Monday, October 5, 2009

The Conservative Wing of the Democratic Party, the Obama Adminstration, and the Fight for Real Political Reform in the U.S.


The New Democrat Coalition (NDC) is a prominent and powerful caucus group within the national Democratic Party. Significantly, Obama's Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel belongs to this "moderate" group (
as does Bill & Hillary Clinton, and nearly ALL of the conservative "Blue Dog" Democrats in the Senate who are currently opposing the public option in national healthcare: Joe Lieberman, Ben Nelson, Mary Landrieu, Blanche Lincoln, Evan Bayh, Kent Conrad, Max Baucus, and Dianne Feinstein, among others). These facts go a long way toward explaining just how politically compromised the President really is with respect to not only national healthcare reform but to all other forms of progressive domestic and foreign policy. In fact, real progressives and leftists within the Democratic Party have consistently critiqued and opposed the NDC (New Democrat Coalition) throughout its controversial 12 year history and are doing so now. This is what accounts for the deep ideological and political fissures and conflicts within the majority political party and is largely responsible for the refusal or inability of the Democratic Party to unite around a progressive agenda for real, substantive reform in the government and the general society.

Unfortunately it is these disturbing political realities-- which are made much worse of course by the brazenly racist and maniacally protofascist strategies of the Republican far right-- that together are making it increasingly difficult for progressive reform legislation to be properly advocated, supported, and passed in Congress. So given these indisputable facts it is still very much an open question whether the actions of the President and the Democratic Party current majority control of the House and Senate will actually result in any consistently progressive or even classically liberal reform. Which is why more than ever the organized political and ideological pressure of a nationally committed and unified left is absolutely necessary if any genuine change of any value and meaning is to happen now or in the future.
No kidding. Stay tuned...


New Democrat Coalition

The New Democrat Coalition is a Congressional Member Organization within the United States Congress made up of Democrats who support an agenda that the organization describes as moderate and pro-growth. A July 2009 Press release described the organization as "the largest moderate coalition in the U.S. House of Representatives", announced the election of Representative Joseph Crowley (New York) as the Coalition's Chair and counted 68 Members in the House of Representatives[1]. In January 2009, at the end of the 110th Congress, there were 59 members listed on Chair Representative Ellen Tauscher's roster. The Senate New Democrat Coalition counted 21 members in the Senate in August 2002, 15 of whom remain in the Senate as of the beginning of the 111th Congress.


The New Democrat Coalition was founded in 1997 by Representatives Cal Dooley (California), Jim Moran (Virginia) and Timothy J. Roemer (Indiana) as a congressional affiliate of the avowedly centrist Democratic Leadership Council, whose members, including former President Bill Clinton, call themselves "New Democrats." As of July 2009, the House New Democrats are chaired by Representative Joseph Crowley (New York), with Vice-Chairs Representatives Melissa Bean (Illinois), Ron Kind (Wisconsin), Allyson Schwartz (Pennsylvania) and Adam Smith (Washington), who also serves as chair of the group's political action committee.
The Senate New Democrat Coalition was founded in the spring of 2000 by Senators Evan Bayh (Indiana), Bob Graham (Florida), Mary Landrieu (Louisiana), Joe Lieberman (Connecticut), and Blanche Lincoln (Arkansas).[2]

The NDC has worked to craft and pass legislation, including Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) for the People's Republic of China, fast track Trade Promotion Authority, digital signatures, and H-1B visa reform and continues to work on matters such as privacy, broadband, expanding e-learning opportunities and making government more accessible and efficient through the use of technology.
Many in the Democratic Party's left-wing criticize the group, however, accusing it of ignoring social justice and the poor.

The NDC is a member of the Alliance of Democrats international; the Democratic Party as a whole does not participate in any internationals on account of its political divisions, but does permit its affiliated organizations to do so.

New Democrat Coalition members (House)

The following 68 members of the House of Representatives currently belong to the New Democrat Coalition.[3]

Bobby Bright (AL-2)
Parker Griffith (AL-5)
Artur Davis (AL-7)

Harry Mitchell (AZ-5)
Gabrielle Giffords (AZ-8)

Vic Snyder (AR-2)

Lois Capps (CA-23)
Adam Schiff (CA-29)
Jane Harman (CA-36)
Laura Richardson (CA-37)
Loretta Sanchez (CA-47)
Susan Davis (CA-53)

Diana DeGette (CO-1)
Jared Polis (CO-2)
Ed Perlmutter (CO-7)

John B. Larson (CT-1)
Joe Courtney (CT-2)
Jim Himes (CT-4)
Chris Murphy (CT-5)

Kendrick Meek (FL-17)
Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-20)
Ron Klein (FL-22)
Suzanne Kosmas (FL-24)

John Barrow (GA-12)
David Scott (GA-13)

Melissa Bean (IL-8), Vice-Chair
Debbie Halvorson (IL-11)
Bill Foster (IL-14)

André Carson (IN-7)

Dennis Moore (KS-3)

Charlie Melancon (LA-3)

Frank Kratovil (MD-1)

Mark Schauer (MI-7)
Gary Peters (MI-9)

Russ Carnahan (MO-3)

Shelley Berkley (NV-1)

New Jersey
John Adler (NJ-3)
Rush D. Holt (NJ-12)

New Mexico
Martin Heinrich (NM-1)

New York
Steve Israel (NY-2)
Carolyn McCarthy (NY-4)
Gregory W. Meeks (NY-6)
Joseph Crowley (NY-7), Chair
Mike McMahon (NY-13)
Eliot L. Engel (NY-17)
Scott Murphy (NY-20)
Mike Arcuri (NY-24)
Dan Maffei (NY-13)
Brian Higgins (NY-25)

