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November 13, 2006

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Special Interest Groups Demand Post Election Promises From Dems

Liberal groups expect post election results.
Activists who helped Democrats secure Congress make clear they intend to get their reward.

WASHINGTON — After toppling the long-dominant Republicans in a hard-fought election, the Democratic Party's incoming congressional leaders have immediately found themselves in another difficult struggle — with their own supporters.

Some of the very activists who helped propel the Democrats to a majority in the House and Senate last week are claiming credit for the victories and demanding what they consider their due: a set of ambitious — and politically provocative — actions on gun control, abortion, national security and other issues that party leaders fear could alienate moderate voters and leave Democrats vulnerable to GOP attacks as big spenders or soft on terrorism.

The conflict underscores the challenge facing the Democrats in line to lead Congress — Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco in the House and Harry Reid of Nevada in the Senate. Each has pledged in recent days to "govern from the center," after a campaign in which anger over the Iraq war and GOP scandals helped their party attract some unusually conservative candidates and a large share of independent voters.

Turning off those new voters could undermine Democrats' hopes of solidifying their new majorities and taking the White House in 2008. But to the leaders of interest groups who are core supporters of the Democratic Party, and who had been barred under Republican rule from the inner sanctums of power, the new Congress means a time for action, not compromise.

Lobbyists for the American Civil Liberties Union, for example, are all but counting on Democrats to repeal the most controversial provisions of the Patriot Act, the anti-terrorist law pushed by the White House that some critics call unconstitutional. They also want to end President Bush's domestic wiretapping program.

"We are not going to let them off the hook," said Caroline Fredrickson, the ACLU's legislative director, of the newly empowered Democratic leaders in Congress.

"We will hold their feet to the fire and use all the tools we can to mobilize our members."

Similar vows are coming from lobbyists for abortion rights, who want to expand family-planning options for poor women and scale back Bush's focus on abstinence education, and from gun-control advocates, who hope to revive a lapsed ban on assault weapons. Labor unions, a core Democratic constituency, are demanding universal healthcare and laws discouraging corporations from seeking inexpensive labor overseas.

"It's been kind of a drought for 12 years, and there is some pent-up energy," said Bill Samuel, legislative director for the AFL-CIO, the labor federation that has long been a Democratic Party stalwart and spent millions of dollars on get-out-the-vote activities.

Several of the labor movement's less-controversial goals, such as raising the minimum wage and allowing Medicare to seek discounts on drug prices, are found both in the AFL-CIO's brochures and on a Democratic leadership wish list designed to appeal across ideological lines.

But labor officials said they expected Pelosi, Reid and others to go further.

The day after the election, labor leaders declared a mandate for their causes and called on the new Congress to immediately reverse anti-union policies enacted by the Bush administration and promote affordable healthcare "for all."

"We're realistic about the congressional timetable, but we have our own view about why people went to the polls," said Samuel. "We think it had to do with their unhappiness with Republican inaction on the economy…. They're expecting Congress to tackle these issues, not play short ball."

Eli Pariser, executive director of the political action committee associated with the liberal activist group, warned that Democratic leaders would be ill-advised to ignore the party's base.

"A huge number of people were involved in putting them over the top," Pariser said. "There's a huge group of people engaged and energized and ready to support Pelosi and company when they boldly lead — and to hold them to account if they stray."

Pressure on Democrats is especially acute to redirect U.S. policy in Iraq. Many Democrats say the issue was the most important one driving the party's victory.

Democratic lawmakers have not unified behind a single Iraq policy. If they could find common ground with Bush on a continued troop presence, they might fend off GOP efforts to label them as weak on national security — but they would probably infuriate a growing antiwar movement that helped propel the party back into power.

"American voters have done their job; now it's time for Congress to do theirs," said former Rep. Tom Andrews (D-Maine), national director of the antiwar group Win Without War. "The message couldn't be clearer. It's time to start the orderly withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. Our eyes are on the new Congress."

Other interest groups are pointing to Tuesday's results as vindication of their particular causes, and as proof that Democrats should embrace their issues rather than shun them as too liberal.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America, which advocates abortion rights, pointed to victories by like-minded candidates in conservative states and a rejection by South Dakota voters of an abortion ban. The result, the group says, should be that Democrats view their causes as mainstream, rather than part of a liberal agenda, and should devote more money to contraception and other family-planning options opposed by religious conservatives and scaled back by the administration.

Story Here
Boy are you Liberals in a pickle! You have ALL these Special Interest Groups that have been claiming "They own you" and they will be pretty ticked off if you dont deliver on thier far left radical agendas, then on the other hand you have the Moderates who probably wont let you guys run amuck and completely out of control, then you have the Republicans that voted for you who are really going to be ticked off when you start taking away Security Measures that have kept us Safe for the last 5 Years, and start Raising Taxes.

