Friday, June 06, 2003

How Much is that Advert in the Paper?

Progressive (liberal) Democrats are meeting in Washington to plan an agenda to take on Bush by actually being an opposition party, in direct opposion to the Republican-lite Democratic Leadership Council. This is good, needed and long overdue. One thing pisses me off though. From the Washington Post:

The sniping began with the opening of the conference Wednesday when a liberal group placed an ad in the New York Times attacking the DLC and its founder and CEO, Al From, and Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.), the presidential candidate closest to the organization. The ad attacked the DLC as a tool of Fortune 500 companies, hostile to unions and too pro-defense.
Now check out this article by Michael Tomasky from an August 2002 article in the American Prospect:
The fact that this [propaganda] imbalance exists, however, is partly the Democrats' fault. Democrats don't have the money Republicans have, and they never will. They can never match Republicans dollar-for-dollar on message creation and dissemination. That said, it's also true that they have not set up the structures to do that. Republican backers slowly and methodically set out to build those structures in the 1970s, knowing full well that they wouldn't bear fruit for a generation or two. Democratic money people, and party leaders, have not been as engaged in such long-term thinking. As one leading Democrat told me not long ago, they'd rather spend their money on a full-page ad in the Times than seed and water a long-range, partisan strategy group or think tank. Accordingly, Democrats have developed no organic relationship with the intellectuals and activists on their side, while Republicans have.
So, yes, the "democratic wing" of the Democratic party may be right and the DLC may be wrong, but why do we have to keep spending the money we don't have to piss on our wayward bretheren, rather than using it to fight the real enemy? How much did that NY Times ad cost, and how could that money have been more usefully spent?