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Democratic Centrism Rages On

I was quietly hoping that Russell Wallace would win Democratic Chair. Wallace was one of the few Democrats who I’d also consider a progressive. In the end though I was not surprised. The Dane County Democratic Party is a pretty conservative creature. When you had the current chair respond to open government and increased democracy as a coup, its only downhill from there.

What really seems to have gotten missed (more than ideology or philosophy) is the Dane County Democratic Party tends to take a pass on local issues. The party is defined primarily by national and state issues. One reason the Green Party and Progressive Dane has been such a success while also a threat to the Dems is their specific focus on local issues. When sick leave came up both the PD and Green Party took a strong stance in favor while the Democratic Party gave a strong inclination they opposed the progressive policy.

All and all this is a clear win for the DLC or the corporate wing of the Democratic Party. This should  have been expected with the inevitability of Hillary as front runner. Both the Dane County Democratic Party and DLC Dems tend to have great disdain for grass roots political involvement, political transparency, and economic justice. They also tend to eat their own so to speak by vilifying third parties to their left and dissenting views within their own party.

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6 responses to “Democratic Centrism Rages On

  1. I’m really pissed. I typed out an entire response to this with citations and it got lost in the “submit.”

    Summary: You’re wrong. DPDC would be one of the most liberal county parties across the country. I hope you’ve spent a few years living in the true heartland before you say these silly tag-line PD things.

    Now, you’re going to attack me and my arguments won’t be as strong because fucking wordpress!!!# #$#$#$!!!

  2. Peter ⋅

    Come on now…this is just ridiculous. To claim that this is somehow a win for the DLC is, on its very face, just the height of absurdity. The corporate wing? They’d never find a home at the DPDC.

    There was really not much in this fight about ideology. Wayne is a committed, progressive, liberal, Democrat. So are lots of the people who supported him. You can’t even try to claim that this was about the DLC or the corporate Dems or anything like that. Your ad hominem attacks – without even knowing a damn thing about the whole situation smacks of an aloof, keyboard-commando warrior.

    The Democratic Party of Dane County is certainly no conservative creature. I don’t like to play the “he’s a super-lefty, and thus his perspective is wacked game,” but really, is there any other explanation for claiming that the DPDC is a conservative beast?

    The majority of people writing about this in the blogosphere are people I’ve rarely, if ever, seen at a meeting, doing GOTV, working on a campaign, etc for Democrats. So how would they know the full story? They don’t, and it’s too bad that what was a good opportunity for an honest discussion about party direction and how we exist turned into a bitch-a-thon for those with some other axe to grind or a misplaced rant-session.

    I’m all for disagreement and debate within the party (and outside of it within the progressive movement). But if you don’t come armed with the facts or some relevant perspective, don’t insert yourself into this debate.

  3. 1. (Critical Badger) I was referring to conservative in an economic sense. From what I know the DPDC never came out in favor of a living wage, minimalistic sick leave, or inclusionary zoning. As traditional liberals they welcome government action on social issues, but resist it on economic issues. I certainly did not mean it as DPDC is socially conservative.

    2. There are roughly 1 or 2 local members of PD who are not Democrats. I would imagine from time to time these two PD members vote the Democratic line. Attacks on PD are really purges to vilify the more progressive members of the Democratic Party. PD is a fusion party that unless the Democratic Party veers too far to the right will endorse mutual candidates. If they don’t what’s wrong with a little political competition, it can only serve the voters interests.

    3. My reference to DLC was not necessarily ideological. I believe I compared the two in reference to disdain of transparency, grassroots democracy, and economic justice. I believe the questions on blogging, new members, and lack of leadership by DPDC on living wage, sick leave, and inclusionary zoning attests to this.

    I love the – to paraphrase Peter – dissent is welcomed as long as it passes the central committee first. Brilliant.

  4. Peter ⋅

    Ummm…paraphrasing usually means you’re saying roughly the same thing – which you’re clearly not doing here. You’re implying that I’d like to limit speech. I’d just like to have a reasoned, informed debate on this.

    1. I am almost positive that you’re wrong on living wage and sick leave. IZ, I think you’re right. But regardless, the position taken by the county party on an issue is based upon membership voting, not some leadership fiat. In fact, Wayne Bigelow is one of the economic liberals if nothing else first and foremost.

    2. I think there’s more than 2. I can think of two elected PD members who are not Dems. My guess is that the general membership includes lots who aren’t members of the Democratic Party or that self-identify as Dems.

    3. I think that’s a pretty opaque reference then. “DLC” tends to be code for economic conservativism by virtue of an ideological conservativism. The corporate power and non-transparent thing is a by-product of that.

    You say that it’s not ideological, but transparency, democracy (in the full and robust sense) and (economic) justice are in fact ideologically progressive values. So which is it?

  5. lukas

    “There are roughly 1 or 2 local members of PD who are not Democrats.”

    Since Peter already pointed out that that this remark is demonstrably false, I won’t bother. Instead, let me ask, Why would you post something like that? Do you have access the PD and Dem membership lists?
    If PD and the Dems agree on something, is PD voting the Dem line or are the Dems voting the PD line? Does it really matter?
    Progressive Dane is not a fusion party. Progressive Dane is an independent local party.

  6. How the hell did he prove that false. Konkel is the only PD and Green member I am aware of that is not a Democrat. It seems to same could be said of Ashok until the other night. I am sure even Brenda will admit to voting for a Dem every now and then.

    My big point is these attacks on PD are fruitless. Many members are also Dems, or at least vote Dem a good amount of the time . I would argue the biggest beneficiary of the Greens and PD are the Democrats.

    My reference to fusion was how one could receive the endorsement of PD, Green, and Dems. The last I checked that is the definition of fusion. PD does not prohibit candidates who receive their endorsement from receiving an endorsements from other political parties. Brenda, Austin, Marsha all have been endorsed by both PD and the Green Party.

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