Coming Democratic Party Civil War?

It seems that it’s not just the Republicans fighting for the soul of their party: Daily Kos has declared war on the centrist Democratic Leadership Council.

[T]he modern DLC [is] an aider and abettor of Right-wing smear attacks against Democrats. They make the same arguments, use the same language, and revel in their attacks on those elements of the Democratic Party that seem to cause them no small embarrassment.

Two more weeks, folks, before we take them on, head on.

No calls for a truce will be brooked. The DLC has used those pauses in the past to bide their time between offensives. Appeals to party unity will fall on deaf ears (it’s summer of a non-election year, the perfect time to sort out internal disagreements).

We need to make the DLC radioactive. And we will. With everyone’s help, we really can. Stay tuned.

I would point out that the Republicans were believed to have a “lock” on the Electoral College, having won five of the last six presidential races, until DLC poster boy Bill Clinton won in 1992.

Whatever flaws the GOP has–and there are many–they will be a permanent majority party if the Howard Kos wing of the Democratic Party becomes the face of the opposition.


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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. jpe says:

    Kos etal have openly loathed the DLC for years.

  2. McGehee says:

    Whatever flaws the GOP has–and there are many–they will be a permanent majority party if the Howard Kos wing of the Democratic Party becomes the face of the opposition.


  3. Dave Schuler says:

    It also bears noting that none of the candidates that Kos/MoveOn has thrown their support behind has been elected to office. Kos complained lately that Democratic candidates were treating him as an ATM. If he wants to be treated as something other than an ATM, he has to be something other than an ATM.

  4. jennifer says:

    I would like to believe that elections are a somewhat functioning market and that a collection of local decisions will add up to what the party is. Not some central decision making body.

    In California this has been distoted, in part because Republican’s keep nominating radicals so perhaps my hope is wrong. And term limits did not seem to weaken entrenched power.

    Still I think the system has tended to reform (reshape) itself in often unexpected and strange ways, that it has been an imperfect, but still successful expression of the national balance. Something in my gut says that none of the things people are busily planning is going to be it.

  5. McGehee says:

    Well, in California you have a one-party state with a two-party ballot occupied by three parties — two of which call themselves Republican and hate each other more than either cares about winning elections.

    It’s not just the conservatives’ fault out there. When anyone to the right of Pete Wilson is deemed a “radical”…

  6. jami says:

    cutting the number of voters we can attract was absolutely not the lesson of november 2004. kos is hurting the left with his divisiveness. he’s proving the right… correct, by showing that the “hard left” wants to run america their way, with no care for what middle america thinks.

    we live in a democracy, kos. we need votes.