America's Most Hysterically Enraged Homosexuals™ are aghast that Senate Democrats on the Intelligence Committee "supported" General Hayden's nomination as Inspector-General Clouseau of the No Such Agency. Money pull:
If the Democrats want support from their base, this vote is bullshit. If we wanted a rubber stamp for the millionth time, we'd just vote Republican or not vote at all.Again? Must we reply? Again?
There may be some minor truth in the "not vote at all" claim; I do expect that Democratic turnout will be depressed in the 2006 midterms, although to be fair, I don't expect Republicans in droves either, and in any event midterms, regardless of the crisis-mongering endemic to the professional political class, aren't exactly known for turnout at the polls.
But seriously, bolting the party?
I quit voting for national Democratic candidates entirely in the last election. I'd previously voted principally for Democrats not out of any particular attraction to the various and sundry quasi-thoughts cobbled together as a "platform", but simply because I judged Democrats to be slightly less venal than Republicans, slightly less corrupt, slightly more competent, and, since their principle quality in office is fecklessness, slightly less capable of defending their incumbencies in the next election--a big plus in my book. But post-AUMF-Afghanistan, post-Iraq-war-vote, post-PATRIOT Act, I quit. It gained me nothing; it preserved no liberty; it had no effect on any issue in which I had the slightest interest, except perhaps insofar as the Democrats' boneheaded obstruction of the Republicans' even more boneheaded Social Security schemes cut off any inchoate discussion of just why the hell the government is in the pension business anymore at all. I digress.
No one really believes that AmericaBloggers or Kossacks or Eschatonians or, as John Cole calls them, the Jane Hamshers of the Left are going to leave the Democratic Party, nor even withhold their votes in one measly midterm. This all has something to do with Ralph Nader, Patrick Buchanan, and Florida, but I'm not Joan Didion and haven't the guts to wade into the morass of Florida-2000 resentments, except to say that the conviction that a minor 3rd-Party candidate cost their boy his inheritance has driven contemporary Democrats to nigh six years of incoherency. "We hate Democrats, ergo we are Democrats." It's as if they're using the "Ballad of Reading Gaol" as an election stategem.
Their principle error isn't mistaken fidelity, however, but false expectations. It seems to me that many, many Democratic activists and bloggers hold onto the delusional belief that the next Congress, if Democratic, or the next President, if a Democrat, will swiftly, concisely, and uncompromisingly disavow the dictatorial tomfoolery of the current executive; that Hillary or whomever will head up to the Hill in early March of aught-nine to give some version of the Secret Speech. And in fact, s/he might.
Recall the blossoming of liberty in the USSR, post-1956 . . .