Why Isn’t There a Republican Version of the DLC?

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There are a small number of prominent moderate Republican apostates around. David Frum. Andrew Sullivan. Ross Douthat on certain subjects. But given the obvious need for the party to rein in its crazies, why isn’t there an apostate organization that fills the same centrist niche the DLC filled for Democrats in the 80s? The perfect person to explain this would be Ed Kilgore, who was policy director for the DLC back in the day, and apparently someone at the New Republic read my mind and assigned him to write a column about this. It’s an insightful look at what motivated the creation of the DLC and why something similar isn’t likely to happen on the right. Ed lists five reasons, and I was especially intrigued by #2:

Alienated elected officials. The DLC’s real “base” was among congressional, state and local elected officials—not just in the South, but in every competitive state and region—who feared the national party (and the interest and constituency groups that were thought to control it) were in the process of dragging them towards defeat. The dominant Republican office-holders today at every level are products of two GOP landslides—1994 and 2010—that were accompanied by an aggressive, ideologically conservative message. On that basis, there’s no reason to think that any Republican revolt against the “presidential party” will be “centrist” in any tangible way.

The whole piece is worth a read. The Republican Party desperately needs an active, creative DLC of its own, but if Ed is right, it simply doesn’t have the internal incentives to support one. For the foreseeable future, it will remain Michele Bachmann’s party, not Mitt Romney’s.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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