Dem Rep. calls for anti-war primaries against her colleagues!

Today came out news that Democratic Rep. Woolsey asked anti-war groups to challenge Democrats in primaries. She reportedly said this during a conference call with the Network of Spiritual Progressives. Said Woolsey, "You folks should go after the Democrats. I'd hate to lose the majority, but I'm telling you, if we don't stand up to our responsibility, maybe that's the lesson to be learned."

Predictably, this has angered Woolsey's fellow Democrats. Many are probably on edge given their voting record, and given the fact that Nancy Pelosi has already attracted a well-known challenger -- Cindy Sheehan. But there is much to say about the base's anger at Democratic inaction.

Full analysis available here.

The excuse Democrats invoke repeatedly to explain the lack of withdrawal legislation is starting to make very little sense.  The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza penned a piece yesterday explaining why MoveOn's great day is a menace for Democrats who are being driven too far to the left by their base. Cillizza writes,

It was not such a great day for the Democratic Party as the ad gave Republicans a chance to play offense of the war. Republicans have been back on their heels for months (if not years) when it comes to Iraq and the combination of Petraeus' plan to draw down 30,000 troops by next summer and the MoveOn ad gave Republicans a foothold to get back into the debate.

Seriously? Is it even for a minute believable that a one-page ad in the NYT has the potential of saving the GOP from their support for an extremely unpopular war that has no end in sight? And then comes the usual excuse:

Time and time again, Democratic lawmakers have acknowledged that many in the party's base expected or believed that the day after the party regained control of the House and Senate, following the November 2006 election, the U.S. would begin withdrawing troops from Iraq. That, of course, is impossible given the rules of the Senate where 60 votes are required to close off debate, and Democrats remain unable to garner that sort of support for any legislative vehicle. Of course, explaining the arcane rules of the Senate -- and the need to invoke "cloture" -- don't quiet the rumbles on the left for movement and action on the war from their own party.

This is a stunningly condescending argument. Everyone on the left understands the quasi-impossibility of passing strong legislation in Congress without 60 votes in the Senate and without super-majorities to override presidential vetoes. But not having enough votes to pass something does not mean Democrats have to approve resolutions demanded by the White House -- which is what they ended up doing last year.

Even the presidential candidates are being incredibly slow before taking leadership positions on this issue, and have to be forced into it by heavy base pressure. Democrats cannot override Bush's veto, but they can refuse to follow up by passing the only bill he is agreeing to sign or refuse to fund the war if Bush does not listen to them. They have the support of the public, so chances are good the White House would have to blink first.

More analysis at

Tags: anti-war, Iraq, MoveOn, Woosley (all tags)


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