Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Coming Breakup

As the Democrats take power, their coalition is beginning to fracture. Ethics reform is supposed to be one of the Democrats' top priority but Cindy Sheehan disrupted their press ethics reform conference. She even took over their microphone. The Democratic Underground is pressing for immediate impeachment hearings. Others are calling for universal health insurance and an immediate implementation of the Kyoto Protocols.

As Cindy demonstrated, these interest groups are expecting big things from a Democratic congress with a tiny majority, a lot of moderate members, and a Republican president. How many others will follow Cindy's example?

In the meantime, the Democrats have to walk a tightrope. Some of their promises are self-contradictory. Their 100 hours agenda is going to be pushed through without any Republican input or even any debate. This is in direct conflict with their promise to let Republicans share in the power. They will have trouble implementing the 9-11 commission recommendations. The American public expects a "new direction" on Iraq, not an immediate surrender.

In order to do well in 2008, the Democrats have to show that they are responsible leaders. This will lead to a lot of conflict with the fringe elements that helped put them in office.

It will not take much of a shift to the Green Party for the Democrats to lose their majority again.

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