the least. At the various dinners shown on C-SPAN during the pre-primary season, you could hear a pin drop when he spoke. Needless to say, he generated no excitement. And his primary performance showed, as he was resoundingly defeated everywhere he went.

This was also, in the end, the proof of the ultimate fall of the DLC. Once a vibrant force in the party, it had become bland and stale. The DLC had now resorted to attacking Howard Dean at every turn. This was truly ironic, for the DLC was attacking a vibrant leader who had many "New Democrat" Ideas that had brought the DLC to prominence. During the primaries, I felt that Dean and John Edwards had both assumed the "New Democrat" mantle.

Well, here we are in 2005. George W. Bush is still president, and Howard Dean is DNC Chair. Where does the DLC go from here?

Well, in my view, the days of DLC being the dominant wing of the party are over. And in reality, was it really that dominant after 1992? It probably was the most influential wing by default due to Bill Clinton. But it never reached the vibrant potential that it could have, and, though many disagree, this is a shame. The petty attacks against other Democrats since the election have not the helped the DLC's cause.

The biggest problem facing the DLC is that it has become conventional wisdom that they do more harm than good. At the macro-level, their triangulation against Democrats has been disasterous for the Party. But it is also important to realize that at the candidate level they are equally counter-productive (ask Lieberman). In a post-campaign finance reform world, their big checks can't flow and being associated with the DLC is the surest way for a candidate to lose the support of the netroots. Our good ideas are coming from the Center for American Progress and the blogosphere and our campaign support is coming from people, not corporations. We don't need them, they only harm us, they are just dead weight. The sooner they are left behind the sooner we'll be winning again.

UPDATE: Go read this.

Posted at 03:20 PM in Democrats | Technorati