DailyKos vs. the DLC

It always amazes me how ideologues of both the left and right can filter out unpleasant evidence to arrive at the conclusion they wanted to reach all along.

The latest evidence is the campaign by leftist bloggers, who have become quite a force within the Democratic Party, to read the moderate Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) out of the party. In a weekend appearance on "Meet the Press" and in a column in The Washington Post, the founder of the DailyKos website took great pains to take all of the credit for past Democratic successes, few as there are, and heaped all of the blame for failures on Democratic moderates. Just scream loud enough, the Kos folks say, and Democrats will be more successful electorally.

Now, don’t get me wrong: I am not a Democrat, so you could tell me to just butt out of things that don’t concern me. Fair enough. Still, as a matter of historical accuracy, DailyKos is way off base in its analysis. Let’s mention just a couple of things for the record:

1. Howard Dean did not win the Democratic nomination in 2004, despite having most bloggers on his side and screaming the loudest. It’s hard to know how the bloggers can count the Dean campaign as a success.

2. The ultra-leftist and elitist Ned Lamont did not win his Senate race in Connecticut either. He lost to centrist and foreign policy realist Sen. Joe Lieberman (I), something that must gall DailyKos supporters to no end.

3. John Kerry, the bloggers’ second choice in 2004, also lost. Do you see a pattern developing here?

4. OK. Democrats did take control of Congress in 2006. However, many winning Democratic candidates in both the House and Senate cannot in any way be described as sympathetic to the bloggers. At least a dozen or more new House Democrats cooperate with or have joined the Blue Dog Coalition of moderate Democrats and have broken with the liberal House leadership on issues such as immediate withdrawal from Iraq and reauthorization of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. In addition, a number of new Democratic senators besides Lieberman have shown a refreshing independence from liberal orthodoxy.

It’s true, I am not a Democrat. In one sense, I hope DailyKos succeeds in driving moderates out of that party and into the Republican column. However, despite themselves, Democrats will retake the White House someday. When they do, it would be comforting to know that there are still grownups in the party, such as the DLC, to run the country.