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Though high profile Democrats like President Obama and former Speaker Pelosi touted Occupy Wall Street as the left’s response to the TEA Party movement, it’s essentially history. That’s long been my opinion. Now, Dana Milbank is confirming it:

In October, when liberal activists gathered in Washington, they had hopes that the nascent Occupy Wall Street movement would become the left’s answer to the tea party.

But this time around; the annual Take Back the American Dream Conference was moved up to June this election year; the Occupy encampments are gone, and participants in the conference were pondering what went wrong. Or, as activist Van Jones put it to them, what has become of “the voice that is missing.”

Jones, an Obama administration official who resigned under pressure because of his far-left positions, is a fixture at the annual gatherings and a fiery orator. But this version of his yearly pep talk was laced with disappointment. “I’m watching that movement that inspired the world…that stunned the world, in the moment of maximum peril now sit down,” he lamented at the opening session, where half of the 500 seats were filled.

Suffering Americans, he went on, “need a movement that is willing to stand with them, and yet there is this reluctance. We saw in Wisconsin what happens when we put our minimum against our opponents’ maximum…Are we going to let the tea party govern America?”

OWS disappeared because citizen journalists exposed them for the criminals that they are. They also disappeared because Main Street can’t relate to them. There’s no doubt that OWS excited The Left. If President Obama won 100% of the anarchists’ and Marxists’ vote, that might get him to 10% of the vote. That leaves him just 40 points short of winning re-election.

The TEA Party’s ideals are the embodiment of Main Street values and priorities. While there aren’t as many TEA Party rallies, the TEA Party spirit is still vibrant. Most TEA Party activists found limited government candidates to support, then went to work for those types of candidates.

America might not agree with everything that the TEA Party stands for but they aren’t repulsed by TEA Party activists like they are with OWS criminals.

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This letter from Artur Davis is another major indictment against President Obama:

While I’ve gone to great lengths to keep this website a forum for ideas, and not a personal forum, I should say something about the various stories regarding my political future in Virginia, the state that has been my primary home since late December 2010. The short of it is this: I don’t know and am nowhere near deciding. If I were to run, it would be as a Republican. And I am in the process of changing my voter registration from Alabama to Virginia, a development which likely does represent a closing of one chapter and perhaps the opening of another.

As to the horse-race question that animated parts of the blogosphere, it is true that people whose judgment I value have asked me to weigh the prospect of running in one of the Northern Virginia congressional districts in 2014 or 2016, or alternatively, for a seat in the Virginia legislature in 2015. If that sounds imprecise, it’s a function of how uncertain political opportunities can be—and if that sounds expedient, never lose sight of the fact that politics is not wishfulness, it’s the execution of a long, draining process to win votes and help and relationships while your adversaries are working just as hard to tear down the ground you build.

I by no means underestimate the difficulty of putting together a campaign again, especially in a community to which I have no long-standing ties. I have a mountain of details to learn about this northern slice of Virginia and its aspirations, and given the many times I have advised would-be candidates to have a platform and a reason for serving, as opposed to a desire to hold an office, that learning curve is one I would take seriously.

And the question of party label in what remains a two team enterprise? That, too, is no light decision on my part: cutting ties with an Alabama Democratic Party that has weakened and lost faith with more and more Alabamians every year is one thing; leaving a national party that has been the home for my political values for two decades is quite another. My personal library is still full of books on John and Robert Kennedy, and I have rarely talked about politics without trying to capture the noble things they stood for. I have also not forgotten that in my early thirties, the Democratic Party managed to engineer the last run of robust growth and expanded social mobility that we have enjoyed; and when the party was doing that work, it felt inclusive, vibrant, and open-minded.

But parties change. As I told a reporter last week, this is not Bill Clinton’s Democratic Party (and he knows that even if he can’t say it). If you have read this blog, and taken the time to look for a theme in the thousands of words (or free opposition research) contained in it, you see the imperfect musings of a voter who describes growth as a deeper problem than exaggerated inequality; who wants to radically reform the way we educate our children; who despises identity politics and the practice of speaking for groups and not one national interest; who knows that our current course on entitlements will eventually break our solvency and cause us to break promises to our most vulnerable—that is, if we don’t start the hard work of fixing it.

