Tuesday, March 25, 2008

New governing majority

Robin Toner wrote in New York Times At the core of Senator Barack Obama’s presidential campaign is a promise that he can transcend the starkly red-and-blue politics of the last 15 years, end the partisan and ideological wars and build a new governing majority.... But this promise leads, inevitably, to a question: Can such a majority be built and led by Mr. Obama, whose voting record was, by one ranking, the most liberal in the Senate last year?
Of course not. The far left would like to think it can grab power, but if it gets it, the right will resist with even more polarization. The only chance for a a new and less polarized type of politics is to start in the center, which is where McCain is, and Obama and Hillary are not. After the convention they will try to move to the center, but claiming to be in the center is not the same as actually being there. Here is an example. John Amato is beating up on Debbie Wasserman Schultz because she won’t publicly join Democratic Party efforts to unseat the three Cuban-American congressional Republicans from Miami-Dade County. And the reason she has said is that she can’t risk the consequences if she publicly works against U.S. Reps. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Mario Diaz-Balart, and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen — and they end up getting re-elected. Debbie knows she is not going to be able to get rid of all Repoblicans, and even Centrist Democrats like the rabid left wants, and she is going to need to be able to work with them in the future.
Also, and more immediately, if Mr. Obama wins the Democratic nomination, how will his promise of a new and less polarized type of politics fare against the Republican attacks that since the 1980s have portrayed Democrats as far out of step with the country’s values?

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