Democrats are getting an early glimpse of an intraparty rift that could complicate efforts to win back the White House: fiery liberals raising their voices on Web sites and in interest groups vs. elected officials trying to appeal to a much broader audience. These activists — spearheaded by battle-ready bloggers and making their influence felt through relentless e-mail campaigns — have denounced what they regard as a flaccid Democratic response to the Supreme Court fight, President Bush’s upcoming State of the Union address and the Iraq war. In every case, they have portrayed party leaders as gutless sellouts. First, liberal Web logs went after Democrats for selecting Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine to deliver the response to Bush’s speech next Tuesday. Kaine’s political sins: He was too willing to drape his candidacy in references to religion and too unwilling to speak out aggressively against Bush on the Iraq war. Kaine has been lauded by party officials for finding a victory formula in Bush country by running on faith, values and fiscal discipline. Many Web commentators wanted Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.), a leading critic of the Iraq war who advocates a speedy withdrawal, to be the opposition voice on the State of the Union night. Most Democratic lawmakers have distanced themselves from the Murtha position. “What the hell are they thinking?” was the title of liberal blogger Arianna Huffington’s column blasting the Kaine selection. “Blogs can take up a lot of time if you’re on them,” Kaine said to reporters Thursday. “You can get a lot done if you’re not bitterly partisan.” The Virginia Democrat said he will not adjust his speech to placate the party’s base. “I’m not anybody’s mouthpiece or shill or poster boy for that matter. I’m going to say what I think needs to be said and they seem very comfortable with that.” Liberal activists seemed to have slightly more influence with their campaign to persuade Senate Democrats to filibuster the Supreme Court nomination of Samuel A. Alito Jr. Despite several polls showing that the public opposes the effort, Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) on Thursday strongly advocated the filibuster plan — and wrote about his choice on the Daily Kos, a Web site popular with liberals. Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.), a leading liberal and critic of the Iraq war, told reporters Kerry’s viewpoint is not shared by most in a culturally conservative swing state such as West Virginia. Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) also opposes the filibuster. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) is another frequent target of the Internet attacks. Code Pink, an antiwar women’s group with a flashy Web site, plans to protest one of Clinton’s weekend fundraisers and is using the Web site to rally people against the New York Democrat. The critics say Clinton has not challenged Bush aggressively enough on Iraq.
Saturday, January 28, 2006
The Black Republican has posted A Slow Motion Train Wreck outlining the breaking apart of the Democratic Party. No sooner did he post this than Hillary announced that she is joining the efforts to filibuster Alito. She's hoping on the train. What's a girl to do? With visions of the White House dancing in her head she has to please her party base. But where is the party base? The democratic party is splitting in two. Part of the party is at least superfically moving toward center, the other is moving farther and farther left, pressured by interest groups and activists. The Washington Post article Blogs Attack From Left as Democrats Reach for Center takes a look at the growing difficulty within the democratic party.
It'd be much easier for her if the democratic party would get on the same page. Then she'd know exactly what stance to take on issues. But with things as they are, she's having to work awfully hard at straddling. Bon Voyage Hat Tip: Stop the ACLU Clinton Joins in on Alito Filibuster The Median Sib The Democratic Party - What's Going On? Blogs For Bush - Clinton Supports Filibuster In The Bullpen - Who Says Politics Can't Be Funny Captain's Quarters - The Massachussetts Comedy Duo Call For Filibuster Fullosseousflap Dental Blog - Samuel Alito Watch: Dianne Feinstein Reneges and WILL Vote for Filibuster Big Dog's Weblog - No Filibuster - Vote for it Anyway The Uncooperative Blogger Right Wing Nation
Posted by Beth at 1/28/2006 05:10:00 PM