On the specifics, I have regularly criticized an agenda that would punish businesses and job creators with more taxes just as they are trying to thrive again. I have taken issue with an administration that has lapsed into a bloc by bloc appeal to group grievances when the country is already too fractured: frankly, the symbolism of Barack Obama winning has not given us the substance of a united country. You have also seen me write that faith institutions should not be compelled to violate their teachings because faith is a freedom, too. You’ve read that in my view, the law can’t continue to favor one race over another in offering hard-earned slots in colleges: America has changed, and we are now diverse enough that we don’t need to accommodate a racial spoils system. And you know from these pages that I still think the way we have gone about mending the flaws in our healthcare system is the wrong way—it goes further than we need and costs more than we can bear.

Taken together, these are hardly the enthusiasms of a Democrat circa 2012, and they wouldn’t be defensible in a Democratic primary. But they are the thoughts and values of ten years of learning, and seeing things I once thought were true fall into disarray. So, if I were to leave the sidelines, it would be as a member of the Republican Party that is fighting the drift in this country in a way that comes closest to my way of thinking: wearing a Democratic label no longer matches what I know about my country and its possibilities.

Full confession: you won’t find in my columns a poll tested candidate who could satisfy a litmus test. Immigration is a classic example: I wince at the Obama Administration’s efforts to tell states they can’t say the word immigration in their state laws, and find it foolish when I hear their lawyers say that a local cop can’t determine the legal status of a suspect validly in their custody. At the same time, I wince when I see Latinos who have a lawful right to be here have to dodge the glare of so-called “self-deportation laws” that look too uncomfortably like profiling. (It’s a good thing Virginia hasn’t gone that path). And while I haven’t written about the subject as much as I should have, I can’t defend every break in our tax code, or every special interest set-aside, as a necessary tool of a free market. And I can’t say every dollar spent on our weak and our marginal is a give-away: a just government is mindful of the places where prosperity never shines (and I give a lot of credit to an undisputed conservative, Mitch Daniels in Indiana, for saying so, and doing it at the nation’s leading conservative political caucus at that.)

A voter and a columnist have all the freedom in the world to say these things; perhaps a candidate does, too. Should I ever cross that bridge again, I will be trusting voters more than ever (despite having seen how wrong they can get it!) to test ability more than rigid ideology, and to accept that experience changes minds (if it is so in our lives, why shouldn’t it be so in our politics?) I might well decide that all of that is asking too much, and that party demands too much for a guy who doesn’t fit a partisan caricature. Or I might someday not so far off say, “Let the people decide.” Stay tuned.

Another Democrat leaves the Obama Democratic Party. I can’t say I’m surprised.

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President Obama’s week is off to a terrible start. This week, we learned that the DNC is too broke to pay for a real convention. We learned that President Obama’s favorite banker, Jamie Dimon helped create a $2,000,000,000 loss for his shareholders.

This morning’s news reports highlights another embarrassing story:

Dozens of demonstrators dashed into the Loop building housing President Barack Obama’s campaign headquarters this morning, slipping past security guards and running up escalators as they kicked off what they called a “Week Without Capitalism.”

Eight protesters were led out in handcuffs about half an hour later after they refused to clear the lobby. They were cheered by other demonstrators who began dancing and singing folk and gospel songs.

The demonstration, organized by the Catholic Worker movement. began with about 100 demonstrators picketing at Prudential Plaza and passing out rolls to commuters in what they called a symbolic invitation to break bread with world leaders expected here this weekend for the NATO summit.

A week without capitalism was the theme of the protest. How appropriate for the Obama administration. The only ‘capitalism’ they believe in is crony capitalism that subsidizes their political allies’ failures.

Conservatives would likely enjoy finding out that the “Catholic Worker Movement” is strikingly similar to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Here’s how similar they are:

Soon after legendary folk singer Loudon Wainwright III finished performing for cheering protesters in Zuccotti Park yesterday afternoon, telling them that the Occupy Wall Street encampment reminded him of the 1968 “Summer of Love,” a Catholic Worker band called the Filthy Rotten System showed up.

Bud Courtney, who plays banjo in the group, said its decidedly unholy name came from the late Dorothy Day, who started the Christian-anarchist Catholic Worker Movement 78 years ago with Peter Maurin during the Great Depression. She is now being considered for sainthood by the Catholic Church.

“Dorothy observed that all of our problems come from our acceptance of the filthy rotten system,” said Mr. Courtney, 61, a former actor who served on a Christian Peacemaker Team in Iraq last year and now lives at one of two Catholic Worker hospitality houses in the East Village. With the help of several bandmates as well as protesters who sang along, he belted out Woody Guthrie’s classic, “My Land is Your Land.”

