November 11, 2006
Congressional Majority Will Leave Progressives Disappointed
With a hat tip to Orbusamx, I read this truly amusing post at the NW Progressive Institute Blog, summarized thus: "Lieberman is indeed ultimately irrelevant."
A fascinating description since as the Orb also notes, Lieberman is the likely chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, not exactly a trivial, backwater post. Moreover, having worked in the collegial word of the Senate, I'll attest Lieberman will be welcomed back into the Democratic fold rather quickly, with minimal ill will.
Indeed, if purity of party orthodoxy we're a true requirement to be a functioning member of one of the most exclusive clubs in the world, many of Chuck Schumer's victorious Senate challengers, such as Jim Webb and Bob Casey, Jr., wouldn't never have received the strong the support of their party, nor would Republicans like Arlen Specter and Lincoln Chaffee continue to be embraced (assuming they keep winning elections).
More importantly, the Kos excerpt cited at the NPI blog says this about Lieberman, "[h]opefully he's learned his lesson and will actually go back to representing the people of Connecticut." In Kossack terms, "representing the people of Connecticut" means a dramatic change in Iraq. Does anyone have any proof that's going to happen, let alone that Lieberman would vote for it?
Progressives are obviously excited about winning Democratic majorities, but their enthusiasm masks the reality that the ideological base of each side of the aisle is often left wanting by the governing actions of Congress when their own party is in control. Just ask conservatives about the totality of their experiences since 1994. There was many an action they disliked, especially during the era of divided government in the late '90's. Progressive disdain with Iraq policy is likely to be a glaring highlight of this perpetual reality.
Will there be changes in Iraq policy? Yes. Though that was already likely in motion given the pending recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, and the news that the departure of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfled has been in the works since summer. All that being understood, it is has been reported ad nauseum in recent weeks that there are no good options in Iraq currently, largely based on the inability of Iraqi government institutions and civil society to develop in a timely manner.
There are essentially thus only two realistic options. One, pour more troops into Iraq, mostly to Baghdad to pacify that city. Or two, begin the withdrawal of US troops, not on a specific timeline (which seems unlikely to be accepted by the Bush administration), but based on a less demanding set of benchmarks than has currently been contrived for Iraqi governance stability, Iraqi control of security operations, etc.
Perhaps the Iraq Study Group will come up with a more innovative solution, though it seems unlikely any implementable option will meet with the favor of the progressive wing of the Democratic party, especially the netroots. Our nation as a whole clearly isn't happy with the situation in Iraq, but responsible leaders on both sides of the aisle recognize abrupt departure would only heighten the chance of Iraq descending into worse chaos, while yet again emboldening radical Islamic terrorists with the sight of America withdrawing from a bad situation in the Middle Eastern neighborhood; just like Somalia, and just like Beirut.
Does anyone think, for example, Maria Cantwell is suddenly going to argue for ground breaking changes in Iraq policy? She was relatively pro-war until the recent campaign cycle began and she had to face her progressive base. She muddled her position, co-opted her strongest anti-war challenger, and is now free to speak, and vote, her mind again.
All this adds up to the fact Iraq policy will change, but not severely. And progressives, including their netroots activists, will be disappointed and agitated. In fairness, there are a plethora of policy matters where progressive thinking is bound to be frustrated by the actions of the incoming Congress. The true return of a rejuvenated Joe Lieberman, and unlikelihood of truly dramatic reversal of Iraq policy are but a start. More to come on other such issues in the near future.
Posted by Eric Earling at November 11, 2006
01:39 PM | Email This
Lieberman is the Donks' 51st vote in the Senate.
He is not irrelevant, he is the "king". On a partisan vote, Joe decides the fate of any piece of legislation for the next two years. If Joe doesn't follow the Donks' line on any piece of legislation then the 50-50 tie is decided by VP Cheney.
Those "progressives" appear to be severely math-challenged.
At the end of the day, it's pretty clear that the progressives have yet to understand what "useful idiots" the democrat party believe them to be.
