Saturday, June 24, 2006
Personal Asides: The Thought Comes Through that Republicans May Well Pull This One Out in 2006 Not Because of Its Brilliance but Because the Democratic Party is Too Left-Wing
Attending the Cheney luncheon for Dave McSweeney yesterday, I must say the thought came through pretty clearly that the Democrats are on the way to booting their chance to take over the Congressat least the House this Fall. Rahm Emanuels decision not to seek a second term as House Democratic Campaign Committee chairman is a straw in the wind something that hasnt been played as yet in Chicago Democratic newspaper of record, written by the official party recorder for the Chicago Democratic newspaper of record Lynn Sweet. When Sweet doesnt report something about the Democrats, its because it is politically disadvantageous. Emanuels explanation that he has to spend more time with his family is weak tea. Having known Rahm well in past yearsnot nowI think the problem is this:
Essentially, he is more conservative on defense issues than his party will allow him to be. The partys base is overwhelmingly dovish. A clear indication can be seen by John Murthas move to the far left in order to run for majority leader. When a John Murtha thinks hes got to insist on a definite date for Iraq pull-out in order to placate the Democratic base, the partys in terminal shape for 2006.
Privately, Rahm appreciates that he cant elect a majority without them supporting a winning of the war. The crazy people running his partyNancy Pelosi, especiallymake it impossible for Rahm to position candidates who can win. The Sears Tower episode further worsens the situation for the Democrats. Every episode like that makes national security the major issue. You cant win when you have a party full of Russ Feingolds who want to censure the president. I think thats why Rahm is turning in his suit. I think the fact is clear that the voters are mad at Bush because of the conduct of the war but conversely they are not about to elect a crowd of pacifists, cut-and-run people and pro-censure people in the Democratic party.
While Rahm is smart enough to see that Pelosi and Murtha make his job insuperable, he is not cogent enough to understand that in order to elect Tammy Duckworth she has to have some conservative credibility on social issues. Had Rahm had a party base more nearly in the center, he possibly could have gotten Duckworth past the finish linebut he doesnt. And he himself is too left-wing on social issues to appreciate that Duckworth should be free to take a conservative position on parental notification. Since that cant happen, Rahms goose is cooked.
The Democratic party is just too left-wing for the voters to entrust it with control of the Congress.