Wednesday, November 08, 2006

And About Those New Democratic Senators


I've seen a lot of scorn heaped upon Rahm Emanuel for his suggestion that the House keep its left wing in check during the next two years, and govern as centrist. (I'm lazy today - I haven't taken the time to look at his actual words, but that's how they seem to be presented). But I happen to think that he's right.

Those who see the new additions to the Democratic ranks, particularly in the Senate, as a source of possible discord and turmoil in the party? I hope that turns out to be wishful thinking. Because I see a real opportunity here for the Democratic Party to emulate Tony Blair's reshaping of the British Labor Party - ideally without also making the same mistakes as Blair - and shaking off some of the cobwebs that have a lot of voters still thinking of the Dems as a party of big, intrusive government, high taxes, welfare, and of having an anti-military attitude and being "weak on defense". I would like to see some of the paleoconservative principles which have been so clearly rejected by the Bush Administration brought into the Democratic Party, such that it becomes seen as the party of smaller government, responsible spending, personal responsibility (of a meaningful sort - a more libertarian approach to most Americans and, for those who need assistance, what Bush described as a "hand up, not a handout" before he decided he no longer needed to preface the word "conservative" with "compassionate"), and jobs.

This, of course, assumes the introduction of genuineness into the system - that the new majority party has sufficient members who are truly interested in bettering America as opposed to amassing wealth and power. On that front, though, it's hard to imagine that the Dems could be worse than the Republicans. At least, not for a few years. (Yes, I'm feeling cynical.)

6 comments:

  1. "I would like to see some of the paleoconservative principles which have been so clearly rejected by the Bush Administration brought into the Democratic Party . . . "

    So would I, I would also like to be made King of America. I'm thinking they are about equally likely . . .

    CWD

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  2. You're right. For example, it woud be beyond belief that a Democratic President might balance the budget or, if you want to be even more ludicrous, produce a budget surplus. Fiscal responsibility? C'mon.

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  3. . . . I didn't know he was running in 08 . . . I'm also not sure I'd hold him up as a representative of "personal responsibility . . . oh wait, that's why you qualified it as "of a meaningful sort". In many ways this ties in with your comments on your other thread. If the party on the right moves to the right, and the party on the left moves to the right . . . absent a real fundamental change in the ideology of the American public, the Democrats should be winning elections for as long as the trend continues . . . of course all of that presupposes that the Dems can instill some sort of party discipline and keep their left wing in check . . . it should get interesting. The new chairman of the judiciary committee has run for years on the promise that he will get reparations for slavery passed. I'm thinking that might undercut the whole "move to the center" thing. We also have a potential committee chairman who is an impeached Federal judge (albeit 20 years ago). Politics should make for decent entertainment, if nothing else, for a while.

    CWD

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  4. Yet you presuppose that the Republicans will demonstrate party discipline - a party that has lost most of its more moderate members in the recent election, and which is being pulled apart by "toldyouso"-type accusations from each of its various wings. I'm not going to hold my breath.

    Now in terms of "personal responsibility"... we're now reducing that to the simple notion of marital fidelity? I doubt that the numbers are much different for either party. The Dems, if more likely to be caught in anything... perhaps relations with the opposite sex? ;-)

    We know how far promises of slavery reparations are going to get. The idea wouldn't even get out of committee, no matter who is the chair.

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  5. "Yet you presuppose that the Republicans will . . . "

    No, I don't; I just don't think the Democrats will either. Don't misunderstand, I'd like somebody to do somethign right for this country. I just don't think it's going to happen.

    "The idea wouldn't even get out of committee . . ." suits me, but I don't think it will fly all that well with one of the little tents inside the big tent . . . especially since there is talk of denying one of its members a chairmanship because of past indiscretions already . . .

    CWD

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  6. Possibly more than one. Alcee Hastings over his judicial impeachment, and John Murtha over Abscam (he declined to accept a bribe, but suggested that the undercover agents consider investing in his home town).

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