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Tremors within the Democratic Party

Tuesday, August 16, 2005  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt
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While still in Europe I pointed you to Dean Barnett’s “The New Litmus Test,” which details the enormous stresses that the rise of the hard left has created within the Democrtaic Party.

Now over at “Call for a Summer of Truth,” contributor RaginBlue6 gives voice to the left’s disdain for their Washington leadership:

The prominence of party leaders like Biden and Clinton, and of a slew of other potential pro-war candidates who support the US invasion and occupation of Iraq, presents the Democrats with an odd dilemma: At a time when the American people are turning against the Iraq War and favor a withdrawal of US troops, and British and American leaders are publicly discussing a partial pullback, the leading Democratic presidential candidates for ’08 are unapologetic war hawks. Nearly 60 percent of Americans now oppose the war, according to recent polling. Sixty-three percent want US troops brought home within the next year. Yet a recent National Journal “insiders poll” found that a similar margin of Democratic members of Congress reject setting any timetable. The possibility that America’s military presence in Iraq may be doing more harm than good is considered beyond the pale of “sophisticated” debate.

The continued high standing of the hawks has been made possible by their enablers in the strategic class–the foreign policy advisers, think-tank specialists and pundits. Their presumed expertise gives the strategic class a unique license to speak for the party on national security issues. This group has always been quietly influential, but since 9/11 it has risen in prominence, egging on and underpinning elected officials, crowding out dissenters within its own ranks and becoming increasingly ideologically monolithic. So far its members remain unchallenged. It’s more than a little ironic that the people who got Iraq so wrong continue to tell the Democrats how to get it right.

The acceleration of the party’s base towards the left is gaining speed, even though a lot more pundits on the right than on the left are noticing it.

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