We keep hearing about how the midterms were a great victory for Rahm Emanuel and, by inference, the Democratic Leadership Council. But, they were anything but that. Real power in Congress is held by liberals and progressives, and they will be driving the lawmaking and oversight of this administration.
The DLC's power is solidly located in the race for the Presidency, where the progressives have no candidate. That progressives would rally around Al Gore only goes to show how thoroughly the DLC has gamed the upcoming elections in their favor. Even the longshots, like Bayh and Vilsack, are DLC members. The netroots has no interest in promoting the candidacies of any of these people. In fact, our interest is in working with people like Conyers, Waxman, Miller, Dingell, Kennedy, and Leahy to pass legislation and enact reforms that actually buck the crap agenda of the DLC, the New Republic, and Joe Lieberman.
It isn't time to play nice. It's time for progressives to flex their muscles. We haven't had this much muscle since...well...ever. Now would be the perfect time for us to show what we can do by rallying behind a Presidential contender that really represents the values of the netroots, which are completely hostile to triangulation, deregulation, and anti-people legislation. Unfortunately, we don't, and apparently will not, have a candidate to support. At best, we will have a candidate wise enough to pander to our interests.
Whether that candidate is John Edwards, Wesley Clark, Al Gore, or someone else remains to be seen. None of them are authentic progressives, but maybe they can play one online. We shall see.
The future of the party is in populism, a fact that even the Gray Lady recognizes. It's not in pro-corporate, anti-minority, centrism.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
"Midterms and the Future of the Party"