January 31, 2006


Tasting Victory, Liberals Instead Have a Food Fight (Dana Milbank, January 31, 2006, Washington Post)

Right on cue, liberal activists including Cindy Sheehan and Ramsey Clark gathered yesterday at the Busboys & Poets restaurant and bookshop at 14th and V streets NW for what they billed as a forum on "The Impeachment of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney." But the participants, while charging the administration with "crimes against humanity," a "war of aggression" and even "the supreme international crime," inevitably turned their wrath on congressional Democrats, whom they regarded as a bunch of wimps.

"Does the Democratic Party want to continue to exist or does it want to ignore what 85 percent of its supporters want?" demanded David Swanson, a labor union official who runs "Impeach PAC" and other efforts to remove Bush from office. Singling out Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid (Nev.) for derision, Swanson said that Democrats who do the right thing "are exceptions."

Sheehan, just back from Caracas, where she praised Venezuela's anti-American president, Hugo Chavez, and called Bush a "terrorist," said she expects Democrats will "seriously screw up" the midterm elections in November. Besides, "we can't wait" for the election, said Sheehan, who is mulling a primary challenge to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).

"Cindy for the Senate!" called out moderator Kevin Zeese, a Ralph Nader acolyte. "It's important for us to stop thinking as Democrats and Republicans and break out of this two-party straitjacket," argued Zeese, a third-party candidate for Senate in Maryland.

After the participants made their urgent calls for impeachment proceedings, John Bruhns, identifying himself as an antiwar Iraq veteran, rose for a clarification. If Democrats don't first "gain control of one of the houses" of Congress, he wondered, "how else can we impeach this monster?"

Swanson had a ready brushoff for Democrats who won't pursue impeachment because they're in the minority: "Just go home if you're going to talk that way." Offering the lessons of 1994, he said: "The way the Republicans got the majority was not by being scared. . . . It was by going out and speaking on behalf of their base and letting themselves be called radicals."

Bruhns, wearing a crew cut and business suit, disagreed. Somebody in the audience called for him to "shut up."

"They didn't answer my question," Bruhns protested after the exchange ended. "How do you get impeachment if you don't win elections? I'm being practical."

If he were around the Reverend Jim Jones would have a lock on the refreshment concession at these rave ups.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 31, 2006 8:21 AM

Speaking of straitjackets......

Posted by: jdkelly at January 31, 2006 8:36 AM

I couldn't sleep so I watched some of this on CSPAN 2. It is too bad we closed down all the mental institutions, these guys could use a rest.

Posted by: Bob at January 31, 2006 9:16 AM

Dana Milbank was actually none-too-kind last year to Cindy Sheehan during her summer stay in Crawford, apparently because he had become annoyed by her earlier when she was hanging around the Washington Post office pestering the paper to do a story on her anger towards Bush after the death of her son. Milbank is no friend of the administration's, but in that case, and in today's story, his disdain at the far left for trying to manipulate the Post into carrying their water outweighs his dislike for the guy he has to cover at the White House.

Posted by: John at January 31, 2006 9:42 AM

> 'she expects Democrats will "seriously screw up" the midterm elections in November'

Self-fulfilling prophecy.

Posted by: Bob Hawkins at January 31, 2006 9:51 AM

Of course, the tasting victory thing is delusional. I note that Rasmussen has the President at 50% approval.

Posted by: David Cohen at January 31, 2006 11:06 AM

When you've lost Dana Milbank . . .

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at January 31, 2006 11:21 AM

...it's time for kool-aid

Posted by: toe at January 31, 2006 2:05 PM

I don't think they could even a agree on the flavor.

Posted by: George at January 31, 2006 4:56 PM

Confusion to the Enemy

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at January 31, 2006 11:19 PM