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?