June 12, 2010

THE PROBLEM FOR DEMOCRATS IN A 60-40 NATION...:

The Civil War Brewing Among Democrats: Republicans aren’t the only ones tearing their contemporaries apart. As liberal activists slam President Obama and Nancy Pelosi for being too centrist—and moderate Democrats struggle in polls—a movement is under way to expose and dethrone “Democrats in Name Only.” (John Avlon, 6/12/10, Daily Beast)

We’re all familiar with the factional fights among Republicans, the party purges, and rabid RINO (a.k.a. Republican in Name Only) hunting. What’s gotten far less attention is the still emerging ideological blood-sport of DINO hunting—but it’s a fever that’s catching among the activist class.

After all, Lincoln wasn’t the only Dem in a tough fight with the left this week. Hawkish California Congresswoman Jane Harman was under fire from progressive candidate Mary Winograd in her primary, arguing along the same lines that dispatched Joe Lieberman in 2006. Even Nancy Pelosi found herself heckled by “progressive” protesters at America’s Future Now!, for being insufficiently liberal when it came to health care—a concept that would make many a conservative’s head spin.

The attacks serve as a reminder of the through-the-looking glass political era we’re living in, in which conservatives are convinced that President Obama is a socialist, while liberals call him a corporate sellout. The right trades anecdotes about Obama’s intentional undermining of the War on Terror, while the left accuses him of callously continuing the Bush administration’s War on Terror policies. These narratives are logically incompatible, and yet they’re simultaneously dominating the national debate. All the while, incumbent Democrats decline in the polls.


...is that Republican primary fights are between two candidates who can win--one more ideologically pure than the other who has crossover appeal so would win more easily--while Democratic primary fights are between a candidate who may be barely acceptable to the electorate and one who's unacceptable. Thus, Arlen Spector would have been easily re-elected as a Republican, but Pat Toomey will win instead, though in a more difficult race than necessary for the party. Blanche Lincoln, on the other hand, will lose, though more narrowly than a creature of the unions would have.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 12, 2010 8:14 AM
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