Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Future of Centrism


I read a great article this morning in CQ Politics. Now that Democrats seem to hold all the cards in the Federal Level, it will be very important to keep in step with the American people...

The DLC was established in the 1980s in response to the overwhelming success of the Reagan Revolution, particularly in the South. It recognized an essential truth about the Democratic Party...that it had moved away from it's blue collar and middle class roots and appealed only to those on the far left of the American political spectrum. Since the Republican party, at it's heart, still represented the Corporate Halls of power while relying on the right-wing fringe as foot soldiers, this left the majority of Americans without a political voice.

And so, since the American blue collar worker and the middle class are largely conservative, they chose the right leaning GOP over the seemingly leftist Democrats. The DLC was formed to change this. The political landscape began to change with the election of Bill Clinton (once Chairman of the DLC) in the 1990s, and the Democratic party lurched back towards the center. Not, however, without a great deal of internal animosity, and there are large portions of the Democratic party base where the DLC is anathema. (Visit Green Mountain Daily, or the Daily Kos for a taste of this.)

"The political mission of the DLC has been largely accomplished,"
said Reed, who's had the group's No. 2 post since 2001.
"Twenty-five years ago, the forgotten middle class had serious
doubts about Democrats, and now Democrats are winning the middle
class, suburban voters, moderates by handsome margins. Our next
challenge is to deliver on that promise and earn those votes for
years to come."

On a broader level, though, the group will face the same tension affecting the entire party: the sense among liberals that “their ship has come in,” as Kind puts it — and that, as a result, the need for moderation and compromise in Democratic politics has passed. But Democrats only have that majority because they’re holding on to seats that could easily return to Republican hands. In the House, for example, 49 districts that elected Democrats were carried by Republican John McCain at the top of the presidential ticket in 2008[emphasis added].

On a separate note, it's been a while since I've made the time to visit green mountain daily...going back today and casting an eye over the posts, I realized how much I missed it!

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