Building A True Big Tent

There are a lot of lame arguments given by Clinton supporters to oppose Obama around the blogosphere and I generally ignore them, but this one is worth mentioning. Not only is it absurd, but it actually shows a reason why Obama is preferable to Clinton.

Big Tent Democrat once again shows his support for a very small tent in a post which tries to make the argument that Obama should be opposed because some DLC people support Obama. Considering Bill Clinton’s support from the DLC, I suspect that DLC support is actually split, but for the sake of discussion let’s assume that the DLC does support Obama.

Obama’s positions are independent of those who support him. Looking past the DLC, Obama also has the endorsement of several unions, MoveOn, and multiple political leaders whose liberal credentials are not questioned. If Obama can add members of the DLC to such a coalition, more power to him.

The DLC has a poor reputation in the liberal blogosphere primarily because of their support for the Iraq war. Obama opposed the war from the start while Clinton supported the war. This difference in their positions is far more meaningful than whether members of the DLC now support Obama. In terms of philosophy, Clinton and not Obama is the candidate which represents the views of the DLC which we oppose.

Big Tent Democrat writes:

Obama’s Unity Schtick is precisely what the DLC and Joe Lieberman have been preaching for decades and that the progressive blogs were supposed to be fighting AGAINST. 

Joe Lieberman? Last I heard he is supporting John McCain, not Barack Obama, so don’t try to tie Lieberman’s views to Obama’s.

His perception of what the progressive blogs are supposed to be fighting against is precisely why I object to so much of what Big Tent Democrat writes. This attitude is true of many in the liberal blogosphere, but this is a mistake.

It is up to every blogger to decide what they should be fighting for or against, but personally I would base this upon a set of principles. If a candidate such as Obama can promote liberal principles while achieving support from a wide range of people this is a good thing.

There are really only two ways we can achieve political change. One way is to practice the same 50% plus one philosophy of the Republicans. Clinton is trying this, but fortunately not succeeding. The other way is to achieve majority support for their proposals. This means receiving the support of independents and some Republicans. This means receiving the support of people from both the DLC and MoveOn. Obama is doing exactly what must be done to promote progressive ideas. 


  1. 1
    jackpine savage says:

    I don’t understand the quote from “Big Tent Democrat” at all; the DLC hasn’t been trying the unity shtick. It seems that Sen Obama’s idea is to appeal to moderate conservatives in order to involve them in the process. On the other hand, the DLC has consistently worked to appease the most hard-line conservatives, and they’ve bent over backwards to appeal to those conservatives in hopes of being involved in the process.

    Of course the DLC sees grand strategy in retreating into the corners of the map and hoping for a swing state or two every four years; whereas Sen Obama seems willing to after voters long since given up as lost by the Democratic Party.

    But grand proclamations from ivory towers in the blogosphere piss me off. I cannot imagine a candidate coming from the Democratic ranks that meets the purity test of many “progressives.” This was the unwritten, but obvious pitfall in trying to take over the Democratic Party rather than build a new party.

  2. 2
    Eric Dondero says:

    Two news items:

    1. The guy who ran Howard Dean’s 2004 highly succesful Internet fundraising effort has just endorsed John McCain for President.

    2. Bob Geldoff of the ’80’s punk band Boomtown Rats says he’s “pissed off” at the American media for not crediting REPUBLICAN President George Bush for aiding Africa.

    Both news items of course, don’t fit the liberal template, so you won’t be seeing any mention here at Liberal Values or any other far leftwing sites.

  3. 3
    Ron Chusid says:


    I just got back in from dinner and haven’t seen any news for a while (assuming that this is something new). Do you have the name of whoever endorsed McCain?

    As for Africa, I’d be far more impressed if Bush wasn’t doing things to harm Africa such as blocking the distribution of condoms which would help with the AIDS epidemic.

  4. 4
    plum says:

    Ron — I remember reading somewhere that the DLC put Obama on a list of top 100 rising pols (I think it was 2003, but don’t quote), but that when he found out, he asked to struck from it.

    Could it be that this is the sole reed BTD is hanging this DLC hook on? Either way, it’s a pretty thin excuse when you consider that Clinton voted for the Kyl-LIEBERMAN amendment on declaring Iran a terrorist state.

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