,Malaysia, Nicaragua,adultery

Thursday, April 13, 2006


Democrats in Disarray and Bloggers

Blogs * Russ Feingold's Censure Resolution * Republican Lite

Hendrik Hertzberg's comments in the Talk of the Town Section of The New Yorker are always a pleasure to read. In Disarray This, in the March 27th issue Mr. Hertzberg wrote: "Meanwhile, the left-populist blogosphere--—a reliable barometer of the Democratic equivalent of the famous Republican "“base"--—erupted with praise for Feingold and contempt for his cautious Party colleagues. The adjectives used to limn the latter were pungent: "“Spineless."” "“Sluggish."” "“Weak."” There is truth in it. I,myself, have used "gutless" and "craven" to describe the Democrats in Congress long before Russ Feingold proposed the censure resolution. Perhaps the majority of Democratic bloggers are left of center and our frustration surfaces in the posts that appear in the blogosphere. I make no apologies.

Mr. Hertzberg went on to say: "There is very little doubt that Bush deserves censure, not only for the warrantless wiretapping but also for the many other catastrophes his Administration has generated, including the manipulation of intelligence to justify the Iraq war, the willful failure to heed warnings of what the invasion'’s aftermath would entail, the sanctioning of torture, and the neglect of "“homeland security"---—to say nothing of a set of domestic policies that sacrifice solvency, safety, the environment, and elementary fairness on the altar of enriching the rich in the name of Christian compassion. And there is scarcely less doubt that, ever since 9/11, Democratic opposition to Bush'’s war-related policies has been inordinately muted. (Even a figure as non-populist as Zbigniew Brzezinski protested last week that "“Democratic leaders have been silent or evasive."”) But none of that means that those who prefer strategies different from Feingold'’s are, ipso facto, spineless, sluggish, and weak.

And further on:

  • A poll taken last week by the American Research Group showed that a plurality of voters--—forty-eight per cent--—actually favor Feingold'’s resolution, with forty-three per cent opposed. Among Democratic respondents, support was seventy per cent. For senators whose seats are safely Democratic, supporting the resolution is a personally cost-free choice. (The same is true of the thirty-one members of the House who have endorsed an impeachment resolution: in 2004, all won with at least fifty-seven per cent of the vote. The average was seventy-five per cent.) That A.R.G. poll also showed independent voters narrowly opposing censure. The midterm election will be decided in places where no Democratic candidate can prevail without overwhelming independent support. Tactical calculations like these are never pleasant. But they are not always sordid, and sometimes they are necessary.
Yes,even left-leaning bloggers recognize that in making political decisions expediency is unavoidable. Such tactics,however, are sordid....always. It is too bad that to unseat the amoral politicians we have to go down to their level and become Republican Lite.
An Uphill Battle

For the Democrats, outlooks for the mid-term elections are far from rosy but the president is floundering and reports about Iraq and other matters continue to shed a harsh light upon the Bush administration. Jonathan Weisman in the Post: "An 18-month recruitment drive by the Democrats has produced nearly a dozen strong candidates with the potential for unseating House Republicans, but probably not enough to take back control of the House absent a massive anti-incumbent wave this fall, according to House political experts."

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