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 Congress—at least the House this Fall. Rahm Emanuel’s decision not to seek a second term as House Democratic Campaign Committee chairman is a straw in the wind…something that hasn’t 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 doesn’t report something about the Democrats, it’s because it is politically disadvantageous. Emanuel’s explanation that he has to spend more time with his family is weak tea. Having known Rahm well in past years—not now—I think the problem is this:

Essentially, he is more conservative on defense issues than his party will allow him to be. The party’s base is overwhelmingly dovish. A clear indication can be seen by John Murtha’s move to the far left in order to run for majority leader. When a John Murtha thinks he’s got to insist on a definite date for Iraq pull-out in order to placate the Democratic base, the party’s in terminal shape for 2006.

Privately, Rahm appreciates that he can’t elect a majority without them supporting a winning of the war. The crazy people running his party—Nancy Pelosi, especially—make 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 can’t win when you have a party full of Russ Feingold’s who want to censure the president. I think that’s 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 line—but he doesn’t. 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 can’t happen, Rahm’s goose is cooked.

The Democratic party is just too left-wing for the voters to entrust it with control of the Congress.


  1. That is important news regarding Emanuel. I ran into him several times at the Irving Park El station while he was campaigning for his seat in Congress. Seemed like he had his head on fairly straight unlike Pelosi. Who knows. When the Dems flub this election, maybe people like Emanuel and Obama will have the chance to restore a bit of sanity to their party. Until the Dems come up with a line other than "We don't like Bush", they're going to keep on losing elections.

  2. A Senator from the South Side of Chicago sending his children to private school, while sentencing his neighbor's children to the public school monopoly does not strike me as particularly sane.