The Impenetrable Density of DC Elites
We have an unconfirmed citizen report from inside the fatuous bubble that is Sten Hoyer (Bush Dog Pack Leader – MD):
I attended a fundraising luncheon on Sept. 13, hosted by Representative Keith Ellison featuring Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. Hoyer talked about the importance of fundraising to build a larger Democratic majority in 2008. I managed to squeeze my way in between the dozen or so lobbyists and ask “(D)o the Democrats plan to continue introducing appropriations bills to fund the war and if so, how do you expect to build a larger majority given the clear sentiment the public expressed against the war in the 2006 election?”
He replied that the Dems DO intend to continue introducing appropriations bills because “we aren’t going to strand the troops in the field,” then complained about not having the votes in the Senate, and other such blather. (It’s always someone else’s problem, isn’t it?) He went on to note – in an extremely condescending tone – that “we did pass a Defense budget that didn’t contain war funding and the President vetoed that – I don’t know if you were aware of that.” [snip]
Hoyer never really did answer how he planned to expand Democratic numbers while funding the war, but did comment that “I know the base is mad at us – and I’m mad at the base.” When he tossed that off, I inquired “Because…..?” He basically said the base has unrealistic expectations in terms of ending the war, and the Dems can’t de-fund it because doing so would anger the moderates they need to win more seats in ’08. (I must be delusional in thinking that the 70% of the public opposed to the war includes some independents – that’s obviously not the thinking in Hoyer-land).
As he was on his way out the door he stopped again & rattled off something about how poor Nancy Pelosi has “Cindy Sheehan and Code Pink camped out in her driveway,” and Cindy Sheehan is actually challenging ‘Nancy’ in a primary. (This apparently offends his beltway sensibilities). The obvious implication was that I must be some sort of leftwing loon to be pestering him about the war.
Don’t you love those right wing talking points, and that bit at the end, almost as an afterthought, where he tried to come off as if he’s supportive of Pelosi, when instead he and his fellow Bush lawn jockey Rahm Emanuel have been riddling her back with stiletto marks for months? Psst, Steny: Sheehan is not running a primary: she’s running as an independent. Nice of you to care!
And oooh, those precious Bush Dog “moderates” of his, whose moderation expresses itself in the extreme fringe belief that Bush must be feared and the occupation in Iraq left unmolested. This is the same mindset that told us all week that MoveOn’s ad was Very Bad for Democrats, tut tut, clutch pearls, swoon to the sofa, grab smelling salts, etc.
So much lovely DC convention wisdom, always so correct. Except, well, oops: the data is now rolling in on that epic MoveOn fiasco:
A new CBS poll, comparing the views of Americans Before Petraeus (B.P.) and After Petraeus (A.P.), demonstrates that all of that was completely wrong:
Most Americans continue to want troops to start coming home from Iraq, and most say the plan President Bush announced last week for troop reductions doesn’t go far enough, according to a CBS News poll released Monday. . . .
Sixty-eight percent of Americans say that U.S. troop levels in Iraq should either be reduced or that all troops should be removed – similar numbers to those before Mr. Bush’s speech.
In fact, it is even worse than that, since the percentage of Americans who believe we should either maintain or increase our current troops levels in Iraq was higher B.P. (30%) than it is A.P. (27%). Conversely, the percentage of Americans who want a troop reduction or complete withdrawal increased after the Petraeus Week (from 65% to 68%).
More revealingly still, only a small minority of Americans — the depressingly familiar Bush dead-enders — actually believe Gen. Petraeus’ claims that “the surge has made things in Iraq better.” A substantial majority of Americans disbelieves the assertions of The General Who Must Not be Challenged. . .
Rudy Giuliani, Sean Hannity and much of the chattering class insisted all week that it was “despicable” for Senators such as Hillary Clinton to suggest that The General’s claims of Progress were not believable. Yet most Americans are similarly “despicable,” as they appear to share that sentiment. A despicable 62% do not believe Gen. Petraeus’ sunny claims about Progress.
The brilliance of the MoveOn ad is that it said what everyone outside of DC was thinking but not always saying out loud, busting through another taboo people like Hoyer dare not think (i. e., the truth), while all the DC Elites fretted and froofed like finicky old harridans in a Georgetown knitting club. The country gets it, but our governing elites and their lackey consultants emphatically do not.
And as a bonus, the whole GOP rallied around Bush to bash MoveOn and. . . endorse endless war in Iraq, voluntarily wrapping Bush around their own necks. Oops! How’s that gonna play in the hinterlands next November, Steny?
If you’ve had enough of this crap, and if you haven’t already done it, please sign our petition at StoptheDCEstablishment.com.
UPDATE: Digby has more.