… must still have Democratic party DNA in my rage meter… 25 November 2006Posted by marisacat in Blonde Rage, DC Politics, Iraq War.
WTF? Is he saying Nancy needs two men to .. RESTRAIN her? A Blue Dog and a DLCer? Or else? …some wild pinko reddish rampant liberalism will invade the Capitol?
If only… Here is the whole of the Edsall guest column in the NYT, willfully liberated from behind the so fucking stupid TimesSelect (Mickey Kaus says TS is dead and will be out within the year… I hope MK is right):
The Struggle Within
- By THOMAS B. EDSALL
Can the Democratic Party become fully competitive? Is American liberalism dead, the 2006 election a last twitch of life before rigor mortis sets in? The answer to both questions is yes. (More on this next week.)
For the Democratic Party to revive, major tenets of American liberalism, economic and sociocultural, will have to be discarded. The party can join Studebaker and the Glass Bottle Blowers union, it can trudge along as No. 2, or it can undergo a painful transformation — without guarantee of success.
To stay in the fight, Democratic leaders will have to acknowledge political realities affirmed by the electorate in 1994 and 2006. Many Democratic constituencies — organized labor, minority advocacy organizations, reproductive- and sexual-rights proponents — are reliving battles of a decade or more ago, not the more subtle disputes of today. Public sector unions, for example, at a time of wide distrust of government, are consistently pressing to enlarge the state. For these players, adapting to a re-emergent center will be costly.
Democrats won on Nov. 7 by carrying a 59 percent majority of independent, moderate voters angered by the Iraq war and Republican corruption. These voters demonstrated 12 years ago that they can easily turn against Democrats.
An example of the reality that Democrats refused to face the last time they had a shot at consolidating power materialized during the fight to pass Clinton’s 1994 Omnibus Crime Bill, legislation that sought to burnish the party’s justice credentials by increasing the number of felonies subject to the death penalty. Instead, amendments added to win support from the left — most visibly, $40 million for midnight basketball leagues — caught fire on conservative talk radio, spread to the establishment media, and soon became a liability.
When Democrats bend to the will of liberal interest groups, even in pursuit of laudable goals, the damage to the party’s credibility can be devastating. President Clinton succumbed to such pressure, and Democrats in the House and Senate paid the price. Democrats now have a chance to regain public trust, but even a minor miscalculation can push the party off the tightrope. Its House majority is tenuous: 17 of the new Democrats represent districts that voted for Bush in 2004 by at least 54 percent, according to the political scientist Gary Jacobson.
The public will desert Democrats placing a disputed cultural or spending agenda above the broader public interest. This is especially true at a time of extreme uncertainty: lethal struggle in the Mideast, nuclear proliferation, mounting skepticism toward free trade, and a rising non-marital birthrate — now at 37 percent — that concerns moderate voters.
The potential for an incendiary controversy to engulf the Democratic left has sharply escalated with Web access to each committee and floor vote under new Congressional transparency rules, and the development of aggressively partisan outlets in the blogosphere. An army of conservative media is determined to recreate the political climate so advantageous to the G.O.P. in 1994. At the same time, very liberal senior House Democrats now have vastly enhanced power to add inflammatory provisions to bills moving through their committees (think Rangel and the draft).
Nancy Pelosi and her closest advisers in the House are more likely to support such radioactive amendments than to serve as guard dogs protecting a slender Democratic majority. The first test of Pelosi’s ability to distinguish between broad-based and special interests will be when she decides whether to appoint Alcee Hastings, the once-impeached federal judge, to head the House Intelligence Committee.
Only two members of the House leadership are intuitively attuned to such problems: Rahm Emanuel, chairman of the Democratic caucus, and Steny Hoyer, the majority leader. But Emanuel has limited influence, and relations between Pelosi and Hoyer are distant at best.
Still, the vigilance of Hoyer and Emanuel will be crucial to a party whose renewal could easily be stillborn. Congressional leaders are not all-powerful, but they can set the stage for a successful presidential candidate, or lay waste to the center-left, dooming the nominee.
The Democratic Party can secure its 2006 gains, but to do so will require abandoning a decades-long willingness to indulge pressure groups on the left that no longer command broad popular allegiance.
