Tuesday, November 18, 2008


So I'm over at Chris Cillizza's Washington Post blog, and I'm reading the post that was just quoted in Firedoglake -- you know, the one that's sending every lefty's blood pressure into the danger zone -- but I find myself distracted not by the paragraph quoted at FDL, but by what Cillizza says two paragraphs later (emphasis mine):

...Asked what it would mean if Lieberman kept his chairmanship, one Senate Democratic aide said bluntly: "The left has been foiled again. They can rant and rage but they still do not put the fear into folks to actually change their votes. Their influence would be in question."

That's one way to look at it. The other is that the left would be up in arms and far less willing to go along and get along with President-elect Barack Obama's agenda -- particularly if it doesn't contain the appropriate progressive tilt.

These are the problems of power, the same problems that Republican experienced following the 2000 election. The GOP's inability to make peace between its warring ideological factions led to its decline in 2006 and fall in 2008. Can Democrats avoid the same fate?

Is that really why insider journos think the GOP had trouble at the polls in the last two elections? Because the GOP and the right weren't in lockstep enough?

Was I smoking crack for the last eight years? Did I imagine the near-total absence of GOP/right-wing dissent on the war, torture, surveillance, the tax cuts, deregulation, social programs, and dozens of other issues? Yeah, there was friction on immigration, and briefly on Harriet Miers and Dubai Ports World, but that was pretty much the extent of it. (And even then there was a restored sense of unanimity as soon as the purists blocked each Bushie deviation from Correct Thinking.)

The unanimity was remarkable until, of course, the second electoral thumpin', in 2008, when suddenly Republicans and rightists started fighting among themselves. (After the first thumpin' they merely blamed themselves, near-unanimously, for not living up to their near-unanimously shared principles of endless war and utter contempt for have-nots. Some fighting, to be sure, started before the '08 election, when it appeared that all the top-tier party candidates for president were occasional deviants from the True Path, but ranks closed as soon as it was universally acknowledged that the alternative to the party's choice was rule by Satan, and ranks remained closed until a loss became inevitable.)

Is it really impossible for people like Cillizza to acknowledge that Republicans lost in 2006 and 2008 because voters hated what they were doing?

No comments: