David Sirota’s latest factually challenged hit piece on the state of the Democratic party is much like his other works. He ignores certain truths in order to build his case. When those overlooked facts are inserted into his argument, it falls like a house of cards.
It has come to be expected that Sirota will pepper his writings with Marxist revolutionary rhetoric, and he doesn’t disappoint. No further in than his second paragraph does he launch into one of his trademarked snipes at President Bill Clinton’s (as he terms it) “embrace of corporate-written trade deals that crushed the party’s working-class base.” Inconvenient Truth #1: The economic policies of President Clinton created 22 million new jobs, produced the lowest unemployment rate in three decades, the lowest inflation rate in 20 years, and the lowest child poverty rate in three decades. Clinton put the most money in higher education since the G.I. Bill and cemented the longest economic expansion in history. Every economic class, every gender, every race, benefited from the Clinton economic plan. The party’s “working-class base” was hardly crushed.
Also in the second paragraph, Sirota once again rails about the “Democratic party elite’s” complicity in the Iraq war and their “rejection of the growing anti-war movement.” Inconvenient Truth #2: At the time military intervention in the Iraq war was being debated, there was really no reason not to believe the President. Even Howard Dean, the de facto-leader of the “anti-war movement” said on Meet The Press that he believed the President. In fact, in an interview with columnist David White after a Yale Club luncheon in late 2002, Dean expressed his approval of unilateral action in Iraq if Saddam Hussein failed to adhere to UN Resolution 1441. Combine this with the fact that any approval given by Democrats in congress for military action in Iraq came with the caveat that it would only come as a last resort and only after President Bush exhausted his diplomatic options with one final visit to the UN. The Democrats in congress simply cannot be faulted for the Iraq war. And since most of the country is now opposed to the Iraq war, the anti-war movement has been absorbed into the mainstream – the very mainstream that is about to vote these “vile” Democrats into majority party status.
Sirota claims “progressives are increasingly in a position to flex their muscles thanks to a convergence of factors: the rise of Internet fundraising, the ascendancy of blog and vlog (video blog) media and the crushing economic forces that are radicalizing previously apolitical middle-class constituencies.” Uh… ok. Inconvenient Truth #3: The “progressive’s” one and only claim to fame – Ned Lamont – will probably lose next week in the Connecticut general. Internet fundraising by “progressives” have been such a success for him that he recently had to add another $2 million of his personal money to the $8 million of his own money he previously contributed to the campaign. Internet fundraising is not yet the cash cow Sirota wants us to believe it is and, like blogs, it can and is being done by people of all political stripes. In other words, the effects have become diluted. Finally, as news reports linked daily on this blog show, it isn’t the “progressives” who are increasingly in a position to “flex their muscles.” It is the centrists of the party.
Next, Sirota betrays his “progressives as martyrs” mantra by admitting that, should the Democrats win next week, the more liberal of the party will hold the positions of power, creating a “giant faultline” between them and the rank and file members of the party (that would be us normal centrists, I suppose.) This rift, Sirota contends, will happen when the liberal leadership of the party begins passing “progressive” legislation. So here is Inconvenient Truth #4: Potential majority leader Nancy Pelosi has stated, and it has been widely reported, that her agenda only includes mainstream proposals that even the party’s most conservative members would mostly agree on.
But should the Democrats lose in 7 days, Sirota has prepared a cover story. Of course, the DLC and their shadowy tentacles of doom. While trying to assign credit to the netroots for a Democratic victory, he can’t fathom the possibility that people might actually be turned off by the shrillness of it. But even Pelosi agrees that most of the credit will be Rahm Emanuel’s (A DLC member) if we take the House, another inconvenient truth, #5, that steams people like Sirota.
Even in his closing, he is defiant. If we win this election, Sirota is promising “a fight.” No doubt he means one between the “progressives” and what he himself called the rank and file members of the party (the centrists.) Is he implying he want to thin the herd of “DINOS” from rank and file Democrats? What a joy to have such a “team player” on our side.
Speaking of supposed party members we’d just assume stay locked in the proverbial basement, former Republican-turned-progressive hero Arianna Huffington (Markos Moulitsas Zúniga being another) attacks both Rahm Emanuel AND Howard Dean for discussing middle-class tax fairness. Not progressive enough for a former McCain girl like Arianna, I suppose. There is no zealot quite like a convert.