Thursday, April 28, 2005


Yglesias has this right:

I'll take Roll Call's report that Nancy Pelosi tried to build bridges with House moderates by holding a meeting and that the moderates in question aren't mollified to basically repeat what he said the other day: Can the centrists here please explain what they're doing? I'm leery of efforts to drive people out of the party, and principled disagreement about the issues and tactical opportunism on the part of vulnerable members is a necessary feature of political life. But I've yet to hear a good explanation -- or even an attempt at an explanation -- from anyone in the "centrist" faction as to what the New Dem Caucus was doing on the bankruptcy bill. Make your case on the merits and perhaps we'll just have to agree to disagree. Or try to give some kind of explanation as to why it is that you can't preserve electability in Blue Dog districts without helping credit cards companies squeeze unfortunate consumers to the bone.

Exactly. Let's stop defining centrism downwards. I'm a centrist on several issues myself. But centrism is not about supporting the latest Republican giveaway to favored corporate donors. There are lots of centrist positions that I disagree with, and there are lots of Democrats in conservative leaning districts who side with such things either because they're true believers or because they feel the need to pander to more conservative voters. I'm fine with that. But, no one can defend the bankruptcy bill on the merits. More importantly, no one can defend it on the basis that supporting it is a vote winner.

There was no better opportunity than the bankrtupcy bill for the Democrats to make a clear stand. This wasn't right versus left, conservative versus liberal. This was whore versus not whore. If Hoyer can't recognize the opportunity such a bill presents, then he's unfit to be Minority Whip.