Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

DLC: Pragmatic Winners or Flaming Losers? Three-Question Quiz.

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009) Donate to DU
 
MannyGoldstein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 09:02 AM
Original message
DLC: Pragmatic Winners or Flaming Losers? Three-Question Quiz.
Edited on Sun Aug-20-06 09:39 AM by MannyGoldstein
Bill Clinton squeaked into the White House in 1992 with 43% of the popular vote. Clinton was a proud member of the Democratic Leadership Council, a group of Democrats whose strategy was to embrace traditional right-wing causes (breaking unions, "free" trade with low-wage countries, the death penalty, favoring the wealthy, and so forth) so as to co-opt voters of the Moderate Right.

Since Clinton's victory, most of the Democratic Party has embraced the DLC's "embrace to the Right" strategy in a big way. Has it turned out to be a pragmatic way to Democratic success? Or a flaming catastrophe? The answers to the following questions can help you decide:

  1. In 1992, Democrats controlled the Presidency and both houses of Congress. Since that time, have the Democrats continued to control the Presidency and both houses of Congress? Or have they repeatedly had their clocks cleaned by Republicans?

  2. Has the country moved to the right or to the left since 1992? By a lot or by a little?

  3. If the Democrats gain seats in this November's election, will it be because voters love Democratic ideas? Or because the Republicans have self-destructed? What will this mean when a fresh group of Republicans runs in 2008?

Based on your answers, what does the evidence show; are the DLC pragmatic winners, or flaming losers?

(Extra credit question: what exactly did Harry Truman mean when he said that "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for the real Republican all the time?")
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
niallmac Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 09:14 AM
Response to Original message
1. I love that quote from Truman.
I beleve the progressives in the Democratic party are simply the people
who realize what Democrats used to, are supposed to stand for.

Without strong unwavering principals the party drifts into meaninglessness.
Your point of the disastrous results of Dems cozying up to Republican principals
is well taken. Not only has the country made a hard dangerous right turn,
this namby pamby
philosphy of the DLC has turned off a generation of young idealists.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 09:30 AM
Response to Original message
2. The DLC? BFD!
WHY are so many DUers obsessed with the DLC? At the worst, it has been a thorn in our side. Reading some of the DLC-phobic posts, you would think that they have replaced the CFR, the Bilderbergers, the Illuminati, the Gnomes of Zurich, and the Nazi Hell-Creatures from Beneath The Hollow Earth.

The DLC -- the "Democratic Leadership Council" -- was a strategic planning group that was effective in getting Clinton elected, and keeping Democrats in Congress in the early 1990s. And that's all. They made lots of keen-sounding conservative-lite sound bites. History will laud them; the present has left them behind, and vice-versa.

Folks, I don't mean to underplay their influence, but the problems we face simply don't come from the DLC -- they come from the GOP and the reigning gods of MONEY. These are the dragons we must slay. The DLC today is mainly a nostalgia club; the young movers and shakers remaining in the DLC are on OUR side.

We need strategy and action. Not fear; not loathing. And certainly not the consuming frenzy to swat the gnat that is the DLC.

--p!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 09:46 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Well Said, Sir: This Concern Is Hugely Over-Blown
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MannyGoldstein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 09:51 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. And The Top Fund Raiser Is...
The #1 fundraiser in the Senate, by far, is Ms. Clinton - DLC leader and poster girl. Most of the Democratic candidates for President in 2004, including the nominees for President and VP, were proud DLCers who ran their efforts right out of the DLC playbook.

Most of the Democrats that are still supporting Lieberman are DLCers. Most of the other DLCers took months to grudgingly agree to support the eventual Democratic nominee.

Still think that the DLC is somehow a fringe group?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Fringe group?
Where did I say that?

I'm also not certain what you're getting at. Is it that we should continue to fight yesterday's intra-party dominance struggles?

Hillary raises money because she's popular, not because she commands the unseen and all-powerful mojo of the DLC. Even if she's a Democratic conservative, she's also a lot more liberal than the liberals of the Republican party (the half dozen or so that are still around).

