"Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you”

Pericles



Wednesday, April 30, 2008

AWOL: Democratic leadership

Democrats have a long tradition of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. CQ Politics warns the ongoing Hillary-Barack battle could not only damage hopes of recapturing the White House, but also divide the party deeply enough to negatively affect Democrats down ballot. In fact, it may be providing the Republicans their ONLY hope in 2008:

The party and its presumed presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, are carrying the triple-headed albatross of a protracted war in Iraq, a sinking economy and the most unpopular GOP presidential incumbent in modern history. Two of the three, Iraq and President Bush, were the central elements of the soured political atmosphere that existed in November 2006, when the Democrats overturned Republican majorities on both sides of the Capitol. The economy, still in a long period of growth back then, has now gone into a downturn, if not an outright recession, and economic dissatisfaction almost always redounds against the party that holds the White House.

So the Republicans — pining against the odds for a return to power this fall, and aspiring a bit more realistically to minimize a deeper decline toward powerlessness — are hinging those hopes on letting Democrats be Democrats. Their calculation is that, if the Clinton vs. Obama contest drags on for months more, with each senator working to damage the other in search of an advantage, both will end up bloodied and bruised no matter which one is awarded the nomination. And at that point, Republicans hope, the loser's embittered constituency will do what other disaffected Democratic factions have done so often in the past and simply walk away from politics this fall — taking with them the money, the organizational muscle and, most important, the votes that could make the difference in dozens of close congressional races. (emphasis mine)


Yet, we have Democratic Super Delegates who still think it's wise to remain silent and uncommitted in the presidential race.

By sitting on the sidelines these elected officials are reinforcing the image of Democrats as spineless, poll-driven politicians. If the party is asking the American voter to entrust them with the keys to both the White House and Congress, doesn't it behoove them to show some leadership?

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