The Democratic Wing

I think pundits who think the phrase “The Democratic wing of the Democratic Party” refers to the lefties “just don’t get it.” In my opinion the phrase refers to Democrats willing to be an opposition party and stand up and challenge the Republicans when it is in the interest of the country. Senator Bob Graham, candidate for President certainly is no leftie, but he certainly is willing to stand up and challenge the Republicans, calling on President Bush to release information about what led up to 9/11. I respect that, even if his politics are not in line with my own. The politics of Sen. John Kerry DO line up with mine, but I feel that he does not stand up to the Republicans as necessary, and THAT is why he does not earn the “Democratic wing of the Democratic Party” label.

Graham is a quiet man who is considered a long shot among Democratic contenders. But he is the only one so far to stake out an aggressive position on the basis of classified information obtained during his tenure as co-chair of a special House-Senate panel. That panel has been investigating failure by the intelligence community to anticipate the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington on Sept. 11, 2001.

Not only has he complained that the administration has dragged its feet for five months on declassifying the panel’s 800-page report, but he has warned that he will take his case later this month to Vice President Dick Cheney, who oversaw the inquiry.

“I was raising my voice about my concern on this long before I became a candidate,” said Graham, the only senator running for president who voted against congressional authorization of the war in Iraq, arguing that the terrorist threat posed by al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden should be the top priority for the administration.

“The American people deserve to know what their intelligence agencies have done or not done, and Congress needs to know so that reforms can be made,” Graham said in an interview.

Being in the Democratic wing is about being an opposition party and standing up for the people of the country and the interests of the nation instead of cowering before the Bush intimidation machine, allowing the right to persue their radical agenda to take the country back to the 19th century. That’s what it’s about, not about being a leftie. And it’s about getting it. Checking in with weblogs is getting it. Reading BuzzFlash is getting it. Understanding what the grassroots are talking about is getting it. THAT is why Governor Howard Dean is doing so well with the grassroots, and THAT is why Dean can use the phrase “from the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party.”