Sunday, November 14, 2004

Since I read What's the Matter with Kansas?, I've come to consider its author, Thomas Frank, the most perceptive Democratic political observer on the scene, running a nose ahead of George Lakoff. And Frank disdains the mealy mouthed DLC, which--as Jeannette Ward pointed out on the ListServ last week--wants to go still more toward the center. What center? The center of the conservative movement? We're already in the center. Frank wants, instead, a new populist revolution:
When beaten [in 1964, did Republicans] surrender their principles and flee for the center? No. They organized. They built institutions. They dreamed up hand-grenade issues designed to shatter their enemies’ coalition.
Reagan was the first GOP leader to bring in the Evangelical conservatives as a major Republican bloc, and this year we have again been forced to admire his wretched handiwork. Another thing that Democrats will notice if they care to look is that this constituency, made up mostly of middle- and working-class voters, is the very group that the Establishment right takes most for granted once it’s in power.
The reason for this is simple: GOP leaders know that Democrats have left this huge part of the electorate with nowhere else to go. The challenge for Democrats is to provide them that place. They need to counter the sham populist themes of Republican culture warfare with real populism—and, yes, with “villainization” of this country’s real elite.

Click here to read Frank's analysis of how the DLC is tugging us toward still another electoral cliff.
What, if anything, can we do to emasculate or circumvent the Democratic party's cynical power brokers? Terry McAuliffe is history. Now can we do something about Al From?


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