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Why Democrats Lose

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Since 2004, the Left has benefited somewhat from the creation of Air America Radio and the emergence of progressive talk stations around the country. But those cash-strapped start-ups never had the strong backing of wealthy liberals and thus have been forced to skimp on advertising and production of original news content.

In the book, The Road to Air America, Sheldon Drobny, one of the liberal radio network 's founders, described the resistance he encountered from "limousine liberals " in California and elsewhere while trying to raise money for the project. "It was too risky an investment for most people 's taste, " Drobny wrote.

Another problem was that wealthy liberals were listening to the same Democratic consultant class that had led the party to lose control of the entire U.S. government from the White House to Congress to the courts. Like political candidates, wealthy liberals felt safer giving money to operations run by "credentialed " Democratic operatives.

This "consultariat " mostly disparaged investments in media and directed money instead to "think tanks " where the consultants and many of their friends were kept in high-paying jobs. They apparently are awaiting a Republican crackup like the one in 1992 when Ross Perot siphoned enough votes away from George H.W. Bush for Bill Clinton to slip into the White House.

So, instead of investing in promising Internet sites or improving the "progressive " content on radio and TV, liberal money flowed overwhelmingly into the hands of the same ol ' Democratic consultant class.

Perhaps, the Busby defeat finally will serve as a wake-up call to the Democratic Party to throw off the consultariat 's cold hand of failure and turn to candidates who are not afraid to address the pressing issues of war and democracy now confronting the United States.
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Perhaps, money will be redirected to groups and institutions that are leading these fights and away from the "think tanks " and consulting firms that have a vested interest in maintaining the Democratic Party as little more than a junior partner in a Republican one-party state.

Perhaps it is still not too late for Election 2006 to be a meaningful referendum on where George W. Bush 's authoritarian form of government is leading America.
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Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq, can be ordered at secrecyandprivilege.com. It's also available at

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