Mike Lux, a good friend and progressive in DC, has written a great piece about the current divide in the Democratic Party. He puts it like this:
Something new, though, is going on inside the Democratic Party, and as someone who is both a strong progressive and a loyal Democrat, I am paying a lot of attention to the action. This is not just a little bit of a dust-up or some catty dueling between factions. This goes much deeper than that. It is the divide between the party establishment and the emerging (and rapidly strengthening) outsider progressives.He goes on to define who these people are and does it quite well, in my humble opinion:
In Camp A, the establishment camp, I am thinking of people nervous about Democrats being too aggressive in ending the Iraqi war; former Democratic staffers who are comfortable about going to work as a lobbyist or consultant for big corporate clients; people who endorsed Lieberman in his primary last year; people who are strongly pro-free trade; campaign consultants who still believe in spending most of a campaign's budget on broadcast TV ads; and people disdainful of bloggers and MoveOn.org.I find this piece especially interesting, because Mike describes himself as being politically aligned with Camp B, but knowing many folks in Camp A, after working for Clinton and being in DC for a while. Now I don't have Mike's rolodex, but similar things could be said about me.
In Camp B, the outsider/progressive camp, I am thinking of writers and avid readers of the blogosphere along with members of MoveOn.org; supporters of Howard Dean's 50-state strategy; people who believe Democrats should do everything in their power, ASAP, to get us out of Iraq; and people who believe that strong labor and environmental problems should be negotiated into trade packages.
One small difference is that he thinks a less agressive approach should be taken by progressives in taking on the establishment, "picking fights where we can." I believe this is a fight for the soul of the party. If you are cool with not pulling out of Iraq, with that crappy bankruptcy bill that passed, with free trade deals that are actually quite costly to American workers due to their lack of protections, then I must aggressvively oppose you not only because I believe it to be bad politically, but also morally.
Don't get me wrong, I have a lot of respect for Mike and he has done a great job breaking this down, I just happen to disagree with his conclusion.