I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

The myth of the middle!

There has been a lot of discussion about ex Bush strategist Matthew Dowd's second thoughts on his old boss. Digby pointed out that what we should be looking at is that Dowd recognized the political reality - it's the base that wins elections not the middle. Over at Seeing the Forest John Emerson takes the next logical step and says what many of us have been thinking;
One more reason why the DLC should be run out of town.
Ever since 1988, the controlling DLC faction has oriented Democratic campaigns toward moderate and independent "swing voters". This actually worked in 1992, but only at the Presidential level, and the rabidly partisan Gingrich Republicans gained control of Congress in 1994. Pursuing his centrist strategy, Clinton further weakened Congressional Democrats by working against them and relying on Republican votes to get his program through.

Now, Matt Dowd, the Bush strategist who just jumped ship, also happens to be the guy who showed Karl Rove in 2002 that most voters (93%) are partisan and that elections are won by getting out the base. In 2004 Rove picked that up and ran with it. However, all Dowd really did was figure out that the toxic Gingrich-Delay strategy would work at the Presidential level too.

The Democrats used to be the smart party, but now they're the dumb party. Hillary Clinton hasn't learned anything in thirteen years and is still running to the almost non-existent center -- to a degree, so is Obama. And the Democrats' party pros and retainered consultants are still mostly the Froms and Shrums who've helped us lose for all these years. (Of course, while the Democratic Party pros are pretty bad, if you want real clueless idiocy you have to go to the editorial pages and read what those fatheads have to say. David Broder is only the worst of a bad lot.)

Increasingly, Democrats are running as Democrats, but the Democratic Party still has some housecleaning to do.
Many if not most of the Democrats that won in 2006 were real Democrats - progressives who did not try to pander to the mythical middle. Many of them were opposed by DLC approved candidates in their primaries. That's why I have wondered if the biggest panderer of them all, Hillary Clinton, can win a presidential race. I remain convinced there will be at least one and probably two strong third party candidates in 2008. They won't win but they will decide who does. Hillary is the DLC candidate - soft neocon, soft corporatist who panders to AIPAC and when she does goes against not only the base of the Democratic party but a majority of American Jews. Obama is also falling into that trap. John is right, it's time for the Democrats to do some house cleaning and they should start with the DLC. If the Republicans have shown us one thing it is you don't win elections in the mythical middle you win them with the base.

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