May 11, 2006

Dem hawks urge militaristic policy, go easy on Bush administration

In the Washington Post:
Democratic hawks said yesterday that their party can win a war of ideas with the Republicans over national security, but only if Democrats move beyond simply criticizing President Bush's policies and convince voters they support strategies to defeat Islamic jihadists.
First of all, why are these bozos feeding into, amplifying, and echoing the false Republican talking point that Dems have no plan, no ideas, and can only offer criticism? With friends like these, who needs enemies?
These centrist Democrats argued that voters are more receptive to the Democrats because of Bush's mistakes in Iraq. [No kidding?] But they warned against calls to launch investigations into past administration decisions if Democrats gain control of the House or Senate in the November elections.
WHY?? Who's side are they on? They think that we need to let these crooks and thieves walk away without a peep of protest or attempt to hold them accountable? Who are they afraid of offending? The Bushies?
Instead, they said, Democrats should concentrate on charting alternative policies for fighting terrorism and succeeding in Iraq.
Oh I see. Kind of the "let bygones be bygones" school of thought. No use crying over spilt blood, or squandered and pilfered billions I guess.
"We still have a hurdle to cross with the American people in convincing them we can be both tough and smart when it comes to securing America," said Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.). Voters may have more confidence in Democrats on the economy or education, he said, but, "they're not going to trust us on those things if they don't first us trust us with their lives."
And they're going to trust us with their lives .... if we don't investigate any wrong-doing by Republicans? Help me out here.
Bayh and others spoke at the launch of a collection of essays on national security policy published by the Progressive Policy Institute, the think tank associated with the Democratic Leadership Council. The sponsors challenged Democrats to resist policies advocated by what they called the "non-interventionist left" wing of their party while vigorously challenging what they call the "neo-imperial right" viewpoint of many in the Bush administration.
Advocating the "neither here nor there" wing of the party, I guess. The mushy middle. The very sort of Dem that got creamed at the poles by right wingers who were wrong, but unequivacal in their views, even thought they were quite radical. These folks want more of the mushy, say-anything, flip-floppy Dem that the voters thoroughly rejected.
Yesterday's unveiling underscored again the division within the Democratic Party between elected officials such as Bayh, Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), who have resisted calls for setting timetables for withdrawal of U.S. forces in Iraq, and those such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.), Sen. Russell Feingold (Wis.) and Rep. John P. Murtha (Pa.), who have embraced such timetables.

Bayh said Republicans have been "better at national security politics than at national security."
Very true.
Former Virginia governor Mark R. Warner (D), noting that he was elected just two months after the attacks, said he and other Democrats are keenly aware of the new threats. "I don't need to be lectured by Karl Rove and the record of this administration about what is needed to keep America safe," Warner said.

Despite these indignant words, Democratic centrists remain sharply at odds with most voices on the party's left, whose opposition to the Iraq war has fueled calls for party leaders to offer more vigorous resistance to the president.

Pelosi has said Democrats will investigate how the United States went to war in Iraq if they gain control of the House, but pollster Jeremy Rosner said yesterday that this represents a backward-looking approach that will make it more difficult for Democrats to define their security agenda.

"Many of us are disturbed by the calls for investigations or even impeachment as the defining vision for our party for what we would do if we get back into office," he said.
Um... I think Mr. Rosner may be playing for the other side. NO ONE, to my knowledge, has been calling for "investigations or even impeachment" to be the "defining vision for our party for what we would do if we get back into office".

That sounds like something from a Republican pundit's mouth, not a Dem. Why is he perpetuating right wing spin? No one says that investigating criminal conduct should be the "defining vision" for the Dem party! Get real.

But calling for taking investigations off the table is simply bizarre. It's irresponsible, abdictating their vital oversight role, as well as failing in their duty to serve as a check and balance on the executive branch. And sheilding the Bushies from investigation will NOT be any magic bullet that helps propel Dems into a majority.

The incompetent in the White House is sitting at around 30% approval and going down faster than Ann Coulter at a Federalist Society weekend retreat, and these DLC guys say hands off? Are they afraid of offending the dwindling pockets of right wing zealots who would follow Bush off a cliff?

Hell, all of the Dem base and two thirds of Republicans would LOVE to see some of these crooks, incompetents, and hare-brained ideologues do a perp walk. Are these DLC types nuts? More gung-ho militarism and let the crooks walk? Who are they working for?

It's as if they're saying that we can't turn this ship around too quickly, or people might get ruffled. We need to "stay the course" on the disasterous track Bush and the Republicans have set us on and then maybe think about turning just a little sometime in the future. The American people can't take that much change.

When things have been this botched, when there's been this amount of damage done to our very system of government and global stability, I'd say that not only can the American people take it, it's irresponsible to NOT call for a substantial change in direction.

