Monday, April 16, 2007

Are The Democrats Finally Paying Attention?

Krugman: We're Doing the Dems a Favor

By mcjoan  at Daily Kos     Sun Apr 15, 2007

on 2008 elections

Looks like Krugman's been reading the blogs again. As usual, it's beyond the firewall, but here are some choice excerpts.

Normally, politicians face a difficult tradeoff between taking positions that satisfy their party’s base and appealing to the broader public.... But a funny thing has happened on the Democratic side: the party’s base seems to be more in touch with the mood of the country than many of the party’s leaders. And the result is peculiar: on key issues, reluctant Democratic politicians are being dragged by their base into taking highly popular positions.

Iraq is the most dramatic example.... It took an angry base to push the Democrats into taking a tough line in the midterm election. And it took further prodding from that base — which was infuriated when Barack Obama seemed to say that he would support a funding bill without a timeline — to push them into confronting Mr. Bush over war funding. (Mr. Obama says that he didn’t mean to suggest that the president be given "carte blanche.")
Health care is another example of the base being more in touch with what the country wants than the politicians. Except for John Edwards, who has explicitly called for a universal health insurance system financed with a rollback of high-income tax cuts, most leading Democratic politicians, still intimidated by the failure of the Clinton health care plan, have been cautious and cagey about presenting plans to cover the uninsured.

But the Democratic presidential candidates — Mr. Obama in particular — have been facing a lot of pressure from the base to get specific about what they’re proposing. And the base is doing them a favor.... There’s no conflict between catering to the Democratic base and staking out positions that can win in the 2008 election, because the things the base wants — an end to the Iraq war, a guarantee of health insurance for all — are also things that the country as a whole supports. The only risk the party now faces is excessive caution on the part of its politicians. Or, to coin a phrase, the only thing Democrats have to fear is fear itself.

It's hard to know what to say to that other than, "hear, hear." The Democratic base has become the majority opinion when it comes to Iraq, health care, ethics in government. The polls have been showing it for months. The netroots has been shouting it for months years. And now, maybe, our Dems are getting it.

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   It would also be nice if our Dems would get with the program and begin looking at impeaching Gonzales if he doesn't resign from his position, and then to start working their way up the ladder towards the "Coward in Chief " in the White House.



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