Because you ran on Repealing ALL Bush's Tax cuts, Withdrawing the Troops IMEDIATELY!, Impeaching The President, etc..etc.. and so far you have backed away from alot of that. My oh My, what is going to happen the minute you turn in either direction? See that's what happens when you're NOT the same person that you were when you went to bed Wednesday night as you are on Thursday Morning! Why werent you guys just truthfull, and said "We Are Going To Totally Screw Up The Country Because The Special Intrest Groups Paid Us To Do So"?


Anonymous mudkitty said...

Honey, we're ALL hoping for the reapeal of the UnPatriot Act (you are familiar with Orwellian language, are you not?) Not just the ACLU. Bring back oversite and accountablility and the rule of law!

November 13, 2006 8:18 AM  
Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...


Honey, we're ALL hoping for the reapeal of the UnPatriot Act (you are familiar with Orwellian language, are you not?) Not just the ACLU. Bring back oversite and accountablility and the rule of law!
Oh face it, George Soros, the ACLU, all these special interest groups "OWN" you guy's. No matter what way you guy's turn you are going to piss someone off!

Repealing the Safeguards that have kept this Country safe for 5 years, is going to cause a revolt, even in your own party! Thank heaven some of the Dems that were elected are "Moderates" "Reagan Democrats", the kind that are pro-gun, pro Defense, etc, we called them part of the "Reagan Revolution". Hopefully they will be the ones that keep you Liberal Lunatics from completely running amuck and puting the Country in the position of being attacked again.

YOU guy's are the ones that HAVE to produce SOMETHING Now! Which will be pretty hard since you never had a plan to begin with!!

November 13, 2006 9:21 AM  
Anonymous Mr Red said...

History was made this week! For the first time in four election cycles, Democrats are not attacking the Diebold Corp. the day after the election, accusing it of rigging its voting machines. I guess Diebold has finally been vindicated.

So the left won the House and also Nicaragua. They've had a good week. At least they don't have their finger on the atom bomb yet.

Democrats support surrender in Iraq, higher taxes and the impeachment of President Bush. They just won an election by pretending to be against all three.

Jon Tester, Bob Casey Jr., Heath Shuler, possibly Jim Webb — I've never seen so much raw testosterone in my life. The smell of sweaty jockstraps from the "new Democrats" is overwhelming.

Having predicted this paltry Democrat win, my next prediction is how long it will take all these new "gun totin' Democrats" to be fitted for leotards.

Now that they've won their elections and don't have to deal with the hicks anymore, Tester can cut lose the infernal buzz cut, Casey can start taking "Emily's List" money, and Webb can go back to writing more incestuously homoerotic fiction ... and just in time for Christmas!

But according to the media, this week's election results are a mandate for pulling out of Iraq (except in Connecticut where pro-war Joe Lieberman walloped anti-war "Ned the Red" Lamont).

In fact, if the Democrats' pathetic gains in a sixth-year election are a statement about the war in Iraq, Americans must love the war! As Roll Call put it back when Clinton was president: "Simply put, the party controlling the White House nearly always loses House seats in midterm elections" — especially in the sixth year.

In Franklin D. Roosevelt's sixth year in 1938, Democrats lost 71 seats in the House and six in the Senate.

In Dwight Eisenhower's sixth year in 1958, Republicans lost 47 House seats, 13 in the Senate.

In John F. Kennedy/Lyndon Johnson's sixth year, Democrats lost 47 seats in the House and three in the Senate.

In Richard Nixon/Gerald Ford's sixth year in office in 1974, Republicans lost 43 House seats and three Senate seats.

Even America's greatest president, Ronald Reagan, lost five House seats and eight Senate seats in his sixth year in office.

But in the middle of what the media tell us is a massively unpopular war, the Democrats picked up about 30 House seats and five to six Senate seats in a sixth-year election, with lots of seats still too close to call. Only for half-brights with absolutely no concept of yesterday is this a "tsunami" — as MSNBC calls it — rather than the death throes of a dying party.

During eight years of Clinton — the man Democrats tell us was the greatest campaigner ever, a political genius, a heartthrob, Elvis! — Republicans picked up a total of 49 House seats and nine Senate seats in two midterm elections. Also, when Clinton won the presidency in 1992, his party actually lost 10 seats in the House — only the second time in the 20th century that a party won the White House but lost seats in the House.

Meanwhile, the Democrats' epic victory this week, about which songs will be sung for generations, means that in two midterm elections Democrats were only able to pick up about 30 seats in the House and four seats in the Senate — and that's assuming they pick up every seat that is currently too close to call. (The Democrats' total gain is less than this week's gain because Bush won six House and two Senate seats in the first midterm election.)

So however you cut it, this midterm proves that the Iraq war is at least more popular than Bill Clinton was.

