May 5, 2007


Democratic candidates' moves may stall deal on Iraq: Presidential contenders may be hindering bid to reach a deal on Iraq funding (JEFF ZELENY and CARL HULSE, 5/05/07, New York Times)

The aggressive attempts by Democratic presidential hopefuls to shape the war debate are threatening to complicate congressional efforts to reach a deal on the Iraq spending bill, as the candidates' calls for accelerating an end to the conflict compete with efforts by legislative leaders to extend funding for the war.

There was never a possibility of the Democrat-majority Congress doing anything meaningful for the Left anyway, but the absurdly early start to the presidential campaign certainly complicated the hopeless task.

Democrats' Momentum Is Stalling: Amid Iraq Debate, Priorities On Domestic Agenda Languish (Jonathan Weisman and Lyndsey Layton, 5/05/07, Washington Post)

In the heady opening weeks of the 110th Congress, the Democrats' domestic agenda appeared to be flying through the Capitol: Homeland security upgrades, a higher minimum wage and student loan interest rate cuts all passed with overwhelming bipartisan support.

But now that initial progress has foundered as Washington policymakers have been consumed with the debate over the Iraq war. Not a single priority on the Democrats' agenda has been enacted, and some in the party are growing nervous that the "do nothing" tag they slapped on Republicans last year could come back to haunt them.

Trade Tensions Dividing Dems (Robert Novak, 5/05/07, Real Clear Politics)
The issue of international trade has produced a tense internal Democratic confrontation between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Charles Rangel, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Rangel has succeeded in negotiating a compromise trade bill with Republicans on his committee (led by Rep. Jim McCrery) and the Bush administration. But Pelosi is attuned to the wishes of Democratic Caucus members, who are being pushed by organized labor to bar imports produced by lower-wage labor. Rangel's moderate position faces a challenge within the Ways and Means Committee from Rep. Sander Levin, chairman of the Trade subcommittee. Levin's Detroit-area district contains United Auto Workers members and pensioners who want trade protection.

Pursuing a partisan and unilateral strategy, which was necessary lest they alienate their psychotic base, cost them even the chance to pass measures where they could have worked with W and the Ownership Society sorts in the GOP.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 5, 2007 6:25 AM

Some where else in the b'sphere (Cap'ns Quarters?) it has been noted that the ultimate benefit to the Dems is to end (lose) the war, watch catastrophe unfold in '08, and blame it all on Bush.

Their ultimate nightmare (certainly for the candidates if not Congress) is for us to be where we are now in November '08, they win the WHiite House, and then are themselves entirely responsible to either behave sanely (fight the war), or cave to the freaks and then THEY will be held responsible for the aftermath.

It is shrewd analysis, and everything Dem candidates do should be looked upon with that in mind.

Posted by: Andrew X at May 5, 2007 10:53 AM