The corporate wing of the Democratic Party – the Democratic Leadership Council—will meet in its “National Conversation” this weekend in Nashville. The press is already noting that while all of the Democratic presidential hopefuls will appear at the YearlyKos progressive blogger gathering in Chicago, not one is slated to join the DLC in Nashville.
DLC head Al From suggests this is because the candidates have “tunnel vision,” and, focused on the Iowa caucuses, are chasing liberal activists. But From is certain that the party’s nominee will turn to the DLC and drift to the right when it comes to the general election. “It’s sort of like you play on one end of the field to win the nomination,” From said, “but if you want to win the game, you’ve got to play on both ends.”
This has been the DLC’s theme from its inception. Democrats, the group argued, had to distance themselves from “liberal interest groups,” bite their tongues, and appeal to a center that, over the years, moved ever further to the right.
But that threadbare theory, dubious when it was initially aired a quarter century ago, is divorced from reality now. The “center” of American politics isn’t on the right; the center is increasingly progressive in its views.