I know – it’s not exactly news, but the NYT has a piece today about ‘daily conference calls’ Democrat staff leaders in the House and Senate have with anti-war moonbat groups like MoveOn.org. and how those groups have helped significantly shape the Democrats’ anti-war policies:
WASHINGTON, May 4 — Every morning, representatives from a cluster of antiwar groups gather for a conference call with Democratic leadership staff members in the House and the Senate.
Shortly after, in a cramped meeting room here, they convene for a call with organizers across the country. They hash out plans for rallies. They sketch out talking points for “rapid response” news conferences. They discuss polls they have conducted in several dozen crucial Congressional districts and states across the country.
Over the last four months, the Iraq deliberations in Congress have lurched from a purely symbolic resolution rebuking the president’s strategy to timetables for the withdrawal of American troops. Behind the scenes, an elaborate political operation, organized by a coalition of antiwar groups and fine-tuned to wrestle members of Congress into place one by one, has helped nudge the debate forward.
But there are tensions in the relationship between the groups, which banded together earlier this year under the umbrella of Americans Against Escalation in Iraq, and the Democratic leadership. The fissures could be magnified in coming weeks as the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi of California, and the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, struggle to cobble together a strategy after President Bush’s veto of the $124 billion Iraq spending bill that tied the money to a timetable for withdrawal.
On Thursday, leaders of the liberal group MoveOn.org, including Tom Matzzie, the group’s Washington director who also serves as the campaign manager for the coalition, sent a harshly worded warning to the Democratic leadership.
“In the past few days, we have seen what appear to be trial balloons signaling a significant weakening of the Democratic position” the letter read. “On this, we want to be perfectly clear: if Democrats appear to capitulate to Bush — passing a bill without measures to end the war — the unity Democrats have enjoyed and Democratic leadership has so expertly built, will immediately disappear.”
The letter went on to say that if Democrats passed a bill “without a timeline and with all five months of funding” they would essentially be endorsing a “war without end.” MoveOn, it said, “will move to a position of opposition.”
These are the people who now hold all the cards in the Democratic party:
Caption: Antiwar organizations at a planning retreat Thursday in Washington, in a composite image. The discussion mirrored that of planning meetings for traditional political campaigns. (Stephen Crowley/The New York Times)
Potential new party motto: What Would McGovern Do?
Top this off with the news that 35% of Democrats believe Bush “knew” about the 9-11 attacks before they happened, and 26% ‘aren’t sure’, and you have the makings of a party where the fringe is no longer the fringe, but very much the mainstream.
Joining this group are a few former “Bush Republicans” who now support either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton because of their ‘disillusionment’ with Bush. Um, newsflash, people: Bush isn’t running for re-election. He can’t. There are ten Republicans out there all trying to distinguish themselves from Bush and amazingly they can do it without – gasp – switching parties and support.
What’s the real reason these so-called “Bush Republicans” are turning to the other party? It has very little to do with their ‘frustrations’ with the President and a whole lot to do with wanting to be on board the Democratic party ‘power express’, which is running full steam ahead, just about as fast as the Little Engine That Couldn’t. You can have ’em, Democrats.
Update: Vote in the MoveOn.org poll on impeaching the President. Jules Crittenden has the details.