North Carolina
Bob Etheridge (NC-2), charter member
Mike McIntyre (NC-7), charter member

Charlie Wilson (OH-6)
John Boccieri (OH-16)

David Wu (OR-1)
Kurt Schrader (OR-5)

Jason Altmire (PA-4)
Joe Sestak (PA-7)
Patrick Murphy (PA-8)
Chris Carney (PA-10)
Allyson Schwartz (PA-13), Vice-Chair

Charlie Gonzalez (TX-20)

Jim Moran (VA-8), charter member
Gerry Connolly (VA-11)

Jay Inslee (WA-1)
Rick Larsen (WA-2)
Brian Baird (WA-3)
Adam Smith (WA-9), Vice-Chair, charter member

Ron Kind (WI-3), Vice-Chair, charter member

Former members

Former Representatives
Members who have left Congress:
Bob Matsui (CA-5), charter member, deceased
Juanita Millender-McDonald (CA-37), deceased
Jim Davis (FL-11), charter member, did not seek re-election
Peter Deutsch (FL-20), charter member, did not seek re-election
Denise Majette (GA-4), did not seek re-election
Ed Case (HI-2), did not seek re-election
James A. Barcia (MI-5), charter member, did not seek re-election
Bill Luther (MN-6), charter member, lost re-election following redistricting
John J. LaFalce (NY-29), charter member, did not seek re-election
Karen McCarthy (MO-5), charter member, did not seek re-election
Thomas C. Sawyer (OH-14), charter member, lost re-election following redistricting
Bob Clement (TN-5), charter member, did not seek re-election
Harold Ford (TN-9), did not seek re-election
Max Sandlin (TX-1), charter member, lost re-election following redistricting
Jim Turner (TX-2), charter member, did not seek re-election
Charles Stenholm (TX-17), charter member, lost re-election following redistricting
Ken Bentsen (TX-25), charter member, did not seek re-election
Chris Bell (TX-25), lost re-election following redistricting
Tim Mahoney (FL-16), lost re-election in 2008
Nick Lampson (TX-22), lost re-election in 2008
Kirsten Gillibrand (NY-20), appointed to Hillary Clinton's vacant Senate seat
Ellen Tauscher (CA-10), appointed Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs

Disaffiliated members
Former members who remain in Congress, but who are no longer affiliated with the NDC:

Mike Thompson (CA-1)
Dennis Cardoza (CA-18)
Robert Wexler (FL-19), charter member
Pete Visclosky (IN-1), charter member
Mike Michaud (ME-2)
Bart Stupak (MI-1), charter member
Heath Shuler (NC-11) [1]
Brad Miller (NC-13)
Earl Pomeroy (ND), charter member
Bill Pascrell (NJ-8), charter member
Steve Rothman (NJ-9), charter member
Jim Clyburn (SC-6), charter member
Jim Cooper (TN-5)
Norman D. Dicks (WA-6), charter member

Senate New Democrat Coalition members

The following Senators belong or belonged to the Senate New Democrat Coalition.[4][5][6]

Current senators

Blanche Lincoln (AR, founder)
Dianne Feinstein (CA, by 2001)
Thomas R. Carper (DE, by 2001; co-chair from 2003)
Joe Lieberman (CT, founder)
Bill Nelson (FL, by 2001)
Evan Bayh (IN, founder)
Mary Landrieu (LA, founder, co-chair from 2003)
John Kerry (MA, from 2000[7])
Debbie Stabenow (MI, by 2001)
Kent Conrad (ND, from 2000)
Ben Nelson (NE, by 2001)
Tim Johnson (SD, from 2000)
Maria Cantwell (WA, by 2001)
Herb Kohl (WI, from 2000)

Former senators
Hillary Rodham Clinton (NY, from 2001; retired from Senate in 2009 [8])
Bob Graham (FL, founder, chair from 2000-2003; retired from Senate in 2003)
Max Cleland (GA, from 2000; defeated in 2002)
Zell Miller (GA, from 2001; retired from Senate in 2004)
John Breaux (LA, from 2000; retired from Senate in 2004)
Jean Carnahan (MO, from 2001; defeated in 2002)
John Edwards (NC, from 2000; retired from Senate in 2004)
Bob Kerrey (NE, from 2000; retired from Senate in 2000)
Richard Bryan (NV, from 2000; retired from Senate in 2000)
Chuck Robb (VA, from 2000; defeated in 2000)

See also

Congressional Progressive Caucus
Blue Dog Coalition
New Democrats
Democratic Leadership Council


Congressional New Democrats homepage
DLC New Democrat Coalition page
DLC: New Democrats Form House Coalition (March 11, 1997)
NDC: New Democrat Coalition Adds 10 Freshmen Members To Its Ranks (January 31, 2003)
House New Democrat Coalition Announces New Leaders, Membership for 109th (February 9, 2005)
NDC government page[dead link]
^ New Democrat Coalition (July 2009). "New Dems Announce New Coalition Leadership: Rep. Crowley Elected Coalition Chairman". Press Release. New Democrat Coalition. Retrieved August 11, 2009.
^ About the Senate New Democrat Coalition (DLC)
^ NDC Member List
^ NDN: Senate New Democrat Coalition Members (August 2000)
^ NDN: Senate New Democrat Coalition Members (July 2001)
^ NDN: Senate New Democrat Coalition Members (August 2002)
^ Milligan, Susan (December 16), "Party Moderates to be Key Players", Boston Globe
^ Harwood, John (July 16), "Democratic Centrists Declare Cease-Fire with Liberals to Establish United Front", Wall Street Journal