Thursday, June 05, 2008

John McCain: Harold Ford for VP!

Here is another Maverick - Harold Ford heads the Democratic Leadership Committee, which is under attack by the DNC forces holding the Democratic National Elections hostage since 1972. Harold Ford, former Congressman of Tennessee, just might be the McCain Campaign's key to unlock disenfranchised Democratic voters in the Battleground States. Harold Ford has worked across the aisle and voted with Republicans on issues important to Americans who are voting or leaning toward John McCain.

After, Harold Ford pointed out the intrinsic dynamite in McCain's Kenner Speech the other night which lighted the hot bulb under the padded derriers of MSNBC Tools, HUFFPO's Cavalcade of Losers, pencil-neck geeks without portofolio all over the media, I saw the worth of this tough-minded American.

Harold Ford, is young, politically and media savvy, African American, Joe Biden Articulate, independent minded, honorable and available.

Most of all, like McCain, Ford has been swift boated - aplenty. Harold Ford would be a big help getting Democrats and Independents solidly in McCain's Camp, but would probably have goofballs like Hannity and Rush swallowing tongues of fire.

They are already lighting hotfoots on McCain anyway - twist a pig's ear and watching him squeal. Win in November, Senator McCain, and give them goofs employment for four years.

The DLC is Obama's worst nightmare - consider.

It is the opinion of the DLC that economic populism is not politically viable, citing the defeated Presidential campaigns of Senator George McGovern in 1972 and Vice-President Walter Mondale in 1984. The DLC states that it “seeks to define and galvanize popular support for a new public philosophy built on progressive ideals, mainstream values, and innovative, non-bureaucratic, market-based solutions." [4]

The DLC has supported welfare reform, such as the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 [5], President Clinton's expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit [6], and the creation of AmeriCorps [7]. The DLC supports expanded health insurance via tax credits for the uninsured and opposes plans for single-payer universal health care. The DLC supports universal access to preschool, charter schools, and measures to allow a greater degree of choice in schooling (though not school vouchers), and supports the No Child Left Behind Act. The DLC supports both NAFTA and CAFTA.

The DLC has both supported and criticized the policies of President George W. Bush. The DLC opposed the partial birth abortion ban, the expiration of the 1994 assault weapon ban, the Clear Skies Initiative, and what they perceived as a lack of funding of the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program. In 2001 the DLC endorsed the idea of tax cuts for the middle class, but then opposed the tax cuts favored by Bush, which they said favored the wealthy. The organization supports some forms of Social Security privatization but opposes financing private retirement accounts with large amounts of borrowed money.

Recently, the DLC also urged Senate Democrats to vote against Bush's nomination of Samuel Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court "on principle", but firmly opposed any filibuster of the nominee.[8]

[edit] 2003 invasion of Iraq
The DLC gave strong support for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Prior to the war, Will Marshall co-signed a letter to President Bush from the Project for the New American Century endorsing military action against Saddam Hussein. During the 2004 Primary campaign the DLC attacked Presidential candidate Howard Dean as an out-of-touch liberal because of Dean's anti-war stance. The DLC dismissed other critics of the Iraq invasion such as filmmaker Michael Moore as members of the "loony left" [9]. Even as domestic support for the Iraq War plummeted in 2004 and 2005, Marshall reprised his right-wing credentials and called upon Democrats to balance their criticism of Bush's handling of the Iraq War with praise for the President's achievements and cautioned "Democrats need to be choosier about the political company they keep, distancing themselves from the pacifist and anti-American fringe."[2]

[edit] Criticism
The DLC has become unpopular within many progressive political circles.

Some critics claim the strategy of triangulation between the political left and right to gain broad appeal is fundamentally flawed. In the long run, so opponents say, this strategy results in concession after concession to the opposition, while alienating traditionally-allied voters. For example, critics point out that liberal Democrat Michael Dukakis won a larger share of the vote in his presidential campaign (46%) than Bill Clinton in his first campaign (43%), despite Clinton's more centrist positions.

Others contend that the DLC's distaste for what they refer to as "economic class warfare" has allowed the language of populism to be monopolized by the right-wing. Many argue that the Democrats' abandonment of populism to the right-wing, shifting the form of that populism from the economic realm to the "culture wars", has been critical for Republican dominance of Middle America. (See, for instance, Thomas Frank's What's the Matter with Kansas.)

Still other critics believe the DLC has essentially become an influential corporate and right-wing implant in the Democratic party. Marshall Wittmann, a former senior fellow at the DLC, former legislative director for the Christian Coalition, and former communications director for Republican senator John McCain, and Will Marshall, a vocal supporter of the war in Iraq, are among those associated with the DLC who have right-wing credentials.

Finally, detractors of the DLC note that the DLC has received funding from the right-wing Bradley Foundation as well as from oil companies, military contractors, and various Fortune 500 companies.

[edit] 2004 Presidential Primary
In May 2003, as the Democratic primary of the 2004 presidential campaign was starting to pick up, the organization voiced concern that the Democratic contenders might be taking positions too far left of the mainstream general electorate. Early front-runner Howard Dean, who attracted popular support due in large part to his anti-war views despite his reputation as a centrist governor of Vermont, was specifically criticized by DLC founder and CEO Al From. From's criticism of Dean was also likely due to the former governor's opposition to the war in Iraq, which most party centrists, including From, endorsed. Dean's claim to hail "from the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party" (a phrase originally used by Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota) has been interpreted by some as subtle criticism of the DLC and the New Democrats in general. Indeed, Dean once described the DLC as the "Republican wing of the Democratic Party." [10] The DLC countered that Dean represented the "McGovern-Mondale wing" of the Democratic Party, "defined principally by weakness abroad and elitist, interest-group liberalism at home."

Senator John Kerry won the Democratic primary and chose primary contender Senator John Edwards as his running mate. Both Senators are members of the Senate New Democrat Coalition, and the DLC anticipated that they would win the general election. In a March 3, 2004 dispatch, they suggested voters would appreciate Kerry's centrist viewpoints, imagining voters to say "If this is a waffle, bring on the syrup." [11]

[edit] 2008 Presidential Primary
In the Democratic primary in 2008, Senator Hillary Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton are both prominent members of the DLC, while presumptive nominee Senator Barack Obama opposes the DLC - in 2003, he discussed why his positions against NAFTA, the War in Iraq, and in support of universal healthcare were at odds with the DLC, saying that "...these positions make me an unlikely candidate for membership in the DLC. That is why I am not currently, nor have I ever been, a member of the DLC." [12]

1 comment:

Bert said...

Sure Ford's a light-skinned black guy, but will people buy that fade he wears?

The main riff between Obama and the DLC is clearly the Iraq War. Obama's opposition to that misguided venture is clear-cut and unchanging.

Obama and some of his fellow Senators, for instance Chuck Hagel (Purple Heart winning R-Nebraska) or Jim Webb (Navy Cross winning former Secretary of the Navy under Regan, current D-Virginia), believe that war is something that is fought as a last resort.

Not so for Bush-Cheney-McCain.

What are your thoughts on McCain's opposition to the bi-partisan G.I. Bill that our pals Chuck and Jim wrote?

If you're really behind the troops shouldn't you put your money where your mouth is? Or in McCain's case, put your wife's money where your mouth is?