Dithering Dems | Arkansas Blog

Dithering Dems

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Harold Meyerson wonders what's so different between 2009 and two previous eras when Democrats were elected by a substantial margin "on a platform of urgent change" and held majorities in both houses of Congress - think 1933 and FDR, 1965 and LBJ.  He comes up with two answers.  First, the GOP is different.  There is virtually no place for moderates in the party.  Second, Democrats have "ditherers within their ranks," including our very own Sen. Blanche Lincoln.

At least three Democratic senators -- Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, Louisiana's Mary Landrieu and Nebraska's Ben Nelson -- haven't even agreed to vote to permit health-care legislation to come to the floor. They may believe it's in their interest to come across as slowing down the process (which is already flowing with all the speed of molasses on a winter day). But it is surely not in the nation's interest to have one of its two legislative bodies dead set against legislating, which is the absurd reality the three are reinforcing...

It's not only their party's interest that the Senate's balky Democrats are betraying. With each passing day, the Senate becomes more of a mockery of the principle of majority rule -- democracy's most fundamental precept. If Lincoln, Landrieu and Nelson are comfortable with the idea that elections shouldn't have consequences, they should say so publicly. If not, they should let the debate begin.

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