It boils down to this: Specter is perfectly free to become a Democrat. But the Democratic primary electorate has every right to decide whether their perspectives views and interests will be best represented by Arlen Specter or someone else.
I think we are perfectly free to choose "someone else," since as long as we pick someone sane, they are almost a sure bet against Pat Toomey in the general. Not only that, but Arlen has a lot to answer for. And he may have even more to answer to a Dem primary electorate for over the next year, beginning with his budget vote today.
The CT resolution is ridiculous. Joe Lieberman is NOT A DEMOCRAT, though he caucuses with them in the Senate. Same as Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Asking him to "resign" or "leave" the party is a foolish notion when the party voters already rejected him in 2006. He chose then to LEAVE THE PARTY to run as a "CT for Lieberman" Independent.
I applaud the sentiment behind it, and I would support a "censure." But, to ask him to "resign" procedes from a false assumption.
Although you didn't focus on this, but I find 1956 as also an instructive point. While I don't recall whether it was 1954 or 1956 when the Democratic Congress became a southern majority, which flipped to a Republican southern majority in 1994. But still a southern majority. In any event, whether '54 or '56, '56 would have been the first presidential election when that fact became true. Thus, in this era, Missouri's southern-ness became a reliable predictor in a nation ruled by a southern majority and southern politics.
I also find it interesting that Iowa's reliability has been on the increase since '88. The "northern" midwest has been more of a locus of power of late. That was confirmed by the nomination of a midwesterner who was capable of winning Ohio, Iowa, and Indiana.
In a sense, I think this loss for Missouri now indicates that 2008 WAS, in fact, a realigning election.
Actually, I believe option 2 in this post (passage in the Senate first) is actually NOT an option. If I remember my con law correctly, all taxing/spending bills are required to originate in the House. That means that constitutionally speaking, the House MUST act first on any bailout package. I don't know where Stephanopoulos was getting his info, but that option is likely wrong.
Tell that to all the gay people in red States that now have a Defense of Marriage Amendment passed. Tell that to all the women in states that only have one abortion provider in the whole state. Tell that to Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito.
When it comes to economics, sure, the bigwigs tell the base to fuck off. But on social issues, the Religious Right has not been wholely ineffective.
That's self-defeating. I can't fight forever. No one can. I might lose my job next year and feel compelled to drop out of politics simply because my life requires it. But does that mean that my contributions in the here and now are worthless?? I don't think that makes much sense.
This is probably one of the more important posts you've written of late, with the key point being this:
The ultimate point here though is that we are not a partisan movement and should no longer think of ourselves as such. We are an ideological movement. We have ideas, and want to see those ideas driven with power.
It has long been evident to me that our partisanship is a product of our ideology, and not so much the reverse. I'm glad that others are coming around to that realization.
So, since we've realized/accepted this fact about ourselves, now what? Clearly, increasing power for a partisan-based movement is simply a matter of electing more of your partisans, but increasing the overal power of an ideology is not so cut and dry. In Republican circles, their candidates are beaten over the head with their established ideology and held to that standard, while our side of the aisle nearly trips over itself to eschew all ideology (and then they wonder why the public thinks that Dems "don't stand for anything"), as if that is some moral "above the fray" highground. Getting people in our party establishment, who seem to believe that all ideology is bad, to accept and enforce our ideology as party mantra will be quite the task.
and what does that have to do with the price of tea in china?
yes, it is george bush's war, which was enabled by one Sen. Hillary Clinton's War Vote. Two separate issues and Hillary can't get out of her responsibility for her votes in the Senate simply by blaming GWB... or the Iraqis.
I agree that the RNC's problems go deeper than immigration, that in the larger public arena the war and conservatism generally have failed.
However, the RNC call center is generally going to make contact with the base voters, known republicans who vote in primaries and/or have contributed before. Thus, what ticks them off and makes them stop giving may well be a different thing than what is the case in the rest of the country. The war probably plays into that and makes their "issue" with immigration a bigger deal than it otherwise might be, though. Put another way, if the war wasn't on the table and if conservatism hadn't failed completely, the base might not be making such an issue out of immigration. They might not be happy about it, but it might not be a deal-breaker to the extent that it's become.
As a progressive, my only requirement is that the immigration process be fair, nondiscriminatory, doesn't establish some second class citizenry (like the guest worker program) or some form of indentured servitude.
Beyond that, pass the rules and enforce them. Nothing in any of the above requires that we not support tight controls or labor law enforcement.
I hardly think anyone was "peeved" about Bush wanting to rebuild New Orleans. Hell, even the fundies want to rebuild New Orleans... in God's image, of course, so there isn't all that sinfulness that attracts hurricanes.
Hmmm... Let's see if I've got this right, you don't think that the only white male southern democrat running in the top tier for an office that, since 1789, has been held by a white male, and since LBJ has, when held by Democrats, been held by a Southerner, is electable?
Edwards is REALLY more unelectable than a woman from new york or a black guy from illinois. That makes PERFECT sense. I believe in learning from history, but not in ignoring it completely.
Sorry, but that's one line about Edwards that I'm just not buying. That's not to say that Hillary or Obama are unelectable, but to suggest that Edwards is somehow LESS SO than either of them I find quite laughable. I mean, he WAS the #2 guy on our ticket four years ago, and got half the country to vote for him then. Unless you are somehow arguing that Edwards' being on the ticket in 2004 is why Kerry lost???
Did anyone really think the process leading to his vote for war went any differently than this?
No, the run-down of the script was pretty much what I suspected.
Of course Edwards, like Kerry and Clinton, was very skeptical of the war, but they all thought they had to vote for the resolution because to do otherwise would invite an unwanted amount of scrutiny. Does this mean they should be commended for knowing in their heart of hearts that this war was wrong?
No, but it does mean that Edwards, at least, out of those three, evidently DOES still have a soul kicking around in there somewhere, that they still have some semblance of being able to judge right and wrong, even if they didn't have the courage of their convictions to follow that judgment at the time. It shows that Edwards vote wasn't the result of, for example, being completely corrupted by campaign contributions or other secret dealings with the oil industry, but, rather, was simply a case of being ill-advised by an idiot like Shrum. And, it also shows that Edwards isn't just a soulless cynical prick, so he's already a vast improvement over the current occupant of the White House on that count alone.
Puh-Leeze. Spare us the "Poor Downtrodden Obama" routine. He's currently leading, so I don't see how a post that's positive for Edwards is some slight against Obama or the rest.
And, I've seen nothing else on here that is malicious or unfair to any of the other candidates, Obama included. In fact, particularly Obama since the netroots are generally split between the two, from what I can tell.
You can call it "rationalizing" Edwards' vote if you want, but the fact is that this exchange is a window into Edwards' thinking and judgment from the perspective of someone other than Edwards, his wife, or immediate coterie of supporters. It also adds to the credibility of Edwards' apology for his war vote. I'm sorry that none of those things matter to you, but for those of us still ont he fence and undecided about who is the best candidate for our party for president of the USA, it does matter to consider how this particular snippet reflects on Edwards' instincts and judgment and the honesty of his apology, the credibility with which we should treat his progressive conversion since 2004, etc.
Yes, I know it neutralizes to some extent the Iraq War Vote Distinction between Edwards and Obama, and that you, as an Obama supporter, might not like that. But, tough cookies; such is politics.
What do yo mean by "inflection point"? Is that similar to a "turning point"? Or is it similar to saying "reaching critical mass"? Or, is it something else? I'm aware of a mathematical definition for the phrase, but am unfamiliar with it's use as applied to politics.