The Times explains that Democrats have recruited gun-wavin', Bible-thumpin' pro-lifers to run for Congress to help them pick up a majority. Hey, it may work and there is nothing wrong with winning. However, it will hardly be possible to interpret Democratic success as a mandate for their well-concealed agenda. From the Times:
In Key House Races, Democrats Run to the Right
ASHEVILLE, N.C., Oct. 28 — In their push to win back control of the House, Democrats have turned to conservative and moderate candidates who fit the profiles of their districts more closely than the profile of the national party.
One such candidate, Heath Shuler, was courted by Republicans to run for office in 2001. Mr. Shuler, 34, is a retired National Football League quarterback who is running in the 11th Congressional District in North Carolina. He is an evangelical Christian and holds fast to many conservative social views, like opposition to abortion rights.
“My guess is that if Democrats are in the majority, it’s going to be because of these New Democrat, Blue Dog candidates out there winning in these competitive swing districts,” Representative Ron Kind of Wisconsin, co-chairman of a caucus of centrist House Democrats, said in an interview.
Let's pause right here - of course the centrist Dems will claim that Democratic success is due to the efforts of the centrist Dems. If there is a Dem victory it will have a thousand fathers. However, just because the claim is inevitable does not mean it is false - the ongoing non-success of Nutroots darling Ned Lamont in Blue Connecticut certainly suggests that the power or the progressives is less than they might have thought.
More from the Times:
But if candidates like Mr. Shuler do help the Democrats gain majority control of Congress, it could come at a political price, which may include tensions in the party between its new centrists and its more liberal political base.
While Democratic leaders have gone to great lengths to promote the views of these candidates, some, like Mr. Shuler, have views on issues like gun control and abortion that are far out of step with the prevailing views of the Democrats who control the party. On some issues, they may even be expected to side with Republicans and the Bush White House.
Democratic officials said they did not set out with the intention of finding moderates to run. Instead, as they searched for candidates with the greatest possibility of winning against Republicans, they said, they wound up with a number who reflected more moderate views.
That was especially true in suburban areas and some rural districts, said Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “As a group, they are moderate in temperament and reformers in spirit,” Mr. Emanuel said.
In Indiana, for example, Brad Ellsworth, a Democrat running to unseat Representative John Hostettler, brags about the “A” rating he has received from the National Rifle Association. In Kentucky, Mike Weaver, a Democrat who opposes abortion rights, is running against Representative Ron Lewis, a Republican. Gabrielle Giffords, a Democrat running for an open House seat in Arizona, is presenting herself as a fiscal conservative, saying she would oppose Congressional pay increases until the federal budget is balanced.
Whatever. Over in the Senate, Dem candidate Bob Casey Jr. is also pro-life (ostensibly). Apparently, the Dems are committed to a woman's right to choose only until that commitment prompts people to choose Republicans.
Folks who still haven't decided which party to support this fall may want to consider this -which party will engage in the more entertaining and spectacular post-defeat recriminations?
Defeated Republicans would surely engage in a bit of finger-pointing but they will remain the pro-life party of lower taxes and a strong defense. The key lessons they would take from an electoral defeat would be (a) don't start a war without a plan to finish it, and (b) don't nominate George Bush in 2008.
But if the Democrats lose, they will make a defeated George Steinbrenner look like a paragon of patience and restraint. In fact, the Dems are so eager to blame other factions of their party that the circular firing squad has already begun to assemble - Netroots guru Matt Stoller, embittered by the lack of support offered to Ned Lamont by Democratic Senate bigwigs, tells us that "it's very clear that the Democratic Party leadership is rotten to the core".
Stoller's Fellow MyDD blogger Chris Bowers joins in by bashing centrist House Dems:
The netroots and the progressive movement have as much of an ownership claim to the Democratic Party as anyone else. We follow the rules, and we have provided an absolutely enormous amount of support to the party. As we work to move into the infrastructure of the party, LieberDems and "New Dems" alike do everything they can to distance themselves from they party. ...it is in fact the Lieberman-Tauscher-DLC types view the party, its rules, and its members as a convenience to be easily tossed aside when they interfere with a personal path to power. This is our party as much as it is theirs. Hell, by now it is more our party than it is theirs. Lieberman and his supporters have become the new Naderites in our midst.
That alone means it will be our victory more than it will be theirs. Any Democrat who works to distance himself or herself from the Democratic Party cannot claim responsibility for a Democratic Party victory.
The party, it is me! Centrist Dem candidates like Heath Shuler (described in the Times article) may wonder just what debt they owe the foaming Netroots. Oh well - per the Times, that may be a purge for another day:
“I don’t think people like Shuler will be the core of the Democratic Party,” said Mark Bloom, a writer who is a volunteer for MoveOn.org, the liberal advocacy group, at its storefront office in downtown Asheville. “If people like Shuler turn out to not be progressive enough for my tastes, I’ll work to replace him.”
This should be a show.
MORE: Why do they hate America? The Times finds the Dems that the Dems would prefer not be found:
When she travels abroad, said Mary Nassif, a school psychologist, “I may not take pride in being American, but I love saying I’m from Seattle.”
Classic. Elsewhere in the same article is the "China First" viewpoint, as articulated by a mother who has adopted two Chinese babies:
Ms. Peterson has adopted two daughters from China and is working on a third. As Gwen, her eldest, considered whether biting into an apple would dislodge her dangling front teeth, Ms. Peterson acknowledged that her fixation [with budget deficits] was personal.
China gains “so much power and control by carrying so much of our debt,” said Ms. Peterson, who described herself as a Democrat who often crosses party lines. If the United States one day resists repayment, she said, her girls will “never have an ability to have a relationship with their country.”
Clue - their country is the United States. Oh, well, we know what she means. We just wish we could get her on camera explaining that she is voting Democratic because that is better for China. That would put the "bites" in sound bite, all right.