Wednesday, November 17, 2004

DNC Chair: Kos Calls Bullshit on the Liberal v. Centrist Dichotomy

Vilsack has the support of Robert Novak and Joe Lieberman. The already excellent case for Dean grows stronger.

Kos (Monday) put forth the following view

I always, always laugh when I hear one of these insiders talk about the "disaster" that a Dean chairmanship would wreak on the party.

I mean, disaster compared to what? Being shut out from all levers of government? From the White House, Supreme Court, House, Senate, majority of governorships and majority of state legislatures?

How about the disaster of three straight losing election cycles? That's not a freakin' disaster?

Dean means reform. Simon Rosenberg means reform. There are probably other dark horse candidates out there who would mean reform.

And that's what we need. Reform, not status quo. The status quo is untenable. I'm tired of losing, and that's the only thing the current gang has delivered.

But the establishment is gearing up to fight the challenge from outside. Note the language they are using -- we need "centrists", not "liberals" backed by (crazy) "activists". It's a negative campaign that would make Karl Rove proud, designed to scare DNC members into the safe vote (Harkin), rather than the scary vote (Dean).

Nevermind it's all bullshit. Dean was a darling of the DLC as governor, until his reform-minded rhetoric threatened the DLC's own parochial interests. Simon Rosenberg, another candidate receiving a great deal of early support from the 'activist' community and younger party donors, is an avowed centrist, former Lieberman protege. His New Democrat Network splintered off from the DLC.

However, NDN has moved beyond ideology, to building a party infrastructure that can compete against the Republican Noise Machine. Partisanship first, narrow ideological spats deemphasized. For a DLC and "centrist" Democratic community that is still fighting the battles of 1992, this is heresy.

So don't be fooled by this "centrist" versus "liberal" scare tactics you'll hear from Lieberman and other party "leaders". It's scare tactics. The real battle is not ideological. It's between those who would rather keep the current system intact, regardless of its flaws, and those who want to scrap the darn thing and rebuild a stronger, more vibrant party.


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