Surprising for the NY Times, an article in Sunday’s edition details the demise of the Democratic Party’s dreams of a major fundraising machine.
If you needed any more proof that Democratic politics were in a profound state of upheaval, consider this: on the eve of the 2004 election, there were three especially powerful groups, aside from the Kerry campaign itself, working to turn out votes for the party in critical states, and those were the Democratic National Committee, the A.F.L.-C.I.O. and a lavishly endowed start-up known as America Coming Together. Nine months later, not one of these institutions has emerged entirely intact. First, Howard Dean staged a hostile takeover of the D.N.C. Then big labor unraveled on its 50th birthday. And finally, earlier this month, ACT announced that it was suspending most of its operations and closing down its state offices, effectively shuttering the largest independently financed turnout drive in history after a single outing.
The Democratic Party is melting down and losing members. Those who remember the Democratic Party of FDR, Harry Truman and JFK realize that it is now the party of Michael Moore, Howard Dean and Cindy Sheehan. One wonders how many Democrats Cindy Sheehan has caused to leave the party, or, at the very least, to be embarrassed that they are Democrats.