The Bushies and the right have dug us into an enormously deep hole and they're digging it deeper as fast as they can. It's time to stop the digging, not sort of slow down.


At 5/11/2006 7:06 AM, Blogger diehard said...

I used to think that our Senators and Congressmen were really smart people. Or at least smarter than I.
That is until the invasion of Iraq and the pretend 'War on Terr'.
How gullible can you be?
I mean, the American people have been shanghied into being in a constant state of war and accepting it.
The press has gone along.
How come no one cares where Osama Bin Laden is anymore? The supposed MASTERIND of 9/11!!!
Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury I submit to you there is no evidence to support proof that Osama Bin Laden had anything to do with 9/11.
If all these badguys[as FOX News like to call them] are out to get us. Wouldn't they have done something else by now?
Because we sure the hell are not controlling our borders.
These clowns couldn't control a Borders book store!
Can't stop the cheap uneducated labor from coming here to work at Tyson.

At 5/11/2006 10:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, you sure haven't done your homework on Evan Bayh! There is nothing "mushy" about Bayh. He's a strong leader, advocates strength in his positions, advocates a society with opportunity for all, advocates smart and sensible foreign policy, advocates revising the disastrous trade policies that are hurting US labor, advocates taking it to the hypocritical Republicans on "family values" and "values" in general.

Before you spout off about Evan Bayh, please do some additional homework.

At 5/11/2006 1:50 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

"strong" "advocates strength" "opportunity for all" "smart and sensible" "revising" and scolding Republicans on "family values"

Those are all really electrifying, but nearly meaningless platitudes.

Where is Bayh on universal health care? Where is he on guns, gays, and abortion? Where is he on separation of church and state? Is he going to continue to allow the fundy wing to have influence in government far beyond their number?

Does he have a plan for Iraq? Or is he just going to pay lip service to some phantom "war on terror" and continue to squander billions and thousands of lives in this ill-fated effort?

Is he going to jump on the "keep 'em scared stupid" bandwagon started by the Republicans? Or is he going to be honest with America?

Yeah, I need to educate myself on his positions on these things. But I feel safe in assuming that if I tried to investigate his positions, all I'd find is yet more bland, nearly meaningless and endlessly flexible platitudes which in the end, don't commit him to anything at all.

In short, trying to find out where he stands on any issue will likely be next to impossible.

But from the pronouncements in this article, and his association with the PPI and DLC, it's not too hard to gather the general direction he'd go. And that's not very far from the course we're on.

No thanks.

I realize that no candidate will be sucessful if he is too far left, but I absolutely beleive that we do NOT need more candidates who think the thing to do is to sidestep as far to the right as possible and still maintain at least the appearance of difference between themselves and Republicans.

People want a Democrat who is a Democrat and who stand far apart from the Bushies, the neocons, and the fundies. America needs someone to lead them back to where it was, which is far from where we find ourselves now. They need someone who isn't running scared from the Republican successes of the past and falling for the illusion that most Americans are really conservative.

That's over with. The country has wised up. They tried riding that horse and it's been nothing but failure and incompetence.

They're ready for a change, not some wooden politician saying they'd just tweak things around the edges a little and running scared from those they think are so conservative. Most of those people could be easily persueded to back liberal ideals if someone only had the guts to stand up and state them.

But Bayh and the DLC are running from that and basing their entire strategy on appeasing these conservatives who aren't strong conservatives at all, just people who were lulled and conned into voting R.

Bush's approval rating is nearly in the 20s. The Dems poll 50% or the high 40% and soundly beat Republicans in nearly every catagory, including who they trust on war, who they trust on energy, who they trust in foreign affairs, and literally across the board come out ahead of REpublicans.

And these guys are afraid of moving too far from the right of center views that worked 25 years ago?? Give me a break.

At 5/11/2006 4:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Evan Bayh for President! You'll see, Dope, you'll see. He is just the guy to take it to the Republicans, because he's had to in Indiana. He's tough on unfair trade practides, tough on Bush, tough on deficits, tough on phony hypocritical "family values" Republicans, tough on a Republican party that talks tough but has made us weaker.

Bayh also believes, as do I, that Democrats need to do a lot more than just be against Bush. We have to be proactive about how we're going to make America better.
Exhibit A. Pelosi and co. saying we need to take control of the House to begin impeachment proceedings. Americans won't go for that. That sounds too much like the right-wing fanatics who were made to look like a lynch mob going after Clinton. We dare not make that same mistake. We have to stand for something more than being against Bush. We get that part, we're all against Bush-Cheney. To win over the nation, we have to prove also that we're ready to govern with progressive principles and policies.

Go Bayh.

At 5/11/2006 11:25 PM, Blogger Porter McNeil said...