To summarize things to this point, President Obama praised the OWS movement earlier this year. Now an offshoot of the movement is taking Newt Gingrich’s advice, though they aren’t marching on DC. Instead, they’re marching on Obama’s campaign HQ in Chicago.

The irony is just sweet.

It wasn’t that long ago that Ms. Pelosi was praising the OWS protesters. For that matter, President Obama praised the OWS protesters, too. Now that the protesters President Obama praised have invaded his campaign HQ, what are the odds President Obama will stop praising them?

Ironies this rich should be savored.

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When doesn’t 99% equal 99%? That’s simple. It’s when Rasmsussen’s polling shows #OWS’s popularity disappearing:

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 39% of Likely U.S. Votes hold at least a somewhat favorable view of the Occupy Wall Street protesters while 55% have an unfavorable view.

The OWS criminals have been calling themselves the 99% for far too long. The reality is that they don’t represent the mainstream of American politics. The vast majority of them are significantly to the left of Ms. Pelosi. That’s why Americans don’t have a high opinion of OWS thugs.

This is a major problem for Democrats wanting to wrap themselves in the OWS’ protests against “the 1%”.

The Democrats’ class envy campaign is turning people off. Most people don’t begrudge “the rich” for their success. Most people either would be satisfied with doing well or by following in “the rich’s” footsteps.

Democrats are betting this election on the hope that Americans will suddenly change their minds and become bitter people who begrudge other people’s success. That isn’t our national character. Because we’re a nation of doers, we’d rather create success than begrudge those that are successful.

OWS doesn’t represent the 99% because they’re whining, sniveling ‘the world owes me’ whiners. This poll proves it.

If President Obama wants to attach himself to OWS and incorporate their class warfare message into his stump speech, something that appears to have happened, then he’ll inflict pain on his campaign. While it might solidify his base, this rhetoric hurts him with independents.

The dirty little unspoken secret, except on this website alone, is that a president that’s struggling to rally his base is in deep re-election trouble.

When Bill Clinton ran for re-election in 1996, his base was solidly behind him. When George W. Bush ran for re-election, his base was enthusiastically working to get him re-elected. When President Reagan ran for re-election, he won 49 states. Need I say more?

OWS isn’t popular. It’s a curse on the Democratic Party. It’s worth noting that it’s a curse that the Democratic Party created. If President Obama wants to wrap himself in OWS’s type of populism, we’ll gladly bury him politically in that OWS coffin.

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Minnesotans for a Fair Economy is part of the progressive shock troop brigades, which means that they aren’t interested in harassing people equally. This post on their blog proves that:

Leon Whiteman-Cariveau

TakeAction Minnesota joined with our allies from Minnesotans for a Fair Economy at Noon today, chasing Wells Fargo CEO Jon Campbell and the politicians he supports through Wells Fargo PAC, down Nicollet Mall. Banks got billions in bailout money, politicians got $5 million. And all the rest of us got was this crummy economy. Watch, then share it out!

It’s well within TAM’s First Amendment rights to protest Wells Fargo CEO Jon Campbell. In fact, TAM might be surprised that alot of conservatives oppososed TARP, too.

What’s painfully obvious is that TAM and Minnesotans for a Fair Economy don’t treat different bailout recipients the same way. They certainly didn’t create a stink about the UAW getting their bailout from the Obama administration.

It’s painfully apparent that TAM and MAFE have a double standard. If unions get bailout cash, that’s sticking up for the working man. (Nevermind the fact that ‘the working man’ has Cadillac health insurance and a defined benefit pension plan that most middle class people would envy.) TAM and MAFE are fine with that.

The minute that perceived fatcats get bailouts, though, TAM and MAFE are furious. They’ll put a protest together against banking fatcats on a moment’s notice.

The other thing that they’re getting famous for is protesting those they don’t agree with while giving a free pass to politicians they agree with:

The crowd, organized by the community coalition Minnesotans for a Fair Economy and other groups, had followed the politicians and high-dollar donors, who made a last-minute change of venue from the exclusive Spring Hill Golf Club, apparently to avoid facing Minnesotans angry over their job-killing policies.

They watched as a plane flew overhead bearing a banner reading, “Where’s our piece of the pie? JOBS NOW.” The group was joined by puppet versions of Reps. Boehner, Bachmann, Cravaack, Paulsen, and Kline, who arrived in a limousine.