Here, they were taken for granted, as their actions in supporting Cantwell after she literally BOUGHT her more progressive, antiwar opponent and they flocked to her ANYWAY; reinforced the fact that the democrats "have" them by the short hairs... and that no matter what the democrats do, the progressive automatons will STILL vote democrat.
Unfortunately for the progressives, they've now been categorized by the D's the same way the D's have categorized the rest of their constituency; unions, minorities, progressives... all will vote democrat, no matter how much they're abused or otherwise taken for granted; no matter how little actual benefit or power they achieve by blindly selling themselves out to the d's.
The progressives are like the little kids with their noses pressed up against the glass of the ice cream shop.
Even though the shop has changed management, the progressives will still be forced to remain outside, noses pressed against the glass, as the adults continue the process of governing.
If only they had been smart enough to see how badly they've been used, and how badly they will be used in the future. Clearly the Kos, Goldy, NPI and stilwell types are unable to grasp their useful idiot roles in the overall scheme of things.
3. "[h]opefully he's learned his lesson and will actually go back to representing the people of Connecticut."
Umm... he won by how much against Lamont? Talk about arrogant. Seems like he already learned his lesson and was representing the people of Connecticut. Maybe it's the Dems... or at least the Kossack/NPI/HA types... that need to learn the lesson that not all folks in Connecticut share their far left political views.
4. Oh, come now, who do you think is more qualified to decide how to represent the people of a state: The person they elected, or some guy who has a blog?
5. ...The person they elected, or some guy who has a blog?
The guy with the blog, obviously. I don't know what I was thinking.
My hunch is that either Specter or one of Maine's senators switches party in the too distant future. This would make Lieberman less important.
As for the house, the majority of the in coming members are reasonably liberal, especially on econ issue. Are we going to see gay marriage, no, but we will likely see minimum wage, student loam interest cuts, and the like. Whether they are vetoed is anybodies guess.
Most importantly you will see investigations into Bush's conduct. What they will result in (impeachment) is also anybodies guess.
7. Giffy, I think you are right, there will be investigations galore. I think the big question for the Democrats is going to be can they restrain their far left nut cases? Given the new committee chairs, (most of whom are far left nut cases), I think the answer is an overwhelming no. I think this is great, now finally they will show the country who they really are.
8. Giffy, Howard the Scream has already said there will be no impeachment. It would be a silly way to open up a new majority because only the far-left echo chamber wants it.
Bill Clinton has already said this was not a mandate by Americans to lurch to the far left. He's not a dummy---he remembers what happened to him and his Dem majority last time that happened. He and they got shellacked FAR worse in '94 than what the Rs saw Tues.
9. Michele, if Clinton is worried about a lurch to the far left that is telling. The man is no dummy and my guess is that he knows that if the Democrats in congress flip out and spend their political capital investigating the Bush administration then Hillary is toast in 2008. My money is on the Democrats flipping out. Watching them fall on their own sword will be fun, and educational for those so-called swing voters who will see who the Democrats really are.
10. The Dems won this election nationwide because they chose centrist candidates and supported them in districts and states where the R's were shaky. They actively courted an American citizenry who are moderate to conservative, Christian, and fed up with Reublicans not getting the job done, as they should be. In fact, they moved so hard and fast to the right, even Nancy Pelosi was heard quoting scripture. I can't help but chuckle, remembering the outrage displayed at Bush's mere mention of God. However, they will not be able to control their old left guard, like Kennedy, Kerry, etc. They'll go after Bush, Cheny, and Rove, and will waste one whole lot of otherwise productive time doing so. They can't help it. And I suspect their public lurch to the right or center is not sincere. Time will tell.
Actually, those of us in the Progressive wing should be quite pleased with the Democrats in the next 2 years. It was the Progressives that pushed to get places like Montana and Missouri in the fight. The DLC wing of the party: John Kerry, Hillary Clinton and the Kennedyís thought we shouldnít bother with them. And so, it will be the progressives that move into positions of power within the party. Progressives are, contrary to katomarís post, more closely aligned with people like Tester and Mccaskill then Kerry and Clinton. Historically not all Progressives have been Democrats; Teddy Roosevelt was a progressive.
