Third Party & Independents Archives

Divided We Stand?

Recently I’ve seen several members of the Democratic Party suggest that the great thing about their party is that members are free to have different opinions. They are a diverse group, I hear. But how true is that, especially when it comes to the war? Two recent incidents make me wonder if this idea of a unified diversity isn’t starting to show cracks.

First, we all remember how Joe Lieberman was treated by his party because he supported the invasion of Iraq. It didn't matter how long he had been a good democrat, to the point of actually running as their vice presidential candidate a few short years earlier, he was a target because he wasn't unfriendly towards President Bush. The party then had to eat crow and 'welcome him back' in order to maintain a majority in the Senate when Lieberman beat up on their hand-picked nominee.

We have also seen a lot of internal 'bickering' between the more liberal of the party and the DLC (Democratic Leadership Council) who they feel are too middle of the road, or 'neo-con friendly'. The members of the DLC are those most often talked about when discussing possible presidential candidates and brought out when opponents attempt to paint the Democratic Party as too liberal.

But now we have Nancy Pelosi seemingly in trouble. Less than a year ago she was the golden child of the Democratic Party, taking control of the House of Representatives and becoming the majority leader there. She is a San Francisco liberal, a breed of liberal that usually is supported by the far-left of the party because of their political views. She has been applauded by many diehard democrats as running the house well, though the rest of the political landscape do not see much different in their eyes from the rebpulicans that were in before.

However, she has not gone after Bush. As with Lieberman, this is presenting a problem within the democratic party. And as a result, it appears an independant will be running against her to remove her from power in 2008. That candidate is none other than Cindy Sheehan. Recently she has stated that if Nancy Pelosi does not 'go after Bush' and demand his impeachment in the next two weeks, she will be forced to run against her in the next election.

This is going to be an interesting story. Sheehan was held up by the left as an example of what is wrong with Bush and the war, leading an ever-increasing peace movement that gained a lot of support in the democratic circles. Yet, when she started making some comments that made the more moderate democrats uncomfortable, it seemed as if she was pushed aside and considered a fringe element. She started getting less and less press, even though she was still gaining support from the liberals of the party who were looking for a unifying figure.

She recently left the peace movement she started and has now set her sights on fixing what she sees as wrong with the Democratic Party.

"I think all politicians should be held accountable," Sheehan told The Associated Press on Sunday. "Democrats and Americans feel betrayed by the Democratic leadership. We hired them to bring an end to the war."

Sheehan said she will run as an independent against the San Francisco Democrat in 2008 if Pelosi does not file articles of impeachment against Bush by July 23. That's when Sheehan and her supporters are to arrive in Washington, D.C., after a 13-day caravan and walking tour starting from the group's war protest site near Bush's Crawford ranch.

Sheehan recently said she was leaving the Democratic Party because it "caved" into the president. Last week, she announced her caravan to Washington, which she calls the "people's accountability movement."

It is true, many of those who supported putting the Democrats in power did so because they promised to end the war. Yet they have done little so far. They are still funding the war and are not demanding an end to it. They are not impeaching Bush, they are not doing the things that the far-left want done.

So what will happen? Will Cindy Sheehan be labelled as too far-left for the party and ignored? Will her followers leave the party or abandon her, remaining with the party in order to support the lesser of two evils? Will a third party grow because of this action, challenging the Democratic Party for the support of the far-left in the United States?

Only time will tell. Of course, this could all be over in a few weeks, if Sheehan doesn't get her way will she even follow through? Or will the DLC bribe her somehow to keep her support with the party. I guess those who are leading the Democratic Party are going to have to make some decisions and attempt to continue having their cake and eating it too.

Will the party of diversity continue to be as diverse as they claim it has been or will it shatter under the load as it did a decade ago?

