Friday, May 25, 2007

Why progressives must take over the Democratic party

Chris Bowers has a post on MyDD that tries to answer Why Some Democrats Are More Scared Of Bush Than Their Base:
By now, I'm sure most people have seen this:
Democrats said they did not relish the prospect of leaving Washington for a Memorial Day break -- the second recess since the financing fight began -- and leaving themselves vulnerable to White House attacks that they were again on vacation while the troops were wanting. That criticism seemed more politically threatening to them than the anger Democrats knew they would draw from the left by bowing to Mr. Bush.
This isn't just a reporter putting words in Democratic mouths. As Matt showed earlier today, several specific Democrats are actually scared of Bush on this. Now, if you think it seems more than a little inane to be scared of a guy whose approval rating just hit an all-time low today, especially when it comes to a war which just reached its all-time low in terms of support today, and when, on Tuesday, centrist beltway firm GQR released a report showing that Republicans were being significantly damaged by the Iraq War debate, then you are probably right. I mean, given all of that, there is an outside chance you are right. Maybe.
I've been wracking my brain, trying to come up with an answer to this. Those who read this blog have heard my cries of anguish on this subject multiple times. Bowers has an explanation for this phenomenon, and it strikes me as very paranoid, and indicative of major dysfunction in the Democratic party. But it's the only one I've come across that begins to explain the bizarre phenomena we're witnessing:
Keep in mind that while a demoralized progressive activist base has negative repercussions for Democratic electoral fortunes in general elections, in terms of intra-party power struggles, a demoralized, progressive, grassroots activist base actually strengthens the position of neoliberals, LieberDems, and the DLC-nexus within the Democratic Party power structure.
People power vs. party power. I thought that with the success of the Nov. 2006 elections, the party insiders had come to see the netroots activists as a positive force. But Bowers is painting a picture where many of the party insiders just wish we'd roll over and die. Well, we aren't. Both Bowers on MyDD and Kos present the same solution: KEEP FIGHTING.

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