But let's get one thing straight, when the Democrats win, it will not be because of the Democratic leadership, not because of their advocacy for the working class. Oh sure, there are a batch of extraordinary candidates-- in spite of the DCCC and DSCC. Those individual candidates deserve lots of credit. But the Democratic leadership has not been at all successful or effective in elucidating a vision, a plan that captures and inspires the imagination of Americans. They have been timid when they should have been tough. They have been short-sighted when vision was needed.
Howard Dean has been a notable exception among the Democratic leadership and he's been hamstrung by the other wimpy, spineless "leaders" in the Democratic party, who are really not leaders. They're more like anchors.
One of the biggest problems the Democratic party has is that it is afflicted by "DLCism." These Republican-lite losers would turn the Democratic party into what the current extremist, far right wing Republican party used to look like. Sorry. That doesn't cut it for me. And it really doesn't cut it for the vast majority of Democrats and moderate independents.
People want guts, commitment, vision. They want candidates and a party that will take a stand. The DLC is getting ready to take responsibility for any wins the Democrats eke out of this election cycle. Any such claims will be a fraud. The Democrats will win IN SPITE OF the DLC and it's spineless wimp factor policies.
Commenting on the elections, Charlie Rangel says, "This is a referendum on the war and the incompetency of the Bush administration." He's right. And it's outrageous that at this time the Democratic party has been unable to clearly express a vision that stands above the war. It is a failure-- a dismal failure on the part of the Democratic "leadership" that they have not been able to get out even the simple message that they are going to return to balancing the budget by returning to taxing the rich while continuing the tax breaks to the middle class. That's why the Republicans have been able to run ads all across the country stating that the Democrats will be raising taxes for the average family.
Next week, when there is a political landslide, it will be one that buries a lot of Republicans. But the Democrats won't deserve much credit. Oh there will be some candidates who had the guts to stand up and take a stand. But there will be a lot more who were literally advised not to, even threatened by the DNC, DCCC and DSCC with witholding of campaign funds if they took a stand.
So, when folks like Al From, Rahm Emanuel, Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer claim they performed miracles, and that their approaches to policy made the difference, expect them to start telling you they deserve the credit-- that their approach, their weak, luke warm, non-policy policy made the difference. Don't believe it.
David Sirota, writing for In These Times, says,
"...the progressive movement that exists outside the Democratic Party will be more important than it is now--but only if it serves as a progressive ideological force, and not simply a partisan one. If organizations like Moveon.org, unions and the consumer/environmental/civil rights advocacy groups are willing to prioritize their policy agendas over the Democratic Party insiders' desire simply to win the next election through expediency, the progressive movement will become a kingmaker that lawmakers will rely on for their survival and success. Say goodbye to the era of Democratic lawmakers laughing off the grassroots like they did after the Lamont primary victory, and say hello to Democratic lawmakers pleading for grassroots support.We progressives, on the left, will be in a great position, better than we've had for a long time, and we must make sure that the DLC republican-lites don't take the credit or the power. Once the election is over, when the Dems have taken back one or both house of congress, will be the time when we raise our voices and claim our role, our power in the new political environment that emerges.
But, again, getting to that point will require the progressive movement to be comfortable not just going up against Republicans, but going up against lawmakers of both parties who cross its agenda. And if recent trends are any indication, the progressive movement is more than ready to assume this role. The Lieberman primary as well as other lower-tier primaries against Reps. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) and Al Wynn (D-Md.) indicate that progressives are not about to allow a Democratic majority to become complacent. On the contrary--Democratic legislators could be scrutinized even more closely by progressives.