I think that, If thereís one thing that Democrats and Republicans can agree on itís that John Kerry should shut the Fí up and go away. We donít like him either.
12. katomar, yes, my sister (who lives in So. Cal) was saying how wierd it was to watch the dems in her area run as conservative republicans this time! harold Ford was certainly running as a conservative republican. Not very convincingly, apparently.
13. So tell me... you fearful Reds... tell it to a reformed conservative... what are you really so afraid of from the "liberal" Pacific? Do you have a tangible answer beyond puked K-Street rhetoric?
14. Is it a few hundred dollars at best? A paltry dinner out or a bar tab? What is your fear... that you should be like so? So wrapped up in fear and anger? Taxes? Naught. The rest of the world pays double and you buy their products without protest. Conjecture at best. So what is your problem? Dead sons and daughters? Teenage sex? Men holding hands? The high cost of living? An end to denial? What? Make it clear. I may yet be swayed by your spirit again conservative man. If you will only leave me alone to prosper. So what is your problem? What invisible enemy do I not see?
15. Who's the invisible enemy? It's you, Ben, you.
ben--we prefer to live & 'leave you alone.' in fact, we prefer the government stay out of our lives as much as possible.
but libs' giveaways and track record of terror appeasement will not let us do so. wars are not fought by "wait & see." is anyone reading history anymore? Sadly, Santanaya was right. watching it unfold again before our eyes is sad.
"... go back to representing the people of Connecticut."
Actually, the Senate exists to represent the sovereign governments of the states. Which is why, as the Constitution was originally written, the Senators were elected by the legislatures of the states. It is the House which represents the people.
We would be much better off if we repealed the 17th Amendment. We can trace the beginning of the unconstitutional overreach of the federal government to that act. Once the state governments lost their voice in the federal government, the federal government was able to usurp the state governments' authority with impugnity.
If Lieberman were the only person in the Democratic party, then maybe I'd want to be a Democrat too.
At least when the Republicans are going to take a stand that I don't like on an issue, they're honest about it. Unlike the "progressives" (I don't understand what's so progressive about "progressives") They also believe in self defense, which I would think was maybe... you know, maybe sort of important?
Actually I always have been a Democrat, but proof of the Darwinian theory is that eventually I started seeing things the same as Hinton's post.
So Jimmy, 'splan this to me.
You say, "we prefer the government stay out of our lives as much as possible."
Yet, the Republicans want to make sure gays can't marry. Republicans want the government to force women to carry a pregnancy to term. Republicans want to make sure that if your smoking something that itís only tobacco. The Bush Admin. wanted to be able to search peoples library records, (not sure if that went through or not), tap phones and god only knows what else. And you boy Mike! wanted to drug test EVERYONE that receives some form of state assistance and has a kid. That all sounds pretty invasive to me.
Michael--thanks for views but we're '180' on this.
'Pretty invasive' as you say?
Like not 'invading' a terrorist suspect's calls/actions & waiting for another big one to go off? We do it for organized crime fighting, don't we?
Invasive? Like forcing others to believe that gay partnerships are the same historical & time-tested equivalents? Like giraffes now being redefined equally as butterflies?
Invasive? Forcing (by government fiat) acceptance of a lifestyle on those who do not accept it? I don't see that time-tested lifestyle/'marriage' in other societies like North Korea, historical Native American cultures nor Saudi Arabia & those cultures. Nor in African tribes. If so universally correct, why does it not flourish around the world and why not for centuries of time?
Invasive? Like demanding more self-responsibility & safe behavior from welfare recipient-parents by those who foot THEIR bills?
Invasive? Like following current drug laws? How about DUI's? Do police invade a driver's right to drink?
Invasive? Like the invasion of my pocketbook for govt aids research that dwarfs all other illness research combined? And for something that is much more lifestyle-caused and preventable than, say, MS or diabetes or breast cancer or malaria?
Invasive? Like forcing people to attend diversity training that typically boils down to guilt-fests against majorities by every conceivable minority victim party?
"Invasions" indeed--they go both ways.