Here's the quote from California Democratic Party strategist Bob Mulholland:
"It is going to be thrown out and rejected," said Bob Mulholland, a veteran party strategist in Sacramento. "Sometimes people can't anticipate or can't understand the big picture."
Now, here on DailyKos, you've had the misfortune of meeting Bob Mulholland before--he was the consultant who changed dday's mind on impeachment, based on a "conversation" he had with the two of us at the most recent Executive Board Meeting of the California Democratic Party in July after my resolution to impeach Gonzales was commuted in committee. As dday tells it, the main lesson to be learned from that conversation was this:
This is not some Johnny-come-lately. This is a 30-year strategist who consistently spouted the "play not to lose" line of attack over the "play to win." And he appeared to be going around the room making this argument to people. I can only conclude that he's scared. Progressives within the party have had a late start in California, but they are far more organized and growing in strength. Before long this is going to translate into results at the candidate level (maybe from our mystery man in CA-42), and THAT, more than a continued Republican takeover of government, is the most anathema thing to Consultant X. Living in the bubble, he's convinced himself that he's never wrong, and that any move to create a politics of contrast based on defined principles would amount to a death rattle, not just for the party but for HIS gravy train. So instead we get this cautiousness, this mushiness, this willingness to fold in the face of pressure, this concerted effort to be Republican-lite instead of Democratic.
And so, my new calculation is that any action abhorrent to Consultant X would be one that I wholeheartedly endorse. And so I want to thank him for turning someone skeptical of the political value of impeachment into someone who can't wait to call the House Judiciary Committee and demand it.
But isn't that the oldest charge in the book? We just don't understand political reality. Well actually, Bob, I believe that I and my fellows who are sponsoring the resolution calling for censure of Senator Feinstein do understand political reality. See, the reality is this:
The American Constitution has been so trashed by this administration that an Attorney General who actively says that torture is okay and that the President is above the law can receive a majority vote in the Senate;
This President is so extreme that he will appoint known and avowed racist bigots to Federal Circuit Judgeships; and,
The highest levels of government and corporate America have become so lawless that we're now debating retroactive amnesty for telecommunications giants who conspired with Bush to break the law.
And Dianne Feinstein has not only allowed this, she has actively aided and abetted it.
But I'm sure you're curious as to what "political reality" the insiders like Bob Mulholland are working with that enables them to say that the California Democratic Party supports Dianne Feinstein 100%. Well, I'll leave it to Steve Maviglio, who works in the office of California State Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez (who has had ethical difficulties of his own, I dare say), to explain:
just received a great email from the head of the CDP's enviro caucus opposing the censure of DiFi. Like me, he doesn't agree with her positions on the two issues cited. But also like me, he knows she's a terrific Senator who has done amazing things for our state. And she's an amazing vote getter in places like the Central Valley.
Well, I'll say two things in response to this: first, the fact that Bill Clinton did fantastic and amazing things for our country during his eight years in office didn't immunize him from being censured by our very own Dianne Feinstein for his affair with Monica Lewinsky. So there's a lot of precedent out there. But that little piece of hypocrisy notwithstanding, what is Steve claiming? That she can get votes in California's conservative Central Valley?
This rationale makes very little sense, given the fact that a) The margin of victory for Barbara Boxer, California's progressive Senator, has increased in each election cycle, and b) it's not likely to matter how good Dianne Feinstein does in the Central Valley if she acts like a Republican to get those votes! A Republican would do even better in the Central Valley, if that's the direction you want to go.
Memo to Bob Mulholland: we are dealing with
the most unpopular administration in history. And it's high time--especially in a progressive state like California--that we started expecting our Democrats in Congress to send a strong message of opposition to the agenda of President Bush, rather than consistently cowering in fear that someone is going to accuse us of being unpatriotic or weak on national security. Those days are over. And moreover, here in California, we don't even have the "Ben Nelson" problem of being lucky to have a Democrat in office in the first place.
The campaigns we wage here on the blogosphere aren't just about electing Democrats--they're about electing better Democrats. And it's time to send a message to the insider consultants and incumbent protectors who are trying to save their own skins, and that message is a simple one:
The time for a bunker mentality of shellshocked defense, triangulation and capitulation must end if our system of American governance is to survive.
If we, as we do, value government responsibility, the traditional separation of powers, and even, dare I say, the rule of law, we must stand together and say proudly, not just here in California, but nationwide, to our elected Democrats:
the time for appeasement is at an end. now is the time for reform.
And yeah, I get the big picture. Thanks.
ACTION ITEM update: Moveon has gotten involved! That'll ratchet up the heat a little bit. Big thanks to the crew at the Courage Campaign for helping to get the ball rolling on this. Here's their ActBlue.
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