Posted by Rhinehold at July 9, 2007 10:33 AM
Comments
Comment #225395

If Cindy Sheehan is only going to run against Pelosi to try to get Bush impeached and nothing else I hope the people of San Francisco are smart enough to kick her sorry butt back to wherever she came from. But then again, if she can come off as more liberal than Pelosi, she just might send Pelosi packing. Nothing San Franciscans like more than the most liberal person they can find in office.
Personally I hope the Democrat Party implodes right along with the Republican Party.

Posted by: Ron Brown at July 9, 2007 12:22 PM
Comment #225417

The Democratic Party has always been a big tent party. Diversity of views has never been their problem. Absence of, and refusal to adhere to, a centralized party platform that reflects the interests and will of the majority of their following is what has cost Democrats at the polls in the past.

What remains to be seen, is not whether Cindy Sheehan will run or not, (she won’t beat Pelosi in any case), it is whether the Democrats will forge a political party platform that 1) reflects the interests of the majority of Americans, and 2) which the majority of Democrats can and will adhere to.

A lot of this is moot, however. In 2008, Democrats have about 1/3 as many seats up for election as Republicans do. And Bush continues to insure the American public has no appetite for another Republican president. Perhaps, this is why to date, the DLC appears to be in no rush to hammer out platform. The circumstances favor their increasing their majority in 2008 regardless of their platform, or other external or internal events.

Now, the shocker in 2008 that Democrats may not see coming, is if the anti-incumbent movement amongst Independent voters and disappointed Democrats on the war, takes a larger toll on Democrats than they expect. We can only hope Americans are growingly in favor of punishing at the polls ineptitude, corruption, and the legal blackmail and bribery BOTH the Republicans and Democrats have installed as a campaign finance system over the decades.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 9, 2007 1:53 PM
Comment #225436

I read that Sheehan officially left the Democratic party after they voted to continue funding for Bush’s war. Does her potential plan to run against Pelosi mean she’s going to do so as an Independent? Just curious.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 9, 2007 2:55 PM
Comment #225443

Here’s a short article on that Adrienne…
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070709/pl_nm/usa_politics_sheehan_dc_2;_ylt=Au_g3askygW7ETGON2p.jWwE1vAI

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at July 9, 2007 3:11 PM
Comment #225447

Thanks Sandra! Well, that answers the question: she’ll be running as an Independent. Does this mean the folks in this column who are sick of our troops being made to fight in Iraq’s civil war will all be supporting Sheehan’s run?

Posted by: Adrienne at July 9, 2007 3:53 PM
Comment #225479

Adrienne, I can’t speak for anyone else, but, I am not a one issue independent voter. So, no! On that one issue I would not vote for Sheehan. The Iraq war was a consequence of leadership which utterly failed to observe the hard won lessons and well thought out policies of our history. Like, we don’t war against others unless facing attack by them.

Fixing Iraq, even if that were possible, would not address the more fundamental issues that allowed the grotesque errors and ignorance that led to the Iraq invasion to occur in the first place. Iraq is a symptom, not the problem. We must, as Americans, address our problems, not the symptoms of our problems.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 9, 2007 5:34 PM
Comment #225535

Now all we need is for Michael Moore to run against Harry Reid!!!

JD

Posted by: JD at July 9, 2007 10:11 PM
Comment #225550

David Remer:
“We must, as Americans, address our problems, not the symptoms of our problems.”

I agree, David. Since Sheehan doesn’t seem that interested in addressing the problems that Pelosi’s district has, or the many that the state of California has, let alone the numerous issues this country faces as a whole, she seems a poor choice to choose as a candidate in my view also. Not that I don’t agree with her stance on the clear need to end our war and occupation of Iraq, and stop the torture policy Bushco has instituted, or don’t share the belief that there are plenty of high crimes and misdemeanors which impeachments might go forward on, but being a member of the House of Representatives entails more than simply being insulted, angered, and outraged by this lawless, criminal administration.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 9, 2007 11:22 PM
Comment #225577

Rhinehold,

Good article!

