As a highly-visible elected official, Senator Clinton has been caught in the middle of an ideological and technological battleground. Months ago, I wrote about an "invisible" civil war in the Democratic Party. It is no longer invisible. DNC chairman Howard Dean, his brother Jim at Democrats for America, the MoveOn organization, hard left political columnists and blogs, and left liberal voters are in the midst of an attempted takeover of the national Democratic Party. All signs indicate they are succeeding. Many of them have openly declared Senator Clinton to be their enemy, and they say they will not support her in 2008. The other side of this civil war is the Democratic establishment in the House and Senate, most of the Democratic governors, the old party organizations in the states, the liberal media and most liberal-to-moderate party voters. The media itself is in transition, and the so-called "blogosphere" has produced highly visible and vocal support for the radical takeover.
In the old political world, Senator Clinton could bob and weave among the issues of the day, trying to build a coalition of support in her national party. She could be very liberal on social issues and centrist on economic and national security issues. She could respond to her constituencies in New York, and build new constituencies elsewhere in the country. Using her name, her gender, and her considerable fundraising resources, she could be a frontrunner who actually could win her party¹s nomination.
The parochial and uncompromising left wing of her party, now in apparent ascendancy, will not allow her to pursue this strategy. A pragmatic politician, Senator Clinton cannot make a "deal" with this faction. Her instinct to compromise and seek the liberal center, both good and valuable qualities, are now made into liabilities. If she would decide somehow to "cave in" to this faction, she would lose much of her own base, and appear opportunistic. It's a dilemma's idea of a dilemma.
Turning over the party to Howard Dean, in order to capitalize on his fund-raising prowess, might have seemed like a good idea at the time. But, to the extent it's energized the more extremist wing of the Democratic Party, I don't think it's turning into a winning strategy for Ms. Clinton in particular, or the Party more generally.
For the last three or four decades, the Democratic Party nominating process has moved to the left. To the extent Democrats have been successful at the national level, it's been because they have been able to resist this movement, choosing people like Jimmy Carter, who was a Southern moderate (at the time, anyway), and Bill Clinton, who was, again, an apparent Southern moderate (and who, if he felt an inclination to be something different after his first election, was bought quickly back to earth in 1994).
Letting the Kossaks have control of the party might work out very well in terms of raising money, and in creating an effective political organization. But it requires more than that to win elections.
Money and organization are tools. And tools are great to have. But, at the end of the day, if the tools are being used in the service of a message with which most American's disagree, the votes to support and implement that message will not be there. If it were otherwise, Steve Forbes and Ross Perot would've been elected president, and Michael Huffington would be a senator from California.
Of, course, we'd still have Arianna to deal with, either way. And, speaking of crazed witches...
i have been saying for a long time now, that I don’t think she will get the nomination, and certainly can’t win the presidency barring some unforeseen bizarre occurance. Look, all you have to do is listen to her for a while, she will remind every man of one of his bitter ex wives or girlfriends. She is way too shrill and harpy-like.
Well if this isn’t a Democrat leaning blog why should anyone take this stuff seriously? Perhaps you’d be better off dealing with the criminal gang on the right and their treasonous acts, and leave Democrats alone. Perhaps you can even bring that shrew Coulter to heel and we’ll deal Hillary.