Meta-Blog

SEARCH QandO

Email:
Jon Henke
Bruce "McQ" McQuain
Dale Franks
Bryan Pick
Billy Hollis
Lance Paddock
MichaelW

BLOGROLL QandO

 
 
Recent Posts
The Ayers Resurrection Tour
Special Friends Get Special Breaks
One Hour
The Hope and Change Express - stalled in the slow lane
Michael Steele New RNC Chairman
Things that make you go "hmmmm"...
Oh yeah, that "rule of law" thing ...
Putting Dollar Signs in Front Of The AGW Hoax
Moving toward a 60 vote majority?
Do As I Say ....
 
 
QandO Newsroom

Newsroom Home Page

US News

US National News
Politics
Business
Science
Technology
Health
Entertainment
Sports
Opinion/Editorial

International News

Top World New
Iraq News
Mideast Conflict

Blogging

Blogpulse Daily Highlights
Daypop Top 40 Links

Regional

Regional News

Publications

News Publications

 
The Big Question for Democrats
Posted by: McQ on Monday, October 02, 2006

The more I consider the probable outcome of the '06 midterms, the more I become convinced Democrats will take the House. The question is will that actually be a good thing for Democrats? By that I mean will winning the House lead them to a complete victory in '08 or see them out of power again? As we mentioned yesterday on the podcast, trying to keep some of the senior members who would take over key chairmanships and committees from a lot of political activism and grandstanding, would, in my humble opinion, be very difficult.

Now I know we've talked about this somewhat before, but as we near the election and the picture begins to clear up a little as to who might take what, it again is interesting to talk about ramifications if Democrats do win the House.

Would Speaker of the House Pelosi attempt to (and even if she attempted it would she succeed) reign in the likes of John Conyers (with the able assistance of Henry Waxman), chairman of the judiciary committee so as to not have an impeachment witch-hunt to detract from the ability of the Democrats to demonstrate their "new direction" in the 2 years before '08?

Could the Democrats survive or control Charlie Rangel running Ways and Means or John Dingell heading Energy and Commerce?

And then there is the possibility of Alcee Hastings, a former federal judge who was impeached for accepting bribes, taking over the House Intelligence committee (why Pelosi seems to be trying to push aside Jane Harmon in favor of Hastings is anyone's guess).

Given all of these possibilities, and the extreme partisan atmosphere, can (or will they be able to) Democrats avoid descending into even more partisanship than is now evident if they take the House? Can leadership come up with and enforce a plan or a strategy which would moderate the inclinations of the most radical (and senior) among them and give voters a favorable impression for '08?

I ask this because I am convinced that, given the House in '06, Democratic behavior there will determine success or failure in '08 for them.

Your opinion?
 
TrackBacks
Return to Main Blog Page
 
 

Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
Step one: Come up with a plan for America.

Step two: Convince the voters that your plan is better and they vote you in.

Step three: Implement your plan.

You can’t skip over step one and get anywhere; even if you do skip to step two and somehow handwave yourself into power, you’re going to end up aimless.

People keep comparing this year to 1994. But where’s the Democrat’s "Contract with America" equivalent?

For what it’s worth, I think that if they had been able to pull together and create a reasonable one, based on addressing American’s concerns instead of being a laundry list of Democratic interests that currently really don’t interest anyone (again, working backwards), they’d be on fire. By all rights, they should be. But they couldn’t do step one.

I still think there’s going to be a new party within the next decade, because the Democrats just aren’t getting it done, structurally.

(Note that I’m aware the Contract With America was far from completely implemented; it’s the rhetorical value I’m referencing, not the legislative value.)
 
Written By: Jeremy Bowers
URL: http://www.jerf.org/iri
I don’t see the Dems in the House doing anything to help themselves. Should they go into attack mode with investigations/impeachment hearings instead of displaying some sort of vision, planning and leadership, as I suspect they will, they’ll be shooting themselves in the foot.

