Skip to comments.Democrats in Distress - and their Suicide Queen (vanity, about Pelosi and the Democrats in general)
Posted on 11/08/2002 3:22:38 PM PST by xm177e2
The Suicide Queen
The Democratic party was rocked recently by the success of Republicans in the midterm elections. But something much bigger just happened, something much worse for the party than a temporary defeat. Permanent damage is being done to the Democratic party.
Democrats lost the midterm elections because the party leadership was disorganized and had no coherent agenda. There was no substance at the top. And the Democrats could have easily won these elections, with a different strategy.
Terry McAuliffe, the head of the DNC--the Number One Democrat--is an excellent fundraiser. But that's all he is, he's just a fundraiser, and not a true leader or capable politician. After the election, McAuliffe said things weren't so different from before and bragged Democrats had raised three times as much money this year as any previous midterm election, and went on bragging that he made Republicans spend a lot of their money to take the Senate. If you believe McAuliffe, just ask a Republican if s/he's hurting right now because Terry made his party spend a lot of money to get the Senate.
The tasteless Wellstone "memorial service" also had Terry's fingerprints all over it. Instead of coasting to victory on the sympathy vote, Mondale barely lost to Coleman.
Tom Daschle and Dick Gephardt both refused to either support Bush in the War on Terror or oppose him. They just pointed out there were risks involved, and showed a lot of "concern." Refusing to take a stance on Iraq is what cost the Democrats this election.
Al Gore took a stance against the war on Saddam, but offered no constructive alternatives. He tried to turn the election into a referendum about him and what happened in Florida. If Florida were the big issue, Democrats would have won, their base would have been energized. But the Democratic base doesn't care about Florida anymore, that's clear from the Republican victory.
But what were the Democrats options? They had three real choices, before the election:
1 To take a stand against the war and Bush in general
2 To take a stand in favor of the war, and in favor of a left-wing social/economic agenda
3 To refuse to take a stand on the war, show a lot of "concern," but not be concerned enough to actually do anything.
They chose option 3 (straddling between options 1 and 2). Option 3 failed miserably. Democrats are now at a fork in the road, and must pick which way to go. Remaining where the party is will just ensure defeat again, and again, and again.
Democrats do best when the issues voters are focusing on are social issues, or Bush's mishandling of the economy. Republicans do best when national security is the issue. Voters trust Republicans more on this than the party of Bonior and McDermott.
The Democratic leadership failed to set the agenda for this election. People saw it in part as a referendum on Iraq. "Do I trust Bush to handle Saddam Hussein?" And the answer was resoundingly yes. The Democrats who succeeded in getting elected in competetive districts were mostly supporters of Bush when it came to the war.
This election was a referendum on the conflict with Iraq. And Bush won. That's hard for many on the left to accept, but it's also critically important. If the Democrats had recognized this, and gone with option 2 (in favor of the war), they could have run on the slogan "Strong on Defense, and Strong on Social Programs too" (or whatever), they wouldn't have had to leave Democratic voters who favored the war with the choice between social security and national security. If Democrats had run like this, they would have kept the Senate.
Jonas 'Martin' Frost III, a very liberal member of the House of Representatives wanted to do just that. He has a lot of experience operating in hostile territory, he's a Democrat from Texas, and he's been successful there (at least according to his press conference (look for "Rep. Martin Frost (D-TX) News Conference ")). He also spoke about supporting the war:
As to the question of the foreign policy and Iraq. The President successfully won, I believe, by standing for a strong America. There are people who feel differently within our party, but in the swing districts, in the marginal districts, in the closely contested districts where Democratic incumbents were reelected by narrow margins, almost every one of those incumbents voted with the President on the issue of Iraq. I do not think the Democratic party will rise or fall as a majority party in the House of Representatives on the issue of foreign policy. We have to make our case on domestic policy and let members vote their conscience on the issue of foreign policy [and] on war and peace. And if we try and make that the overriding issue, if we try and make defense foreign policy the overriding issue, we will lose, because the country is with the President on that issue.
If Democrats had ran the way Frost ran, they would have to support Bush's war, but they would have the mandate to run social issues, and would have more say about the war than they do now. If Democrats rally around Frost, they could win back the Senate in 2004. But they won't.
The idea behind road 1 (being openly anti-war, anti-Bush, and stridently left-wing) is that it will excite the party base, which stayed home this election because the party leadership was too moderate. And if the party base votes, according to road 1,
Nancy Pelosi wants to take the party down road 1. She's one of the most outspoken, far-left members of congress in the nation. She's a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, which is affiliated with the International Socialist Organization (the famous Socialist Internationale).
