Who you calling "centrist"?

Published December 17, 2004 8:38PM (EST)

In The Nation, David Sirota calls out "centrist" Al From and the DLC for not being in touch with mainstream America so much as with corporate America.

"Washington, DC, Democrats apparently have not gotten the message that their current definition of 'centrism' is actually pulling the party further and further out of the mainstream. Instead, insiders are doing their best ostrich imitation: putting their heads in the sand, pretending nothing is wrong and continuing down the same path that sells out America's working class -- the demographic that used to be the party's base."

"For instance, the DLC has issued a 'heartland strategy,' telling Democrats to jettison economic populism, which has been used to elect Democrats in various red regions in America. Their solution? 'Talk more about reducing teen pregnancy and out-of-wedlock births, which have led to an expansion of single-parent families beset by poverty, welfare dependence, and other social ills.' Above all else, they caution, do not turn up 'the volume on anti-business and class warfare themes' --a euphemism for not discussing DLC-backed free-trade policies that have ravaged economies throughout the heartland. The strategy conveniently avoids the issues that might make the DLC's corporate backers uncomfortable."

It's an interesting essay, and one that's particularly relevant right now as the Democratic party regroups and, among other things, chooses among candidates of various party factions for a DNC chair.

By Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.

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