“These job-killing politicians are pushing radical budget cuts that threaten the jobs of nurses, teachers, and other hardworking Minnesotans,” said Minnesotans for a Fair Economy spokesperson Donna Cassutt. “It’s shameful that Reps. Bachmann, Cravaack, Paulsen and Kline are more interested in donors willing to pay $10,000 for a round of golf in order to protect tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations, while the Twin Cities has the second highest rate of black unemployment among large metropolitan areas in the United States.”

Ms. Cassutt better take off her rose-colored glasses. They’re preventing her from seeing that President Obama’s policies are killing jobs. Obamacare is killing job creation. Ditto with Dodd-Frank, the EPA’s and the NLRB’s regulatory unconstitutional overreach.

In fact, the Obama administration’s EPA is doing more to kill jobs than all of the Republicans’ spending cuts could possibly kill.

TAM and MAFE live in a fact-free world where everything they say should be treated like it’s etched by God’s finger in stone tablets atop Mount Sinai.

Shame on TAM, MAFE and other DFL surrogates for ignoring reality. Shame on them for ignoring that that President Obama’s policies and spending have taken an ailing economy and turned it into a total mess without a direction or purpose.

Despite TAM’s and MAFE’s vehement protests, President Obama is responsible for killing jobs.

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According to this WashPo article, President Obama’s base has crumbled:

The Post-ABC poll found that the number of liberal Democrats who strongly support Obama’s record on jobs plunged 22 points from 53 percent last year to 31 percent. The number of African Americans who believe the president’s actions have helped the economy has dropped from 77 percent in October to just over half of those surveyed.

Justin Ruben, executive director of the progressive MoveOn.org, said many people are frustrated by the bitter partisan battle over raising the debt ceiling that has consumed Washington, calling it a “bizarro parallel universe.” Another liberal group, Campaign for America’s Future, said it is planning a national protest Tuesday urging a speedy resolution over the national debt in order to refocus attention on unemployment.

“Many liberal Democrats are hoping that Obama can pivot from defending Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid to putting forward his own plans for creating jobs,” the group’s co-director Roger Hickey said.

I’d bet that I would’ve made a ton of money had I told people that President Obama’s support amongst liberals would plummet 22 points in a year. That it’s plumetted like that is astonishing to conservatives. I can’t imagine what it’s doing to David Axelrod’s stomach lining. (At least Maalox sales are up in the Chicago area, right?)

For months, liberals here in Minnesota have talked about the virtue of compromise. According to this gentleman, that isn’t a high priority:

“What I’ve realized is it doesn’t matter if you’re Republican or Democrat anymore,” said Joey Wakim, 21, a used car salesman from Allentown, Pa. “We just want somebody who’s gonna get things right.”

I’ve contended for quite awhile that people want policymakers who will get it right more than they want policymakers that compromise and don’t get the job done right. Mr. Wakim’s statement indicates that I’ve been right all along.
I’m not reflexively opposed to compromise as long as the other side has good ideas. Since President Obama’s inauguration, though, Democrats haven’t had many good ideas. Their stimulus bill didn’t create jobs. It prevented public employees from getting laid off but that isn’t what it was touted as doing.

Obamacare has been a disaster. Job creation and economic growth have been miniscule to nonexistent. This administration’s policies have been disastrous. Then-Speaker Pelosi’s and Senate Majority Leader Reid’s fingerprints are all over the past 2 years of failed economic policies.

Last November’s elections were a jolt to politicians, saying explicitly that they needed to cut spending first, then saying implicitly that they needed new politicians to get things right the first time so human suffering could be eliminated through private sector job creation.

It’s apparent that President Obama’s 2008 coalition doesn’t exist. Young people have all but totally abandoned him because he’s turned into politics as usual instead of being the transcendant figure he promised during the campaign.

This poll isn’t the only polling that this administration should be worried about. Yesterday, Rasmussen reported that 44% of people Strongly Disagree with the job President Obama is doing:

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Sunday shows that 23% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president. Forty-four percent (44%) Strongly Disapprove, giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -21. That’s the highest level of Strong Disapproval since last November.

At this rate, the most interesting question I’ve got is when do vulnerable Democratic incumbents start splitting wholesale with His Highness. The only instinct greater to a politician than party loyalty is their fidelity to getting re-elected.

