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Difficulty of Leadership November 25, 2008

Posted by neoavatara in Politics.
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http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1108/15953.html

The predictable fissuring of the Democratic majority is starting.  This is NOT to say they are in a major fight with themselves.  More specifically, it shows that those Democrats that are more issue oriented than party oriented may not be willing to fall into line behind Ms. Pelosi and Sen. Reid.

This always occurs when a party takes a significant majority.  The new members have a new sense of power; not as a whole, but even individually.  Only a very skilled leader can corral all the different voices into a common theme.

Ms. Pelosi and Sen. Reid have yet to show that kind of leadership.

Key fissures?

  • This began with Henry Waxman taking John Dingell’s chairmanship last week.  This is the classic ‘coast versus heartland’ maneuver.  Dingell, for better or worse, has been the most pro-union, pro car industry congressman maybe in American history.  Will midwest senators toe the line now?  Dingell certainly won’t…he is not happy.
  • Southern versus Northern; there is a big push for the Employee Fair Choice Act (an oxymoron if there ever was one; it would get rid of secret voting for unions).  Southern Democratic Senators are very much against this…getting to 60 votes for closure is unlikely.
  • Hawks vs. Doves – This is fascinating.  Leftists are very worried about the pick of Ms. Clinton for SecState; they fear her support of the Iraq war should disqualify her.  If Mr. Obama is the pragmatist that he portrays himself as, will he reconsider his rapid pull out of Iraq if necessary?  Will he ‘surge’ in Afghanistan, which may be necessary?

Republicans must be the honorable opposition.  But if they are led well, they can ally with certain Democrats to possibly stop the more extreme measures considered by the Democratic majority.

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