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Commentary :: Politics
It's Time for the DLC to Go
07 Nov 2004
Modified: 01:28:34 AM
Failure by McAuliffe & co. leaves Bush with a mandate for war and repression.
(Nov. 3, 2004)

OSSINING, NY - Terry McAuliffe, Democratic national chair since Feb., 2001, was the primary architect of the Kerry campaign. Although his public relations bio touts his claimed focus on "strengthening and communicating with the Party's grassroots" at the DNC website, in fact, he presided yesterday over a bitter defeat which was due, above all else, to the top-down conduct of the Kerry campaign and its total disconnect with the anti-war majority among the party faithful.

(See the bio at http://www.democrats.org/about/bios/mcauliffe.html .)

McAuliffe's strategy was simple - employ the anti-Bush sentiment which prevails among Democrats and independents, offer a candidate who enjoys both anti-war credentials and a record of military service and who promises a war program that is virtually indistinguishable from Bush's program and who voted to authorize it, and aggressively suppress - by legal and patently extra-legal means - the candidacy of any credible candidate offering an alternative to this constituency.

It was implemented flawlessly - the so-called "ABB (Anyone but Bush) movement" drew a huge following, even among left intellectuals, who argued that the need to defeat Bush primed all other considerations; Kerry's war medals were paraded simultaneously with his speech against the Vietnam war, while Bush's spotty record in the national guard was subjected to deep criticism; and the campaign of Ralph Nader was tied up in ballot access battles across the country which left it severely weakened, broke and off the ballot in some 15 states, including a number of so-called "swing states."

The strategy also was primarily responsible for re-electing George W. Bush - or, as many say, electing him, and providing him with a mandate, for the first time.

The mandate for war will now be proclaimed loudly by the right in both the Republican and Democratic parties. With the removal of the so-called "Nader Factor" from the equation - due largely to McAuliffe's efforts, Nader's numbers did not rise to a point of influence in the outcome of the election - the platforms of the two parties on the war received the assent of some 97% of voters. Both platforms, as has been stated earlier, were virtually identical in their support for the continuation and intensification of the war.

The anti-war movement was represented by more than 80% of delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Boston, yet even symbolic expression of this majority sentiment was severely suppressed, under penalty of ejection, arrest and criminal prosecution. The necessity of taking this line was claimed as being practically self-evident - the claimed political need to display, in subtle, multi-million dollar projected hues, absolute unity was claimed to transcend the obvious value of even intimating support for a position which polls documented repeatedly was held both by the vast majority of Democrats and a majority of the general electorate.

It is clear that this was an assinine approach for a political campaign which hoped to get its candidate elected, and it is beyond dispute that McAuliffe and his DLC faction were the architects of this approach.

Had McAuliffe been sacked by Democrats and his strategy repudiated, one of two things could have happened - John Kerry could have won the election, and won it on an anti-war platform which would have gone a long way to ending the military threat that the US poses to the rest of the world, or Kerry would have lost, as he conceded anyway this morning, but with Nader being allowed to use his campaign to document the opposition to the war, and with some measure of constraint being forced upon the Bush administration by the substantial expression of this opposition in the electoral process.

Instead, the world now faces an America that has declared and is currently exercising its "right" to pre-emptive war on manufactured grounds and which policy has the appearance - with substantial documentation - of near-unanimous support from the electorate.

Democratic and left apologists for the McAuliffe/Kerry campaign who so eloquently spoke of the need to "take care of business after the election" have an obvious task before them - dump McAuliffe and the DLC, repudiate the apologies for war and build an anti-war movement based upon a principled, and not opportunistic, foundation.

If this does not happen, we will certainly find ourselves in the same situation in 2008, still at war and under siege, while being told to shut up and line up behind Hillary Clinton, lest we elect Dick Cheney (if his heart holds out) or (shudder!) Rudolph Giuliani president.

This work is in the public domain
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Comments

Both Republicrats Need The Shit Can!
07 Nov 2004
Since I make under 35K a year. Living in Massachusetts? I'm poor.
Both garbage can parties DON'T give a damn about us. WE are the majority of the tax payers! No representation. Why? Are we that stupid? No.
We need a strong third party canidate. And honest and fair election system.
Live Free Or Die...