Monday, October 30, 2006

Will the Dems Implode If They Win?

David Sirota of In These Times takes a look at the dueling wings in the Democratic party:

In its widely-circulated August profile of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Time noted, “House Democrats have been more unified in their voting than at any other time in the past quarter-century, with members on average voting the party line 88 percent of the time in 2005.” The numbers don’t lie. But they do obscure a little-discussed truth: Divisions in the Democratic Party are sure to grow larger, whether the party wins or loses the mid-term elections.

For the better part of 20 years, Democratic divisions have seethed under America’s political surface, with only the rare contested presidential primary providing a release valve. Any number of self-defeating pathologies emanating from inside the Democratic Party have worked to raise the temperature: From President Bill Clinton’s embrace of corporate-written trade deals that crushed the party’s working-class base to congressional Democrats’ complicity in the Iraq War and rejection of the growing anti-war movement, Democratic Party elites have gotten used to kicking the party base in the face.

The situation is ready to explode. What the late Paul Wellstone called the “Democratic wing of the Democratic Party” is growing feisty. And progressives are increasingly in a position to flex their muscles thanks to a convergence of factors: the rise of Internet fundraising, the ascendancy of blog and vlog (video blog) media and the crushing economic forces that are radicalizing previously apolitical middle-class constituencies. These developments have exposed the Democratic establishment to the same kind of pressure that conservative grassroots activists have exerted on the Republican Party to great electoral success.

Read the rest.


1 comment:

Tom said...

The tell-tale sign of a free country -- and a free party -- is if things are feisty.

The REPUBLICANS are the ones that are going to tear themselves apart with all their wings pointing at each other to lay blame for their fall from power and grace.

The Dems, if they start to take all the power, will simply have to be mature about it because there isn't a lot of extra money lying around to spend. Globalization is simply a fact and occured, not because of bills Clinton signed, but because techology made the world very small.

The world is a very difficult place nowadays and the Democrats, because of a paucity of options, are likely to succeed at governing as compassionate deficit hawks with focussed policies of protecting the Homeland without getting diverted by foreign adventures. The Republicans, on the other hand, are likely to splinter into their components of God-spouting moralizers; old-fashioned Goldwater conservatives; and elitist give-it-all-to-the-rich pseudo-conservatives.