Friday, July 15, 2005
The DLC tries to get back in the game by appointing Gov. Tom Vilsack as new head
Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack has just been named the new head of the Democratic Leadership Council. This "Center/Right" group played a major part in the election of President Clinton by moving the Democrats to the right. These were the same people who declared that they would change "welfare" as we knew it. As a result of their efforts we have millions who are in need of services that are now not provided. The election of Howard Dean as party head was a major setback for this group that has had a strong connection to the traditional wealthy Democrat supporters. MoveOn.org has completely changed the game by seeking financial support via internet. Small donations equal or surpass those given by the wealthy few. This organization also suffered an embarrassing setback when it claimed Senator Barack Obama as one of their faithful when Senator Obama denied any connection whatsoever to the DLC. Although the Democratic Party still has a very long way to go recent actions by Howard Dean and Harry Reid continue to show intestinal fortitude (a.k.a guts) long absent from the Democrat side of the aisle. MoveOn.org has galvanized the grassroots that thusfar have made the DLC irrelevant. Gov. Tom Vilsack is a man of great integrity who will attempt to give the DLC back some of it's lost influence. This will be an uphill battle. The DLC in vain tried to make Michael Moore" persona non grata" among Democrats but that move backfired because Moore enjoys unprecedented popularity among grass roots Democrats due to his best selling books and movies that deal with grassroots issues. In recent times the party faithful have been confused by the messages of many Democrats who tell their constituencies one thing yet vote in a manner that is detrimental to the very people who sent them to Congress. How can one explain the reason why 73 Democrats supported the bankrupcy bill? Grassroot Democrats are also confused by the actions of Joe Lieberman and Joe Biden, one a definite card carrying DLC advocate and the may or may not be, it's hard to tell. Joe Lieberman is constantly seen on right wing radio and television agreeing with the likes of arch conservative Sean Hannity, while Joe Biden gave us all the reasons why Condoleeza Rice was not worthy of confirmation yet he turns around and votes for her. Joe Biden is the first Democrat to declare candidacy for the next presidential election yet he says that Howard Dean doesn't speak for him......so much for party loyalty. There will be a strong battle for the heart and soul of the Democratic Party. The DLC was very effective in the 1992 presidential campaign but the issues of 1992 and those of 2006 will be very different. Center/Right Democrats are going to have to pay a price for voting with Bush. Several organizations are already promoting progressive Democratic primary candidates to remove those who ally themselves with Republican interests. The big issue will be the war in Iraq. During the last Democratic convention deals were made to purposely avoid debate on the war because at the time it was felt that the party must be united behind John Kerry. Now with most of the country solidly against the war with almost 1800 US service men and women killed and more than 10,000 maimed, if you are an anti-war Democrat it is an advantage as more and more Democrats and even some Republicans speak out against this war that continues to drain resources from badly needed domestic projects. On September 24, 2005 the nation is going to see massive anti-war demonstrations, not seen since the Viet Nam era. With Mr. Bush's poll numbers being at an all time low for second term presidents and DLC Democrats who supported his policies also seeing a decline in their popularity, Governor Vilsack, you have a formidable task ahead of you.