New Republic editor, Peter Beinart takes his fight for the heart and soul of the Democratic Party to the op-ed pages of the Washington Post (registration required). His parallel with the Cold War era makes sense, but David Frum's response in NRO is even more convincing:

"The single most powerful interest group in the Democratic party of the 1940s was organized labor. American unions staunchly opposed communist influence at home and communist appeasement abroad.

"Thirty-five years later, as Beinart recognizes, the social basis of the party has entirely changed. Today, 'the Democratic Party boasts a fairly hawkish foreign policy establishment and a cadre of politicians and strategists eager to look tough.' But unfortunately, 'below this small elite sits a Wallacite [Democratic] grassroots that views America's new struggle as a distraction, if not a mirage.'

"Back in 1947, the Democratic party’s problem was the risk of infiltration and manipulation by a relatively small number of pro-communist activists. Today, the Democratic party’s problem is … the Democratic party."

UPDATE: Hoover Fellow Stanley Kurtz thinks the Dems' best hope lies in breaking the Moore-ish Left's hold on academia. Having spent time at Hoover, I know how wide a gulf separates Kurtz and like-minded colleagues from the rest of the Stanford faculty. Two nations, really.
|||Clive|||http://clivedavis.blogspot.com/2004/12/saving-party-new-republic-editor-peter.html|||12/09/2004 10:40:00 am|||||||||