Mike Lux, who is one of the triumvirate behind the new progressive blog Open Left, has been around Washington for a long time. He is even accused of being an 'Insider' among some of us in the lefty blogosphere. That being said, Mike has solid progressive credentials and offers an interesting perspective in a post about the DLC, its' history, and where it is today.
Mike thinks that the DLC has three main problems:
First, it's the obsession with being "tough" on foreign policy at all costs. As David Sirota and others have written, there was a whole generation of tough-on-the-Commies Democrats who saw the McGovern campaign in 1972 as their ultimate vindication- if Democrats weren't "tough" enough on foreign policy, we would get beat like McGovern did. You see this philosophy in the Ford attack on Harry Reid.
Second, the intrinsic tendency, which they just won't walk away from, to trash progressives and most other Democrats time and time again since their founding in 1985. From and other DLC spokespeople have launched one verbal assault after another against labor, peace groups, and other progressive forces, as well as against mainstream and progressive Democratic politicians. They go out of their way to pick these fights.
...my third point. Because they have never built a mass base for their style of centrism, their entire operation has, by its nature, relied almost entirely on corporate elites for its financial support. As a result, the DLC-style of centrism is a quintessentially big business-style of centrism. That's why their pollsters, principally Mark Penn, whose main clientele is also big business, are so determined to never find any evidence of populism among the electorate. In fact, many of their financial supporters are not Democrats at all.
Mike hits the nail on the head. Although Harold Ford sough to 'unify all parts of the Democratic Party' the DLC isn't interested in that. They are more interested in remaining relevant. Markos correctly pointed out on Sunday that at this year's YearlyKos convention, the only part of the party not in attendance was the DLC wing of the party. Consequently, there really isn't a DLC movement at all, hence a lack of representation anywhere except on television and at corporate fundraisers.
Take a moment to read Mike's full posting. It gives great insight into what was a hiccup in establishing a long term Progressive Majority in America. The true movement is underway and if you're reading this right now, you're a part of it.