Blogometer: DEM STRATEGY: Fighting Back The DLC Wing

Blogometer

DEM STRATEGY: Fighting Back The DLC Wing

Liberal bloggers are criticizing recent columns by Dem strategists Doug Schoen and Mark Penn, who urge the hypothetical Obama administration to stick to “centrism” and “conciliation.” Liberal bloggers perceive Schoen’s and Penn’s argument as an attempt to pre-emptively constrain Obama’s progressive agenda:

  • The Washington Monthly‘s Steve Benen: “We’ll know soon enough whether Democrats have a good Election Day or not, but Doug Schoen is already urging the party not to perceive potentially sweeping victories as an endorsement of the Democratic agenda. […Schoen argues that] if voters turn out in record numbers, elect Democrats to control almost everything, and deliver a ‘wholesale rejection’ of conservative Republicans, Democratsshouldn’t consider this a mandate for change. Indeed, as far as Schoen is concerned, if Democratic policy makers try to implement Democratic policy ideas after Democratic victories, the party will surely be punished by voters. […] I suspect Obama, given what we know of his style and temperament, would make good-faith efforts to encourage Republicans to support his policy goals. But Schoen’s advice seems misguided — if Obama wins, he should scale back on the agenda voters asked him to implement? He should water down his agenda, whether it has the votes to pass or not? He should put ‘conciliation’ at the top of his priority list? And what, pray tell, does a Democratic majority do if/when Republicans decide they don’t like Democratic ideas, don’t care about popular mandates or polls, and won’t work with Dems on issues that matter? Do Democrats, at that point, simply stop governing, waiting for a mysterious ‘consensus’ to emerge?”
  • Open Left‘s David Sirota: “Mark Penn joins fellow corporate pollster Doug SchoenPeggy NoonanCharles Krauthammer and Jon Meacham as the latest member of the Punditburo to insist that no matter what happens on election day, America is a center-right nation, and therefore a President Obama must not govern as a progressive. […] Penn is following Schoen’s lead in making the Democratic side of this Establishment argument — using the manufactured storyline of Bill Clinton‘s supposed actions to claim that if a President Obama governs as a progressive, he will end up like Clinton in 1994. Not only is the storyline wholly fake, it implies that nothing has changed in America since 1994. That is, it implies with a straight face that the [George W.] Bush years and the backlash to those years did nothing to move the country in a progressive direction. […] Look, I’m all for Obama governing as a ‘centrist’ — as long as he recognizes that the actual ‘center’ of American public opinion is far different from the ‘center’ as defined by corporate-hired pollsters like Penn, and the rest of the Establishment Punditburo.”
  • Think Progress‘ Matthew Yglesias: “The real thing that the next administration needs to do is to avoid failure. In particular, the country clearly faces a serious economic challenge. What the next administration needs — and what the next congress needs — is policies that will work to restore prosperity. If the administration signs into law a recovery program that, whether popular or not at the time, delivers the goods in terms of restoring prosperity, then the president and the congress will be in good shape politically. By contrast, if they can’t do so, they’ll suffer. Similarly, a health reform plan that works will be rewarded. That’s the real issue here — not policies that ‘are seen as too far left’ or policies that are seen as too far right, but policies that are seen as failing.”

Atrios makes a similar argument: “No matter how much Obama wins by, if he wins, the media will have Joe Lieberman and Harold Ford explain to us what it really means, which is that the American public supports exactly what Harold Ford supports. The establishment is ‘center right,’ whatever that means, and no matter what public sentiment actually is, they will tell you that the American People support their agenda.”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: