Hit & Run

What Democratic Party?

|

David Broder writes that "The Democrats have convinced most of the journalists covering their convention here that their party has eliminated most of its internal differences. That is true, unless you count the gap between the party's head and its heart."

For the WaPo columnist, the Boston convention was designed to camouflage the tension within the party between the moderate Democratic Leadership Council (the party's "head"), and the party's far more liberal activist base, "the people who actually turn out the votes that elect Democrats."

The DLC's Al From, writes Broder, "says confidently that 'the debate within the party is over and we have won.' Except it isn't."

This struggle within the party "plagued Clinton in his first two years, until he came down squarely on the DLC side after Republicans captured Congress in 1994. These divisions were an even worse problem for Al Gore in the 2000 campaign, with running mate Lieberman and other DLCers decrying his decision to run a 'people versus the powerful' campaign cheered on by the activist groups."

"So there are no divisions among the Democrats," concludes Broder, "except the one that will matter most if they again own the White House."