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What is the DLC and Who is Its Queen?

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I have opposed Hillary's candidacy since she started running. I see Hillary as the heir to the DLC throne that Bill Clinton held and massively enlarged and strengthened. Hillary is the queen of the DLC.

The DLC-- the Democratic Leadership Council-- is the right wing, the almost-republican, but worse-- wing of the Democratic party. They are corporatist, almost neocon (Al From, the DLC's founder, said, in 2003, announcing the 2003 DLC convention, which not one Democratic Presidential candidate showed up at, said, sounding very neocon, "A Democrat in that tradition who is not afraid to use American power in dangerous times,",) okay with war. These are the bluedogs dems, the Zell Millers, Joe Liebermans who routinely sell out and betray the Democratic leadership.

I'm left of the Democratic party's center, as are most progressives and liberals. DLC politicians are far to the right of the Democratic party's center and they're not happy about that. They want to move the Democratic party further and further to the right. They're willing to sell out women's rights, give up on gun control stay in Iraq as long as John McCain wants, and when it comes to corporations, they can't get too friendly too dependent.

It's really hard to tell what they like about the Democratic party. Maybe they get along with some of the union leaders who have drifted to the right, the kinds who back Republicans like Arlen Spector.

I find it highly despicable that the DLC calls its think tank the Progressive Policy Institute when they are the opposite of progressive. They support free trade and globalism openly. It's hard to see how Hillary opposes NAFTA and free trade while being one of the identified leaders of the DLC, with its pro-free trade policies. They try to sell a bill of goods that tariffs are bad for the poor.

Read their website and it looks like they would support spying on Americans. Matter of fact, we know that in the senate, the Dems couldn't block telecom immunity because of right wing Democrats. When I think of right wing Dems, I think of DLC Dems.

Want to know who are some of the people in the DLC? Wikipedia reports that New Democrats are DLCers. The link shows the Senators and governors who are DLCers. Funny, they are the usual turncoats who sell out on issues like FISA, torture, Bankruptcy...

If you're a real progressive, the DLC will make you sick. If you're a real progressive, you'll want to contribute to candidates who oppose DLC Democrats in the primaries.

The good news is that the DLC is not looking too good lately. They are less popular than they've been in a long time.

Be assured, the battle between Hillary and Obama is a battle between the DLC and the rest of the Democratic party. Don't get me wrong. Obama is no great progressive. IF he really is the most liberal voting senator, then that's a sad statement about the Democratic party in the senate. He's no Paul Wellstone, that's for sure.

If you want tacky DLC, take Geraldine Ferraro who just put her foot in her mouth, stating, ""If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position," she continued. "And if he was a woman (of any color) he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept."

Ummm... if Hillary wasn't a woman, she wouldn't be where she is... not the former first lady, and not the dream for elderly women that this is their last shot, in their lifetime, to see a woman president. I truly wish a great female candidate had entered the race. But we just have Hillary-- a woman who is claiming that being the wife of a president is great experience-- which I just don't buy.

If Hillary wasn't a woman, she would be a right wing, DLC hack who failed at an incredible opportunity to change the health care system and who got Iraq tragically wrong and was too small to admit it.

The good news is, the DLC is losing. Ari Berman,in The Nation, reports in his article Going Nowhere: The DLC Sputters to a Halt about Barack Obama's connection to the DLC:
In May 2003 the centrist Democratic Leadership Council published its yearly list of "100 New Democrats to Watch." The DLC frequently puts out these lists as a way to publicly solidify its identification with the New Democratic movement within the Democratic Party. The 2003 list, however, contained a number of questionable additions, including then-Illinois State Senator Barack Obama. As a state senator, Obama had continually passed progressive legislation--a record that he vowed to add to when he began his run for the US Senate on a platform of clear opposition to the Patriot Act, the Iraq War and NAFTA, all positions anathema to the DLC. The puzzling addition caused The Black Commentator magazine to wonder, a month after the DLC list came out, whether Obama had been "corrupted" by the centrist group. Obama's reply to the Commentator was indicative of how the DLC plays the "New Democrat" card.

"Neither my staff nor I have had any direct contact with anybody at the DLC since I began this campaign a year ago," Obama wrote. "I don't know who nominated me for the DLC list of 100 rising stars, nor did I expend any effort to be included on the list.... I certainly did not view such inclusion as an endorsement on my part of the DLC platform." After realizing that his name appeared in the DLC's database, Obama asked to have it removed. The message was clear: The DLC needed Obama a lot more than Obama needed the DLC.

Berman's article is a must read, chronicling the DLC's losing history. They took credit for Clinton's first win in 1992, ignoring the strength of Bill Clinton's personality and the major help of third party candidate Ross Perot. And Berman documents how the DLC gradually lost its pull
"What activists like Dean call the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party is an aberration; the McGovern-Mondale wing, defined principally by weakness abroad and elitist, interest-group liberalism at home," From and Reed wrote in a fiery memo titled "The Real Soul of the Democratic Party" on May 15, 2003. Four days later, after Dean won the endorsement of the 1.5 million-member public employees union AFSCME, the DLC denounced the union as "fringe activists." But others were having second thoughts--about strategy and the DLC. As Dean surged ahead, DNC chairman and Clinton confidant Terry McAuliffe told From to quiet the attacks. All nine Democratic contenders skipped the DLC's annual convention in Philadelphia.

Berman describes how the DLC rejected Howard Dean. I'm guessing they probably did all they could to keep this upstart from winning. And they ended up with a more malleable John Kerry. Berman describes,
The media coverage of its attacks, plus Dean's own implosion, breathed temporary life into the DLC, as it assumed a large role in John Kerry's policy shop. As the Anybody But Bush movement mobilized, the DLC quietly pushed Kerry rightward, dubbing him "a pragmatic centrist in the Clinton mode."

After Kerry's defeat, the DLC promised to "avoid the circular firing squad" mentality but then quickly broke the promise, reverting to its favorite target: the Democratic base. Instead of labor unions and feminists, the DLC fixated on and Michael Moore. "We need to be the party of Harry Truman and John Kennedy, not Michael Moore," the DLC wrote on the Wall Street Journal op-ed page, of all places. "What leftist elites smugly imagine is a sophisticated view of their country's flaws strikes much of America as a false and malicious cartoon," the DLC's Will Marshall wrote in Blueprint, the group's magazine, in a rant worthy of The Weekly Standard. "Democrats should have no truck with the rancid anti-Americanism of the conspiracy-mongering left." The DLC continued this vitriol into March.
s. The organization now claims hundreds of state elected officials in the New Democratic directory published on its website. Some, like Bayh or Lieberman, are true believers. Others are happy for the free publicity gained from attending a conference or being named "New Democrat of the Week." And for politicians in red states, joining the DLC offers political cover. "It's the easiest, cheapest way for a politician who wants to be equated with a 'different kind of Democrat,'" says former Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi, who endorsed Rosenberg for DNC chair. "It doesn't mean anything anymore."

For example, fourteen members of the House New Democratic Coalition earned perfect ratings from the liberal Americans for Democratic Action in 2002 or 2003. "The mothership idea of a New Democrat was never shared by the DLC's rank and file, and it's less so today," says Teixeira. The House Coalition lost thirty-six members over the past two years. "Their universe of federal elected officials is relatively small," adds Baer. Of course, the fact that a New Democratic Coalition even exists is testament to the DLC's past success in creating, identifying and marketing a New Democratic brand.

Centrist elected officials have prospered with the DLC's institutional backing, a luxury never afforded to alternative groups like the House Progressive Caucus, which has failed to translate its sizable membership into lasting influence. (Its website hasn't been updated since the Supreme Court ruled on affirmative action in June 2003.) In the Senate, progressives are even less organized. The fact that conservative Democrats like Mary Landrieu and Blanche Lincoln speak through the New Democratic Coalition while center-left Dems like Patrick Leahy and Byron Dorgan lack institutional support is one way the DLC survives.

Berman's article goes on to describe the downfall of the DLC:
Now the DLC's archnemesis is in charge of rebuilding the Democratic Party.

