Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Fare Too Rich for Breakfast

Page 1 of today’s Boston Globe has a long story about the rebuilding effort of the Massachusetts Democratic party. You read that right. They enjoy a 7-1 majority in the legislature, control every state-wide office except the Governor’s office, yet “Its activist base is withering and its membership is in decline”. Thanks for that news. I might not have noticed otherwise.

Seriously, this is an excellent story about “the party”, and it rivals Joan Vennochi’s work in its in-house truth-telling. It is fare too rich for breakfast, but don’t miss it. Read the whole thing.

The coverage today of Monday’s filibuster fiasco is relegated to page 2 of the Globe. The story, by reporter Charlie Savage, must have seemed too embarrassing to run on the front page, given that both our US Senators were leaders in the embarrassment. Excerpts:

Senators John F. Kerry and Edward M. Kennedy begged, cajoled, and thundered in their attempt to persuade colleagues to join them in blocking a vote on the Supreme Court confirmation of Samuel A. Alito Jr., but in the end yesterday they succeeded only in splitting the Democratic caucus…But by splitting Senate Democrats on the eve of what had been expected to be a resounding vote against Alito, the filibuster prompted frustration among colleagues, said a Democratic aide, speaking on background. 'Some people are asking: 'Did Kerry do this in the best interests of the Democratic Party, or in the best interests of John Kerry?' the aide said.

There is no conflict here, Mr. Savage. With apologies to Charles W. Wilson, “What’s good for John Kerry is good for the Democratic party.” And once again it seems W has been misunderestimated by those who hate him. A Miers confirmation vote would have split his own party, so he changed course. His preference was to let the other party split, and the Democratic presidential candidates, who needed the money and backing of liberal extremists, were quite obliging.

On page 3, Peter Canellos dissects Bush’s victory in the Senate in a column headlined 'In a values debate, Bush again paints his critics into corner’.

The injection of such values into the debate also ratcheted up emotions -- because Bush was implicitly suggesting that his opponents didn't share those values, and what good can be said about people who aren't willing to fight for their way of life (or, in the case of spying, people who aren't willing to try to intercept terrorist plots)?

Good question. I understand that Senators Kerry and Kennedy have been blogging lately over at the fever swamps of the Daily Kos, where it seems to me there are quite a few people whose views fit the above description quite well. Peter should become more familiar with it.

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