Lance Selfa describes how the Democratic Party corrals political support.

Lance Selfa of the Socialist Worker writes another insightful piece on how “grassroots” organizations that support Democrats end up having their agenda handed to them by the Democratic Party. There are two places to get the article.

“United Auto Workers (UAW) President Walter Reuther, who once confessed that the UAW could have taken over the Michigan Democratic Party, but refrained from doing so because it wanted to keep the party’s middle-class and business supporters. So for years, labor remained the Democrats’ most loyal backers, but got little of its agenda—from national health care to repeal of the anti-union Taft-Hartley Act—considered.

No one can realistically compare today’s PDA with the CIO of the 1930s and ’40s. But that’s precisely the point. If the most powerful working-class movement in U.S. history couldn’t transform the Democratic Party, how can a few thousand liberal activists—whose preferred 2004 presidential candidates (Dennis Kucinich and Howard Dean) couldn’t win a Democratic primary—hope to?”