Yep, the donkeys are getting beat up in public opinion polls, but personally I give the Dems a bit of a pass on a lot of the things since they have razor thin majority, and Republicans aren’t interested in passing hardly anything they want to put on the agenda. That puts them in an impossible situation and the only way Dem voters can remedy that is to get more Dems into the Washington. Otherwise, you’ll be seeing much more of this in the coming years.
Still, not confirming Mukasey would have been idiotic and I’m glad they let him through. He answered the question about waterboarding truthfully and said he didn’t know if it was considered torture or not. If he doesn’t know, he doesn’t know, but the manner in which he was speaking seems to suggest that he’s not in favor of it and, as Attorney General, could seek to criminalize the practice. But can he say that now? No, because it’s not appropriate to make a call about how you would judge it before you have all the facts in front of you. Somehow this was lost on the Dems.
In any event, the Wall Street Journal has more on why the Dems have been unable to get their act together…
Democrats in Congress face institutional hurdles to challenging the president. Senate Democrats have a majority well short of the 60 votes needed to block Republican filibusters on issues — such as national security — where the president’s party is united behind him.
Also, Democratic senators represent more diverse constituencies than House members, whose districts are mostly safe. Yet even in the House, Democratic leaders know their narrow majority rests on the few members from moderate swing districts who may be imperiled by sharp left turns.
It is much easier, by contrast, for Democratic presidential candidates to jockey for positions on the left — as many supporters demand — before moving toward the political middle ground after they have won the nomination. All the major Democratic presidential aspirants, including the four senators with a vote on the issue, oppose Mr. Mukasey, just as they have also enunciated a tougher antiwar stance than their congressional wing.
But, again, will voters help or hurt them in 2008? If so, the agenda will be set and Dems will be able to try and reshape the future. If not, we’ll still have razor thing majorities and whichever party is in power will have to figure out a way to work together. Honestly, I think I prefer the second outcome because I just don’t trust either party with an overriding majority. Not at this point in history.