a mammal without a party who continues to graze in the political center.Was that the first indication of the DLC splitting off from the Democratic Party? Over at The Left Coaster pessimist thinks The Parties Are SO Over! He quotes Steven Jonas, MD writing at Buzz Flash,
Joe Lieberman and the Coming Split in the Democratic Party
I speculated that there would be a forthcoming organizational split in the Democratic Party. The reasons? Seemingly irreconcilable differences over such matters as the future of Constitutional Democracy in the United States, the War on Iraq, unilateral vs. multi-lateral foreign policy, the future of "globalization" which in effect means the continued unfettered export of US capital, separation of church and state and freedom of belief in matters of religion, equality before the law for all identity groups within our society. It seemed to me then, and it surely does now, that the Democratic Party is headed towards the kind of break-up that overtook the Whig Party in the 1850s over the issue of the expansion of slavery in the Territories.Apparently Wittmann thinks the same thing.
At that time I thought that it would be we progressives who would eventually have to make the move, separating ourselves, who clearly represent the view of a majority of Democratic voters, from the right-wing, collaborationist Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) leadership. With the defeat of Joe Lieberman and his immediate declaration as an independent candidate for the US Senate, it is now becoming apparent that the DLC, for whom Lieberman stands as an ultimate bellwether, has begun that splitting process.
Dr Jonas recognizes it's about more than the war:
They really are "Georgite-lite." The DLC and their corporate backers are concerned about too much trashing of the Constitution, they really are concerned about too much unilateralism in foreign policy, they really are concerned about mounting debt, national and private. BUT, they will put up with those aspects of Georgitism because they like so much so many of its other policies, like:As Jonas explains there is nothing on the DLC web site about the Lieberman loss in Connecticut and it is obvious that they will support Lieberman as an independent. So what side will Hillary and Bill Clinton decide on? Now the DLC'ers are a small minority of the Democratic Party. I am convinced that Hillary has no ideology, only a lust for power. Since the DLC will not help her realize her real lust she will split with them and Bill will follow. If I'm right we will soon see them campaigning for Lamont and if I'm wrong they won't campaign for anyone. If Bill and Hillary campaign for Lamont he will win and if they don't he will lose.
- The War on Iraq which continues to fuel the military-industrial complex and may well lead to an independent Kurdistan under US control, with all that oil.
- An administration that will make sure that there is no national health insurance program, ever. (Look for Lieberman to get major contributions from the insurance industry centered in his home state and the pharmaceutical industry centered in New Jersey, not too far away.) Many Democrats, even some "centrists," are once again talking up national health insurance of some sort.
- They like their tax-cuts-for-the-wealthy which would surely be rescinded, at least in part, if a Democratic Party true to its name (which a DLC-lead one is clearly not) took power.
- They want to continue with the unfettered export of capital. Remember, it was the first DLC President, Clinton, who championed NAFTA. Many progressive Democrats would put at least some controls on the export of capital.
- They want to continue with the "small government" approach to national governing and avoid even the slightest return to the New Deal approach, which happens to based on the precepts of the Preamble to the Constitution. It was, again, Clinton who pronounced that "the era of big government was over," as he was, for example, leading the charge to end welfare as we had known from the time of the New Deal.
- They want to continue with their version of the "free market," which for them does not mean free competition but freedom from any kind of government regulation.
So what will the future bring? A third party? Perhaps, but I think it's more likely that the DLC crowd will simply move to a new/old Republican party. The neocons will lose their power - everything necon for the last five years has been a failure. The theocons are already running from Bush and will no longer be a real factor.