William Daley who was secretary of commerce in the Clinton administration and chairman of Al Gore's 2000 presidential campaign is ruing the current flight by ‘moderate’ Democrats to the Republican Party of out of politics altogether. He mentions Rep. Griffith's switch of parties and several representatives deciding to retire rather than face the next midterm elections, but seems to have missed a swath of State Dems changing sides:
These independents and Republicans supported Democrats based on a message indicating that the party would be a true Big Tent -- that we would welcome a diversity of views even on tough issues such as abortion, gun rights and the role of government in the economy.
This call was answered not just by voters but by a surge of smart, talented candidates who came forward to run and win under the Democratic banner in districts dominated by Republicans for a generation. These centrists swelled the party's ranks in Congress and contributed to Obama's victories in states such as Indiana, North Carolina, Virginia, Colorado and other Republican bastions.
But now they face a grim political fate. On the one hand, centrist Democrats are being vilified by left-wing bloggers, pundits and partisan news outlets for not being sufficiently liberal, "true" Democrats. On the other, Republicans are pounding them for their association with a party that seems to be advancing an agenda far to the left of most voters. …
Witness the drumbeat of ominous poll results. Obama's approval rating has fallen below 49 percent overall and is even lower -- 41 percent -- among independents. On the question of which party is best suited to manage the economy, there has been a 30-point swing toward Republicans since November 2008, according to Ipsos. Gallup's generic congressional ballot shows Republicans leading Democrats.
He goes on to describe Rep. Griffith and the moderate Democrats who will retire as “the truest canaries in the coal mine.” But wait; all is not lost.
All that is required for the Democratic Party to recover its political footing is to acknowledge that the agenda of the party's most liberal supporters has not won the support of a majority of Americans -- and, based on that recognition, to steer a more moderate course on the key issues of the day, …
… The leaders of the Democratic Party need to move back toward the center -- and in doing so, set the stage for the many years' worth of leadership necessary to produce the sort of pragmatic change the American people actually want.
In reality the “surge of smart, talented candidates who came forward to run and win under the Democratic banner” were nothing more than useful idiots who thought that despite Pelosi, Reid, Kennedy and the rest of the elitist far leftists leading the party, it somehow still represented the hopes and aspirations of the average American. The usual raft of opportunists who were prepared to tell the public what they wanted to hear in order to get voted in augmented these.
What Daley is telling us is not that the party has taken a direction that is an anathema to all of the people except the far left, but merely that the useful idiots are being pushed out, maybe too soon and the party should start presenting a more moderate image for the time being.
The last paragraph really says it all. In referring to “the many years' worth of leadership necessary to produce the sort of pragmatic change the American people actually want,” he is letting us know that what is being done now by the party is in fact right for the American people, well in his opinion anyway. Just because the people don’t want it doesn’t mean it’s wrong, their opinions are not relevant to those who like Daly, feel they know what’s best for them.
It’s just that they need a few more years of “pragmatic leadership,” to realise that they need to have the state control their lives. Democratic feudalism anyone?