Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Ironic that the DLC big state strategy loses in the primary instead of the general election

For decades, since Mondale lost in 1984, we have watched the DLC easily nominate their preferred choice for the President and then lose the General Election. Bill Clinton, obviously was the exception, his political skills were unmatched by his peers so he was able to overcome the DLC's failed strategy. Their strategy consisted of two main points. First, back away from liberal issues as if you were ashamed of being a Democrat. Second, concentrate all your efforts in only the large states you could win. If you could win all the big states they would offset all those losses in the many small states.

This has been a major failure in the 88, 2000 & 2004. We might not have lost 2000 & 2004 but giving up on the small states made both those elections, which should not have been close, close enough for the Republicans to steal.

Since 2005, the DNC led by Howard Dean has been pushing a 50 state strategy. Dean has argued that even if we cant win in all the States we must force the RNC to defend it's stronghold so that they cannot concentrate on making inroads into former Democratic strongholds. This policy has been adamantly opposed by the DLC. In 2006, DLC operatives inside the congressional campaign organizations refused to fund many long shot candidates in Red states who campaigned against the war in Iraq. Instead they choose to back more establishment candidates who did not speak out against the war.

The results of the 2006 election should have put an end to that thinking. The more the candidates spoke out against the war the better their chances of winning. Meanwhile most of those establishment candidates, that were not incumbents, lost. The DLC was not deterred, instead they declared their hard work had paid off and took credit for the major gains the Democrats made in the both the house and senate.

Now, it's 2008 and once again the DLC put forward it's establishment candidate and concentrated on the big states in the primary. The first plank of their strategy, that of running away from liberal ideas, was quickly jettisoned by the Clinton campaign. It was clear that the electorate was hungry for positive solutions to our many challenges and Hillary decided not run away from liberal ideas. However, she was still stuck in the thinking that all she needed was the big blue states. It is truly ironic that this inability to think outside that box cost her the nomination. Because while she was ignoring those small red states, Obama was busy organizing. His campaign took advantage of those activist recruited by Dean's 50 state strategy and put them to work on his campaign. By the time Clinton realized she was losing because she had ignored the red states it was too late for her to catch up.

As a result, Obama is a truly historic candidate for two reasons the media is not talking about. He is not a member of the DLC and he embraces the 50 state strategy. Both of these factors give progressive's an opening to increase their influence in the DNC. It is time we remove the DLC, and it's centrist philosophy, from the helm of the national Democratic Party and return the Party to it's truly liberal soul.

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