Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Now, here's a Democrat who makes sense

I like Joe Donnelly's style.

Who's Joe Donnelly? A very freshman US Congressman from Indiana, one of the Blue Dog Democrats (in fact, being a freshman, Donnelly might better be called a "blue pup"--and no, I didn't make the term up, as you'll see if you follow the link).

Donnelly isn't all that pleased with Nancy Pelosi. Nor is he--despite his "pup" status--all that awed by Ms. Speaker:

If Pelosi "goes too far one way or another, we're not coming back," Donnelly says. He sees his party's victory in the November elections as less an endorsement of its agenda than a rejection of Republican rule: "People just got real tired of this bunch, and they fired them."

It turns out that there are thirty Blue Dogs in the House right now. And it also turns out that the Democrats outnumber the Republicans there by a margin of thirty-one. So you don't need to be a math wizard to see that those Blue Dogs are the key to the whole thing for the Democrats.

In recent decades it seems that, more and more, each party's leaders tend to come from the more extreme wings of their respective parties. And it's the nature of such politicians to look on any victory as a mandate for their point of view. But--as I've said before--ignore the law of thirds at your peril.

Pelosi may be in the act of making the Newt Gingrich error. Coming on so strong against whatever plan Bush announces for Iraq might not only be counterproductive in terms of the war itself, and the world's perception of our will and our ability to keep our word--but it may even be counterproductive in terms of what Pelosi really seems to care about, victory for the Democrats in '08.

I'll let Donnelly, no Bush sycophant (Donnelly refers to the war in Iraq as a "disaster"), have the last word on this one:

[Donnelly] doesn't support the fixed timetable for withdrawal proposed by Pennsylvania Democrat John Murtha that Pelosi, 66, has endorsed. Instead, like Bush, he opposes any withdrawal until Iraq is ``stabilized.''

"My goal is to help the president," he said in an interview. "I am not going to rip him to shreds. If he does a better job, then our soldiers can be more successful, Iraq can be stabilized and our troops can come home."

Works for me.

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