We need to stop referring to the DLC (and by extension, the DSCC) as centrist Democrats, and identify them more accurately as the rightwing or Republican branch of the Democratic party.
With Ned Lamont's decisive win over Joe Lieberman in Connecticut's Democratic primary, the race for control over the platform of the Democratic party kicked off. This face-off has been a long time in coming, and Ned Lamont's win was not in the DLC's game plan. The DLC had been counting on tacking the Democratic Party farther to the right again this election cycle, hoping to attract moderate Republicans who are disaffected with their party's extremist, fundamentalist, evangelical rightwing bent. The DLCers have been banking on driving the liberal base out of the Democratic party and replacing our numbers with Mark Robinsons.
Ned Lamont's win is causing the DLC to have to backtrack. They will most certainly redouble their efforts to drive the liberal base out, once and for all. Even if it means losing a Democratic seat in the Senate (Lamont) if they think that it will help them achieve their goal of a New Democratic party (Republicans without the fundamentalist evangelicals and leftwing democrats) in the end.
These next few days, weeks and months are crucial to taking back the Democratic party for the real democrats, the people. Our biggest opposition at the moment isn't the Republican party, but the Republican party within our own party, the DLC.
Founder and CEO of the Democratic Leadership Council Al From said:
We can't let those hearts [cultural conservatives] be closed to us again. First and foremost, we need to bridge the trust gap on national security by spelling out our own offense against terrorism and clearly rejecting our anti-war wing, so that Republicans can no longer portray us as the anti-war party in the war on terrorism. We must leave no doubt that Michael Moore neither represents nor defines our party. Blueprint Magazine, Dec. 13, 2004
For years, the DLC has told the liberal base of the Democratic Party that liberals can't get elected in general elections and if they want any seat at the table of government, to sit down, shut up, and support centrist Democratic candidates no matter how much they resemble Republicans. Today, after a last-minute letter and phone call campaign to Democratic leaders in Congress following Ned Lamont's win (urging them to get behind Lamont, denounce Lieberman for running as an Independent, strip Lieberman of his plush office suite, committee assignments, and other perqs of Democratic party affiliation), a handful of Senate Democratic leaders have taken the first step of announcing their support for Lamont.
It's not nearly enough.
Democratic pundits and spokesmen have already begun to hit the air waves, smoothing a way to not force the issue with Lieberman, allowing him to save face, stay in the race while assuring everyone that "he'll drop out in September." The DLCers are trying to hedge their bets, and will run a shadow campaign for Lieberman, because right now Joe Lieberman is a candidate who can be bought. Republicans are already lining up to support him, because if Lieberman wins, he'll be sitting pretty in the catbird's seat. He won't be bound to caucus with Democrats. Lieberman threw over the party to be one in the Gang of 14. If he wins, Lieberman would be a power unto himself - Who in their right mind would give that kind of power to Lieberman?
The Democratic party needs to put the screws to Lieberman NOW, and get him out of this race.
Filed under: Joe Lieberman, 06 election