Thursday, August 17, 2006

Party, Party, Party II

As somewhat of a follow-up to the previous post, here's a piece from today's Best of the Web (recommended reading for all our readers on a regular basis):

Dem vs. Dem
The sectarian strife within the Democratic Party is moving closer to civil war, the Hill reports:

A group of Senate Democrats is growing increasingly angry about Sen. Joe Lieberman's (D-Conn.) campaign tactics since he lost the Democratic primary last week. If he continues to alienate his colleagues, Lieberman could be stripped of his seniority within the Democratic caucus should he defeat Democrat Ned Lamont in the general election this November, according to some senior Democratic aides. . . . "I think there's a lot of concern," said a senior Democratic aide who has discussed the subject with colleagues. "I think the first step is if the Lieberman thing turns into a side show and hurts our message and ability to take back the Senate, and the White House and the [National Republican Senatorial Committee] manipulate him, there are going to be a lot of unhappy people in our caucus."

This sounds to us like a bluff. If Lieberman wins re-election as an independent, his party will have every reason to make nice with him--not only to ensure that the seat stays Democratic, but also to ensure that the party isn't captured by the Angry Left, the limited political appeal of which would have been demonstrated by a Ned Lamont defeat.

...

Also curiously, we have received two messages from the John Kerry* campaign in as many days raising funds for three Senate candidates. Here's a passage from today's:

If the Bush administration could plan and execute the war on terror as well as it executes its shameless pre-election fear-mongering, we'd all be a lot safer.

That's what strong, principled Senate candidates like Ned Lamont, Bob Menendez, and Dan Akaka are making clear to voters in three of America's closest, high-stakes Senate contests.

What these three have in common is that all support Kerry's cut-and-run approach to Iraq. What Lamont and Akaka have in common is that they are running against Democrats; only Menendez has a serious Republican opponent. Kerry's efforts are less about furthering the Democratic Party than about furthering the Angry Left within the party.

* Who as of Sept. 10 will have served in the Senate for 66 times as long as he served in Vietnam.

That last little paragraph is the juice of this piece: The far-left fringe in this country is not only not focusing on substance all that much, but rather on defeating the "enemy" - in this case, anyone who is not as far to the left as themselves. It will be interesting to see how mainstream Democrats react. Will they be able to take that power and push it against the Republicans, or will they be too busy or forced to fight within their own party? I think it's the latter, hence the previous post.

On a related note, look around the blogosphere to see the reaction to today's [likely to be overturned] court ruling against the NSA wiretaps. The far-left is literally jumping for joy and celebrating that the NSA cannot - according to this liberal Carter appointee who was a Democrat before becoming a judge - tap conversations between terrorists and people within the United States. While it is of utmost importance that the law be followed [and I will put up the series from David Kirschner as soon as I can], it is pathetic to be "thrilled" and "overjoyed" that terrorists are being given increased ability to carry out attacks in this country. The hatred for this President among the far-left is greater than that for those who wish to kill us. Let's repeat that: The hatred for this President among the far-left is greater than that for those who wish to kill us.

It's time to look at our priorities, and it's time mainstream Democrats and liberals took a long look at who their friends are.

17 Comments:

Blogger Jewish Atheist said...

They're talking about primaries, right? Which is when a member of a party would support one member of that party over another. Obviously, those on the left side tend to favor the Dem on the left and those on the right favor the Dems on the right. What's so weird about that?

As for Lieberman, he's spitting in the face of the party. The whole purpose of parties is to push the candidate which that party prefers rather than the one the general population prefers. Whether or not that's a good thing is a separate question, but you can't completely disregard your party's electoral decision that you not be their candidate and still expect loyalty in return.

While it is of utmost importance that the law be followed [and I will put up the series from David Kirschner as soon as I can], it is pathetic to be "thrilled" and "overjoyed" that terrorists are being given increased ability to carry out attacks in this country.

This is ugly rhetoric. Nobody's "'thrilled' and 'overjoyed' that terrorists are being given increased ability to carry out attacks in this country." They're thrilled and overjoyed that the courts have said what we knew all along -- that the wiretaps are unconstitutional. We're thrilled and overjoyed that Bush's reckless expansion of executive power is being curtailed (albeit in only one area.)

