March 16, 2006

Dems Get Busy Breeding Little Republicans

WITH EVERY PASSING DAY, I FIND IT HARD TO REMEMBER what I loved about the Democratic Party. I did, I think, love them once. I must have since I voted for them for most of my life in local, state and federal elections. Doorbelled. Demonstrated. Got "Clean for Gene." Voted the ticket.

Now I just sit and watch a once great party dissolve like an Alka Seltzer in the ocean. The latest Mystery Play to be acted out in congress by what passes for the leadership of the Party is a classic case of "Send in the clowns." Censure out in the open and "impeachment" whispered in the wings. Kirkpatrick in today's Times gets close to the nub of the stupidity when he notes: "Republicans, worried that their conservative base lacks motivation to turn out for the fall elections, have found a new rallying cry in the dreams of liberals about censuring or impeaching President Bush."

But Kirkpatrick doesn't really fathom the depths of this rumbling electoral disaster for the Democrats. He stops at the obvious observation that it will "energize" that ever-popular "base" journalists like to whip out as shorthand for "Everybody that will vote in one direction no matter what happens."

The base is the base. That's it. Elections aren't swung on the base but on the voters between bases in this political climate. If the Democrats think that by mumbling and bumbling around the issue of impeachment they are going to regain power in the congress, they are smoking what they've been smoking for the last couple of decades. Decades in which their power has steadily declined in direct proportion to how nutty their base has become.

If there is one issue that would swing the mid-term elections firmly into the Republican camp it would be the looming possibility of impeachment. This is not only because it would "rally" the Republicans. The Republicans are pretty much rallied no matter what the internal squabbles may or may not be in this or that news cycle.

What isn't rallied as yet is the middle. If the middle believes that, in the midst of a war, the Democrats are ready to present the country with a non-stop impeachment circus should they be returned to power, you can be sure that sensible, independently minded Americans will turn out to make sure that does not happen. One of the good things about this country is that big decisions are not yet decided by the extreme factions of either party. I don't think mature and rational Americans believe that having a war and a show trial at the same time is a very good idea.

The Democrats may have convinced themselves that the whole impeachment concept will work for them. All it is really doing is, day by day, citizen by citizen, making the voters in the middle much more likely to vote the Republican ticket. You don't have to be a Republican to vote Republican. This I know from personal experience.

In the way that you always love your first love a little bit, I still love the Democratic Party. But that doesn't mean I'm going to give them the keys to the car. They are still far too much in need of adult supervision.

Posted by Vanderleun at March 16, 2006 12:29 AM
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I, like you, attended college during the heady days of the 60's. Of course I didn't go to a school with the glamour of Berkley, rather I went to Ball State along with Dave Letterman. Even so, we had our anti-Viet Nam war demonstations and I registered as a democrat. But since I got married, had children, grandchildren, mortgages, car payments, worked and retired, I find myself voting for conservatives, as I am conservative. I'm a junior league Zell Miller, I still say I'm a democrat, have been for too long, but I vote republican.

Posted by: John Golden at March 16, 2006 6:48 AM

Yep. I keep wondering what the Democrats' plan is. There's no baby boom with a panoply of interesting drugs available coming up to swell the Dem ranks. The situation in Iraq has its problems but is nowhere near the difficulties of Vietnam. The NSA wiretaps don't compare at all with Nixon's personal dirty tricks against his opponents. Yet Democrats keep working straight out of their 1973 playbook. Talk about fighting the last war...

If they showed sense, if they treated Bush--our president in time of war--with some respect, as well as criticism, and not written off everyone who voted for Bush as mental or moral midgets, I would be inclined to listen. Conceivably they could get my vote back. But instead they just become more shrill and abusive by the day.

Posted by: Jack Trainor at March 16, 2006 7:12 AM

"What is essential to know is that every person--Republican or Democrat--who has been briefed on the NSA program supports it."

And virtually every person supports sex, yet the Republican Party supported impeachment of Clinton. Oh but wait a minute, it's all about the "Rule of Law" isn't it?

And that even the President isn't above the law, right?

