Chris Bowers picks up on it, and look at that huge spike over the last month. Impressive. But then, as Chris says, Congress is controlled by a conservative ruling majority. What’s not to like if you’re Republican? And what, exactly, have they done that independents and Democrats would like? I’m having a hard time coming up with much of anything.
Back on June 21st I wrote an article entitled Why The Base Will Stay Unhappy With The Dems”:
I don’t know if Dems expect “results” in the sense of good bills passing.
But what they do expect is that bad bills aren’t passed.
And things like passing the supplemental, the secret trade deal and so on, don’t cut it.
If Pelosi insists on not doing a majority of a majority rule, and I understand that she had principled objections, then what will happen is only bills that the Blue Dogs can get behind, will pass. And since the blue dogs are pretty damn conservative, that means a pile of bills that are going to piss off the base.
Pander to conservatives, which is what the current “majority of the House” rule means, and liberals and progressives won’t be happy.
More After the Jump
And liberals and progressives are the majority of the base.
Pelosi and Reid can play their “bipartisanship” games all they want, they can be as “responsible” as they want, but they are pissing off the majority of their own party’s supporters.
I guess the bet is that progressives and liberals can be as unhappy as they want, but even after they’ve seen that Dems don’t pass meaningful lobbying reform, do go for secret free trade deals and do pass the supplemental – well, it’s not like they can vote Republican, can they?
Sometimes it sucks to be right. In fact, these last few years, it usually sucks to be right about such things. Nonetheless reality is, contra-Rove, what it is. And the reality is that conservatives and reactionaries rule Washington right now. About two-fifths to a half of Democratic Senators are conservatives, and somewhere between forty to sixty or so Representatives are. And they hold the margin of power in Congress. It isn’t, really, even close (though it’s closer in the House). Of course, Democratic voters, as opposed to the leadership, are the most liberal they’ve been in years, but that takes time and effort to translate into Congress. Especially, by design, into the Senate.
This Congress is largely a write off. Bush will be checked if, and only if Republican leadership decides to do so. That’s still possible, especially as the ’08 elections get closer. But it’s totally up to them and has nothing to do with Democrats. While there are ways the Dems could, in theory, put pressure on Republicans to force the issue sooner, they aren’t going to do it, because a large group of them (including Reid for sure), don’t want to. It’s really that simple. Habeas corpus, or ending the war, just aren’t very important to them.
It’s worth pointing out that there are Senators who aren’t scum, and the same is true of Reps in the House. The job going forward is to support those members, and to work on primaries and open seats to ensure more liberals and progressives in the next Congress. This is especially important not in the Senate, where incumbency and long terms protect the conservative majority, but in the House, where a transformational election could make the Bush Dogs margin disappear, which would render them irrelevant.
It sucks that ’06 meant, in effect, almost nothing. (I mean, they didn’t even stop new bad bills, as we saw when they passed the FISA extension). But no one said one election would be enough, or it’d be easy.
Back to the trenches, your country needs you. Now more than ever.