I didn’t get to see the Democratic presidential debate last night, but I was delighted, delighted I tell you, to read this heartwarming recap:
The leading Democratic White House hopefuls conceded Wednesday night they cannot guarantee to pull all U.S. combat troops from Iraq by the end of the next presidential term in 2013.
“I think it’s hard to project four years from now,” said Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois in the opening moments of a campaign debate in the nation’s first primary state.
“It is very difficult to know what we’re going to be inheriting,” added Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.
“I cannot make that commitment,” said former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina.
Sensing an opening, Sen. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson provided the assurances the others would not.
“I’ll get the job done,” said Dodd, while Richardson said he would make sure the troops were home by the end of his first year in office.
Something tells me that Dodd or Richardson has as much chance at the Democratic nomination as Miss Teen South Carolina has of becoming Secretary of State.
The Democrats really seem to loathe their base. And, unlike the Republicans, the Dems don’t fear their base. With overt disdain, the Dems vote to condemn MoveOn.org, perhaps the one grass roots organization you think they might want to show a little respect to. Matt Stoller provides more examples of a Democratic Congress that seems suspiciously far too out of touch with those who voted it into power:
The bottom line is that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are disorganized and giving no signals to members on the FISA wiretapping expansion and retroactive immunity to telecom companies, which is going to result in horrific legislation. In the Senate, Jay Rockefeller is once again inviting Mike McConnell into closed hearings on how to fix the FISA law, and the markup is next week. There are no drafts of legislation around, which is a bad sign. The Senate Judiciary Committee is hamstrung by Dianne Feinstein, who prevents a majority, and by the instincts of Democrat leaders who, in a conflicts [sic] between Judiciary and Intelligence, will go with Intelligence because of a perceived fear of national security weakness.
If pressure cannot be brought to bear to stop Democrats from enacting extremist, Bush-enabling special interest measures like this, what reasonable argument can be made to support the view that it has been even marginally better that Democrats control Congress?
Or, as Matthew Witemyre writes:
The Democrats in [C]ongress are simply a means to an ends. The end is maintaining some sort of constitutional, republican, democracy through the remainder of President Bush’s term. The left blogosphere likes to call itself “the reality based community”. So how’s about this for a little bit of reality? The Democrats do not support your liberal or “progressive” goals. They have a lot of power right now. They control both houses of [C]ongress. This is immense power. They will not exercise it in the way that we want them to of their own volition. The blogosphere, the “Netroots,” people who are more than simply Democratic partisans, people who care about the Constitution, our history, our ideals, these are the people who must decide to exercise their will. They must utilize the Democrats in [C]ongress, just like any tool, and bend the Democrats and shape them to their will.
One of the many things that may distinguish the Republican base from the Democratic base, is that the GOP base has lots of dough, while the Dem base has very little. And perhaps this is why Democrats feel so confident in ignoring their grassroots. It’s not where they get their money. Instead, K Street is their master.
A crucial GOP fundraising committee is nearly broke, according to its latest monthly filing with the Federal Election Committee last week.
The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) reported $1.6 million in cash on hand and $4 million in debts as of Aug. 31. The group helps bankroll House campaigns for GOP candidates.
Its counterpart, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, reported $22.1 million, more than 10 times its Republican counterpart.
Campaign finance experts say the latest numbers portend an ill future for GOP candidates, particularly newcomers who haven’t had years in office to build up a war chest.
Senate Republicans are in a state of relative poverty, also. The National Republican Senatorial Campaign has just over $7 million on hand, according to the new filings. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has more than $20 million.
Democrats take votes for granted, knowing that their base would never vote Republican, and that they would think they were throwing their vote away if they voted third party or just stayed at home. Secure in the support of a hostage base at the ballot box, the Dems pander instead to the money, that is, to the corporate power structure.
It may be that voting for a third party will be the only option left to disgusted liberals. Or, perhaps, if they are both lucky and determined, progressives will be able to choose from some sincere and honest fresh faces in the upcoming Democratic primaries.
It has been bad enough that those who were elected to get us the hell out of Iraq have proved so impotent at that task. Worse still, they seem to be joining joyously in pulling Americans kicking and screaming into yet another ill-advised war, this time with Iran. One wonders what kind of a crazed political system we have finally created for ourselves.