A conservatory of Ldotter blogs.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Wright wing. . .

. . .of the Democratic Party is going to be a perpetual gift to John McCain for the next nine months. Obama's inevitable nomination will embolden the very people he's trying to distance himself from right now: they'll see his victory as a vindication of their beliefs and they'll be spurred on by it. So we can look forward to a whole lot more of the conspiracy-minded idiocy that has afflicted the likes of Willie Nelson working in tandem with the chronically indignant mindset among the Whoopi Goldbergs of the world whose entire lives seem to be centered around expressing the sense of grievance they've nurtured into an art form.

We are witnessing a wonderful struggle between the New Democrats of the Democratic Leadership Council represented by the Clinton campaign, and the New Old Democrats of Daily Kos and MoveOn.org represented by Obama. And, as narrow as the ideological differences may be between the two factions, the differences are deep and growing deeper by the day.

What has the two factions so viciously at odds with one another isn't their goals beliefs; you couldn't slide a razor between them as far as that goes. Rather, it's a battle over whether the Democrats should embrace the image of "progressivism" and run under its banner, or continue to treat it as a dirty word to be avoided in mixed company. The MoveOn crowd is convinced that the only way for Democrats to excite their base and to draw people into the movement is to fully envelop themselves in liberalism under the shinier "Progressive" brand. And they deeply resent the fact that liberals have exhibited what they feel is outright cowardice in declining to self-describe as such for so many years while Republicans have done everything they can to wrap themselves in the ribbons and bows of conservatism -- and done so with a good degree of electoral success.

As "progressives", many Democrats feel they've been betrayed by the Clintons and the blue dog Democrats who have gone to great pains to publicly put distance between themselves and those who controlled the party between 1968 and 1991. They blame the party's failures since then on the psychological effect of what they see as self-hatred -- that the voters sense even Democrats now believe that liberalism is something to be ashamed of -- and vote accordingly. Why vote Republican-lite when you can have the real thing?

So, in response, the old elements that once exercised the power in the Democratic Party, having grown tired of being marginalized by the people they were working so hard to get elected only to come up empty-handed, decided to reassert themselves. And, boy are they ever asserting themselves! In fact, they've grown so assertive that they've driven the Clinton faction from the temple. When Hillary's supporters went "on strike" at Daily Kos for what they considered unfair treatment, Kos responded by hitting them in the ass with the door.

Essentially, the bitter fight that's currently going on among the Democrats is the culmination of Markos Moulitsas's grand strategy -- a fight he and his cohort have been spoiling for going on eight years now. It's also a fight that the Democratic Leadership Council is in no way ready to lose. Anyone who thinks this is going to end anytime before the end of August simply doesn't understand what's at stake for the Democrats. This is not a matter of people simply preferring one candidate over another. It is a cataclysmic event whose reverberations will be felt for a generation, with the winner ultimately charting the course of the American left for the next twenty years.

For now, it appears that the "progressives" have won. They certainly appear poised for victory in the power struggle. But, given what it's going to take to ultimately lay claim to the crown, Mr. Moulitsas is likely to emerge a one-eyed king.

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