left or center?
Ace has a post up that has gotten me thinking
. (never turns out well, I know) There's alot of talk about what the Democratic party should do after several resounding defeats. Ace makes the point that, eventually, there is only one serious, permanent decision: split the party. You have your "Bush caused 9/11, Republicans are fascists, I love Democratic Underground" wing, and then the more moderate wing that realizes that there are problems out there and simply honestly disagrees with us righties how to get it fixed.
There is nothing I want more than a strong left. I love talking and arguing with realistic lefties. Sure, I disagree with 'em, but I think maintaining a realistic balance is important. I would love to see righties win elections for the rest of my life, honestly, but they need to be tempered by a serious threat from the left.
I don't see the fracture of center-left and far-left coming any time soon. The primary reason for this is political viability: how many people reading this weren't biting their nails at 10 pm november second? Would even a signifigant minority be willing to give that up for winning a statement, but losing an election? I think not.
As a throw-away, I also think that many of the far-left, that seriously despise the Republican party and the president, are also so cynical that they almost never vote, and no candidate can make them. They figger that the whole process is rigged by halliburton or the illuminati or space aliens or whoever that voting dosen't matter; so fuck it, I'm going to sit in my apartment and get high and just hope that the right person wins. These people do not win you elections. Witness Dennis Kucinich and Ralph Nader.
I also think that there is a candiate out there that the far-left and center-left can somewhat easily come to agreement on. It's not John Kerry, who appealed to almost nobody; Kerry was too anti-everything and to pro-everything at the same time. A candidate with a "D" after his name that isn't the ideal candidate for far or center but takes his position and sticks with it poses a real problem. It dosen't even particularly matter if he is far or center; simply stick to it, say what you believe, and don't sound like a lunatic (that one's for you, Howard) while doing it and you stand a damned good chance.
Alot of people would've voted for Dean. I think alot more people would've voted for...well, not for Leibermann specifically, but for Libermann's politics. Be consistently left of Bush without sounding like a crazy-person, and you're good to go.
Witness: Bill Clinton. Clinton, among scandal, disagreements and an organized threat from the right, remained and remains a popular two-term ex-president. He was what he was, and nobody liked him all of the time, but he got the moonbats to vote for him and the center-left to vote for him, as well as many independents. He gave a majority of Democrats a candidate with which they could, if not fall in love, they could at least fall in line.
The point being, the democratic party isn't going anywhere. There is zero potential for a fracturing of the left-wing, any more than I'm going to stop voting for Republicans because they use the G-word a bit more than I would like. Eventually they'll reconcile their differances into a candidate that few of them particularly like, but most of them believe are better than the other guy. That candidate will pose a serious threat to the right. I haven't the foggiest idea who specifically it will be, but I guarantee he will have a (D), with the full support of moveon.org, the unions, and the regular democrats we see every day.
Not much of an essay, but it's a thought. A thought alot of Republicans need to get through their heads: alot of people are willing to vote for a candidate that isn't God, but is better than the other guy.
Want to stay the party in power? Get ready for whatever comes next. Quit fantasizing about a disintigrated left, a theory I hear alot of on talk radio and rightie blogs, and get ready for the upcoming opposition. At the present, it's hard to see what that oppostion will be; this is not a sign of failure on their part but rather them figuring out what it takes to be stronger. Eventually, they'll figure it out, get a candidate that can pull not only the moonbat votes but the votes of sane people, and if we're still caught up in this politcal navel-gazing about a shattered left...well, say hello to eight more years of Bill Clinton.
I know nobody wants that.