Thursday, November 11, 2004
A question for the Left
The PBA's group blog has been having the Left's discussion of the day, which is "We lost—now what do we do?" Ultimately I'll throw my own suggestions out, but in the meanwhile I was struck by an angry entry by DDJango. He articulates what amounts to a "populist progressive" manifesto, with which I can easily agree,1 and then adds,
[N]ow is not the time for alliances. It is the time to resist and oppose any and all compliance and complicity with Republicans on the part of Democrats. We don't need the Democratic Party. And the Democratic Party will continue to suppress a progressive populist threat from within.
I also agree that "the Democratic Party will continue to suppress a progressive populist threat from within." But my question is simple—If the Left cannot take over the machinery of the Democratic party, as the Right was so successful in doing with the Republican party, how can it hope to wield any real power? Or to put it another way, If you can't prevail in a political party that is closer in sympathy to your positions than the other party, how can you hope to prevail in the country at large?
I don't make this remark to repudiate the anger, which I share; or to single out this one opinion, because the sentiment is widespread; or to praise the Democratic party, with which I seldom sympathize. But I'm very concerned that we look for effective strategies and tactics, and to repudiate the Democratic party seems an admission of the ineffectiveness (or nonexistence) of those strategies and tactics.