the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

August 9, 2006

Rahm Emanuel Gets Shrill


The Lieberman-Lamont primary has certainly had an effect on Rahm Emanuel, the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. On Friday, days before the primary, he was already pretty harsh on Lieberman:

What’s playing out here is that being a rubber stamp for George Bush is politically dangerous to life-threatening.

Then right after Lamont’s win, he got harsher:

This shows what blind loyalty to George Bush and being his love child means. […] This is not about the war. It’s blind loyalty to Bush.

If this keeps up, I may have to reconsider my moratorium on donating to the DCCC.

And Emanuel is one of the DLC folks. If he’s really feeling this way about standing up to Bush now, maybe he can put in a word for cutting off the DLC’s support of Marshall Wittmann, who has no business being a spokesperson for any Democratic organization. Wittmann is an independent who doesn’t even claim to be a Democrat, and he goes much farther than Lieberman ever has in bashing Democrats as weak on security for not falling into line behind Bush.

The Lieberman-Lamont race has driven Wittmann into hiding, or at least taking a vacation from his Bull Moose blog. It would be great if he could come back from vacation to find his walking papers from the DLC.

Update: I forgot to mention that Wittmann adopted the fashionable new insult “nutroots” last month, thus enhancing the already high standards of his prose.

August 8, 2006

Brace Yourselves, Netroots!


Chris Bowers at MyDD:

[N]o matter what happens later today, Wednesday will be the worst day of press for the progressive netroots in years. If Lamont loses, we will be branded as ineffectual, irrelevant, extremist, and destructive. If Ned Lamont wins, we will be branded as powerful, relevant, extremist, and destructive. Both descriptions are inaccurate and unfair because this goes so far beyond the blogosphere, but if I have to choose I would much rather have the second one be the story. If we are going to get trashed and be forced to take credit for the fantastic work of others, I would at least like to get trashed as powerful and relevant.

Things are going to get ugly (or uglier).

When Lamont’s challenge to Lieberman started, I thought at least that by giving Lieberman a scare we could get him to stop being such a Bush enabler. How wrong I was! Via Americablog I see that even now, on the verge of losing the primary, Lieberman is out there trashing Democrats, spreading the Republicans’ message that anyone opposed to the Iraq war is weak on defense and can’t be trusted:

[Lieberman] said a victory for Lamont will send a message to the country: “In the Democratic Party, there’s no room for strong-on-security Dems.” He said that would be disastrous for the Democrats. “You can’t win in this country,” he said, “unless you assure people” that you aren’t going to compromise on national security. He said he has backed the war on terror because he never forgets about the “radical Islamic terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 and want to do it again.”

It’s going to be a nail-biting evening.

August 7, 2006

Memo to Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH)


With the Abramoff scandal nipping at your heels, it was probably a good idea to throw in the towel on your reelection campaign without waiting until you’re actually indicted (after all, Tom DeLay waited and now he’s being forced to stay on the ballot). But I’m not sure you used the best choice of words in praising your chosen successor, Ohio state senator Joy Padgett:

“She is a person of passion and conviction,” Ney said. “I can think of no better person to represent this district.”

It’s true that the “person of conviction” joke has already been exhausted during this period of rampant Republican corruption, but that’s exactly why using the phrase triggers thoughts of incarceration in people’s minds. I’m sure Padgett appreciates it.

Deadline to Register to Vote in DC’s Primary Is August 14


If you’re a DC resident who hasn’t yet registered to vote, and you want to have a say in choosing our next mayor, city council members, and other officials, you need to register by Monday, August 14. Because the city’s population is overwhelmingly Democratic, the Democratic primary is essentially the real election, since whoever wins it almost always wins in November. For that reason, you may want to consider registering as a Democrat even if you’re not eager to be affiliated with the party.

The DC Board of Elections and Ethics site has information about the upcoming election and how to register. If you’ve already registered, you can check your registration status online, to make sure your address is correct and see what ward you live in. If you need to register for the first time or change your address or party, you can start the process online and complete it by mail.

