Identity Crisis

After signing up on the DraftHoward site, which is dedicated to generating support for Howard Dean as DNC chair, I received an email from the site’s proprietor, Kevin Thurman, which included some thoughts about the future of the party. One passage in particular struck me:

This is a contest about who we are. Are we a party that says, "We're for everything the president says, except for the truly horrible things"?
What a great question. It’s one our party is really struggling to answer at the moment.

On the one hand, we have Harry Reid, our new Democratic leader, wheeling and dealing with the administration to secure a position for his personal nuclear advisor on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in exchange for letting 175 of Bush’s appointees take office without contestation. As part of the deal, Reid’s choice, Gregory Jaczko, will be granted a 2-year term.

A Reid spokeswoman, Tessa Hafen, said that the agreement "in no way prohibits (Jaczko) from being renominated."

Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., who opposed Jaczko's nomination, said he was comfortable with the arrangement after, he said, the White House assured him Jaczko would not be renominated by the president after his two years.
Huh. And although Reid was keen to secure Jaczko’s appointment because of their shared opposition to the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste project 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas,
[u]nder the compromise reached on the NRC nominations, Jaczko agreed not to participate in any Yucca Mountain related matters for the first year of his two-year term.
So, somebody explain to me how this was a good deal.

On the other hand, we have House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi still fighting the good fight against the outrageous IRS provision in the omnibus spending bill that still has yet to be official axed.
"The assault on taxpayer privacy was not a simple mistake, and Democrats will not let Republicans sweep it under the rug," Pelosi said.
Pelosi seems to be answering Thurman’s question in a manner befitting a Democratic leader. Reid, however, seems to be exemplifying more of the capitulation tactics that have plagued our party for the last four years. So which is it, Dems? Are we really going to oppose this administration’s incompetent and dangerous policies with everything we’ve got, or are we only going to take exception to the truly horrible things?

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