The vast majority of legal scholars, and not just liberal ones, say that operating outside of FISA is AGAINST THE LAW. The Justice Depts. own internal counsel had to be overruled to find an opinion the White House could use.

So were Republicans hypocrites during Clinton's impeachment or are they hypocrites now? You can't have it both ways.

Posted by: Ed at March 16, 2006 7:49 AM

No matter how disgusted I get with Republicans over issues like the ports, all that spending, etc., the Democrats offer nothing to get my vote. I'll vote a straight Republican ticket in November.

Posted by: Xixi at March 16, 2006 8:31 AM

Ed you are wrong. Legal Scholars are split on this one. All applicable court precedent is on the presidents side.

If you have some vast majority of legal scholars who claim this program is illegal I would love to see a list and transcripts of the debates they have had with those on the other side of the issue.

I wont hold my breath.

Posted by: The Ugly American at March 16, 2006 8:42 AM

Legal scholars?

Aren't these the same group that have just been reamed 8-0 in the Solomon verdict?

Pretty bad when Ginsburg votes against her blood. Now tell me how much credibility they have left.

Posted by: LARWYN at March 16, 2006 9:16 AM

The truth of these observations is what concerns me greatly. The loonier the left becomes, the more monolithic the right becomes. We approach a situation in which independent-minded conservatives like John McCain and moderate conservatives like Christy Whitman have to fight for their political lives.

Without a credible Left, the Right can descend into tyranny. So I hope somebody can remember what the Democrats are supposed to be good at, and divorce them from Hollywood, or else cheating on FISA will be the least of our problems.

As it stands, Republicans are already the War Party, and the only answer to Katrina has been send in more troops earlier...

Posted by: mbowen at March 16, 2006 9:40 AM

I'm another 9/11 Republican who keeps looking for a reason to go back to my old ways. I can't find it. Where are the Truman and Scoop Jackson Democrats? I can think of one: Lieberman.

What a hopeless bunch.

Posted by: Marc Schulman at March 16, 2006 9:41 AM

Ditto to Marc Schulman and to the original posting. Liberal no more, even though my children think I'm nuts.

Posted by: Alexandra Greeley at March 16, 2006 9:48 AM

And maybe this Censure move has legs despite Ken Mehlman and Rush's bravado. The people are for it:

http://americanresearchgroup.com/

Posted by: Ed at March 16, 2006 1:36 PM

To Ed:

Please see above: mbowen makes a very crucial point. The health of the Republic depends on a two-party system where useful and helpful ideas emanate from both sides of the political spectrum. When moderates on the left are silenced as they are now by the lunatic fringe (MoveOn, et. al) the right side is where many reasonable people flee for sanity and safety. A good example is the perception, repeat, perception (only) that the far left is more sympathetic to muslim terrorists than they are to their own President. Bush has many flaws, no doubt, but he is the President of the United States and when far lefties appear to be siding with the enemy it creates a certain impression. Can you explain why so much of the country does not trust the Democrats? and please don't give me the usual Rush, Hannity, Fox News, conservative blogs, Columbia University J school explanation. By the way, I voted for McGovern, Carter, Mondale, Dukakis, Bubba. But that's where my relationship with the Democrats ended. Since 2000 I've been driven away like millions of others. Can you account for this other than mass insanity and the vast right wing conspiracy?

Posted by: Chester at March 16, 2006 3:57 PM

Amen, Chester!

I would like to be a Democrat again or at least be able to consider its candidates and its issues as viable alternatives. But it looks like that won't be a possibility until 2012.

Ed -- What good exactly does censuring Bush do?

From what I've read the legality of the NSA wiretapping can be argued both ways, nor is it something that strikes ordinary Americans, when asked specifically, as a horrifying violation of our rights.

I do guarantee you that an attempt to censure Bush on this is going to look to many Americans, myself included, like more Bush-hating jihad from Kos-style Democrats, while our nations is fighting a real anti-American jihad from al-Qaeda. These Democrats had better have a great explanation for how they really have the best interests of our country at heart.

Posted by: Jack Trainor at March 17, 2006 11:42 AM