Monday, March 23

OBAMA ALIGNS HIMSELF WITH RIGHT WING OF DEMOCRATS

Politico - President Barack Obama firmly resists ideological labels, but at the end of a private meeting with a group of moderate Democrats on, he offered a statement of solidarity. "I am a New Democrat," he told the New Democrat Coalition, according to two sources at the White House session. . . The self-descriptions are striking given Obama's usual caution in being identified with any wing of his often-fractious party. He largely avoided the Democratic Leadership Council . . . As recently as last week, he steadfastly refused to define his governing philosophy. . .

Bruce Dixon, Black Agenda Report - Back in 1984 and 1988 the Rev. Jesse Jackson's presidential campaigns scared the living daylights out of the white Democratic Party establishment. What frightened the good old white boys in charge of the Democratic Party most wasn't Jackson's poetic oratory or the color of his face. It was the middle and end of the Reagan era, and tens of millions of Americans, including white ones, were ready and eager for a deep and thoroughgoing change in the nation's politics. . .

The mostly white bosses of the Democratic party a quarter century ago and today, prefer a Democratic base that votes, and then goes away after the elections, one that allows them to do the talking instead of speaking and moving for itself, a Democratic base that will not and cannot hold its elected representatives to any standard of articulating and carrying out the people's will for peace abroad and economic justice at home.he said it

The threat to Democratic party leaders faded after the '84 and '88 elections, when Jackson demobilized his people into the existing structures of the Democratic party. But the lesson was not lost on Democratic Party leaders. In the wake of the small-d democratic upsurge of the 1980s they cemented their hold on the Democratic Party by founding the Democratic Leadership Council. The DLC assured them access to the same sources of corporate funding as Republicans, and on the same basis. As long as Democrats carried the water of big insurance, big pharma, the airlines, the energy companies and Wall Street, as long as DLC-funded candidates could speak for the party's base rather than allowing that base to speak for itself, and as along as the Democratic base was sent home between elections, Democrats would be assured a steady stream of corporate funding. "The so-called New Democrats with whom Barack Obama identifies are, next to the House Blue Dogs, the most rightwing of Democratic reps in Congress, with considerable overlap between the two groups.". . .

New Democrats supported the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, and continual increases in the military budget. They all supported the bailout, and uphold No Child Left Behind and favor the gradual dismantling and privatization of public education in the US which NCLB set in motion. New Democrats are tepid at best on the Employee Free Choice Act. . .

And despite the fact that single payer health care would create 2.6 million new jobs and cover all the uninsured while costing no more than the present and profoundly broken health care system, New Democrats prefer a healthy private insurance sector to a healthy population. . .

New Democrats favor throwing trillions at banks to "revive" the economy, but are willing to cut or gut Social Security. All these policy positions, and the New Democrat label itself are the heritage of the Democratic Leadership Council, with which Obama was briefly affiliated early in his career, but forced to disavow. Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, a leading New Democrat in the Congress, has always been a stalwart of the Democratic Leadership Council. Emmanuel used corporate campaign cash to run pro-war Democrats against antiwar Democrats in 2006 and 2008.

The Democratic Leadership Council has always been "Republicans-lite," a pack of corporate funded Trojan Horses inside the Democratic Party responsible to their funders, and not to the Democratic Party's base. Now President Obama has assumed his place, as the leader of that pack.

Chris Cillizza, Washington Post - The recent retirement of Democratic Leadership Council chief executive Al From and the decoupling of the DLC and the Progressive Policy Institute, its longtime think tank, mark the first major changes at the organization in the better part of a decade. . .

One senior party strategist, granted anonymity to speak candidly, said that the DLC has recently "had trouble finding a footing.". . .

"The DLC's way of doing politics, of trying to blur the differences between us and Republicans, gave us a Republican majority, eight years of George W. Bush and little hope for victory," said Markos Moulitsas, founder of Daily Kos and a leading voice in the Net roots.

Others -- including newly named DLC President Bruce Reed -- vehemently dispute that characterization of the group, its mission and its relevance to the current political debate. "The Bush years were a lousy time for Democrats generally," Reed said in an interview with The Fix. "Other organizations thrive in opposition more than we do."

In a recent essay for Slate, Reed noted that President Obama had not only described himself as a "New Democrat" but also put forward a reform-minded agenda -- particularly on education -- that put him squarely in line with DLC values.

"From his education reform agenda to his team of pragmatists to his heavy emphasis on responsibility, Obama is leading the country the way he promised he would: neither to the left nor right but on a path that's new and different," Reed wrote.

Conversations with party strategists who take no firm position on the rise or decline of the DLC suggest that Reed's presence as the new face of the organization is likely to keep it relevant. Reed is close to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel -- the two worked together in the Clinton White House and co-wrote a book on "big ideas for America" titled "The Plan" in 2006 -- and they speak regularly over the phone. . .

1 Comments:

At 4:12 PM, Anonymous Walter F. Wouk said...

The bottom line is: Obama's the new Bill Clinton.

 

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