Evan Bayh and Mark Warner, for instance, represent two impressive candidates for 2008. There are others -- Richardson, Clinton, Vilsack, etc. Bayh won with 62% of the vote in Indiana -- Indiana -- in 2004. Anyone who can win a "red" state with such a large plurality should merit a serious look. He's progressive on the key issues -- education, environment, balancing the budget, health care, national security -- and is a proven winner.

If Democrats want to win back the White House, the last thing they need are special interest groups imposing litmus tests on their positions. I think Democrats need to consider the words of then Governor Bill Clinton (May 6, 1991): "Our burden is to give people a new choice -- rooted in old values, a new choice that is simple, that offers opportunity, demands responsibility, gives citizens more say, provides them more responsive government -- all because we recognize that we are a community, we are all in this together, we are going up or down together."

At 5/12/2006 9:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who the ---- is Evan Bayh ?

At 5/12/2006 10:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Evan Bayh, from Indiana, is in his second term in the U.S. Senate. Before being elected to the U.S. Senate, he served two terms as Governor of Indiana, elected at 33 as the youngest governor ever elected in Indiana. I think he's about 50 now. He's been hitting some key states, laying out a progressive Democratic agenda and taking the Bush-Cheney team to task on Iraq, the deficit, health care, etc.

He already has a presidential PAC set up ...

At 5/12/2006 11:44 AM, Blogger diehard said...

So by your logic everyone has to be young to get elected to office?

At 5/12/2006 1:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, no, no, Ms. Diehard. But that's a good question, given all the focus on young professionals and young Democrats who are given plumb jobs but haven't paid their dues yet. On that issue, we agree.

But I've got my eye on Bayh. Proven winner in a "red state", midwesterner, great family tradition of public service (son of Birch Bayh), etc.

Could be a good P or VP candidate, but know it's far too early to make these decisions. How's your golf game?

At 5/12/2006 4:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of for craps sake diehard - must you take everything so dang literally?

At 5/12/2006 4:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where you been hiding Porter? Nice to see you back.

At 5/12/2006 10:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our party needs to go out and find more Evan Bayhs to run for office! We need to take his success story in red-state Indiana and run him all over the country.
That's the only way Democrats will win back the White House. We can't win just throwing Oregon, Washington and California together with a few midwestern states, no southern states and a block northeasterns states. We can't win losing all of rural America.
We can't win losing 90% of the fastest growing suburbs of America.

At 5/13/2006 12:23 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Just what we need. Dems running on a platform of taking one baby step away from the radical right.

The DLC types are the same strategists who've been so successful for Dems since Clinton. It's their only success and they're still trying to live on it, but the fact of the matter is that their moderate right views are pretty damn unpopular.

Bush and the Republican right are in meltdown. They're nearly flat on their back, and anyone who advocates letting them get up back up without being held accountible is not good for this country or for Dems.

Bottom line. DLC = too conservative establishment politics which provides proof to those who feel that there's not much difference between Democrats and Republicans.

At 5/13/2006 8:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The DOPE illustrates his lack of illumination on the DLC and other centrist Democrats. They're values are right at the heart of our party and what folks like Kennedy and Clinton and Roosevelt have stood for. Economic justice, fair tax policy, smarter investments to protect our environment and improve education,
fiscal responsibility, taking it to the Republicans. No where in the DLC platform does it say, "Let's run Democrats who will lose and who will let Bush and Cheney off the hook." They gave us Bill Clinton, the first two-term Dem since Roosevelt. And don't think because Bush's numbers are weak that all we need to do is throw out candidates who say, "impeach Bush!" and we'll win.
Not gonna work that way. The conservative base vote is powerful, regardless, and we'll need candidates who outline a persuasive progressive agenda that proves Democrats are ready and responsible to govern. That's why folks like Warner, Bayh, maybe Clinton, maybe Kerry, maybe Richardson, maybe Vilsack all need to run very smart campaigns that don't just throw verbal bombs at Bush. I'm interested in winning - not just in tearing the other side down.

At 5/13/2006 8:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a huge differnce between the Democratic Leadership Council and the Republicans. Read the DLC policy briefs, which are released every week, and which outline start challenges to the status quo.

At 5/13/2006 10:29 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I get both the DLC and the Progressive Policy Insititute's newsletters on a regular basis.

At 5/14/2006 10:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hear Evan Bayh is having a fundraiser in Chicago on Tuesday, May 30, at the home of former State Sen. Bill Marovitz. 312-543-4904 for more information.

At 5/15/2006 4:48 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

You "hear"? Well, if you're not certain, it's unreliable info and I wouldn't advise anyone to go. (ha)
Hope you confirm it if you're planning on attending.

At 5/16/2006 11:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Call Ted Brunsvold in Chicago for info on the Bayh event. He's one of the hosts. It's $1000 per ticket.


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