Dean won't be alone. The progressive infrastructure that helped keep Kerry alive and began crafting a sharper Democratic message--America Votes, Progressive Majority, Camp Wellstone, Democracy for America, Center for American Progress, Air America Radio, Media Matters, the blogosphere--now exerts a greater degree of influence, bankrolled by new, wealthy outsiders and small donors who share similar goals. George Soros and Peter Lewis have pledged $100 million over the next fifteen years to support a permanent idea factory rivaling right-wing think tanks like the Heritage Foundation and the mushy centrism of the DLC's Progressive Policy Institute. "We've come to represent a way of doing politics that is dangerous to people in DC who have a nice little niche," says executive director Eli Pariser. "Bringing in the grassroots will mean a loss of influence for some of the establishment folks."

The fact is, the DLC is built upon a highly dishonest attempt at presenting a liberal, progressive image. Take a look under the hood of this decrepit jalopy being sold by sleazy used car salesmen and you find a piece of junk that parasitized its reputation on the back of Bill Clinton's charisma. But now, we have the DLC's Queen Hillary, embracing and leading in the selling of these stale, non-Democrat ideas, these republican-lite ideas. She is, as the chair of the DLC's American Dream Initiative, unerasably tied to their backwards, conservative policies.

The future of true progressive politics includes making war with the DLC, running primary opponents against and defeating DLC sponsored incumbent Democrats, and running the leaders and ideas of the DLC out of Washingotn D.C.. They misguidedly believe they are the future, when in fact, they are, as Obama has characterized Hillary, the past.

So, to wrap this up, I want to be clear. The reason I oppose Hillary Clinton is because she is a leader of the DLC, which is anathema to progressive politics. She's bad for the Democratic party, bad for the future, bad for America. The only way she'll win the primary is by destroying Barack Obama and very possibly, the Democratic party along with it.

It is sad that this particular woman has raised the hopes of women, nationwide, even worldwide, who would so much like to see a woman president. I prayed to see a strong woman candidate enter the primaries. It didn't happen. We ended up with Hillary. She's a bit better than some of the Republican members of congress, but not a whole lot. If she somehow trashes Obama enough to cause him to lose the primary (I don't want to call causing someone to lose the same as winning,) I may even vote for her. But it will be a dispirited, unenthusiastic vote and I will certainly not go out and canvas and work hard for her.

Here in the suburbs of Philly, where I live, where they say, the toughest part of the coming primary will be fought, I attended a meeting of local democrats in a township that is predominantly Republican. Even here, the vast majority of the Democrats are supporting Obama.
It's unlikely that PA will make a big difference for Hillary, in terms of delegates or popular vote. It will be close. She will not win a landslide here, even with the help of DLC Governor Ed Rendell.

By the way, two years ago, at a progressive conference, I asked Ed Rendell, in front of a lot of people, if he would work with progressives in the state. He encouraged me to fax him. I did, but got no response. I saw him at the grange fair and handed him a copy of the faxed message I'd sent him, calling for the beginning of discussions between him and progressives. No response.

The DLC leaders want to see progressives and progressive organizations just disappear. Too bad. It looks like the opposite is happening.

I'm not one of the Obamamaniac who go gaga over him. He's a bit more conservative than I would like and I preferred Edwards and Kucinich. But I can get used to him, and will love to see the day that Obama hammers the nails in the coffin of the DLC, by taking their flagship, superstar candidate out of the picture. Once Hillary loses the primary, the DLC will drop that much lower in power and influence and that's great news for progressives.

A last remark. I write this from a personal perspective, not in my leadership capacity at has made it clear that it is open to articles supporting all candidates for president and will continue to take that approach, even bending over backwards to publish articles that might not ordinarily be accepted based on writing standards, if they represent candidates who are under-represented on the site.

As I write this, a few MSNBC talking heads discuss the "dream ticket" of Clinton Obama or Obama Clinton-- that this is something that Democrats love. I don't know any Obama supporters who are excited about Hillary running as Obama's Vice president. Most feel that she would bring little to the ticket, since her state, New York would be a sure win either way. There is one good reason. Like Cheney was for Bush, a Hillary Vice Presidency might get potential Obama assassins to think twice before making Hilllary president.


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Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media. 

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He is the author of The Bottom-up Revolution; Mastering the Emerging World of Connectivity  

He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites,

more detailed bio: 

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization (more...)

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