Frank Rich on Your Liberal Media

Good for Rich:

ELECTIONS may come and go, but Washington remains incorrigible. Not even voters delivering a clear message can topple the town’s conventional wisdom once it has been set in the stone of punditry.

Right now the capital is entranced by a fictional story line about the Democrats. As this narrative goes, the party’s sweep of Congress was more or less an accident. . . . [N]ow the party is deeply divided as its old liberals and new conservatives converge on Capitol Hill to slug it out.

The only problem with this version of events is that it’s not true. The overwhelming majority of the Democratic winners, including Jon Tester of Montana, are to the left of most Republicans, whether on economic policy or abortion.

As Rich notes, this narrative distracts from Iraq:

[D]isengagement from Iraq is the patriotic thing to do. Diverting as “divided Democrats” has been, it’s escapist entertainment. The Washington story that will matter most going forward is the fate of the divided Republicans. Only if they heroically come together can the country be saved from a president who, for all his professed pipe dreams about democracy in the Middle East, refuses to surrender to democracy’s verdict at home.

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    Rich forgets that.. (none / 0) (#1)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Nov 19, 2006 at 06:49:16 PM EST
    A President is elected for four years.

    We do not have a Prime Minister. The government does not fall in a vote of "no confidence."

    He is not mandated to pay any attention to opinion polls.

    Jon Tester Repeatss the DLC Catechsim (none / 0) (#2)
    by terry hallinan on Sun Nov 19, 2006 at 07:30:56 PM EST
    The overwhelming majority of the Democratic winners, including Jon Tester of Montana, are to the left of most Republicans

    Obviously Jon Tester is a wonderful alternative to Conrad Burns but he is not as different in philosophy as some seem to think.

    There was a wonderful point-counterpoint on Meet The Press after Tim Russert read Jim Webb's stirring statements about the great divide in American betwen rich and poor and continuing decline in compensation of workers that is at an all-time low.

    Tester nodded imperceptibly to the working poor and then launched into the usual DLC middle class catechism.  Tester, like many of his comrades, worries a lot about those dang Mexicans but isn't above living a fine life on the backs of their work.

    Webb wants to speak for those without a voice.

    The DLC thinks Webb is a pornographer.  

    Some folks don't seem to know the difference between left and right.  No wonder the limousine liberals never joined the Army.

    Best,  Terry

    true jim............. (none / 0) (#3)
    by cpinva on Sun Nov 19, 2006 at 10:14:24 PM EST
    but what we have is a congress that controls the purse strings of government, a congress now controlled wholly by the democrats. bush ignores them at his peril.

    who cares what frank rich has to say, this is the same idiot that contributed mightely to bush being selected in 2000. he's not changing his spots.

    apples and oranges (none / 0) (#4)
    by Deconstructionist on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 07:06:53 AM EST
      Most Democrats in and out of government are to the "left" of most Republicans.  Most "moderate Democrats" are to the "left" of most "modertate
    Republicans (a small class there). Quite arguably, even most "conservative Democrats" are to the "left" of most "moderate Republicans." On a number of broad issues and general  one could make a case that most "conservative Democrats" are to the "left" of the almost extinct "liberal Republicans."

      None of that means that the Democrats are not divided and that there is not an intraparty contest beetween those to the furthest "left" and the rest of the Party. That the lines here are overwhelmingly to the "left" of where almost all Republicans stand is true but it does not change the fact that the division is real.

      I firmly believe that it will be best for the Party (including those on its "left" if the Party acknowledges and acts upon the preference of swing voters for the moderate center. the Republicans may or may not be able to offer a Presidential candidate who can appeal to the "center" but it clearly is not going to be able to do so for most offices in 2008. We can consolidate our gains and make further progress by attracting the center. But, if we end up presenting too many choices between "right" and "left" as opposed to "right" and "center" we will squander a golden opportunity.

    A "run towards the center" isn't... (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Bill Arnett on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 02:36:40 PM EST
    ...what this election spoke to, IMO.

    Running to the center would show that we lack conviction on the rightness of the very issues that caused America to completely reject unitary rule by republicans and vote for democratic candidates.

    It's pretty clear that the vast majority of America is to the "left" of the rethugs, who apparently have dragged the country so far to the right that left IS the new center.

    To abandon our stated objectives now for a wishy-washy staid and conservative "center" would be an abandonment of our principles and is a mistake we shouldn't make.

    The voters of '08 are not going to vote for cowards that change their stripes just because the election is over and they are safe for two years.

    I believe we need to get in their face, stay in their face, pursue our agenda, and show the public that there IS a party that will FIGHT tooth-and-nail for the common good of all Americans and not just for the haves and have-mores.


    How much more... (none / 0) (#5)
    by Edger on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 08:00:09 AM EST
    ...is it going to take, Nancy? Are the Democratic controlled Senate and House going to be responsible, or complicit?

    Responsible... (none / 0) (#6)
    by Edger on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 08:04:24 AM EST