Steve Clemons Used by Bushies
As Dems unveil their lobbying reform proposals…
…CREW, a collection of liberal Dems, are blasting
both parties for reform proposals that are all hat and no cattle.
…GOPers are sending around a Dem blogger's post suggesting
that Sen. Harry Reid believes it's the wrong time for Dems to “be engaged
in constructive 'reform' proposals”…rather, it was time to “draw
a line and to show how 'our side' differed dramatically from 'their side.'”
…Dems whisper that the REAL strategy behind the GOP
lobbying reforms: to go SO far as to automatically trigger a court battle
that would postpone and ultimately render meaningfless any reforms.
…BTW: Credit where credit is due: The DNC and Howard Dean were the first
Dem entity to talk about the “culture of corruption.”
The reference above to “a Dem blogger's post” is none
other than Steve Clemons of the
Steve is undoubtedly one of the most astute and influential opinion
makers in the blogosphere. His experience is unquestioned, as is his quest to
“help Democrats get back into the foreign policy/national security game
and to help Republicans restore a moderate, sensible core as its defining edge.”
Steve is also “not into ideological zealotry — from the right or the left.”
Well, good for him.
I'm as independent a Democrat as you're going to find in the blogosphere,
for which I've received liberal hate mail to prove it.
By the end of the post, which Hotline draws out, Clemons also
demands a filibuster against Alito and says that Democrats tend to concede defeat
before the fight has begun. However, Clemons' beginning is a killer, as he writes about a conversation he had with Senator Harry Reid which, in Steve's description, sounds very much like Reid didn't want to work with Republicans on any bipartisan legislation on lobbying reform because of purely partisan reasons. You know where I'm about to go with this, right?
Mr. Clemons just handed the Republicans a way to help them defeat
us before the battle gets started by declaring Reid's motives are petty and purely partisan.
Senator Reid wants to clearly define the difference in the current
scandal so we don't get lumped in with Republicans. The Bushies are the ones who manufactured
the K-Street Project in the first place, by forbidding lobbying firms from hiring Democrats, while amassing political power that disallowed minority participation in legislation. These facts need to be drawn out to a fine distinction before any bipartisan reform can be contemplated. To suggest otherwise is to cave into the “culture of corruption” that was managed out of the White House by Karl Rove, though McClellan refuses to give us the details.
Mr. Clemons is much too smart to have handed this weapon to Republicans to blast around the Web, which will then make it into every
right-wing radio station in the country. There is simply no way we have the
outreach of the Republicans. So, if Steve wants to write balanced pieces, which he should, it is
my humble opinion that he should take into consideration how the crafting of
posts and the language used therein, will be disseminated. Frankly, he seemed more intent on declaring
his anti-ideological zealotry and helping us all to get along than advancing
the Democratic Party's cause at the moment, which is clearly making a case for
the Bush machine's “culture of corruption.”
In our moderation, we cannot afford to let the Republicans use
our balance to blast us. It isn't getting us anywhere.
There is a time and place for everything, including blasting our
own, which I've done as much as any other liberal blogger. But we need this kind of post from the likes of people
as important as Steve Clemons like we need another Republican controlled
What the Democratic Party needs beyond all things is definition
and clear delineation on the things for which we stand, including how we stand
apart from the Bush Republican machine, especially on the issues of corruption
and abuse of power, which go hand in hand. We are trying to make the case that will play out in the wiretapping hearings, which isn't about blind partisanship, but about what George W. Bush and the Republicans have done since being elected. We cannot get back the American people's confidence in our party until they believe we'll stand up and fight hard for what we believe, as well as call out what is wrong and worth fighting against. Senator Harry Reid's commitment to
making that demarcation clear is not a sign of partisanship to be held up by
Hotline, as they use one of our most influential bloggers to make the point,
but a battle cry from a party desperately needing to strike out in a different
direction from the party now in power.
Until our most influential thinkers and bloggers understand how
their own words will be used to make a point that can devastate us in the first
battle of the 2006 war, we will continue to “concede defeat before the
battle has been fought,” to quote Steve Clemons.