Perhaps she isn't liberal enough for you. That's fine. Support her rivals in the primaries; it is even possible to directly lobby her to move to the left. That's basically how the DLC got into power at the end of the 1980s anyway; they went out and worked for support while the Progressives sat around complaining. Hopefully, Ned Lamont's organization wasn't the odd example of a bunch of hotheads temporarily prevailing. I'd prefer to think it's the beginning of something new and more ... Democratic.

The DLC/Presidential candidacy link you mention is, likewise, weak. Gore was an early DLCer, and he moved strongly to the left. As did John Kerry. Whichever Democrat runs in 2008, however the election turns out, s/he is likely to end up far more liberal than before.

We need to stop putting so much work into "fear and loathing" and more into party-building and (especially) culture-building. We're coming into an era in which peoples' political identifications and philosophies will again be up for grabs. In such a situation, Hillary will have no more (or less) say than you or I will.

The DLC is about yesterday; we ought to set our sights on tomorrow.

--p!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
LincolnMcGrath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 07:22 PM
Response to Reply #10
20. Why not ask the DLC to give up the "Fear and Loathing campaign"?
And why not ask those at the far right of the party to end the consuming frenzy to swat "the left" or "the far left" or "the leftist boogieman" or "loony liberals" or "progressive purists" etc?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 08:24 PM
Response to Reply #20
31. And hear how stupid they sound
The DLC, as far as I can tell, has no campaign of any kind at all. Fear and loathing require too much commitment for most of them. Not too many individual DLCers are waging full-throated verbal warfare, and the ones who are, sound like idiots. Not just to DUers, but to regular old rank-and-file Democrats.

My mother and her friends talk politics regularly. You'd think you were listening in on DUers with the way they talked about "Joementum". Many of them, however, were long-time Republicans who left the GOP because of the hurricane of bullshit. They have as little time for Democrats who rep the same lines.

The DLC still has some members who do good work for the party -- running interference, being legal wonks, and doing organizational work, as the institutional memory. There's even a few of them here on DU. They're NOT the ones who are working to trip us up.

That's why I'm not afraid of the DLC; I consider it to be an anachronism on its worst day. They're powerless, marginal, only the media take them seriously, and the voters are moving left in a big hurry. THOSE are the Democrats worth our time and effort.

We've got a war to stop, diseases to cure, misery to alleviate, alliances to rebuild, an international reputation to repair, a lot of poor people to recover, trillions of missing dollars to account for, and a couple of elections to win. As long as they're with with us and not against us, they're fine by me.

--p!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
SaveElmer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 06:31 PM
Response to Reply #2
13. Wow...
I have had extensive back an forth conversations with some on the board arguing what you have said. Had I said it as well as you did, I could have saved alot of time...

Thanks!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 06:33 PM
Response to Reply #2
14. I just have to point out that Ross Perot did far more to elect Clinton
than the DLC did, they just took the credit.

You are right that the major problems we face today were not caused by The DLC, but they do represent the cause by removing the illusion of two parties.

The DLC is simply the Democratic Wing of The Corporate Party.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
wyldwolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 07:08 PM
Response to Reply #14
18. That simply isn't true. Clinton would have won without Perot
The 1992 election...

1. Perot got 19,660,450 votes

2. The total turnout was more than 13 million higher than in 1988.

3. Clinton ran 3.1 million votes ahead of Dukakis

4. Bush received 9.7 million fewer votes than four years earlier.

5. The two party vote fell by 7 million. So, Perot only took 7 million votes from the two parties combined.

If Perot had not been in the race, would those 7 million Perot voters who voted for Bush and Dukakis in 1988 have voted for Bush by a sufficient margin for him to overcome Clinton's 3.1 million vote lead?

Those 7 million Perot voters would have had to favor Bush over Clinton by 5 to 2. Or, even if all 19.6 million Perot voters had voted for one of the major party candidates, they would have had to favor Bush by a 58% to 42% margin to overcome clinton's lead and tie the race. Was this likely in view of the fact that the other 84 million voters were favoring Clinton by 7%, 53.5% to Bush's 46.5%?

