Moderation in All Things

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The DLC dies, and all Team Commie assembles to rejoice:


In the Obama era, the group has simply struggled for relevance. Its leaders remained close to the Clintons, and presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton headlined the DLC's 2006 annual gathering in Denver. But as Hillary Clinton's presidential fortunes waned, so did the DLC's influence. By the summer of 2008, the organization was kicking off its annual meeting a mere block from Senator Barack Obama's campaign headquarters in Chicago - but the candidate didn't find time to drop by. The organizational issues that followed, and seemingly delivered the final blow, were more mundane. 

DLC CEO Bruce Reed, a former senior Clinton White House aide, decided in 2009 that the group should be more of a thinktank and less a networking outfit, sending its sister organization, PPI, out on its own and splitting the groups' diminishing resources and fundraising base. But Reid left last year to become Vice President Joe Biden's chief of staff, and the group was unable to recruit a successor with his - much less From's - capacity to raise the money to keep the group alive, people involved said. 

Truthfully, I can't tell if these guys were a victim of their own success or their own failure. They made some really catastrophic mistakes. I think reflexively, and almost cynically, backing the Iraq War was a big one. I think supporting Joe Lieberman, after he lost the primary, and then watching him support John McCain was a big one. I think helping to aid the ascent of the "Tough On Crime" era has had, and will continue to have, disturbing repercussions. But much of what the DLC advocated just strikes me, these days, as run of the mill Democratic politics. On a policy level, it's hard for me not to see Obama in the same mold
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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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