Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

The Democratic Party’s (former) fighting faith

Move On. org makes its position clear: "In the last year, grass-roots contributors like us gave more than $300 million to the Kerry campaign and the DNC, and proved that the party doesn’t need corporate cash to be competitive. Now it’s our party: we bought it, we own it, and we’re going to take it back."

It is exactly the tilt toward Move On.org and Michael Moore that Democrats will have to overcome in order to save themselves if they are to surive, not to say prosper electorally. If the Democrats want to get really serious, they will have to consider Peter Beinart’s very good essay, "A Fighting Faith," in the current issue of The New Republic (Beinart is the editor). Beinart wants the Democrats to remember the meeting at the Willard Hotel in 1947 that was attended by all the important Democrats who wanted to save Liberalism: They announced the formation of the the Americans for Democratic Action, and declared: "’[B]ecause the interests of the United States are the interests of free men everywhere,’ America should support ’democratic and freedom-loving peoples the world over.’ That meant unceasing opposition to communism, an ideology hostile to the principles of freedom and democracy on which the Republic has grown great.’" This turned out to be difficult, but the Truman guys defeated the Lefties, and soon even the ACLU would denounce Communism. Beinart thinks that Liberals have not yet had such a re-shaping experience after 9/11--their party is still what it was in the 90’s, a collection of domestic interests and concerns--and are still producing leaders "that do not put the struggle against America’s new totalitarian foe at the center of their hopes for a better world."

"Two elections, and two defeats, into the September 11 era, American liberalism still has not had its meeting at the Willard Hotel. And the hour is getting late." Defeating totalitarian Islam "must be liberalism’s north star." Read and file.    

Discussions - 1 Comment

As I say at greater length in Peter’s 2nd post on Beinart, the spirit of ’68 crushed the spirit of ’47 in the Democratic Party a long time ago (1968 to be exact), so how successful was the ADA in the first place?

It had a 19-yr run; the spirit of ’68 has now been atop the Dem Party for nearly twice that long (36 yrs and counting), and shows little sign of letting go (anyone remember how far Joe Lieberman’s presidential campaign got?--he cdn’t break out of single digits IIRC).

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