Usually, the presidential candidate runs far ahead of the rest of the ticket. Perot's presence in the presidential race combined with an absence of running mates for lesser offices meant that Clinton and Bush ran behind their respective party's nominees for Governor, Senator and the House. Consequently, it was easy to follow Perot's voters as they voted for other offices. They voted for Democratic and Republican Governor, Senator and House of Representative candidates in sufficient numbers to give them higher vote totals than Clinton and Bush.

This assumes that all Clinton's supporters voted for the other Democratic candidates and all Bush's supporters voted for the Republican candidates for Governor, Senator and the House. Since Republican candidates for other offices received more votes than Bush, and Democratic candidates for other offices received more votes than Clinton, this is a statistically valid assumption. The higher vote totals for the non-presidential candidates had to come from Perot's voters.

In the Governor's races, Perot's voters cast 18% of their ballots for the Republican candidates; 56% of their ballots for Democratic candidates, 17% for independent candidates, and 8% did not bother to vote for Governor. If Perot's voters had voted for Bush and Clinton in the same proportion that the voted for the Republican and Democratic candidates for Governor, Clinton's lead would have increased by 7.5 million votes.

In the Senate races, Perot's supporters voted 27% for the Republican candidates, 24% for the Democratic candidates, 23% for the independent candidates, and 24% skipped the Senate races entirely. (This does not include states that did not have Senate races.)

In the House races, Perot's voters cast 22% of their ballots for Republican candidates, 19% for Democratic candidates, 18% for independent candidates, and 40% did not vote in House races.

Perot's voters voted overwhelmingly for Democratic Governor candidates, and only marginally in favor of the Republican candidates for the House and Senate. Perot's voters favored Republican Senate candidates by 2.28%, and Republican House candidates by 2.69%. Because Perot's voters were only 1/5th of the total, that translates into about another 500,000 votes or 0.5% for bush if they had voted in a two way presidential race the same way they voted for the Senate and House. That is about 1/7th of the margin by which Bush lost.

If Perot cost Bush the election, the proof must lie somewhere else. On a statistical basis, it's essentially impossible to make a case for Perot costing Bush the 1992 presidential election. The election results show that Perot took many voters from Clinton among his supporters who demonstrated a low interest in politics by voting only for President and Governor, while taking marginally from Bush among those who demonstrated more commitment by casting ballots for Congress.

http://www.leinsdorf.com/perot.htm

Perot clearly did not cost Bush the 1992 election. Thepartisan index measures the degree to which a state favors a party relative to the way the rest of the nation favors that party. This being the case, it would follow that if more typically GOP partisans had indeed swung to Perot than had typically Democratic partisans, the 1992 partisan index would reveal and anomalous pro-DNC swing due to a temporarily eroded Republican base.

However, only a handful of states that Clinton won show such trends. Perot definitely seems to have caused Bush to lose Georgia, as the usually double-digit pro-GOP partisan index in that state cratered at +5.0 GOP in 1992. The same goes for Nevada, which relatively favored the GOP by 13.2 in 1988 and 7.5 in 1996, but only by 2.9 in 1992.

I'll grant that without Perot, Bush probably wins both states.

Looking at the chart, however, only Colorado, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire and Tennessee are other possible states that Perot swung to Clinton. Still, even if Bush had won all of these states as well as Georgia and Nevada, Clinton would have won the Electoral College 315-223. Further, there is no conclusive evidence that Perot actually cost Bush any of these other six states.

Of course, like I already noted, even if I am wrong about all of these states, that means Clinton would still have won 315-223. No other state shows evidence of Perot costing Bush victory. Perot did not cost Bush the 1992 election--not even close. That is one popular myth that can be put to bed.

http://www.swingstateproject.com/2004/05/all_state_voti...

Headline: Perot Seen Not Affecting Vote Outcome:

DIONNE (11/8/92): Ross Perot's presence on the 1992 presidential ballot did not change the outcome of the election, according to an analysis of the second choices of Perot supporters.