I’ll keep track of the polls the rest of this week to monitor the reaction to President Obama’s campaign speech to the nation last night. I’m betting his Gallup approval rating will drop as a result of last night’s speech.

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Based on the information in this article, it’s just a matter of time before the Wisconsin 14 end their rebellion and return to the Senate:

The 14 Wisconsin state Senate Democrats who left the state two weeks ago will now face fines of $100 for each day they stay away.

Republicans remaining in the Senate approved the daily fine on Wednesday with none of the Democrats present.

The Democrats left Wisconsin in order to delay indefinitely a Republican-backed bill taking away collective bargaining rights from public employees.

The resolution passed on Wednesday also requires the missing Democrats to reimburse the Senate for any costs incurred during attempts to force them to return. Their salary and other per diem payments can be withheld until they pay back the penalties and costs.

Republicans have already withheld the checks of missing Democrats from direct deposit and denied access to copying machines for their staff.

These aren’t rich people. Getting fined $100/day plus paying for the attempts to bring them back to the chamber will get their attention fast.

MoveOn.org knows it’s essentially over, too:

MoveOn just blasted an email with the subject line: “We could lose Wisconsin.”

It’s just a matter of time. Get out the butter cuz this protest is toast.

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During the peak of Bill Clinton’s administration, the Democratic Leadership Council, with politicians like Joe Lieberman, John Breaux and Evan Bayh on board, played a significant policy role within the Democratic Party. This article, unfortunately, tells of the end of that once-influential wing of the Democratic Party:

The Democratic Leadership Council, the iconic centrist organization of the Clinton years, is out of money and could close its doors as soon as next week, a person familiar with the plans said Monday.

The DLC, a network of Democratic elected officials and policy intellectuals had long been fading from its mid-’90s political relevance, tarred by the left as a symbol of “triangulation” at a moment when there’s little appetite for intra-party warfare on the center-right. The group tried, but has failed, to remake itself in the summer of 2009, when its founder, Al From, stepped down as president. Its new leader, former Clinton aide Bruce Reed, sought to remake the group as a think tank, and the DLC split from its associated think tank, the Progressive Policy Institute.

This just makes official what’s been known since August, 2006:

But regardless of all that, the hard reality is that the voters have spoken, and their message was loud and clear: there’s no longer room for Joe Lieberman in the Democratic Party. And alas, tonight’s result will reverberate through the November elections and into the 2008 presidential campaign. It’s really much more than just a single primary in a single state; it’s a shot across the bow of moderate Democrats everywhere. And so, whatever further ramifications this result might have, there’s one thing it definitely means, one result that is officially cast in stone, as of today:
I am no longer a Democrat.

That’s the night Brendan Loy’s announcement told the world that Pelosi’s progressives had taken over the Democratic Party. It’s when people like Markos Moulitsas and Arianna Huffington thought that they’d taken over the Democratic Party and that there’d be nothing but smooth sailing ahead.

Those days are long gone, with November’s elections reproving the fact that we’re still a center-right nation.

During the health care takeover debate, a number of votes proved that there’s no such thing as a centrist Democrat anymore. When supposed centrists like Bart Stupak and Ben Nelson voted the same way that extremists like Bernie Sanders and Dennis Kucinich voted, that’s proof positive that centrism is dead within the Democratic Party.

The DLC is already showing signs of disrepair. Its website currently leads a Harold Ford op-ed from last November, titled, “Yes we can collaborate.” It lists as its staff just four people, and has only one fellow.

The biggest reason why money isn’t coming into the DLC’s coffers is because donors want a seat at the Democratic table. That table is now located significantly farther to the left than it was during the Clinton administration.

That’s a negative for the Democratic Party. Their tent is rapidly shrinking. They aren’t appealing to independents. Tax increases and out-of-control spending aren’t in style. That’s what the Democratic now stands for.

UPDATE: Make sure and read the Lady Logician’s take on this, too.

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Thanks to a deal keeping all Bush tax rates in place, the American people won’t have to pay higher taxes the next two years. Thanks to President Obama’s caving, Republicans will have a fantastic political issue to use against him while he runs for re-election. Here’s the details of the deal struck between President Obama and congressional Republicans:

Republicans control neither the House nor the Senate, and certainly not the White House. But they largely dictated the terms of President Barack Obama’s proposed tax-cut compromise, which disgruntled congressional Democrats want to discuss in closed meetings that are likely to be rowdy.

