"There is no leadership in the Democratic Party"
A must-read from Chris Lehmann in the New York Observer in an article about Sen. Russ Feingold and his censure resolution:
“There is no leadership in the Democratic Party,” said Terry Michael by phone on March 20. He’s a former Democratic National Committee press secretary who now heads the Washington Center for Politics and Journalism. “If only the Democratic Party leaders were alive, they could accept a debate on this. But instead, their strategy is focused on how best to muddle through.”
This goes double, in Mr. Michael’s view, for the party’s funereal flight from debate on the war in Iraq. Indeed, he said, the cower-duck-and-run maneuvers that party eminences conducted in the wake of Mr. Feingold’s announcement was almost identical to the drear chorus of prim disapproval when Pennsylvania Congressman John P. Murtha disavowed his early support of the Iraq war and called, last November, for rapid draw-downs of the U.S. troop presence.
Heavyweight aspirants to the ’08 Presidential nomination—people like Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator Joseph Biden of Delaware—clucked their disapproval and stressed how Mr. Murtha only spoke for himself. For her part, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi mewled that she didn’t cotton to Mr. Murtha’s resolution but respected him as a veteran and part of the Democratic Party’s grand mosaic of opinion.
Then, when Republican attacks on Mr. Murtha went haywire and addled freshman Congresswoman Jean Schmidt (R.-Ohio) called the decorated Vietnam vet a coward on the House floor, Ms. Pelosi managed to stir herself to an endorsement—when all was assuredly safe and the Murtha resolution was good and doomed anyway.
“A voice like a Jack Murtha or a Russ Feingold literally cannot be heard,” Mr. Michael said, “when you have a so-called opposition party colluding with the party in power.
“The fear factor inside the Democratic Party is appalling,” he added. “You’ve got these small-minded Democratic-consultant-driven political leaders, and then you’ve got real neocons who refuse to listen to the base of the party …. You have these voices of unbridled ambition—Hillary Clinton first among them—who are asking the base to nominate them, when they’re not even listening to the base when it comes to the most important issue in American politics today.” Look at the 2004 convention in Boston, Mr. Michael said: “Ninety percent of the people in that nominating hall wanted to end this war, and they wound up voting in a ticket where both candidates voted for it—and said they still supported it.”
In a related development, evolutionary scientists researching today’s Democrats are confused, as there is no evidence in the fossil record of a vertebrate species ever de-evolving into an invertebrate.