The analysis, based on exit polls conducted by Voter Research & Surveys (VRS) for the major news organizations, indicated that in Perot's absence, only Ohio would have have shifted from the Clinton column to the Bush column. This would still have left Clinton with a healthy 349-to-189 majority in the electoral college.

And even in Ohio, the hypothetical Bush "margin" without Perot in the race was so small that given the normal margin of error in polls, the state still might have stuck with Clinton absent the Texas billionaire.

The VRS polled more than 15,000 voters. On November 12, Dionne provided more details about Perot voters:

DIONNE (11/12/92): In House races, Perot voters split down the middle: 51 percent said they backed Republicans, 49 percent backed Democrats. In the presidential contest, 38 percent of Perot supporters said they would have supported Clinton if Perot had not been on the ballot and 37 percent said they would have supported Bush.

An additional 6 percent of Perot voters said they would have sought another third-party candidate, while 14 percent said they would not have voted if Perot had not run.

We all know exit polls are imperfect. But these are the actual available data about the preferences of Perot voters. Nor was this exit poll kept secret. One day after the election, the AP sent the news far and wide.

Headline: Perot's Voters Would Have Split In a Two-Way Race

ASSOCIATED PRESS (11/4/92): Exit polls suggest Ross Perot hurt George Bush and Bill Clinton about equally.

The Voter Research and Surveys poll, a joint project of the four major television networks, found 38 percent of Perot voters would have voted for Clinton and 37 percent would have voted for Bush if Perot had not been on the ballot. Fifteen percent said they would not have voted, and 6 percent listed other candidates.

http://www.dailyhowler.com/dh062905.shtml
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 07:33 PM
Response to Reply #18
24. Of course the 20 million votes Perot got would not have effected
the race decided by 8. Right, because Perot was so appealing to Democratic voters that Clinton would have received half.

Lie, damn lies, and statistics. Whatever.

I know you are an ardent supporter of the DLC, but save it for somebody that will buy this crap.

Thanks for stopping by. :hi:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
SaveElmer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 07:27 PM
Response to Reply #14
23. Absolutely false...
Every poll taken of Perot voters has shown Bill Clinton still would have been elected had Perot not been in the race.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 07:34 PM
Response to Reply #23
25. And here's the other one, see above.
You better call Mr. B is absence is glaring.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
SaveElmer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 07:38 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. If you have facts which contradict this...
I would be glad to look at them...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 07:41 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. No, I've traveled that path with you and the lapdog before and it is
endless as well as utterly pointless, you just claim the source is invalid or change the premise. Waste of time. Buh-bye :hi:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
SaveElmer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 07:43 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. So you don't...
Not surprising...facts mean little to the litmus-test left...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 08:57 PM
Response to Reply #29
33. Don't feel bad -- I just got called "Rove"
And all I'm trying to do is to get the DLC-phobes to stop convincing themselves that they're poor little oppressed waifs.

My litmus stains just as blue as most of theirs. The difference is that I learned, long ago, that self-pity and politics don't mix. Especially when the self-pitiers are willing to put more into their persecution complex than into winning elections and changing the culture.

So, what's MY stupidity? No matter how often they waste their ammo on ME (ammo that would be better used against Republicans, but I digress), I keep trying to convince them to forget their political weaknesses and fight on.

I guess that now qualifies as "Rovian". A libbrul's work is never done.

--p!
:dem:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ldf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 06:42 PM
Response to Reply #2
15. huh?
oh, yea. right.

the dlc is just a small group of democrats. why worry, or even bother with them.

well, aside from the fact that they control the process, the party money, the organized fund raising AND the endorsements?

in other words, in THEIR minds, THEY PICK the nominees. and they have been pretty successful in marginalizing those pipsqueaks rising from the bottom and supported by the "little people".

hmmmm.

there seemed to be two groups, the group that supports the dlc, and the group that does not.

NOW there's a THIRD group that says, why bother with such insignificants as the minor league players, the dlc.

you ARE pulling our legs, aren't you?

ROVE, is that you???
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 08:43 PM
Response to Reply #15
32. I don't drink your flavor of Kool-Aid, so I'm Karl Rove?
Now there's Democratic solidarity for you!

If you think they control the process -- and you believe it strongly enough to argue for your own vision of weakness and submission -- why get involved in politics at all?

No, let me phrase that the way it should be phrased -- don't let the bastards tell you what to do! If you want a progressive Democratic Party, it's yours for the making. We all complained loud and long how "they" were "oppressing" Howard Dean -- so Dean just built his own constituency. The DLC Reich lasted all of about five months.

Joementum? Q.E.D. Ned Lamont and several thousand of his closest friends rolled up their sleeves, and the deed is done. Joe's history, and for every day he stays in the race, he takes two days off his quickly-decomposing career in politics.

Too many of us DUers look at the DLC the same way we looked at the Communists -- that they're ten feet tall, utterly ruthless, and supremely confident that they will have our necks under their iron boot heels.

And like International Communism, Inc., the DLC will suffer the same fate. Why not start early, and just treat it with the same backhanded lack of concern?

The DLC can not hurt us nearly as badly as our own fantasies that we are their catamites, their lackeys, their bootlicks, their collective "bitch".

We're Democrats, damn it, Democrats!

--p!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
AtomicKitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 07:07 AM
Response to Reply #2
37. Spot on.
eom
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
calico1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 09:35 AM
Response to Original message
3. Truman was right.
And the past few elections have proved that. Unfortunately, the Democrats who still stand for traditional Democratic ideals are often demonized (even here) as being far left wing wackos, when in fact they are just defending what the Democratic party is really supposed to be about. I think the DLC has significantly weakened the party.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 07:59 PM
Response to Reply #3
30. Amen to that sister. One need look no further than the replies by the
usual suspects further up-thread, slanted analysis coupled with ad hominem attack. All to defend a strategy that has been a proven loser for the last 8 cycles. Wonder what they might really be after?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
wyldwolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 09:47 AM
Response to Original message
5. Easy
Bill Clinton squeaked into the White House in 1992 with 43% of the popular vote.

But won with an overwhelming victory in the electoral college, which is how presidents are elected.



Clinton was a proud member of the Democratic Leadership Committee, a group of Democrats whose strategy was to embrace traditional right-wing causes

No, the DLC's strategy was to move the party back to the center to make it viable. Like Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo said, most people on the left get their information about the DLC from other people on the left. Your post is a shining example of that.

Since that time, have the Democrats continued to control the Presidency and both houses of Congress?

What you are attempting here is a fallacy of Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc, something is assumed to be the cause of an event merely because it happened before that event.

Your implication is, as has been repeated on DU many times, that the DLC caused the Democrats to lost both houses and the presidency. But no study has ever concluded that. On the contrary, evidence points away from that conclusion.

Three things were at play in 1994 that caused the losses:

1. The Democratic party of the 70s and 80s and grown corrupt. The House Banking scandal is a fine example.
2. Americans were increasingly distrustful of the Government in general, and, most importantly,
3. The Democratic party had moved left out of the mainstream and became the party of special interests.

The House Banking Scandal is a prime example of the corruption that was running rampant in Washington in the 70s and 80s, culminating with the Democrats losses in 1994.

An article in the Boston Globe took up the issue of Democratic losses a week before the last presidential election. When a party holds power for too long, Adrian Wooldridge, reporter for The Economist, said in the article, it grows fat and happy, it also grows corrupt. The classic example, he pointed out, is the Democratic Party of the 1970s and `80s, which, spoiled by generations of congressional power, became a party of insiders and deal makers without any sense of the principles they stood for and eventually collapsed when they were turned out in 1994.

