My mother forwarded me an email from the Children’s Defense Fund, decrying the Budget Resolution passed the night before… the following paragraphy caught my attention:
The vote in the House was 214-211, and the vote in the Senate was 52-47.
In the House, 195 Democrats, 1 Independent, and 15 Republicans voted
against the conference report on the resolution. All those in favor were
Republicans. In the Senate, 43 Democrats, 1 Independent, and 3
Republicans voted against the conference report, while 52 Republicans
voted in favor.^
What’s the first thing that strikes you about the numbers above?
I’ll tell you what stood out for me: the Democrats were UNANIMOUS in their opposition. Not a single defector. The Republicans were NOT. Think about it: George W. Bush has accomplished the impossible – the Democratic Party is now MORE UNIFIED than the Republican Party.
You’re probably wondering why the subject of this posting is “Have the Democrats finally given up?”
Well, aside from baiting you into reading on in order to find out what kind of scurrilous attack on the Democratic Party that crazy Green Party guy is going to launch into this time, I refer you to the same posting Dave pointed to a few days ago: “An Opposition Party Opposses”, by Chris Bowers on MyDD (hey, can someone please, please, please get them to fix the typos and spelling errors?).
The title pretty much sums up the article’s main point: the Democrats have more to gain by giving up on the idea that they have a role to play in governing the country (at least at a federal level), than by trying to pretend they still have the ability to make a significant impact on public policy at the national level. As Chris says, the Democrats are an opposition party right now, not a governing one, and they need to get used to that and play that role as effectively as possible.
In other words, in this case, “giving up” is a good thing.
 O.K., I couldn’t resist: Open Letter to Howard Dean by Tom Hayden
Katrina vanden Heuvel asks the following questions in her introduction to Tom Hayden’s letter:
I agree with Dean – a political figure I admire – that the war in Iraq has put the US in greater danger. But the question facing us today is who will speak for the millions of Americans who believe that continued occupation increases the danger? Who will speak for the millions who believe that the US has gotten bogged down in Iraq? Who will speak out against the (majority of the) Democratic Party’s silent consent to the Bush Administration’s Iraq war policies? Who will speak out about the wrenching human and economic costs of occupation? Who will speak out in support of a clear and honorable exit strategy? Who will make a clear, unequivocal declaration that the US will not maintain permanent military bases in Iraq?
Memo to Katrina: the Green Party has been steadfast in it’s opposition to the war in Iraq, and to the continuing occupation.
To quote Sam Smith, in the Progressive Review (“THE BIGGEST MEDIA SIN“):
WHICH AMERICAN political party best reflects the views of a majority of citizens on the Iraq war, environmental issues, health care, campaign financing, population growth, genetically modified foods, and marijuana use?
The answer, based on various polls, is the Green Party.
While Tom’s letter doesn’t represent a “mea culpa” on the level of Medea Benjamin’s December 20th, 2004 comments in the Nation:
MANY OF US IN THE GREEN PARTY made a tremendous compromise by campaigning in swing states for such a miserable standard-bearer for the progressive movement as John Kerry. Well, I’ve had it. As George Bush says, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me–you can’t get fooled again.”
For those of you willing to keep wading in the muddy waters of the Democratic Party, all power to you. I plan to work with the Greens to get more Green candidates elected to local office.
… it still represents an acknowledgement that the loyalty of the “progressive left” is back in play. Matt Gonzalez for President in 2008, anyone? 🙂