The Lonely Centrist

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Friday, October 07, 2005

Trying to Pull the Democrats Back from the Edge

A sad development in American politics over the last few years has been the collapse of influence of the Democratic Leadership Conference and other more centrist Democrats within the party, symbolized by the election of the vitriolic, nasty, "I hate Republicans" Howard Dean as party Chairman, and the vitriolic, nasty Daily Kos as the most popular left wing blogsite. Thus, this article in today's Washington Post caught my eye. William A. Galston and Elaine C. Kamarck, a couple of old Clintonite Intellectuals, argue that the Democratic base - unlike the Republican base - is too small to win elections alone, and that the rising number of Hispanic voters will not change that fact. They urge the party to pull back to more centrist positions. Some key excerpts:

Their basic thesis is that the number of solidly conservative Republican voters is substantially larger that the reliably Democratic liberal voter base. To win, the argument goes, Democrats must make much larger inroads among moderates than the GOP.


In one of their more potentially controversial findings, the authors argue that the rising numbers and influence of well-educated, socially liberal voters in the Democratic Party are pulling the party further from most Americans

Though not specific in their recommendations, recognizing the reality is always a good start. And it is promising that, according to the Post, the report "was sponsored by Third Way, a group working with Senate Democrats," so perhaps Galston and Kamarck have someone's ear. It would be a very good development for the country if the Democrats were to put forth some reasonable, centrist alternatives to the Bush Administration.

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