What a great article by Matt Taibbi for RollingStone online, entitled The Mansion Family. He argues — quite effectively — how pundits like David Brooks and the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), have the common desire to champion the “just be nice” crowd of political movers, which includes mostly those who work within the established party system and catch a bye due to their seniority and focus on the centrist position of power, even as national political bias tilts dangerously toward the autocratic and away from the democratic. Understandably, this results in CYA politics-as-usual for those on the party payroll, and secures the greatest following among those who are presently among the most financially comfortable and arguably, have the most to lose from a grassroots alarmist platform which questions a continuous, incremental assult upon rights and liberties of all American citizens under the present administration.
Can you see a demographic trend here? We have the well-to-do, well-meaning liberal leadership growing tired of fighting the good fight. And why should they? Why should the DLC promote policies of change, when life is so grand — for them? Idealism is a noble cause for the young, naive and powerless. Those with positions to lose — the Democratic leaders, choose to cede their influence bit by bit, in a truly defensive manner. Call it band-aid diplomacy, with a primary focus on tending the garden of big donor money, greasing the wheels of party machinery without the need to stoop and glad-hand the individual voter.
Does it make sense to plug voter-loss through knee-jerk policy that is reactionary without discernable direction or platform? This stategy stifles the progressive spirit of grassroots support. Let’s use the Lamont/Lieberman battle shaping up, for example. Taibbi says it best:

The DLC are the lowest kind of scum; we’re talking about people who are paid by the likes of Eli Lilly and Union Carbide to go on television and call suburban moms and college kids who happen to be against the war commies and jihadists. On the ignominious-sellout scale, that’s lower than doing PR for a utility that turns your grandmother’s heat off at Christmas. And that’s pretty bad — but with enough money and enough of the right kind of publicity their side still might win in the Lamont/Lieberman primary on August 8th.

So we will see Aug 8th, whether CT Democrats choose business as usual, in a continuous slide into oblivion, or pick a fresh face built from the base constituency. If the miraculous does happen, perhaps a tipping point will mark a new direction for the Democratic Party in 2006.

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