Philip A. Klinkner, author of Court and Country in American Politics: The Democratic Party and the 1994 Election, presents a very interesting and expansive theory concerning the major Democratic losses in 1994 that Wooldridge touched on. Klinkner explains the circumstances surrounding the 1992 election provided ample evidence of a radically changed political environment. Several observers have commented on the growing volatility of the electorate since the late 1980s (Greider 1992; Phillips 1990, 1993, and 1994; Germond and Witcover 1993; Greenberg 1995). By most accounts, this phenomenon reached a new high in 1992, as voters expressed growing disgust with the federal government, elected officials, special interests, and politics in general, and a greater willingness to support outsider candidacies, even such diverse figures as Jerry Brown, Pat Buchanan, and Ross Perot.

By the early 1990s, distrust of the government, especially the entrenched power (that would be the Democrats) was evident among much of the public. In 1964, over 70 percent of the public said that they could trust Washington to do what was right most or all of the time; by early 1994, only 19 percent expressed similar confidence (Phillips 1994: 7). In 1964, when asked, Would you say the government is run by a few big interests looking out for themselves or that it is run for the benefit of all people, nearly 40 percent more people agreed with the latter than with the former. In 1992 that sentiment had reversed itself, with 60 percent more people believing that the government was run for the benefit of special interests than those who believed it was run for the benefit of all. (Stanley and Niemi: 169).

As the party of governmental activism, the Democrats were bound to suffer from the rise of popular cynicism toward government. At the same time that Bill Clinton was winning the White House, voters preferred having government cost less in taxes but provide fewer services to having government provide more services but cost more in taxes by 54 to 38 percent (Milkis and Nelson 1994: 395).

The more common explanation for the 1994 Republican Revolution, though, is that liberal Democratic ideals or at least the way they were presented no longer resonated with the majority of Americans. According to Ruy Teixeira, a fellow at the Center for American Progress and at the Century Foundation, the danger for the dominant party isnt ideological bankruptcy but ideological drift. Certainly you can make the argument that, if a partys far enough away from the mainstream, if they dont lose they dont get enough impetus to correct their behavior.

This was no better exemplified than by Bill Clintons healthcare plan, a liberal policy, which support for collapsed, which set back his presidency and figured in the Democrats loss of control of the House of Representatives in 1994.

Soon after Clinton took office in 1993, he promised health insurance for millions of Americans who had no coverage. But before long, the plan was a shambles, derailed by concerns that it would cost too much and create a huge new bureaucracy. People have not gotten over 1994 yet, Karen Pollitz, the project director for the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute, said of the Clinton plan. President Clinton tried to fix everything at once. It was not well received. And not only that the Democrats got turned out at the next election.

Another example was the assault weapons ban - another liberal piece of legislation passed by the Democrats against the advice of many. Some in Washington even warned that it could cost the Democrats the House in 1994.

Now, just for the record, Im a supporter of both universal healthcare and keeping assault weapons off the streets. But just as a matter of fact, those are two issues thought by the public to be left/liberal issues

So, technically speaking, Clintons attempt to enact left-liberal policies in his first two terms, along with the already existing dustrust and corruption, partially contributed to the Democrats downfall in 1994. A two decade long move to the left by the Democratic party - capped off by the failed healthcare plan and an unpopular healthcare plan - brought us down, not your assumption that that DLC policies did it. Clinton didn't enact DLC policies until AFTER 1994. It was Clintons centrist/moderate policies that got him re-elected in 1996 and gave the Democrats gains in the House in 1998.

In 1938, Republicans gained 81 House seats running against Franklin Roosevelt. Again In the mid-term election of 1942, the Democrats lost 44 seats in the House of Representatives. Did we lose for being too liberal?

George McGovern, Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale, and Michael Dukakis suffered huge defeats in their 1972, 1980, 1984, and 1988 presidential runs. Where was the DLC?

In contrast, the Republicans won control of the Senate in 1981 and retained it for six years - until the midterm elections of 1986 when the Democratic party picked up 5 seats in the House and eight seats in the Senate to regain power. Interestingly, this was the first election cycle after the DLC was formed in 1985. The Democratic Senators elected and who gave the Senate back to the Democrats included moderates Barbara Mikulski (a participant in the DLC's National Service Tour), Harry Reid (who recently said Democrats have to "swallow their pride" and move toward the middle), Conservative Democrat Richard Shelby, DLCer Bob Graham, DLCer Kent Conrad, and DLCer Tom Daschle.

