All the lefty blogs are calling for a purge al a Stalin, I guess, of the unfaithful leadership of the Democratic Party and all those who voted for cloture yesterday in the house. Not content with noting that the two senators leading the Pickett's Charge were from one of the bluest of blue states and could easily afford to make themselves look like asses for the masses, the rousing keen and wail from the ranks of the Unelectable brings to mind a high school football coach who, wanting to replace his quarterback who has thrown four interceptions, looks for the second-stringer, only to find that he has his helmet on backwards.
Failing on principle based on a false premise only serves to make one appear as a fool. With a president whose approval ratings are just this side of the Edsel, Democrats have shown once again that when it comes to political maneuvering, no one is driving the short bus. If you can't out wit a nitwit, what does that make you?
One of the best, succinct commentaries of the Democrats' predicament was codified long ago in the Bush-Dukakis debates and the send-up of same by Saturday Night Live. After Bush (Dana Carvey, I think) gives a rambling answer to a question, Dukakis (Jon Lovitz) responds, "I can't believe I'm losing to this guy."
And so it is for the Democratic Party. The "base" (why it is called such a thing is a mystery) goes after formerly favored Senators like Robert Byrd, who looked at his constituency and voted the way it was leaning. But that isn't the way it's to be done, apparently, in the minds of those who think that the electorate is just too damn stupid to realize when they're being hoodwinked.
The failure of the filibuster has made it virtually impossible for there to be much of a fight mounted next time around. Look for a Supreme Court nominee to the right of the right of the right. Had Messrs Kerry and Kennedy allowed the vote to go forward--probably splitting more or less along party lines--the threat of a sub-60 senator vote could have been retained. Now, all we have is paper tigers and hissing kittens when what we need are lions.
Good for the Republicans, I guess, but bad for the country. It's hard to take seriously the faux hand wringing of the right when they bemoan the Democratic implosion as being detrimental to the two-party system. What most would like is not a see-saw election cycle, but a just-strong-enough Democratic Party relegated to permanent minority status that would be happy for small victories along the way. That's not so surprising, actually. Most Democrats want the entire GOP put behind bars.
What this illustrates is a profound misunderstanding of two-party politics and a dangerous tendency towards totalitarianism. Either side, when pressed for honesty, only wants to win and win big.
Yes, we have wounded our republic as we have wounded ourselves. The Democratic Party had seized the gun and promptly placed the barrel in the left-most part of its mouth and spun the cylinder. Click.