Republicans prevailed on their biggest demand: continuing Bush administration tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, despite Obama’s 2008 campaign promise to let them expire for households earning more than $250,000 a year. Obama, while acknowledging Democratic unrest, agreed to extend the tax breaks for two years, whereas Republicans wanted a permanent extension.

House and Senate Democratic leaders were noncommittal on the proposal, saying they would discuss it in closed caucus meetings Tuesday. Vice President Joe Biden, a key player in seeking a compromise, scheduled a rare visit to the Senate Democrats’ weekly luncheon the same day.

Congressional Democrats can discuss this all they want but their answer is certain. They’ll vote for extending these cuts, at least enough of them to pass the bill. Doing anything less would cut President Obama off at the knees, something that many House Democrats might see as a worthwhile option.

When we look back, it wouldn’t surprise me if we see this day as the day when someone decided to step forward and challenge President Obama in the Democratic primaries. Certainly, the natives aren’t happy, with some progressives calling it capitulation:

But many Democrats felt the president gave up too much and gave in too fast. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was noncommittal. Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont said he would filibuster, and a group of progressive Democrats in the House circulated a letter in opposition.

Adam Green of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee called the deal a capitulation.

“Everything President Obama has done has signaled weakness and has sent a signal to Republicans that if they block tax cuts long enough, at the end of the day he will pass whatever comes across his desk. That is not how you negotiate,” Green said.

The reality is that letting the Bush tax cuts expire would’ve led to the next economic downturn, which would’ve meant President Obama being a one-term president. For all his talk about rather being a great one-term president than a mediocre two-term president, President Obama proved that his strongest instinct is to preserve his political career.

Carving out common ground might be what independent voters want the president to do, but it’s not what his base wants. MoveOn.org has created a television ad featuring Obama voters who ask, “What’s happened to that bold progressive man we elected president?” The ad is aimed at the politically crucial state of Iowa.

That “bold progressive man” was an illusion. He didn’t really exist. That was just his stage personna. Dick Morris was right during last night’s Hannity appearance when he said that “to characterize this as a deal is like that famous deal that Emporor Hirohito struck with Gen. MacArthur on the battleship Missouri. This is surrender. This is Obama absolutely caving.”

This won’t seal Obama’s defeat but it will outrage his base. What it does is it shrinks Obama’s margin for error. His base won’t let him compromise with Republicans again. If he surrenders again, it’s certain that he’ll face a primary challenger, which will split the Democratic Party wide open.

Until now, the Democratic Party has successfully hidden the fact that they’re essentially two seperate parties, with the MoveOn.org side dominating the DLC side. Remember Howard Dean’s saying that he represented the “Democratic wing of the Democratic Party“? Here’s his explanation of that cliche:

BOB EDWARDS, host: You say you represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic party. Explain that.

Former Vermont Gov. HOWARD DEAN: That was really a phrase that was first developed by Paul Wellstone, and although Paul Wellstone’s probably a little more liberal than I, his characteristic, which I enormously admire, was that he’s willing to stand up for what he believes in. I think there are so many people in our party that aren’t. When I go around talking to Democratic audiences, one of the lines that gets an enormous round of applause is that there are almost as many Democrats that I talk to that are angry at the Democrat Party as they are angry at the Republican Party.

The reality is that the MoveOn.org types see the DLC types as Republican lite.

President Obama played to the MoveOn.org side during the 2008 campaign. Tonight, he essentially threw that wing under the bus. This will cause the MoveOn.org side lots of heartburn and consternation, not to mention alot of re-examination and soul-searching.

DLC types will note that, whereas President Obama caved during negotiations, President Clinton never got rolled in negotiations, just adding fuel to the fire that President Obama is in over his head.

This is a major victory for Republicans, an embarrassing defeat and surrender for President Obama.

UPDATE: Based on this post, I’d say that the Democrats are in danger of picking a fight with President Obama:

A bloc of Senate Democrats could decide not to support a White House-brokered deal on tax cuts and unemployment benefits, thereby putting the plan in danger, according to the second-ranking Senate Democrat.

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.) suggested Monday evening that many caucus members could threaten to back away from the deal as leverage to ensure it gets what it wants from a potential compromise with Republicans.

UPDATE II: Based on Jake Tapper’s reporting, the fight is on between the White House and Capitol Hill:

Vice President Biden heads to Capitol Hill today to lobby Senate Democrats to support the tax cut compromise, as President Obama faces criticism from congressional Democrats that he should have fought more for the Bush tax cuts on the middle class, and against the cuts for wealthier Americans.

