Thursday, November 16, 2006

Are the House Democrats already divided?

Well, yeah, sure. It's a true, big tent party. Among Democrats, you'll find people who are fiscally right of center and lefty on social issues, who are socially right of center and right of center on economics, who are left on both, who are far left on both, who seem like Republicans on both... it's a big, old party. Sure, it's divided. In the Senate, Joe Lieberman now represents the "Connecticut for Lieberman Party" because of Democratic divisions over the Iraq war.

New House Speaker Nancy Pelosi backed John Murtha for House Majority leader (wow, I almost wrote "minority leader," out of habit, times have changed) but Murtha lost to Steny Hoyer. Some think this exposes Pelosi as weak or even flawed. But, really, both Hoyer and Murtha are conservative Democrats, they just disagree over Iraq. They were also the only two likely to win the leader post right now. She backed one. He lost. Big deal.

There's going to be a ton in the media about divided Democrats. My take is that it's true (and I certainly take sides) but that it's also natural and why we were able to win a majority this time around. Republicans were divided, too. But they are simply more obviously disciplined than Democrats. I don't even think they're actually MORE disciplined, just more OBVIOUSLY so. This "division" talk can only weaken a slim majority. Don't put too much stock in it. It's true, sure. But it's not as important as commentators are already making it out to be.


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