Update (August 26): I’ve posted a list of candidates for the Democratic primary.

August 4, 2006

DC for Democracy Endorses Candidates for the DC Primary


DC for Democracy held its endorsement meeting Wednesday, following on the candidate forum it held last month. After an opportunity for candidates and their representatives to mingle with DC4D members, a very democratic and open voting process led to endorsements for these DC candidates in the September 12 Democratic primary:

Three other candidates received a majority of the votes, indicating substantial support, but did not reach the two-thirds required for an endorsement:

If you’re interested in getting involved in “the District’s largest unaligned progressive group of activists, community leaders, and everyday voters working for positive change in our local government and recognition in America’s legislature”, visit the DC for Democracy site and sign up!

Update (August 21): DC for Democracy is having a fundraiser to support its election activities.

August 2, 2006

Sundance’s “The Hill” at DCDL


The DC Chapter of Drinking Liberally is pleased to announce a special pre-launch showing of the new Sundance Channel series “The Hill” Thursday, August 10, 6:30-9 at Timberlake’s, 1726 Connecticut Ave NW (Dupont Circle Metro). Things get rolling at 6:30 with free appetizers and $1 off on drinks. At 7:30 we’ll screen the premiere episode, “Fighting the Good Fight”, followed by Q&A with the documentary subjects Eric Johnson, Jonathan Katz, Lale Mamaux and Halie Soifer.

Set in the office of Congressman Robert Wexler (Democrat, Florida), “The Hill,” is a Sundance Channel documentary series offering a rare glimpse into the charged world of congressional politics. Set to premiere on Wednesday, August 23, 2006 at 9:00pm e/p., “The Hill” is produced by Roland Park Pictures, Inc. and directed by Ivy Meeropol, a filmmaker (Heir to An Execution) and a former Capitol Hill speechwriter and legislative aide. The six-part series peers into the personal and professional lives of Wexler’s young, smart and driven staff.

Famous Quotes From Politicians on Their Way Out


Richard Nixon “I am not a crook.”

Gave resignation speech on August 8, 1974.

Joe Lieberman “I am not George Bush.”

Will give concession speech on August 8, 2006?

Go, Ned!

Inspired by a comment from Bemused. The story at that link is interesting too.

July 29, 2006

House Passes Minimum Wage Hike With Estate Tax Cut


The estate tax repeal is back yet again. Actually this time it’s just a cut, not a repeal, but it remains a bad idea to help establish a hereditary plutocracy while adding even more to our already insanely large deficit.

When I first heard about the Republican plan to tie a minimum wage increase to an estate tax cut, I foolishly believed that Democrats wouldn’t swallow the poison pill. The Republican trick was so transparent that it would be easy to explain to the average voter, to defuse accusations that Democrats blocked a minimum wage increase — accusations that wouldn’t be very believable anyway.

Alas, at 1:30 this morning, 34 Democrats did swallow it, and the bill passed the House. Since 21 Republicans voted against the bill, it would have failed if the Democrats had stood together. What is wrong with these people?

The bill doesn’t even index the minimum wage for inflation (or tie future increases to congressional pay raises, as some Democrats have proposed). It just provides a one-time increase, which means we’ll be facing the same problem again in a few years. The accompanying estate tax cut, of course, is permanent.

The bill now goes to the Senate, where I’m still hoping the Democrats will have a little more spine. There is some reason to hope it can be defeated:

But the maneuvering by House and Senate GOP leaders to package the measures over the objection of some Senate chairmen caused severely bruised feelings. Lawmakers from both parties said last night that the legislation could easily collapse in the Senate, underscoring Democratic contentions that Congress has become dysfunctional. […]

Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) signaled he would try to scuttle the tax bill next week. “Republicans have made perfectly clear who they stand with and who they are willing to fight for: the privileged few,” he said.

Thomas Jefferson felt that limiting inheritance was the way to avoid an aristocracy, and that “the earth belongs in usufruct to the living” and “the dead have neither powers nor rights over it.” Let’s hope today’s Democrats maintain those beliefs.

