Stephan Savoia/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Former President Bill Clinton under a Democratic Leadership Council banner, December 2006.
Former President Bill Clinton under a Democratic Leadership Council banner, December 2006. Stephan Savoia/ASSOCIATED PRESS
The Democratic Leadership Council which then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton and other Democrats in the 1980s and 1990s used to stake out the political center is reportedly soon to shut its doors, having run out of money.
Politico.com's Ben Smith is reporting that the organization, once the bastion of New Democrats who rejected the liberal orthodoxy of the party's base may close down as soon as Monday. An excerpt:
The DLC, a network of Democratic elected officials and policy intellectuals had long been fading from its mid-'90s political relevance, tarred by the left as a symbol of "triangulation" at a moment when there's little appetite for intra-party warfare on the center-right. The group tried — but has failed — to remake itself in the summer of 2009, when its founder, Al From, stepped down as president.
The DLC had many enemies in the Democratic Party because of its centrism and its often heated criticism of the liberal Democratic ideas. So there will likely be no shortage of Democrats dancing on its grave.
(I wrote the above sentence, then thought I should check out DailyKos to see what Markos Moulitsas was saying about the end the of DLC. I claim no psychic powers but he wrote: "Where is the grave, so I can go dance on it?" Am I good, or what?)
The organization has had one foot in that grave for years. In 2005, Ari Berman profiled the organization's difficulties for The Nation.
After dominating the party in the 1990s, the DLC is struggling to maintain its identity and influence in a party beset by losses and determined to oppose George W. Bush. Prominent New Democrats no longer refer to themselves as such. The New Democratic movement of pro-free market moderates, which helped catapult Bill Clinton into the White House in 1992, has splintered, transformed by a reinvigoration of grassroots energy ..."It's not that the DLC changed," says Kenneth Baer, who wrote a history of the organization. "It's that the world changed around the DLC."