Thomas B. Edsall holds the Pulitzer-Moore Chair at Columbia University. He is a guest columnist this month
What slop. Top to bottom… IF only the Democrats believed in something… things would get exciting in DC…
UPDATE, Saturday 3:20 pm…
I scammed this from Cursor.org… so it may not be news to people, but i think it is great, IF the Dems had a full skeleton under those skin sacks:
Dave Lindorff: Congress Should Immediately Terminate the 2001 AUMF
Submitted by BuzzFlash on Tue, 11/21/2006 – 2:46pm. Guest Contribution
A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
by Dave Lindorff, co-author of “The Case for Impeachment“
Forget Nancy Pelosi’s “100 Hours” agenda for the new Democratic Congress.
The first thing Democrats need to do when they walk into the Senate and House chambers this January is to vote out a joint resolution repealing the September 18, 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), which was the authorization for the U.S. attack Al Qaeda forces and the Taliban government of Afghanistan.
That AUMF has been used, wholly inappropriately and wantonly, by President Bush as the justification for his assault on the US Constitution, for his willful violation of laws domestic and international, and for his unconstitutional usurpation of legislative and judicial power.
The president has claimed that the AUMF, far from simply being an authorization to go to war against Afghanistan and against the Al Qaeda organization there, was an open-ended authorization for him to initiate an unending “War on Terror,” which he has subsequently claimed has no boundaries, and will be fought around the globe and within the U.S. [snip]
And here is an interesting snippet, which if I knew I had forgotten (so much has happened in 5 years, hard to count the crimes and sell outs)… Cute how the Dems always know the score… but let it go on, in agreement:
[F]urthermore, as Barbara Olshanski and I explain in our book “The Case for Impeachment,” the AUMF never gave Bush any authority at all to conduct war inside the U.S.
(In fact, Tom Daschle, who as a Democratic Senator from South Dakota was the Senate Majority Leader at the time the AUMF was passed, specifically denied a last-minute request from the White House to have the words “in the United States” inserted into the wording of the resolution authorization.) [snip]
UPDATE, 11:30 PM Saturday…
From Joe Galloway, taking a look at the options:
Go long. Under this scenario, the United States would add 20,000, perhaps as many as 50,000 more ground troops to the 143,000 now in Iraq, giving our commanders a more credible force of more than 160,000 to pacify Baghdad without stripping the other troubled parts of that country of their security. This short-term option was used last year to jump-start the Maliki government in Iraq. This beefed-up force would decline gradually while the U.S. maintained more than 100,000 troops in Iraq for an additional five to seven years. [...]
If I were a betting man, I’d put my money on Option Two, go long.
The president has so boxed himself in with his public statements about ”cutting and running” that Option Three simply isn’t available to him, however appealing it might be as we approach our fifth year of war in Iraq.
Nor is Option One any more palatable, with its attendant surge in the cost of the war, already more than $2 billion a week and nearing a total of $400 billion in just those costs we can see. Then there’s the near impossibility of attracting scores of thousands more young Americans to enlist in the Army or Marines when recruiters are already hard-pressed to find enough warm bodies to maintain the current authorized levels of around 500,000 for the Army.
Then, at the close:
If the week wasn’t bizarre enough already, who should arise like an unstaked vampire from his tomb but Henry the K himself. It was recently revealed that Kissinger the elder had been secretly advising Bush the younger on his Iraq strategy, telling him that withdrawal would pitch the Middle East into unimagined turmoil. This week, he was on the talk shows advising that there can be no U.S. military victory in Iraq, and that any idea of installing Jeffersonian democracy there is hopeless.
Perhaps Kissinger can use his diplomatic skills to arrange for a decent interval for an American withdrawal, a declaration of victory, and that fleet of aircraft carriers and helicopters to pull the last Americans off the roof of the U.S. Embassy in the Green Zone in Baghdad.
To cap the week, Vice President Dick Cheney arose like Lazarus to declare that the recent congressional elections and his party’s loss of Congress to the Democrats has changed nothing: The Decider is still deciding, Cheney is still scheming, and American troops are still dying in battle every day in Iraq.
It gets curiouser and curiouser.