July 28, 2006

Eleanor Holmes Norton on the Colbert Report


Eleanor Holmes Norton, DC’s nonvoting delegate to the House of Representatives, was on the Colbert Report last night. I thought she did pretty well, needling Stephen about his frenchified name and, more important, educating a few people about the disenfranchisement of the people of DC (for more about that, see DC Vote, including “10 Myths About the District of Columbia”).

Here’s the video, which someone named uluviel has kindly put on YouTube — and Comedy Central has kindly not shot down yet:

Incidentally, this year for the first time in her 16-year career Norton has a challenger in the Democratic primary (September 12). He’s Andy Miscuk, who has attended DC Drinking Liberally, both Wednesday and Thursday. So if you haven’t been impressed with the job Norton is doing, this time you have a choice.

July 22, 2006

DNC Disses DC, Rewards Nevada and South Carolina, in 2008 Schedule


This morning at the ungodly (for a Saturday) hour of 9:30, I showed up, along with more than a dozen other supporters of DC voting rights, at the Capital Hilton to lobby and observe the meeting of the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee. The purpose of the meeting was to vote on a historic change to the presidential election schedule: inserting an additional caucus between the traditional leadoff events of the presidential nominating process, the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary, as well as inserting a new primary shortly after New Hampshire. Ten states plus the District were in the running, and we were there to support DC’s bid. Thanks to DC Vote, we all had T-shirts reading “Let DC Vote — Early Caucus 2008″. Unlike some of the other contenders, we didn’t think to bring bribes — South Carolina had a bag of peaches for each committee member, and Hawaii brought macadamia nuts.

Our message was that DC would provide an appropriate balance for the mostly white and rural Iowa and New Hampshire, bringing needed representation of urban and minority voters into the process. In addition, greater visibility for DC in the nomination process would bring more attention to the immoral disenfranchisement of DC residents, who despite paying federal taxes have no voting representation in the Congress that decides how those taxes are spent.

DC’s lobbying effort had been pretty minimal, so my expectations were low, but they were raised slightly when I heard that a member of the committee from New Hampshire, Kathleen Sullivan, had decided to vote for DC in the hope of avoiding a collision between New Hampshire state law and the DNC’s rules. The state law requires that the primary be moved if any other state tries to move ahead of New Hampshire, but since DC isn’t a state it wouldn’t trigger the law. It’s too bad that this possible compromise couldn’t have been noticed and earlier and publicized within the committee.

The meeting started off with praise for the recently renewed Voting Rights Acts, which was followed by an attempt to reopen a question decided earlier: whether to add four new states in the early period rather than only two. That was quickly shot down, and then committee member Harold Ickes proposed that the committee consider choosing the caucus state from the West and the primary state from the South. His proposal was passed, although he and the committee co-chairs claimed that it didn’t exclude other states from consideration, so I’m not clear what its real purpose was.

Things moved on to a confused description of what seemed to be an instant-runoff vote to determine the order in which contenders would be voted on. Ickes headed that off by proposing a simpler vote in which each member would write down only his or her first choices for the caucus and the primary states. Members then spoke in favor of various contenders, describing how their favorites fit the DNC’s criteria of diversity (racial, ethnic, and economic), labor representation, and suitability for “retail politics” — all qualities DC has plenty of. Speaking for the District were Sullivan and DC resident Donna Brazile. Finally the committee completed their ballots and adjourned for lunch.

After lunch the results were announced:

Caucus        Primary
Nevada 20 South Carolina 22
Arizona 5 Alabama 5
DC 2 Michigan 1
Michigan 1

Unfortunately no one joined Sullivan and Brazile in supporting the District. Still, it will be interesting to see whether incorporating states from the West and the South will improve the presidential nomination process.

Reid Wilson from the Hotline on Call blogged the meeting live (see this post and the ones around it).


DCDL is a blog by Washington, DC-area members of Drinking Liberally. Opinions expressed are the writers’, not those of Drinking Liberally, which provides no funding or other support for this blog.

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