24 October 2010

Political Strategy for the Democrats - Dump the Conservatives

There is a smart Op-Ed in today's New York Times, written by Ari Berman who regularly writes for The Nation. In his essay Berman argues that the Democrats have subverted themselves by recruiting conservatives into their party. I could not agree more. The news headlines these days are about how the Democrats are about to 'lose' one or both houses of Congress. The journalists seem to not notice that over the past two years the Democrats have hardly "controlled" either house. Sure, the Republicans have been obstructionist. The real problem though, has been legislators who, while nominally "Democrats," actually have no stake in or commitment to liberal, let alone progressive politics. The Democrats cannot lose control of either house in the upcoming elections because they never had it in the first place. The fiasco reflects the popular Democratic strategy of running the party to the middle. As the Republicans increasingly have run further and further to the right, the 'occupy the middle' strategy has simply shifted the entire political spectrum rightward. This is the legacy of Clinton and Obama and their minions. Nicely done.
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P.S.: And here is Berman at The Nation, forwarding an AP report that indicates the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is taking precisely the wrong tack - they are funding the right wing Democratic candidates who opposed, while cutting off those who have voted for Obama's tepidly centrist agenda.

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