I’m more disappointed with the Democratic party right now than I ever have been, but not for the common reasons.

I think they were foolish to keep pushing the President for a compromise after his veto. We knew we were far from veto-proof and we should have just moved on to other business.

Aside from that I’ve been very disappointed that the Democrats have not kept their legislation “clean”. OK, I know that’s a “knew” idea but I think the taxpayer deserves to know exactly where their money is going and I think it would also be beneficial to MY party! (hey, I’m partisan but honest)

Another biggy for me was Pelosi virtually taking impeachment off the table from day one. I know it would be a nearly impossible task but you never show your hand until all the bets are in!

Both Pelosi and Reid have been major let downs! Reid’s already back on Iraq pull-out and we’re still at the very least 4 votes short.

My Democratic congress seems to have forgotten that you can walk and chew bubble gum at the same time. We could easily lose to the Republicans again unless we get our act together.

Posted by: KansasDem at July 10, 2007 12:47 AM
Comment #225601

KansasDem,

Thanks! BTW, don’t be so sure on being 4 votes short, I think the upcoming report on Iraq will swing at least 4 people on the right. Just check out my latest post on the issue.

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 10, 2007 3:15 AM
Comment #225678

Adrienne, watch closely the upcoming stories regarding the Bush administrations refusal to comply with Congress’s requests for testimony from staff regarding the firings of attorneys. This rapidly taking the shape of a Constitutional crisis with potential basis for impeachment if the White House continues to assert authoritarian and dictatorial denial of the powers of Congress outlined in the Constitution and laws emanating from it.

Nixon saw the writing on the wall, and continued to walk straight into impeachment, anyway. GW Bush is a lot dimmer bulb than Nixon, and the Neo-Cons have no problem with sacrificial lambs even if its name is Bush. This refusal to comply with Congressional subpoenas is a direct assault on the U.S. Constitution by the Executive Branch. And the beauty of it is, Cheney and Bush are BOTH in the same crosshairs on this issue, and must take the same stance whether Cheney wants to or not.

The topping on the cake of this issue, is that a conservative Supreme Court will actually fall on the side of defending the separation of powers and subpoena power of the Congress. They have no choice if they choose to adhere to their conservative principles. To do otherwise would make a mockery of the word conservative for decades to come. No one knows that better than Scalia and Thomas.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 10, 2007 3:34 PM
Comment #225762

David, I am watching this as it’s unfolding — and once again, the arrogant way this administration operates is amazing, to say the least.
In fact, lately I’ve found myself hoping that someone in the press would once again ask Pelosi if impeachment was still “off the table.” I’d be very interested in hearing her reply…

I’m not as certain as you are about the choices the Republican Supreme Court justices would feel they’d have to make. They’re Neocons too, and they’ve been contributing to the mockery that is being made of the word conservative. Talk about your activist judges — seems the majority on the right no longer believe in the concept of stare decisis. And let’s not forget that Chief Justice, John Roberts is a loyal Bushie — one who seems to favor the idea of a unitary executive.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 11, 2007 1:59 AM
Comment #226347

The good people in California are teh building block for us on this issue. If tehy’re up to the task Nancy Pelosi needs to be voted out of office. When she won her last election she won with 80% of the vote. She should loose the next election by a larger margin than that.
I’m working on getting these idiots in Oklahoma replaced now. The balls in your court West Coast, wanna’ play?

Posted by: Ken at July 14, 2007 7:09 PM
Comment #227152

So, the Democrats are actually considering dumping the first woman Speaker of the House after such a resounding round of applause only six months ago at her swearing in. What happened to the “Golden Gate Grandma” of the Democratic Party?

Must be a heck of a disappointment for the Democrats! I guess, as John Kerry would say, “wrong woman, wrong place, wrong time!”

So, who do ya’ll move to now, Maxine Waters? Ewwwwwwwww!

JD

Posted by: JD at July 23, 2007 1:08 AM
Post a comment