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The Democrats managed to reach a nadir in their fight to remain relevant yesterday when a group of senators demanded that President Bush force the GOP to abandon politics and leave their poor Minority Leader alone. Chuck Shumer announced that Bush faced a "new Democratic Party," one that apparently endorses the repeal of the First Amendment:
Senate Democrats demanded Thursday that President Bush order a halt to personal attacks on the party's leader, Sen. Harry Reid, and expressed regret that they had failed to mount a stronger defense for his defeated predecessor.
"This is a new Democratic Party," Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said at a news conference called to release a letter telling Bush to muzzle his "political operatives."
"It says to the president, `You will not intimidate us'," said Schumer, who likened the attacks on Reid to political knee-cappings.
This kind of petulant whining, dressed up as muscular politics, makes me laugh but should have Democratic voters crying tears of despair. What prompted this reaction from every non-GOP senator except Reid himself? The RNC published a thirteen-page list of examples that demonstrates Reid's insistence on obstructionism as a political strategy for the coming year. One passage in particular raised the Democrats' ire, accusing Reid of spending too much money on DC housing. Its inclusion was based in part on Reid's self-portrait during the Democratic response to the State of the Union address as a man of modest background and workingman ethics.
Reading through the entire document, something that the AP never bothered to do or report on if it did, almost everything in it has to do with Reid's votes, or the forty days of Democratic political idiocy that followed his elevation to Senate Minority Leader. In other words, it addresses his public policy, something of which Democrats appear embarassed and want kept quiet. I don't blame them a bit, but calling this "knee-capping" shows a level of hysteria and pusillanimity that confirms every worst stereotype of lily-livered Democratic inability to handle real crises.
The Democrats propose that Bush "muzzle" people from political speech simply because Harry Reid can't stand political heat. They regret not demanding silence from the GOP during Tom Daschle's reign. The same people who will elect Howard Dean as their chairman -- the same Howard Dean who told NPR that he found rumors of Bush and the Saudis conspiring to commit the 9/11 attacks "interesting" -- want Bush to stop the GOP from discussing Reid's voting record. The same politicians who endorsed John Kerry and defended his assertion that Bush and his team were "the most crooked, you know, lying group of people I've ever seen" now sob for the cameras when Republicans debate with actual facts and figures.
Peter Beinart told us last night that the Democratic soul of the party is still Harry Truman, who once advised people to stay out of the kitchen if they couldn't stand the heat. This statement by the Democrats prove that the party has left the Truman legacy far behind in favor of childish, petulant rants begging people to stop picking on them. If they cannot summon the backbone for politics and demand instead a squelching of dissent, then the Senate Democrats show their complete inability to handle both democracy and security, and their party should disown them.
UPDATE: Fixed "Majority" to "Minority" in the first paragraph; thanks, Mr. Davis.Sphere It View blog reactions
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