Trouble in Our Big Tent?

Do we Democrats have an ideological war on our horizon? The NYTimes seems to hope so:

Collectively, the group could tilt the balance of power within the party, which has been struggling to define itself in recent elections.

Sounds ominous. Except:

The candidates cover the spectrum on political issues; some are fiscally conservative and moderate or liberal on social issues, some are the reverse. They could influence negotiations with Republicans on a variety of issues, including Social Security and stem cell research.

Sounds like a Big Tent group to me. And a bunch of DLC type nonsense from the NYTimes.

Indeed, let's consider the issues that the Times says will be bones of contention:

They could influence negotiations with Republicans on a variety of issues, including Social Security and stem cell research.

Oh really? Are any candidates running Social Security privatization and blocking stem cell research as centerpieces to their campaign? I mean ANY? Can the Times name one? Of course not. NOT ANYBODY in the Democratic Party.

So what is Representative Ellen Tauscher talking about?

Representative Ellen O. Tauscher of California, a co-chairwoman of the 47-member New Democrat Coalition, said that 27 of the top 40 contested House seats were being pursued by Democrats who have pledged to become members of the group, which says its chief issues are national security and fiscal responsibility.

"I think there's tremendous agreement and awareness that getting the majority and running over the left cliff is what our Republican opponents would dearly love," Ms. Tauscher said, adding that this was something "we've got to fight."

Huh? Does she want to privatize Social Security? Does she NOT want to raise the minimum wage? Does she OPPOSE stem cell research? Does she support stay the course in Iraq? What is Ellen Tauscher talking about?

Oh wait, maybe Tauscher is talking about this:

Asked if he could envision a Democratic Party with, say, an anti-abortion platform, Mr. Shuler did not hesitate. "I'm pro-life and I'm part of the Democratic Party, so I hope it's part of the platform," he said. "Someone needs to lead."

In this election cycle, the Democrats' desire for a victory in Congress has overridden concerns that candidates like Mr. Shuler are too far right for the party base. But there are questions about what will happen down the line.

Riiight. Heath Shuler and Ellen Tauscher will led the charge to push Dems to an anti-choice stance. Good luck with that Representative Tauscher.

Let's face it, this story is nonsense. There will be no fights now. Maybe later, but not now. Not on the issues that matter now. Heath Shuler will not drive Democratic policy on abortion. Never.

But we are a Big Tent, and it is our core values that unite us. And on those core values, despite Rep. Tauscher's attempt to make herself important by pretending there are, there is great agreement.

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  • Display: Sort:
    i don't see (none / 0) (#1)
    by cpinva on Mon Oct 30, 2006 at 10:16:37 AM EST
    the democratic party imploding, over the core issues: choice, the deficit/national debt, iraq & afghanistan, health care & social security.

    while there may be different approaches to each of these, the overall goal is the same: face these problems, and attempt to at least start addressing them, in a coherent manner, that doesn't destroy the country in the process.

    since the white house and republican congress refuse to even admit there is a problem, accepting the reality that they exist is a great leap forward.

    Corporate Media Talking Point (none / 0) (#2)
    by baked potato on Mon Oct 30, 2006 at 11:55:40 AM EST
    Well in the absence of any good news for the grand oil party, the corporate media is hitting on this theme (i.e., making it up at they go).  This weekend the SF Chronicle had an article by their right-leaning political writer Marc Sandalow along similar lines.  He kept implying that the Dems are fatally divided between those who support the war in Iraq and those who don't - which is a pretty amazing stretch, given that the majority of all voters now oppose the war.  

    Of course, having Sandalow write about internal Dem conflicts is like having Jerry Falwell give an assessment of current scholarly trends in research about evolution.