8/18/2006 7:00 AM  
Blogger Scraps said...

Ezzie, regarding your last point--is this supposed to be a surprise? The hard-left have been favoring terrorists' rights to kill over innocent citizens' right to live for quite a while.

8/18/2006 9:01 AM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

They are "thrilled" that the government is no longer able to use certain techniques to protect this country... which allows terrorists an increased ability to carry out attacks. Why didn't they root for the courts to rule that it was legal in this case? Wouldn't that make more sense? Wouldn't it be better if the courts said "Yes, in this case, for the safety of the country, it is allowed; in general, however, the government would not be able to do this."

They're talking about primaries, right? Which is when a member of a party would support one member of that party over another. Obviously, those on the left side tend to favor the Dem on the left and those on the right favor the Dems on the right. What's so weird about that?

Usually, they don't vilify their own party members; they argue who is better for their party, etc., and yes, that will often not be the moderate, but they don't cut them out of the party like this. The far-left is literally cutting out any moderates from the party... and it's killing the Democratic Party. If the far-left continues to control the Dems, they will be crushed in election after election by larger and larger margins.

I also don't see Lieberman "expecting" loyalty at this point. Perhaps he did before the primary, in return for his decades of service, but now he's simply running as an independent. It's not him expecting loyalty, it's people commenting that the Dems should be wise and express it themselves. If they cut him out, they are undermining their own party.

8/18/2006 9:09 AM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

Scraps - I think that only the far-left really do that, and it's because of their hatred for anything Bush. I'm not a poll fan, but IIRC somewhere close to 70% felt that the wiretaps should be done even if they might be illegal. I'm not even sure I agree with that, but that's a huge number. [IMO, make sure it's legal, and if it isn't, amend the law to make it legal.]

8/18/2006 9:11 AM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

One other point that has to do with what I said above... BOTW put it well last Thursday (about the British wiretaps that caught the terrorists).

It strikes us that the murders of thousands of civilians would be a far worse "form of defeat" than the moral compromise in which the British government is alleged to have engaged. Further, the claim that such a compromise "will in the end fuel the flames of the terror it aims to overcome" strikes us, as an empirical matter, as highly dubious. But these are questions about which reasonable people can differ, and over which reasonable people are necessarily going to have to argue.

Then, regarding a very nutty post by Andrew Sullivan questioning whether the US/UK made up the plot: ...Here is the problem: "Don't trust the Bush administration" is not much of antiterror strategy. For the long term--i.e., Jan. 20, 2009, and beyond--it is not a strategy for anything, for on that day the Bush administration will end. If the administration's critics do have better ideas about how to win the war against our terrorist enemies, they do the country a disservice by presenting them in an unappealing package of partisan hatred and paranoia.

I think that sums up one of the things I was saying in this post well: We know that there are reasonable people out there who disagree with Bush and how this government does things. We know that they have valid points, which we may or may not agree with. But present those points, and present alternatives. Simply saying, "Yes! Bush can't listen to my private phone conversations! He can't grab me on the street and torture me!" is not only a complete misrepresentation of what the programs were, it fails to answer how exactly they expect us to combat terrorism.

It should not be "Hey! You can't do that!" - it should be "Hey! Don't do that, do THIS."

8/18/2006 9:19 AM  
Blogger Jewish Atheist said...

It should not be "Hey! You can't do that!" - it should be "Hey! Don't do that, do THIS."

There have been many alternatives presented. For example, it's already legal to wiretap after getting a court order, which have hardly ever been refused. I can't believe anyone can call themself "conservative" and be for warrantless wiretaps on American citizens.

8/18/2006 10:50 AM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

You're still misrepresenting what this is. And it ignores both the 'time is of the essence' aspects and others. It's also not of American citizens talking to each other - only of international calls to/from people on a certain (small) list.

How many calls did they tap in a few years? 500-1000? That's miniscule.

And it's funny what you say about conservative: I was just writing in an e-mail that liberals are not the progressives of today, and conservatives are not really conservative. It's the Republicans who are progressive, while the liberals want everything to just stay as is and hope it all works out okay, ignoring everything that actually goes on.

8/18/2006 11:01 AM  
Blogger Jewish Atheist said...

You're still misrepresenting what this is.

How so?

And it ignores both the 'time is of the essence' aspects and others.

It really doesn't take that long to get a judge's ok. It's worked okay for the police for two centuries.

It's also not of American citizens talking to each other - only of international calls to/from people on a certain (small) list.

I'm sorry, where does it say that people "on a certain (small) list" don't have constitutional rights? Where does it say that their rights are forfeited when talking to someone overseas?

How many calls did they tap in a few years? 500-1000? That's miniscule.

The number is irrelevant.

And it's funny what you say about conservative: I was just writing in an e-mail that liberals are not the progressives of today, and conservatives are not really conservative. It's the Republicans who are progressive, while the liberals want everything to just stay as is and hope it all works out okay, ignoring everything that actually goes on.

As Jon Stewart would say, "Whaaaaaaaaaaa?!"

Liberals want the lack of gay marriage to stay the same? The harmful environmental policies? The tax cuts for the rich? The lack of adequate health care for so many Americans?

Republicans are progressive? Certainly not on social issues. I suppose they are "progressive" on the expansion of executive power, giveaways to the rich, pre-emptive war, and the rape of the environment, but I don't see that as anything to brag about.

8/18/2006 11:39 AM  
Blogger Scraps said...

Liberals are hoping that if they ignore the terrorists, they will go away. Conservatives want to hit 'em where it hurts.

8/18/2006 1:38 PM  
Blogger Jewish Atheist said...

Liberals are hoping that if they ignore the terrorists, they will go away.

Very thoughtful comment, scraps. *eyeroll*

8/20/2006 7:08 AM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

It really doesn't take that long to get a judge's ok. It's worked okay for the police for two centuries.

Welcome to the 21st Century, where everything is a hell of a lot faster.

'm sorry, where does it say that people "on a certain (small) list" don't have constitutional rights? Where does it say that their rights are forfeited when talking to someone overseas?

Who said their rights are forfeited? How in any way does talking to a known terrorist NOT make the "search" reasonable? And stop calling it "domestic" wiretapping when it's ONLY about international calls.

The number is irrelevant.

It is absolutely relevant. It shows the care for people's rights even in the fight against terror. It's not that hard to tap every call in this country and have computers flag certain words or types of conversations.

Liberals want the lack of gay marriage to stay the same? The harmful environmental policies? The tax cuts for the rich? The lack of adequate health care for so many Americans?

Gay marriage is about the only one that conservatives are actually conservative on. Tax cuts are progressive; health care should be changed somewhat. Pre-emptive war is progressive, and thank God most people understand the necessity (and logic) of it.

8/20/2006 8:53 PM  
Blogger Charlie Hall said...

'the Angry Left, the limited political appeal of which would have been demonstrated by a Ned Lamont defeat.'

The problem with this analysis is that Lamont really differed with Lieberman on only one issue: Iraq.

We'll shortly see if the Republican Right does to Lincoln Chaffee what the Democratic Left did to Lieberman. I look forward to a post on that one, Ezzie.

'The hatred for this President among the far-left is greater than that for those who wish to kill us.'

This is exactly the kind of nonsense that convinces those on the Left to discount the (I think very real) threats to this country.

'Conservatives want to hit 'em where it hurts.'

The war in Iraq has not hurt terrorists; to the contrary, it has helped them.

8/22/2006 10:57 AM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

The problem with this analysis is that Lamont really differed with Lieberman on only one issue: Iraq.

We'll shortly see if the Republican Right does to Lincoln Chaffee what the Democratic Left did to Lieberman. I look forward to a post on that one, Ezzie.


We'll see. I doubt it would come close - we're not talking about blind support here, which no politician ever deserves. We're talking about getting vilified by the base, as Lieberman did. Chafee won't get support, but you also have to remember that he's not just different on one issue. He crosses party lines pretty often in comparison to most GOP members.

This is exactly the kind of nonsense that convinces those on the Left to discount the (I think very real) threats to this country.

That basically proves the point. You're a moderate, and you're saying that because the right perceives the far-left as more Bush-hating than security caring, the left therefore discounts threats. How does that make sense?

The war in Iraq has not hurt terrorists; to the contrary, it has helped them.

How?!

8/22/2006 5:42 PM  
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