Those relishing a depressing journey to the past and, perhaps, but perhaps not, the future, can click here to transport themselves to Planet DCCC, the website of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. On Planet DCCC, or D-trip as it is known to insiders, it is always 1988, an epoch when, as those of us of sufficient age will recall, neoliberalism was not only not a bad word, it was enthusiastically embraced by leading Democrats. Among those doing so were Senators Paul Tsongas, Bill Bradley, Gary Hart and, most notably, then Arkansas governor Bill Clinton, all of whom proudly accepted the label and successfully based their campaigns on it. While they have (mostly) long since departed, on Planet DCCC, their spirit is alive and well. And if the term itself is now avoided, the philosophy of neoliberalism remains an article of faith, recognized as the key to the party’s electoral prospects.
The evidence for this is everywhere on the DCCC site, perhaps most conspicuously in the Red to Blue project undertaken under the DCCC’s auspices: 24 key races which it hopes to flip in the 2018 midterms. Their time honored recipe for competing contains one main ingredient: triangulation. Triangulation, as first defined by Clinton’s somewhat infamous campaign advisor Dick Morris involves locating the center wherever the Republicans choose to define it, no matter how repressively reactionary this point is, and then positioning the Democratic candidate one degree to the left of it.