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12/13/2004

National Press Club Event on Future of the Democratic Party

Stu Rothenberg at the National Pres Club on Friday on Moveon.org's comments [my transcription of 39:45-41:00]:

I opened up USA Today and I saw a comment from somebody from Moveon.org uh who said the Democratic Party quote "is lead by elite Washington insiders who are closer to corporate lobbyists than they are to the Democratic base" the person went on to talk about how much money Moveon and other progressive groups had raised and said "now it's our party we bought it we own it and we're going to take it back." I would simply say I don't think that is a particularly useful way to approach this, to throw (laughter) down the, to create, there are obviously fissures within the party, differences within the party, and making it kind of us versus them, "it's those corporate lobbyists in the Democratic Party," uhm, you know the Democratic Party needs the AFL CIO and they need George Soros at the same time, I guess, and maybe they even need Whoopi Goldberg, although I'd be happy to debate that. Uh, but they, you know, they need all these constituencies but this kind of rhetoric and insider and outsider is just you know that's just looking for a fight. We need a more uh mature discussion rather than a puffing out of the collective chests. I'll stop there.
Borosage went on to defend Moveon a bit, calling them "very relevant" to the debate about opposing crony capitalism.

Contempt was dripping from Rothenberg's voice as he made the above comment, as though to laugh at the hopelessly naive Moveon crowd. This despite the fact that Moveon was a perfect team player in 2004, doing everything they could to get George W. Bush out of office. Rather than embracing Moveon with open arms, much of the establishment (especially the "elite Washington insiders who are closer to corporate lobbyists than they are to the Democratic base") has called for their marginalization or even a purge. Moveon's message, which was certainly aggressive, was defensive - it was a reaction to the "immature discussion" emanating from Al From and Bruce Reed and Peter Beinart. From was sitting at the head table with Rothenberg - if Stu was sincere about his advice that Democrats embrace their coalition, he should have directed his comments to From, who's later gratuitous slamming of Michael Moore was petulant whining worthy of George W. Bush.

From also immaturely responded to David Sirota, who politely asked a question about the DLC's funders, saying, "well first of all you probably don't know very much about the DLC." See Sirota's reaction to the DLC's criticism of him.

 

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