If the Democrats gain seats in this November's election, will it be because voters love Democratic ideas? Or because the Republicans have self-destructed? What will this mean when a fresh group of Republicans runs in 2008?

It will be both, but mainly because Republicans have self destructed. Elections are always referendums on those in power.

(Extra credit question: what exactly did Harry Truman mean when he said that "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for the real Republican all the time?"

He was referring to the Dixiecrats, who broke from the Democratic party on racial issues. He also had some choice words about the leftwing of the Democratic party, who abandoned him for Henry Wallace. He said he was glad to have one without the extreme leftwing bloc of the party. (Truman: Years of Trial and Hope)

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MannyGoldstein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 11:09 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. Try Science. It Works.
You sound like one of those Harvard Kennedy School guys - you know, the place which Tip O'Neill proclaimed the place to go to learn how to lose elections?

Here is the way Science works:

1. a hypothesis is made.
2. attempts are made to disprove it
3. if disproved, it is abandoned. If not disproved after serious attempts, it becomes a theory.

Let's start with the hypothesis that "embracing DLC priniciples wins elections". Anyone with an eye and a brain can see that this hypothesis can be tossed into the trashbin - the Democrats have continually and broadly gotten their asses kicked since embracing the DLC's strategy and tactics.

After reading your exhaustive (and exhausting) tract, I can only surmise that you're doing your best to say that without the DLC, things would have sucked worse. Can you confirm that is what you're trying to say?

If that is the case - you might be right.

If we feed a substance to a bunch of lab rats and they all die within a day, it is certainly possible that the lab rats would have all died anyway, and that the substance actually lengthened their lives for an extra hour or two. But would you bet on it?

Self-fulfilling post facto prophesies do not "cut it" in science. You write: "An article in the Boston Globe took up the issue of Democratic losses a week before the last presidential election. When a party holds power for too long, Adrian Wooldridge, reporter for The Economist, said in the article, it grows fat and happy, it also grows corrupt. The classic example, he pointed out, is the Democratic Party of the 1970s and `80s, which, spoiled by generations of congressional power, became a party of insiders and deal makers without any sense of the principles they stood for and eventually collapsed when they were turned out in 1994" Your argument is, in essence, that that they must have been "fat, happy, and corrupt" because they were turned out. Scientific proof works the other way around: what you need is some quantification that shows that the Democrats became more fat, happy and corrupt than in the 1940s through 1980s, and that some quantifiable threshold had been reached. Otherwise, you have bubkes.

Finally, I believe that Harry Truman had enough of a grasp of the language to allow his own words to stand without interpretation. If he meant something different than what he said, he would have said something different.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 06:42 PM
Response to Reply #7
16. Nice, I like your style.
Accurate and sufficiently broad to ring true. The Democratic Party is the reason the Democratic Party has consistently lost for a generation.

Thank you. :hi:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
wyldwolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #7
17. try science, it works.
You sound like one of those Harvard Kennedy School guys - you know, the place which Tip O'Neill proclaimed the place to go to learn how to lose elections?

You sound like one of those GOP-types - you know, the ones who throw things out without a single source to back their assertion.

Let's start with the hypothesis that "embracing DLC priniciples wins elections". Anyone with an eye and a brain can see that this hypothesis can be tossed into the trashbin - the Democrats have continually and broadly gotten their asses kicked since embracing the DLC's strategy and tactics.

Again, your appealing to logical fallacy. Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc, something is assumed to be the cause of an event merely because it happened before that event.

However, I've shown with sources how the electorate had grown distrustful of government and took it out on the party in power in 1994.

Finally, I believe that Harry Truman had enough of a grasp of the language to allow his own words to stand without interpretation. If he meant something different than what he said, he would have said something different.

There is no interpretation to be made. He was speaking during the '48 election, and referring to the Dixiecrats. This is an established fact. Do you think he just woke up one morning, made that quote, then went back to bed? Why don't you put the quote in context? You'll see he also had those choice words to say about far left of the party, too.


Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
sendero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 07:23 PM
Response to Reply #7
21. Thanks...
.. for that. I'd like to add 2 things as a reply to those who keep saying "they're no big deal".

1) They undermine progressive Dems every chance they get. With friends like them, who needs enemies?

2) The are not "leading" anything. They are losers who have capitulated to the right wing message, especially on issues concerning economics/employment/money and are simply trying to co-opt the right wing message rather than fight it.

Basically, they suck.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
derby378 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 12:14 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. So, what's an "assault weapon?"
Now, just for the record, Im a supporter of both universal healthcare and keeping assault weapons off the streets. But just as a matter of fact, those are two issues thought by the public to be left/liberal issues

I, on the other hand, am a supporter of keeping firearms in the hands of law-abiding citizens. And an "assault weapon" is nothing more than a semi-automatic, one-shot-per-trigger-pull firearm that has certain safety features and/or takes high-capacity magazines that the Violence Policy Center thinks that "We, the People" cannot possibly be trusted with.

And I consider myself a progressive/libertarian Democrat. I'm more favorable towards universal healthcare now that I've seen how corportations have screwed over the healthcare industry.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ecoalex Donating Member (718 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 12:28 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Ms Clinton in bed with Murdock is enough for me to see the DLC is there to
undermine Democrats .Lieberman, Clinton Dodd, Biden, Obama, all are undermining true Democrat values.The DLC is more than just a distraction, they are moles for the pugs.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
derby378 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 06:21 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. Whatever the DLC may have hoped to accomplish...
...I have to agree with you that it has turned out very, very bad for the Democratic Party as a whole. DLCers tend to favor corporations at the expense of the little guy, which tells me that their priorities are pretty screwed up to begin with.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
sendero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 07:27 PM
Response to Reply #8
22. An "assault weapon" is ..
Edited on Sun Aug-20-06 07:34 PM by sendero
.. a firearm that looks scarier than other firearms to ignorant people. Dems are probably losing millions of votes over an issue that has NO PRACTICAL CONSEQUENCE EITHER WAY.

Folks who think that a crazy person with six 10-round magazines is substantially less dangerous than a crazy person with two 30-round magazines are right up there with those who are buying into the terra-terra-terra fear.

America is becoming the land of fear. It's really too bad.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #22
26. Has become the land of fear.
and has also abandoned common sense. The fact that they cling to this idiocy makes me suspicious that their agenda is not ours, it almost like they want the Re :puke:s to win.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 03:21 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. Clinton only won in '92 because the Neocons screwed up.
The neocons' alliance with the Religious Right was too successfull, the movement grew so fast that it scared the paleocons into voting for Perot and Clinton. if Bush Sr. hadn't been forced to bow down to the religious right in order to get the nomination he would of won. The DLC had NOTHING to do with Cinton's victory.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
wyldwolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 07:10 PM
Response to Reply #11
19. fantasy. Pure fantasy
nothing whatsoever to back that up.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
alvarezadams Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 06:57 AM
Response to Reply #19
35. If the GOP vote hadn't been split
would Bubba have won?

Did the Newt meltdown, Iraq, Iran/Contra, the economy... have anything to do with the GOP's defeat?

I only ask because at one point you say that parties in power become fat, corrupt and complaisant over time (it's called political erosion, btw) - when pointing out the DNC's failure. What's good for Peter is good for Paul, unless one is intellectually dishonest.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 06:54 AM
Response to Reply #5
34. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
alvarezadams Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 07:02 AM
Response to Original message
36. Pragmatic losers
Not that their funders care - they're in a win-win situation.

Either the GOP wins and they get pro-corp neolib economics or the DLC wins and they get pro-corp neolib economics.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MannyGoldstein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #36
39. Good characterization!
Well said!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
AtomicKitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 02:21 PM
Response to Original message
38. self-delete
Edited on Mon Aug-21-06 02:34 PM by AtomicKitten
wrong thread
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Fri Apr 18th 2014, 09:25 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC