Friday, February 11, 2005

Spirited dems

Interesting article by Ron Brownstein in today's LA Times, Democrats Aren't Giving Bush a Break This Term, in which he shows a modicum of respect for the dems' current feistiness while maintaining his stylish journalistic skepticism:
    WASHINGTON — In style and substance, Democrats are mounting a much more aggressive and unified opposition to President Bush than they did following his election in 2000.

    With the expected selection Saturday of firebrand Howard Dean as chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Sen. John F. Kerry's rapid reemergence as a Bush critic, and the sharp congressional challenges to Cabinet nominees Alberto R. Gonzales and Condoleezza Rice, Democrats are consistently choosing confrontation over conciliation in their early responses to Bush in his second term.

    That approach contrasts sharply with the opening months of Bush's first term, when even some leading party liberals worked with him on education reform and several centrists supported his tax cuts.
He has this to say about Kerry:
    Kerry, the Massachusetts senator and the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, lashed Bush's record on healthcare in a speech one week after the president's second inauguration. Al Gore, the 2000 Democratic nominee, gave his first speech criticizing Bush more than one year after Bush's 2001 inauguration.

    Kerry is assuming a day-to-day opposition role unprecedented for recent presidential losers. He has even conferred with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who initially led the Labor Party when it was a minority in Parliament, on how to build an opposition party.
I love the part about his consult with Blair.

Along the same line, last night's farewell bash for Terry McAuliffe was shown live on c-span. It was a heartwarming display of affection, appreciation and unity, featuring truly gracious and forward-looking speeches by Bill Clinton, Kerry, and McAuliffe. If the democrats can keep this up, and the election of Howard Dean as new chair would indicate that intention, they should be in very good shape for 2006.

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