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March 23, 2006

Fear And Loathing At The DNC

Democrats are afraid, the left wing of the party charges. I won't argue with them.

Russ Feingold, speaking about the party's flight from his censure resolution:

“Both Democratic politicians and pundits are afraid,” Mr. Feingold said on March 21 by phone. He was between constituent tours during the week’s Congressional recess. “Time and again, they allow themselves to be intimidated from taking a strong stand against the administration.”

A former DNC press secretary, Terry Michael, goes further:

“A voice like a Jack Murtha or a Russ Feingold literally cannot be heard,” Mr. Michael said, “when you have a so-called opposition party colluding with the party in power."

Jack Murtha cannot be heard? Yes, in the same sense that Cindy Sheehan couldn't get positive media coverage.

“The fear factor inside the Democratic Party is appalling,” he added. “You’ve got these small-minded Democratic-consultant-driven political leaders, and then you’ve got real neocons who refuse to listen to the base of the party …. You have these voices of unbridled ambition—Hillary Clinton first among them—who are asking the base to nominate them, when they’re not even listening to the base when it comes to the most important issue in American politics today.” Look at the 2004 convention in Boston, Mr. Michael said: “Ninety percent of the people in that nominating hall wanted to end this war, and they wound up voting in a ticket where both candidates voted for it—and said they still supported it.”

Via Riehl World View, who has more (including stuff about Reid threatening to filibuster the immigration bill). Riehl World opines:

The disjointed nature of the Democrat Party managed to survive for years, so long as it was only the inner city blacks they so often neglected in their national campaigns, knowing full well they were going to retain their votes.

But now they are facing a split much more difficult to bridge as a result of the Iraq War and the greater war on terror. If they adopt a cut and run strategy for Iraq to appease the Left, too many middle-class Americans will bolt due to their national security fears.

The left wing blogs, now the new home and growing platform for the Dems sometimes more lunatic fringe, is more likely to pull the Democrat Party into pieces which won't easily mend, than it is to propel them to victory on a national level.

The polls say the War in Iraq is unpopular. I actually believe those polls. I think they may be sweetened a bit in the liberals' favor, but I think they accurately reflect the fact that strong support for the war is at its lowest point ever.

But I also don't think those polls mean the public accepts the left-wing position on the war. I think the public has a more ambiguous, conflicted, and, well, nuanced take on things.

I tend to think that a lot of people answer these polls not really precisely in response to the question posed, but in a general way. When you ask them "Do you believe the war was worth its costs?," I think that most people are really answering the unasked general question, "Do you think the war is going well right now?" And I think most people don't believe that.

The public may not be happy now with the war's progress, but they're also not happy with the alternatives to continuing to fight. The Democrats really have no alternatives, except "Get other countries to fight for us through dipolmacy" or "Immediately leave Iraq while pretending we're not really leaving it because we're just 'over the horizon,'" and just a general "We're smarter, so we'll run things better. We can't really say how -- it's secret! -- so you'll just have to take our word for it."

Americans don't like losing, and they especially don't like losing wars. That's what accounts for the war's unpopularity-- the idea that we're losing or will lose. Surrendering to the enemy -- the Democrats' only real coherent "plan" for Iraq -- does not avoid that outcome but simply guarantees it, and will be rejected by the public.

The public wants what, well, we all want -- a victory, and swifter one, and a more decisive one, and one that isn't so costly in blood and treasure. They're upset that Bush can't deliver that. But first on the list of wants is "victory" -- real victory, not the liberals' substitute of "let's surrender and throw a parade" -- and the Democrats just aren't offering that, and can't offer that. Too large a portion of the base is determined to lose this war, because they fear an America that could successfully carry out such a grand military undertaking.

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posted by Ace at 02:39 PM

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