That might get hardcore democrats excited, but it really, really, really won't go over well in swing states or moderate/conservative areas. And conservative Democrats will find it harder to get elected when their Republican opponents link them to the "San Francisco Socialist" running the House. As Frost said, "I will tell you that, during the election... some republican candidates in swing districts did talk about the fact that... their democratic opponent would be aligned with the liberal leadership of the Democratic party."
Martin Frost has withdrawn his candidacy to become the new House Minority Leader, leaving it for Pelosi to take unchallenged (because she has the votes). This is a terrible, terrible mistake. This is suicide for the Democratic Party.
The idea that Democrats can wage ideological holy war against President Bush comes from their mistaken belief that the country is split 50/50. It's not, that's a myth. 50/50 only works if both parties are running towards the middle (as Frost wants the Democrats to do). But the nation is not split 50/50 between socialists and capitalists. Democrats will find the nation split more like 60/40. Republicans will slaughter them in the next elections if they don't go back to the middle.
And, to make matters worse for Democrats, if the country is split 60/40, Republicans can afford to ramp up their rhetoric a little, move a little further to the right, and still win 55/45. So by running to the left, the Democratic Party is only encouraging the Republicans (who are in power right now) to move further to the right. Not a good strategy.
Why is the Democratic Party--specifically, the members of the House of Representatives--taking such a stupid position? Why are they committing political suicide? I think the answer is George W. Bush. His enemies have gone insane with rage against him, a rage that is just not shared by the general public. Democrats will have to acknowlege this, and come back to reality, unless they want to suffer more and worse defeats.
Conservative and moderate Democrats aren't going to stand idly by while the Suicide Queen Pelosi destroys their party. The infighting that will come of this threatens the party itself, it's an existential battle for its soul. It's going to get very, very, very ugly.
I wrote the above before I saw Harold Ford was still running. You can watch his speech here (look for "New Conference on Democratic Leadership with Rep. Harold Ford (D-TN)"), I haven't yet. If you want the Democratic Party to choose sane leadership, you must support this guy.
Personally, I would rather watch the Democratic Party shoot itself in
foot head. I hope Ford loses, he probably will (they talk a good affirmative action game, but old white Democrats still have seniority, they win every time).
No matter how it turns out, it's going to be fun to watch. It's a real shame DU closed off its forums, but if I were a slimeball like David Lytel I wouldn't want people to see what Democrats really think right now. And if were running DU, I wouldn't want people to see the massive amount of banning that's probably going on right now.
P.S.: Fellow FReeper Jayef came up with the nickname "Suicide Queen."
That says it all. After 9/11, the "you are either with us, or with the terrorists" statement is still ringing in Americans ears.
If those who "feel differently" about standing for a strong America, make that case as a campaign tactic, the Republicans better get used to being in the majority.
Even cracker voters have common sense...
This is the city which, in the recent gubernatorial election, went 66% for Red Davis, about 20% for the Green candidate (a notorious straight-line communist of the old school) and the Repubo, Bill Simon only got 16%.
These morons are so drug-addled that they are completely out of touch with national political reality. They still think its 1968. If the Progressive Caucus puts Pelosi in the driver's seat, they might as well start brewing up the Kool-Aid.
Is women's empowerment a big issue for blacks? Is it a big issue for labor? No.
It looks like the Democratic Party is going for the college student vote <snicker>. It looks like they're pandering to their academic and ideological center. That is really pathetic, are they that desperate?
(the whole thing about being civil towards Democrats only applies to the vanity post, not my subsequent comments)
. The next minority leader of the Democratic Party claims to "understand America" but she supports every far left philosophy known...
for more on what is sure to be a "Nasty Nancy" for conservatives...
They are so blind with rage they cannot see the right way out of the mess they have made for themselves. Because they can NEVER admit they were ..wr..wr..wrong... they will continue the destruction.
I think Bush makes them crazy. They think he's so stupid, but he keeps outfoxing them. They think they're entitled to the Senate, and then it's swept out from under their feet. Fighting George Bush, a guy they can't take seriously, and then losing--that drives them up the wall. They are surrounded with toadies who hate Bush as much as they do, they live in their own little universe. They just don't get it.
Obviously, that doesn't apply to all of them. There are a huge number of conservative Dems and moderate (and even a few liberal) Dems who "get it," like Frost and Ford.
damn gremlins. Hastert
The dems nominated him, the first black to ever be nominated for governor in NY, and then abandoned him to twist in the wind. If they had given him half the money they wasted in Florida, he might have done very much better. So, while the dems talk a good game, they are not about to select a black for a position of leadership no metter how well he could do or what Harry Belafonte might say (if he would ever dare to say anything that might bother massah).
The Left, "like the poor" (because the left is the most responsible for poverty) will always be with us.