Wednesday, March 09, 2005

MoveOn and the Center

Interesting article over at Rolling Stone, on MoveOn. It's very critical of the organization, arguing that they have failed to meet any of their goals (The war in Iraq went on as planned, for example, and President Bush got a second term). It then discusses why it's presumed power in the Democratic Power is a potential doubled edged sword.
So who is MoveOn? Consider this: Howard Dean finished first in the MoveOn primary. Number Two wasn't John Kerry or John Edwards -- it was Dennis Kucinich. Listing the issues that resonate most with their membership, Boyd and Blades cite the environment, the Iraq War, campaign-finance reform, media reform, voting reform and corporate reform. Somewhere after freedom, opportunity and responsibility comes "the overlay of security concerns that everybody shares." Terrorism as a specific concern is notably absent. As are jobs. As is health care. As is education.

There's nothing inherently good or bad in any of this. It's just that MoveOn's values aren't middle-American values. They're the values of an educated, steadily employed middle and upper-middle class with time to dedicate to politics -- and disposable income to leverage when they're agitated. That's fine, as long as the group sticks to mobilizing fellow travelers on the left. But the risks are greater when it presumes to speak for the entire party.
I do think accepting MoveOn as the leader of the Democratic Party would probably not be the best idea. That said, they aren't the leader of the party. They are a voice; a voice that was shut through most of the nineties. I think they should have a place at the table.

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