, founder and CEO of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC
) and Bruce Reed
, President of the DLC, yesterday circulated a memo to “Leading Democrats” titled “The Real Soul of the Democratic Party” in which they argue that traditional Democratic values are “an aberration” and that the thousands of grassroots Democrats inspired by Governor Dean’s message to “take back our party” are “activist elites” and not “real Democrats.”
From and Reed write:
The great myth of the current cycle is the misguided notion that the hopes and dreams of activists represent the heart and soul of the Democratic Party.
The misguided notion? The misguided notion that anyone from anywhere can get involved in politics and make a difference? If the hopes and dreams of—let’s say—the nearly 24,000 people who have signed up to Meetup once a month for Howard Dean don’t represent the heart and soul of the Democratic Party, then who does? The lobbyists who go up on the Hill every Wednesday of every month of every year?
Real Democrats are real people, not activist elites… Real Democrats who champion the mainstream values, national pride, and economic aspirations of middle-class and working people are the real soul of the Democratic Party, not activists and interest groups with narrow agendas.
So let’s get this straight. The underemployed mother who attends a Dean Meetup in Omaha because she wants health care and better schools for her kids, fiscal discipline in Washington, a sane foreign policy, a balanced judiciary, a healthier environment and true homeland security—she’s not a real Democrat?
Not according to From and Reed, who know an elitist when they see one. DC’s on the line again:
Most Democrats aren’t elitists who think they know better than everyone else; they are everyone else. They don’t swoon when they hear a candidate say it’s time for Democrats to dream again.
No, they don’t swoon. But they sure think it’s cool when a candidate tells them their party can actually stand for something.
From and Reed go on to say that “there’s a good chance that more independents will vote in the 2004 New Hampshire Democratic primary than Democrats.”
Since Howard Dean is now tied for the lead in New Hampshire, we’re not sure exactly what they’re trying to say by this.
Karl Rove himself couldn’t have written a memo better designed to fracture the Democratic Party.
Howard Dean has said the Democratic Party needs to stand for something. Under his leadership, it will. His executive experience, common-sense policies, and proven record on tough issues are exactly what the Democratic Party needs to come together and, with the help of independents and Republicans, defeat George W. Bush. But Democrats don’t have to stand for people who want to divide this party to advance their narrow agendas. We don’t need to take this any longer. This is our Democratic Party, and we want it back, and in 2004, Mr. From and Mr. Reed, we Democratic “elites” as you call us are going to be at the Democratic convention, and we’re going to defeat George W. Bush in November 2004 because we have brought the party back together, because we have brought the progressives back into the party and the working people who don’t have health insurance back into the party and the senior citizens who want sound Social Security and not just lip service back into the party and the Independents who would like their 4th Amendment back and the Republicans who want some fiscal responsibility back – and yes, even Third Way Democrats such as yourself will be back—because we’re the party that stands for openness and inclusiveness, we’re the party that stands for peace, prosperity, and hope instead of war, recession, and fear—we’re the Democratic Party, and we’re not going away, so shred the memos and the polls, fellas, because we’re going to win the White House in 2004 with Howard Dean as the Democratic Nominee.