They need a message, and they need an agenda that they just don’t have. Unless they can do a lot better than Kerry in ’08, they’re going to get the same result.
 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
I’m not convinced that Americans care at all who the heads of the various House committees are. I bet if you polled the public, only a small fraction could name even one committee chairman. In fact, I bet only a small fraction know who Denny Hastert is.

I’m sure the same will be true of a Democratic run House. Moreover, I find the argument that Conyers, Rangel, Pelosi, et al, are too crazy to be given serious responsibility amusing. As a general rule, members of the House of Representatives are a little extreme. It’s just a byproduct of the fact that nearly all House seats are in safe districts. In other words, the current committee heads are every bit as "crazy" as John Conyers. Half of the Republicans in the House are total clowns. So it’s not like we’d be replacing calm rationale adults with children. At worst we’d be replacing children with children.

 
Written By: Anonymous Liberal
URL: http://www.anonymousliberal.com
It’s true. Democrats lack the ’one voice’ leadership that could pull all the disparate sectors of the party together to tackle national iessues. Hillary is samrt, but her name draws too much fire. She’s much better for chairing committees than overall leadership.

I’m reduced to voting Democratic this time around simply to combat the one party rule of the day.
It would be good for the GOP, too, to lose their stranglehold on governance; a bit of reflection and introspection serves to clean out the rot.

What’s an ’issue’ (rathae than ’party’) voter to do?

It’s time for Independents to rise.
Then they could tackle the ’safe seats’ issue, which is a biggies.
 
Written By: Laime
URL: http://
I’m not convinced that Americans care at all who the heads of the various House committees are. I bet if you polled the public, only a small fraction could name even one committee chairman. In fact, I bet only a small fraction know who Denny Hastert is.
I’m not suggesting they do. What I’m suggesting is they will care about what actions and activities come out of those committees during the 2 year the Dems have the house prior to ’08.
Half of the Republicans in the House are total clowns. So it’s not like we’d be replacing calm rationale adults with children. At worst we’d be replacing children with children.
Perhaps. But that still raises the question, "how will that impact Democrat chances in ’08?" Afterall, that will be the only place where voters will see Democratic "leadership" on display in any meaningful way.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Well, they will either need to appeal to their base (ie the nutroots), or they can come up with a plan to appeal to the more moderate in their party and outside their party, thus giving them a springboard for ’08.

Appealing to their base will mean tax the rich, give to the poor, and investigate everything and everything they can get their claws on. Impeachment would certainly be on the table. Otherwise they loose their nutty base.

I think they’ll be appealing to their base, and thus their baser instincts.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://
A potential future Speaker Pelosi probably can control the party, and prevent it from doing something stupid like trying to impeach President Bush, unless something really dramatic comes out of any future investigation. Even then, I think she’s got a very good head for power and has brought more discipline to the Democrats in the House than have other recent leaders. The GOP errs if they think they can simply demonize her, or if they underestimate her.

The problem is not that there are "crazies" (that’s mostly a fabrication of the right wing/talk radio crowd) but that the Democrats do not have a clear, defined set of core values. They have many very principled members, but these principles often contradict and thus yield no clear party core. That is not likely to change. Perhaps the biggest error the GOP makes is that Republicans have been believing their own rhetoric about the Democrats and thus see them as a caricature.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~blog.htm
A potential future Speaker Pelosi probably can control the party, and prevent it from doing something stupid like trying to impeach President Bush, unless something really dramatic comes out of any future investigation.
Really?

How?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
The problem is not that there are "crazies" (that’s mostly a fabrication of the right wing/talk radio crowd)
Cynthia McKinney. She must be a Sean Hannity creation. Did Rush do Pelosi? Michael Savage definitely came up with Kucinich and Jack Murtha is naturally a Laura Ingraham production.
 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
Cynthia McKinney. She must be a Sean Hannity creation. Did Rush do Pelosi? Michael Savage definitely came up with Kucinich and Jack Murtha is naturally a Laura Ingraham production.

So, Jack Murtha is insane for suggesting withdrawal from Iraq? Dennis Kuinich is insane for being a pacifist? Nancy Pelosi is... insane .... for.... saying nasty things about Bush? Would you testify to that in a court?

You’re a living example of the effect of which the right-wing noise machine is the cause. "Insane" ought to be a label for people who have genuinely bizarre ideas for society, like Lyndon LaRouche or The Reverend Sung Nym Moon.



 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
My personal opinion will be that taking the House will be a net positive for the Democrats. Failing to take the House worse - it will demoralize the base, continue to keep the Democrats locked away from any spotlight on positive agenda items, and fail to knock a large hole in the GOP patronage machine. And that’s not even counting what the Republicans could do with the unitied Congress to directly attack democrat-friendly elements in society - see the house’s recent "anti-vote-fraud" (cough, poll tax).

It’s not impossible that the Dems could get overambitious and backfire, but frankly, McQ, you don’t see a lot of overambition from the Dems right now when you listen to them. You see a lot of caution, triangulation, and a**-covering.

The Clinton impeachment backfired if you look at the polls on it, but yet the Republicans were *still* helped into power by the prominence of their movement.
It almost doesn’t even matter how stupid the movement is if the current status quo is unpopular. At that time there is a very low bar and prominence is the #1 weapon.

I predict you’ll see investigations - and some of them are quite likely to turn up real dirt - and not impeachments. Why impeach a lame duck? I think you’ll see House-passed bills that die in the Senate and/or on President’s desk, but *sound* appealing in an economically populist way.

Divorcing myself from the merits, I doubt you’ll see them collapse. If you think they will, you should double down on it and predict that they lose the House again in 08.

 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
Divorcing myself from the merits, I doubt you’ll see them collapse. If you think they will, you should double down on it and predict that they lose the House again in 08.
Oh I’m predicting they lose it all in ’08 if they play the investigation/impeachment game.

As I’ve at other times, should they win, there are indeed appropriate investigations that should be launched, and I have no doubt the American public would tolerate them. Knowing what they are and stopping there are where I think Dems may have a problem.

My prediction about losing it all in ’08 is predicated on "investigations gone wild" with an impeachment attempt thrown in on top. Do that and it’s all Republicans all the time in ’08.

If, in fact, Democrats show maturity and an even hand during their two years, and use their time in power in the House to push issues they favor and do a credible sales job with those issues even if the Reps in the Senate won’t play along, then they have a very good shot at the whole enchilada in ’08.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
"Insane" ought to be a label for people who have genuinely bizarre ideas for society, like Lyndon LaRouche or The Reverend Sung Nym Moon.
True, but are we not having that same discussion from the other side elsewhere my friend;^)
 
Written By: Lance
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
The fundamental problem the Dems face is that their core ideas are rotten.

1) If America steps left, we are following in the footsteps of France, Germany, and England. The left hasn’t had a coherent economic theory since at least the 70s, and since the Japanese recession of the 90s, hasen’t even had any succesful model to point to.

2) Stepping right is what the Repubs claim to represent.

3) What’s left? Defend past gains? It is easy to do, and provides easy victories, but long term it is doomed to fail.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
I predict you’ll see investigations - and some of them are quite likely to turn up real dirt - and not impeachments. Why impeach a lame duck?
I doubt they turn up any real dirt, but suspect an attempt at impeachment anyway. That way, the D’s can continue on without a plan. Or rather, continue on with the only plan they have: bad talking Bush.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
So, Jack Murtha is insane for suggesting withdrawal from Iraq? Dennis Kuinich is insane for being a pacifist? Nancy Pelosi is... insane .... for.... saying nasty things about Bush? Would you testify to that in a court?

You’re a living example of the effect of which the right-wing noise machine is the cause. "Insane" ought to be a label for people who have genuinely bizarre ideas for society, like Lyndon LaRouche or The Reverend Sung Nym Moon.
I doubt that LaRouche or Moon are insane, technically speaking.

Frankly, true pacifism is insane, even if sane people follow it. So is withdrawel from Iraq, which Murtha might be pushing not on the merits, but to agitate the base.

Pelosi seems rather dim; perhaps we would be crediting her too much to call her insane.

 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
So, Jack Murtha is insane for suggesting withdrawal from Iraq?
Today’s NYT seems to think not, especially as he is wheeling and dealing for appropriations for everything and anything with the Republicans. It’s all cold calculated politics, not policy.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
The linkage that nobody likes to talk about, between the republicans and the Democrats, is neither party can control their left wing. The differences between those two situations that when the republicans can’t control their left wing things get centerist. When the democrats can’t control their left wing, things get truly bizarre.

However you slice it, it is as I said over a year ago when this idea first got proposed here... the plan of splitting the power between the parties, is an excellent one... until you consider the people involved with the plan.

Add to this the idea that we already have a split government, given the number of last winter’s currently in seats of power, the call themselves republicans, and the idea of spliting party power by means of the ballot box, loses all merit.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://
Cynthia McKinney. She must be a Sean Hannity creation. Did Rush do Pelosi? Michael Savage definitely came up with Kucinich and Jack Murtha is naturally a Laura Ingraham production.
Unless I’m mistaken, she didn’t even win her primary. The problem is the far right cherry pick people like her and try to use that to paint a portrait of the whole party. She’s an anomaly, and one likely to be soon forgotten.

Jack Murtha, however, is honorable, and as Woodward’s new book points out, speaks for the "heart of the military." The attempt to demonize him has been absolutely disgusting and pathetic. He is giving voice to military anger over Bush’s misguided policy, and luckily the right wing demonization attempts have failed — largely because he speaks the truth.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~blog.htm
Oh I’m predicting they lose it all in ’08 if they play the investigation/impeachment game.

As I’ve at other times, should they win, there are indeed appropriate investigations that should be launched, and I have no doubt the American public would tolerate them. Knowing what they are and stopping there are where I think Dems may have a problem.

My prediction about losing it all in ’08 is predicated on "investigations gone wild" with an impeachment attempt thrown in on top. Do that and it’s all Republicans all the time in ’08.
Yes — if the Democrats are stupid enough to push a lame duck Bush Administration into an impeachment (unless something truly astounding comes out in investigations), they are literally begging for defeat in 2008. I really don’t believe they are so stupid. As much as I think the Iraq war has been a huge strategic error (though I was just as opposed to Clinton’s war in Kosovo), the Democrats haven’t impressed me much in recent years. A two party system sucks when one doesn’t like either of the parties...
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~blog.htm

Jack Murtha, however, is honorable, and as Woodward’s new book points out, speaks for the "heart of the military."
Scott, Jack "Let’s redeploy to Okinawa" Murtha is a few bricks short of a load and long past his sell by date. Forget Bob Woodward, what does Frank Wuterich have to say about him? You know, in his defamation suit...

You’re a living example of the effect of which the right-wing noise machine is the cause. "Insane" ought to be a label for people who have genuinely bizarre ideas for society, like Lyndon LaRouche or The Reverend Sung Nym Moon.
glasnost, the term was "crazies". Try actually reading the thread before you shoot your mouth off, you smearmiester you. And yes, the chief proponent of the "Department of Peace" is crazy as a sh*thouse rat. I hope he runs for President again. Very entertaining.
 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
Scott, Jack "Let’s redeploy to Okinawa" Murtha is a few bricks short of a load and long past his sell by date. Forget Bob Woodward, what does Frank Wuterich have to say about him? You know, in his defamation suit...
That’s just cheap demonization. Murtha speaks for the voices in the Pentagon who can’t speak out (at least not until they retire), and is weathering the typical and predictable personal attacks and smear jobs that come out against anyone who criticizes the Administration effectively. Sooner or later that tactic wears thin, and I don’t think the kind of demonization/personal attacks work as well as they used to.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb
That’s just cheap demonization.
That seems to be exactly what SSGT Frank Wuterich, USMC is alleging in his lawsuit against Murtha. That is, that Murtha demonized him for political cheap shot purposes. The difference is that Murtha is a politician, and Wuterich was a Marine on the battlefield. Semper Fi, eh?

As for redeploying to Okinawa, shouldn’t we just redeploy to Maine, given that it’s closer to Iraq? Do you think he’s effectively criticising the Administration by offering soultions that a 12 year old can find the obvious ridiculousness in?

Where are the Veterans groups that support him?
 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
That seems to be exactly what SSGT Frank Wuterich, USMC is alleging in his lawsuit against Murtha. That is, that Murtha demonized him for political cheap shot purposes. The difference is that Murtha is a politician, and Wuterich was a Marine on the battlefield. Semper Fi, eh?
Murtha is also a veteran, and a cheap lawsuit like that one is rather pathetic and obviously political.

The attempt to demonize Murtha has failed, in part because he speaks for top level brass in the Pentagon, and in part because as the civil war worsens in Iraq, it’s clear Murtha is right.

Deal with it. Reality bites. Spin all you want, but the reality of the situation in Iraq cannot be spun away or altered with political rhetoric. Murtha is a hero. Wuterich is not.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~blog.htm
Murtha speaks for the voices in the Pentagon who can’t speak out
Then how is it that you know about it?
Oh, I see. He told you, huh?

(Annoyed glare)

And of course because it fits with your world view, you lap it up.
It’s good to see your sense of humor hasn’t changed much over the years, Erb.
Bizarre as ever.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://
Then how is it that you know about it?
Oh, I see. He told you, huh?

(Annoyed glare)
It’s hardly a secret that Murtha is close to the Pentagon brass, and its widely reported that he speaks for them; Woodward called him the "heart of the military," from what’s been reported on his book (and I was praising Woodward’s earlier books as well, which painted the President in a positive light — it’s interesting how some people go from praising him to demonizing him just because of how his subjects come off in his books).
And of course because it fits with your world view, you lap it up.
It’s good to see your sense of humor hasn’t changed much over the years, Erb.
Bizarre as ever.
You know what amazes me — how given the sprial of violence in Iraq, the obvious failure of our policy there (especially in terms of original goals), some people seem bound and determined to deny reality. I am truly amazed. If you said, "look, trying to spread democracy to stop terrorism was a solid idea, it connects with Wilson, Kennedy and Reagan, and I thought it might work with Iraq," I’d be sympathetic. The neo-conservatives had a rationale argument, they simply completely miscalculated the difficulty of confronting Iraq’s political culture built on authoritarianism and corruption going back to the Ottomans. But instead it seems that people are refusing to confront the reality of the war — Murtha supported the war, and then recognized that the strategy was failing.

If we can at least agree on the fact the current policy is failing, we can discuss what kind of steps are needed to minimize the damage to American interests, as well as loss of Iraqi and American life.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~blog.htm

 
Add Your Comment
  NOTICE: While we don't wish to censor your thoughts, we do blacklist certain terms of profanity or obscenity. This is not to muzzle you, but to ensure that the blog remains work-safe for our readers. If you wish to use profanity, simply insert asterisks (*) where the vowels usually go. Your meaning will still be clear, but our readers will be able to view the blog without worrying that content monitoring will get them in trouble when reading it.
Comments for this entry are closed.
Name:
Email:
URL:
HTML Tools:
Bold Italic Blockquote Hyperlink
Comment:
   
 
Vicious Capitalism

Divider

Buy Dale's Book!
Slackernomics by Dale Franks

Divider

Divider