The White House has two arguments for what they acknowledge are “frustrated” Democrats:

1) We wanted a fight on these tax cuts, and Congressional Democrats never took up the charge and held a vote;

2) This is a good deal, and we weren’t willing to let taxes go up on middle class Americans, or to deprive the unemployed of insurance benefits, just to prove a political point.

“We wanted a fight, the House didn’t throw a punch,” a senior White House official tells ABC News, pointing out that for months before the 2010 midterm elections, President Obama was making the case against the Bush tax cuts for wealthier Americans. “The House wouldn’t vote before the Senate, and the Senate was afraid they’d lose a vote on it.”

“It was like the Jets versus Sharks except there weren’t any Jets,” the official said. “Senator Schumer says he wants a fight? He couldn’t hold his caucus together.”

Based on this reporting, the guns are out and the circle is forming. This ain’t gonna be pretty.

UPDATE: Welcome Instapundit readers. Check out my other posts, some about Minnesota politics, some about Chuck Schumer’s dishonest ploy about taxing the rich.

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Last week, I highlighted Doug Schoen’s op-ed in this post. I didn’t think much about it but upon further review, I think we might be seeing Clinton supporters becoming more critical of the Obama administration. It’s more plausible now that Mark Penn has written an op-ed critical of using reconciliation to pass health care reform:

Reconciliation has been used before to pass major legislation. Proponents of this approach are fond of pointing to the passage of welfare reform, COBRA, and Bush’s ’01 and ’03 tax cuts as evidence that the Democrats are fully inside the lines. For the administration, the most crucial difference between those bills and this is not their urgency, partisan nature, or even particularly their impact on the deficit; for Obama and his team, the most critical variant is that those bills were popular with the public. In 1996, 68% of Americans favored welfare reform. In 2000, before Bush’s $1.3 trillion tax cut was introduced (by the notably bipartisan duo of Senators Phil Gramm and Zell Miller,) 63% of Americans thought they were paying too much income tax; by the spring of 2001, after a month of legislative wrangling, 56% favored Bush’s proposed cuts. In 2003, with the Iraq war railing in the background and a post-9/11 economy flailing at home, 52% supported the second round of cuts. Not a huge margin, perhaps, but still a majority.

A February CNN poll puts voter support for the current bill (or a similar variant thereof) at just 25%. An equal percentage thinks Congress should forget health care reform altogether, while 48% think they should start work on an entirely new bill. Of more concern to any Democrat with an eye on reelection, Independents remain unmoved by the arguments in reform’s favor, with only 18% supporting it and 52% calling for an entirely new bill.

I’ve said numerous times that universal health care is the Democrats’ holy grail achievement. Sensible people like Mark Penn and Doug Schoen are considered heretics by the Deaniacs and Kossacks. By now, though, America has figured it out that, comparatively speaking, Penn and Schoen are sane people and that the Deaniac/Kossack bunch aren’t.

Democrats would be wise to heed this advice:

And there is a step-by-step approach that would make sense. Going one round at a time in health care reform, hand in hand with economic recovery, would be a strategic win for the administration. After Massachusetts, it would have made sense to pick out and pass those measures that help control costs and strengthen coverage while building up to the major expansion of coverage as the fiscal situation improved. There are lots of changes that have garnered support through this process. The polls show Americans would embrace a bill banning discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, overwhelmingly support a move to standardized electronic medical records and 66% favor some kind of caps on malpractice awards. Reduce costs, improve the system, and then expand coverage; that is the way to run this out strategically and bring along full public support.

I’ve said since Day One that the right way to do health care reform is to lower costs. By lowering costs, you’re increasing accessability. The Democrats’ approach is to cover everyone first, then work on the other facets later. That isn’t the right approach because it doesn’t do anything to control costs. Until that’s fixed, everything else is wasted effort.

I’m curious about the timing of these articles. Anything Clinton-related is intentional, not coincidental. I’m betting that President Clinton understands that the economy is struggling badly and that passing health care through reconciliation won’t fix the economy.

I also think that egos play a role in this. If President Obama passes comprehensive health care reform, he will, in his mind, hold something over President Clinton in the legacy department.

The main point to me is that the Democrats should listen to the saner voices of Mark Penn and Doug Schoen. Thus far, taking the Chicago road doesn’t appear to be working.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative