Democrats and the War & Ohio Senate intrigue
Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email.
The Nation 's editors have come out with a very fine summarization of the politics and prospects of Iraq, focusing on Senate elections for 2006. Go read it. They lay out various Senate races where the politics of Iraq have come heavily into play, in Rhode Island, Maryland, Minnesota, Ohio, Montana. Connecticut and Pennsylvania are outside possibilities. I think they are totally correct.
There's a bit in there about the lack of a unified Democratic party position.
If you wonder why there's such a division among Democrats -- why there isn't a formal unified position on Iraq, I think one very good way to look at it is one I heard from Sidney Blumenthal months ago ( I wrote about it in detail here). Basically, it is that parties don't have unified positions unless they have majority power in either the House, Senate, or White House, and that it's unfair to expect a "party position" on an issue central to our national politics. Power is a "whip" -- the favors that majority power offer will force politicians to make major changes what they say and will vote on -- just look at all the things that Joe Lieberman shut up about on Foreign Policy when Gore picked him as Veep -- and that was just the promise of power. Here's what Blumenthal said:
There's no one voice in the Democratic Party that speaks for every Democrat across the board on [Iraq and national security]. And that's what happens when you're completely out of power. Thatâ€™s just a function of being out of power. Thatâ€™s whatâ€™s going on.
Hey, and while we're talking about this, didya know that Murtha was one of Nancy Pelosi's lieutenants in her campaign to be minority leader back in 2003? I didn't. Joshua Holland -- who's been delivering excellent trade coverage of the WTO for AlterNet -- told me this, and the Nexis searches I did showed it to be so. It makes all that maneuvering from them look a lot more coordinated than it appeared -- to me at least, when I wrote this piece about Murtha.
In other news, I got an e-mail from Sherrod Brown's campaign, telling me that the Ohio United Auto Workers had endorsed... Paul Hackett?
Brown was gracious at the snub.
"For almost 29 years I have fought for America's working families and have enjoyed the UAW endorsement in every election I have run.
I will continue to speak out for worker rights, and to demand trade agreements that will bring good paying jobs with benefits to Ohio.
"Union workers have built Ohio and our nation. I have been proud to call them friends while serving in the U.S. House of Representatives. I look forward to fighting for them in the United State Senate.
"We are in this together."
There's a lot backstory here, NO DOUBT. I heard that it is based on something extremely petty. And I also heard that the 18-member UAW board vote on the endorsement wasn't unanimous.
The bottom of the note had a reminder that a Feldman poll has Brown thrashing Hackett, 51 to 22.
Jan Frel is an AlterNet staff writer.