Harold Ford and Martin O'Malley have a very curious op-ed in The Washington Post speaking up for the continuing vitality and necessity of the DLC:
Most Americans don't care much about partisan politics; they just want practical answers to the problems they face every day. So far, our leading presidential candidates seem to understand that the proof of the pudding is in the eating. That's why they have begun putting forward smart, New Democrat plans to cap and trade carbon emissions, give more Americans the chance to earn their way through college, achieve universal health care through shared responsibility, increase national security by rebuilding our embattled military and enable all Americans who work full time to lift themselves out of poverty.
There are a few different ways of looking at this, but I don't think anyone on the left has ever derided the DLC because they don't like universal health care or curbing carbon emissions. Similarly, if the DLC vanished tomorrow we'd have plenty of other outlets prepared to devise health care plans and cab-and-trade schemes. Indeed, as I was saying yesterday, it's precisely the proliferation of alternative venues for this sort of thing over the past 10 years that's made the DLC so dispensable.
The thing that, by contrast, really makes the DLC stand out from alternative institutions like the New America Foundation or the Center for American Progress was its steadfast support of the Iraq War, going so far as to provide a platform for hard-core right-wingers like Marshall Wittman on a common platform of anti-Bush militarism. Now they want to talk about their plan to "increase national security by rebuilding our embattled military" which is nice, though no such plan seems to actually exist, but again is totally indistinct from what you can get everywhere else.
U.S. Army photo by Sargent Brandon Aird