Two faces of the Democratic Party: Sen. Blanche Lincoln and filmmaker Michael Moore
If folks like Michael Moore have their way in Washington and in the counsels of the Democratic Party, Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, first elected to the House of Representatives in 1992, won't be reelected again in 2010.
Moore, never one to miss a chance at publicity, especially when he's selling a movie, puffed himself up into his quite considerable full size and bloviated the other day on the future he sees for Democrats:
“To the Democrats in Congress who don’t quite get it: I want to offer a personal pledge. I – and a lot of other people – have every intention of removing you from Congress in the next election if you stand in the way of health care legislation that the people want,” Moore told supporters of women’s groups and unions gathered at the headquarters of the government watchdog group Public Citizen.
“That is not a hollow or idle threat. We will come to your district and we will work against you, first in the primary and, if we have to, in the general election.”
Lincoln is, indeed, in trouble down home -- but has no need to fear that Moore and the left wing of her party will knock her off in either a primary or a general election. Republicans will take care of that, but with a clear-cut boost from Moore and company.
As I reported in a recent post, independent political analyst Charlie Cook and many others believe that the leftward tilt of the Democratic agenda this year has already alienated a large part of "purple America" -- the independent and moderate swing voters who went decisively for Obama and the Democrats to punish the GOP for its failures. As a result, Cook now believes that Democrats will suffer substantial losses in 2010 -- possibly even control of the House -- at the hands of "an electorate growing just as disgusted with the Democratic majority as it did with the Republican one in 2006."
So, you'd think that self-anointed "progressives" like Moore, who never tire of casting themselves as the only people in America concerned about working families, the environment and so much else, would have enough sense to take it easy, lest control be returned to the GOP in two or four years.
No, they don't. Far from it, they're doing everything possible either to enact an agenda that is simply too radical for an American consensus or to wreck the Democratic Party in the process by driving moderates like Lincoln from office. Allow them to get away with this and Arkansas will be represented in the Senate by a Republican far more conservative than Lincoln (and five or six other Senate seats could change parties with similar results).
Come to think of it, that's what Moore and company really want, isn't it? Even more polarization -- a deep divide between an aggressive left and an equally aggressive right -- because they enjoy the thrills of fierce political combat. It works wonders in pumping up their self-righteousness and feeding their sense of superiority.
The rest of us just want a competent, reasonable practical-minded government presided over by principled but sensible people who can disagree but still find ways to work together.
President Obama can make this happen -- if he plants his own feet firmly in the center and insists that his party join him there.
What do you think? Post a comment.