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question everything Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 12:07 AM
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Intraparty Feuds Dog Democrats, Stall Congress
The Wall Street Journal

Intraparty Feuds Dog Democrats, Stall Congress
By DAVID ROGERS
December 13, 2007; Page A1

WASHINGTON -- Democrats took control of Congress last January promising a "new direction." A year later, the image that haunts them most is one symbolizing no direction at all: gridlock. Unfinished work is piling up -- legislation to aid borrowers affected by the housing mess, rescue millions of middle-class families from a big tax increase and put stricter gas-mileage limits on the auto industry. Two months into the new fiscal year, Democrats are still scrambling just to keep the government open.

President Bush and Republicans are contributing to the impasse, but there's another factor: Intraparty squabbling between House Democrats and Senate Democrats is sometimes almost as fierce as the partisan battling. A fracas between Democrats this week over a proposed $522 billion spending package is the latest example. The spending would keep the government running through the current fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, 2008, but it has opened party divisions over funding the Iraq war and lawmakers' home-state projects.

(snip)

Republicans suffered from the same House-Senate tensions in their 12 years of rule in Congress. But the situation is more acute now for Democrats, who must cope with both Mr. Bush's vetoes and the narrowest of margins in the Senate, leaving them vulnerable to Republican filibusters. Democrats in the House interpret the 2006 elections as a mandate for change. They are more antiwar and more willing to shed old ways -- such as "earmarks" for legislators' pet projects -- to confront the White House. Senate Democrats, by comparison, remain more tied to tradition and institutional rules that demand consensus before taking action.

(snip)

Rather than move to the center after 2006, President Bush has moved right to shore up his conservative base. He has also adopted a confrontational veto strategy calculated to disrupt the new Congress and reduce its effectiveness in challenging him on Iraq.


(snip)

If agreement is not reached by the end of next week, lawmakers may have to resort again to a yearlong funding resolution that effectively freezes most agencies at their current levels. This would be a repeat of the collapse of the budget process last year under Republican rule -- not the "new direction" Democrats had hoped for.


URL for this article:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119750838630225395.html (subscription)
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sjdnb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 12:12 AM
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1. Oh wow, what a surprise...the Dem Leadership
failed off on so much that no one has any faith in them anymore.

What did they expect -- we'd ignore their failings like 'good little partisans'?

We're Democrats, not sheep -- they ought to know that by now.
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tom_paine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 12:15 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Not a surprise. Voters are superfluous in Imperial Amerika.
Edited on Fri Dec-14-07 12:15 AM by tom_paine
They don't need warm bodies, just money and TV commercials.
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porphyrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 12:12 AM
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2. Too many in the party think the way to a "new direction" is to preserve the status quo.
I'm so fucking sick of them.
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Fovea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 12:54 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. I think I remember a quote about that new direction.
Edited on Fri Dec-14-07 12:56 AM by realpolitik
As the soviet govt fell, there was a banner that said, "seventy two years on the road to nowhere".

Seven years is enough and too much, and I think there is a possibility that party is going to move to the left
to keep from losing the real dem base. Why? Because we actually do have a vision for America based on real progress and the constitution,
not on a contract with corporatists. And the old vision has become a bloody ruinous dystopia.
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porphyrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 12:59 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. I want that to be true, but my optimism ran out some time in 2004, I think. -n/t
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