In a choice between Republicans' "Stay until we win" Iraq policy or the Democrats' "Stay, leave ... stay for a while then leave ... redeploy and then come back ... leave and stay ... cut and run ... win, lose or draw policy," I guess Americans prefer the Republican policy.

The Democrats say we need a "new direction" in Iraq. Yeah, it's called "reverse." Democrats keep talking about a new military strategy in Iraq. How exactly is cut-and-run a new strategy? The French have been doing it for years. The Democrats are calling their new plan for Iraq "Operation Somalia."

The Democrats certainly have their work cut out for them. They have only two years to release as many terrorists as possible and lock up as many Republicans as they can. Republicans better get that body armor for the troops the Democrats are always carping about — and fast. The troops are going to need it for their backs.

November 13, 2006 12:01 PM  
Anonymous Mrs. Green said...

Nice try at a spin job, Mr. Red.

You still lost. No matter how you try to put lipstick on it, it's still a pig.

Get over it. Isn't that what you guys told the Dems when they lost 2 years ago?

58% of the vote in Montana went to George Bush in 2000 and 2004. But they voted to send a Democrat to the senate 2 years later, and kicked Conrad Burns out. So how do you explain that? Did some of those smart people who voted for Bush in 2000 and 2004 have an epiphany? Could be.

YOur screed is filled with self-delusion, anger, and FAUX talking points.

We're all in this together. Work together or we'll all sink together.

It's your choice, Mr. Red.

November 13, 2006 2:10 PM  
Anonymous mudkitty said...

First of all, the Unpatriot Act hasn't been in place for 5 years. It was designed only to retroactivly cover the Bushies asses from the war crimes they've commited AGAINST OUR TROOPS.

And yes, it's VERY SIMPLE; Diebold will have to produce paper trails regardless of the outcome of this election.

What have you guys got? "Staying is Winning?" The American people have seen through that.

Emily's List has disbanded, you big silly. Are you THAT far behind the times?

I just love it how Red thinks losing the house and the senate is a good sign for republicans. Show's why you lost in the first place.

November 13, 2006 2:12 PM  
Blogger LJG aka Pennsylvania Independent said...

I see that on both sides of the political spectrum. Look at the Log Cabin Republicans, whom President Bush made promises to them in the 2000 election.
The Patriot act, if not revoked, needs some a serious overhaul. I have read parts in the act which I am not too secure whether it will protect us, or throw constituional rights out the door to benefit government. It scares me when the govenment can hold you as long as they want as long as they claim it is "terrorist related" or a threat to "national security" Even when it is not terrorist related.
It really doesn't matter who you vote for. They are not the same person when they fall asleep on Wednesday night, because they will stand for a different set of values when they wake up on Thursday morning.
Democrats and Republicans will say anything and everything just to get people to vote for them.

November 13, 2006 2:25 PM  
Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...

Mr. Red,

So by your statistics (Not Polls) you are saying we didnt lose much and the Dems didnt win much?

Well that put's a whole different out look on this.

And some other Republican guy I never heard of won tonight after a count of all absentee ballots in some other state. It doesnt look like this is over yet. So there is like 10 States that havent even had a decision yet. So the gain of Dems House seats is ALOT less than previously thought!

Great analogy and post Mr.Red

November 13, 2006 8:35 PM  
Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...

Mrs Green,

Nice try at a spin job, Mr. Red.

You still lost. No matter how you try to put lipstick on it, it's still a pig.

Actually it's a jackass!

Get over it. Isn't that what you guys told the Dems when they lost 2 years ago?

I dont think Mr Red told anybody anything 2 years ago, he doesnt talk much. He just post's something on ocassion lol.

November 14, 2006 7:51 AM  
Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...


The Patriot Act is going to stay right where it is.

I dont even think The Dems are stupid enough to let that one lapse. 5 years without an attack speaks for itself.

Beside's they know if they want anything from President Bush, they better keep these safeguards in place, or Bush still has his little pen!

Even though Harry Reid boast's about killing it, knowing his feet will be held to the fire if he does, I dont think the "Moderates" in the party (I didnt know there were any left) will stop him!

You dont take away a tool that has protected us for 5 years, even though the Liberal's most of the time are Lunatic's, I am trying to have a little faith that they arent entirely idiot's. I have been proven wrong on that though so we will have to see.

November 14, 2006 8:09 AM  
Blogger J_G said...

Well Marie, I'm plenty wrung out today but I'll join the mix by Wednesday. There was no ovewhelming win as my post on my blog outlines. It is just the last chance for a party that the American people had given up on. This really is the last chance for dems.

When nothing gets done because they have no real power or mandate they will show what they are truly made of and this will be read on their epitaph in history;


I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away."

Percy Bysshe Shelley

November 14, 2006 9:27 AM  

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