The DLC Doesn't Lead
By: Mark W Adams

They should be renamed, because they are the Democratic Party's leading compromisers and capitulators.

I'd like you to read something, and see if you agree that the official party-within-a-party-line of the Democratic Leadership Council is no better than President Bush when he says his sworn duty is to protect the American people -- when it actually is his sworn duty to protect and defend the U.S. Constitution.

Normally, we would be skeptical of attempts by Congress to write war strategy into law -- as opposed to exercising its Constitutional duties to declare and finance wars.
The United States Congress has not declared war since WWII. Moreover, there is no obligation for Congress to fund a war it's membership no longer supports. These are legislative prerogatives, but certainly not their duty. Besides, this really isn't a war.

However, the DLC throws this framing into their argument to give George Bush exactly what he want's, a "clean" supplemental spending bill. Their "plan" is to (1) cave into Bush on funding after he vetoes the conditional bills, complete with their timetables, then (2) take a look at whether the surge escalation is working, and finally (3) to call for a diplomatic strategy.


Um, really? This is what they call a plan? Whatever they are trying to accomplish, ending the war isn't one of their goals. By shirking their responsibilities, this is designed to keep the blame for the war (rightly) on the President's shoulders clear through the '08 election.
The truth is that the Democrats in Congress would rather sit back and let the president take the heat in war than do anything risky. That way they get to prepare for the next election while pointing fingers of blame and spinning conspiracy theories. (Yoo via Glenn Greenwald)
The "end game" of the DLC's suggested course of action is not to take control of the situation and put the brakes on this imperial presidency. They are not encouraged to fulfill their Constitutional duty to represent the desires of the people who elected them. Oh, no.

The DLC thinks, "[C]ongressional Democrats should call for a diplomatic strategy to accompany the administration's military strategy in Iraq." The people have been calling on Congress to do something about this tragic fiasco in Iraq. John Edwards has called to immediately withdraw a substantial amount of troops and refuse to fund the escalation.

Congress doesn't "call" on anyone. Congress has the right and power to act like a co-equal branch of government, not beg the President for anything. And who in their right mind thinks that George W. Bush will agree to anything Congress or anyone else desires -- no matter how nicely they ask.

Haven't they been paying attention the last six years?

I'm shocked, actually. This isn't "Leadership." This is capitulation and marginalizing their own brand. I had to check the website twice just to make sure is wasn't Bill Kristol or some other neo-con concern troll giving the Democrats this horrible advice. Perhaps they were indeed channeling Professor John Yoo, the "thoughtfather" of the "unitary executive".

This strategy accomplishes absolutely nothing and is indistinguishable from the Republican controlled Congress of last year. The DLC completely dismisses the '06 election, it's consequences, and the public's clear demand that we change course both here and abroad. Business as usual. The President asks, and he shall receive.

I can only think of one reason they came out for this position. Hillary Clinton's friends in the DLC want to capture the idea that Barack Obama, while feisty and inspirational (things that Hillary can no longer portray), has an ideological outlook similar enough to Mrs. Clinton that they would make a synergistic team if presented on the same ticket.

Yes boys and girls, this is the beginning of the push for a Clinton-Obama ticket.

Why else would the DLC specifically point to Barack Obama as one of the few numbskulls willing to drink this snake-oil?
If Bush makes good on his veto threat, some Democrats will likely favor a tactic of sending the same bill back with the same conditions, defying him to deny the troops funding in an obstinate effort to insist on his own, failed approach to Iraq. But this approach would touch off a political and perhaps a constitutional crisis that Congress may not win, while risking support for the practical needs of our troops in the field. Sen. Barack Obama is right: Regardless of the truly high stakes of this dispute, Washington should not play "chicken" with funding for our troops. [My emphasis.]
I have rarely seen such a brazen act of political cowardice. Not Obama, who was playing pundit, not poker. Obama was guessing, pontificating what might happen. He was looking at long term strategies, but carefully avoiding actually championing this approach. But for the DLC to come right out and suggest that this is a good idea, and that they so publicly adopt this a the Democrat's best course is beyond irresponsible politics. Yet they do tend to emphasize Obama's credentials as "Establishment Lite."

No wonder the GOP continuously derides the Democrats for being weak. This couldn't be a weaker position. Obama showed his cards, yet it didn't seem like he was advocating this direction, only analyzing how he thought it would play out. Karl Levin along with the DLC, however, by actually adopting this spineless course is much worse. Compromise with the Bush administration is the political equivalent of date rape.

I would really like to see Senator Obama reject this approach and sign on to the Feingold and Reid bill, however, this isn't the first time he's deliberately distanced himself from Russ Feingold. Obama is all in favor of writing bills that call for troop reductions that have no teeth, but to actually use the power our founders gave Congress, the those all powerful purse-strings, Obama balks just like he did over Feingold's censure resolution.

Perhaps Obama doesn't want to screw up his future chances to be a heartbeat away from the Oval Office. I only say this because if he weren't running for the VP slot, he'd put as much distance between himself and the DLC/Clinton triangulators as possible and put his megaphone to good use.

Maybe this is what infuriates Matt Stoller so much:
In other words, he talks about how Washington is broken, about the small-mindedness of DC thinking, about the need for freshness, and then at every point when it counts, he sides with the DC establishment.
Whatever you do, don't say you're a "progressive" and think you can support Obama in the primaries. Just call yourself a Democrat and leave it at that, because Obama isn't the liberal you'd like to think he is. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I too would enthusiastically work to elect a Hillary/Obama ticket should it come to that.


BruceMcF said...

OK, here's my suggestion for a name:

The DFC: Democratic Followership Council

G. A. Roach said...

I just dropped a line in the DLC Suggestion Box: "This is truly sad, when the DLC silently chooses to set-up a Clinton-Obama Presidential ticket, instead of doing what is best for America. It is time to stand-down the Texas Governor and do the bidding of the PEOPLE via the 2006 Election results." Feel free to copy and paste. It's obvious...Harold Ford, Jr., still looks like a deer caught in the head lights, being pushed along by Hillary backing up what Barrack is saying. How about a NC, "That's Bullshit!"

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