Apparently Bill Clinton received a standing ovation from a largely anti-war crowd at Benaroya Hall in Seattle after speaking to supporters of Rep. Jim McDermott. He did it by doing something you rarely if ever see from the anti-war/far left crowd – lining up an agenda of issues Democrats can agree on for the midterm elections and work on if they retake the House and/or Senate.
A standing ovation. From a far left crowd. But it gets even more interesting.
The agenda put forth by Clinton – the issues and policy proposals which ranged from increasing the minimum wage to restoring college loans – are backbones of the DLC’s American Dream Initiative, the plan that has been savaged by the left for being “rightwing.” But without attaching the DLC’s name to it, the meat of the plan got the big standing “O” from the “progressive” crowd. Which is indicates two things:
1. Clinton is a very effective and influential leader
2. The DLC has totally become the left’s “boogyman.”
Bill Shipp, with tongue only partially in cheek, counsels that Cynthia McKinney is the GOP’s secret weapon:
Republicans need Cynthia McKinney. The DeKalb County congresswoman defines the Democratic Party just the way the GOP likes it: strident, unresponsive and way out in left field. For the Republican National Committee, Cynthia shines as a point of light in a mostly dismal national picture. Her loose-cannon behavior provides ammunition for GOP strategists.
To prove how much the elephants cherish Cynthia, the Republican-led state legislature and the Bush Justice Department reconfigured her congressional district in a way that increased the strength of her base. The GOP-mandated changes saved her from outright defeat two weeks ago…
… Republicans feel comfortable when Democrat McKinney is stirring up things… as a House member, she constantly engages international issues while letting slide home-district concerns.
… The specter of McKinney losing is driving the far right nuts. Even before the primary, GOP talkers tried to wrap McKinney around the neck of gubernatorial challenger Mark Taylor and any other Democrats who posed a threat.
Unfortunately for the Democrats, their party leaders lack the wherewithal to counter GOP attempts to attach McKinney’s image to their candidates. If McKinney wins the runoff, the Republican direct-mail campaign will center on her in the fall…
… No matter what happens in the November election, Democrats will have another shot at a comeback prize in 2008 – the Senate seat now held by Republican Saxby Chambliss. Yet who among the presently recognized Democrats would agree to take on Chambliss, knowing the irrepressible McKinney might erupt at any moment to give the GOP another punch line?
Since we’re back on the subject of Cynthia McKinney, here is the video that is getting deleted from far left message boards across the internets:
Go ahead. Try posting is somewhere like DailyKOS or Democratic Underground and see how long it lasts.
BullMoose weighs in this morning on an issue near and dear to my heart. In discussing George Meany’s AFL-CIO, he provides a rundown on Democratic party history and how the left is completely oblivious to to it:
With the decline of the labor movement, the Democratic Party is left without a major institution that provides a ballast keeping it in the vital center of American politics. Instead, the McGovernites with modems, left wing donors and the Moveon type activists are filling the void. In his day, Meany feared that the party would be dominated by those with social and foreign policy agendas that were anathema to his blue collar members.
Meany would also recognize the Lamont candidacy for what it is – the heirs to the McGovernites who drove the party to the left on national security issues. Just as he fought the destructive McGovernites years ago, he would no doubt be fighting for Lieberman today. Meany would recognize the nutroots as an insurgency propelled by ultra-liberal, highly educated, secular doves who will drive away more traditionalist voters who used to be attracted to the Democrats’ economic agenda.
Democrats have replaced special interest domination with single issue dominance. And that issue is national security. While the Iraq war is unpopular, so was the Vietnam conflict and the Democrat’s opposition to that war fed the perception for decades that the party was weak on national security.
In the forties, the great challenge to liberalism was Henry Wallace. In the seventies, progressivism was weakened by the McGovernites. And in this decade, the nutroots, MoveOn and the rest of the activist left threatens to undermine progressivism for the long haul. The great conceit of the nutroots and the activists is that they represent something new – rather, for the last half century, the Democratic Party has been engaged in an internal debate between the left and the vital center.
Those who forget history…