Friday, February 27, 2009

Accountability Now

Atrios says:

Does Not Compute

Read this story from the NYT about Accountability Now and then read the Sam Stein story on the same subject. The latter is much more accurate.

There's a difference between Democrats from more conservative districts who, while not representing my political views, do manage to represent their constituents' views, and Democrats who engage in "centrist" wankery despite representing liberal districts, or Democrats who use the conservative tilt of their district as an excuse to get on board with anything the Chamber of Commerce supports.

Maybe I'm not as critical a reader, but I don't find much difference between the two articles. Sam Stein's is more detailed, so assuming he's got his facts right (safe bet), I guess his is more accurate in that sense. Maybe the NYT piece's throwaway line, not matched in Stein's piece …

But it also illuminates a deepening wrinkle for President Obama, whose attempt to build a broad governing coalition — often by tempering some of his more liberal positions — has already angered some of his supporters on the left.

… could be what be what irked Atrios. Such gratuitous "some say" padding, whether to achieve faux-balance or to heighten the all-important Conflict! aspect that the MSM seems to need in every last political analysis story, is annoying, although by now, I read right over such content-free fluff.

Anyway, no dispute with Atrios's second paragraph, and it sounds like Accountability Now has about the same philosophy. I do like the idea of beefing up the left -- or what Howard Dean famously called "the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party" -- and getting rid of people like Holy Joe Lieberman and some of the Blue Dogs who threw so much sand into the recent stimulus bill negotiations, but I must confess I feel a bit of a chill here. Three words always lurk when contemplating the Dems, especially when they're in power: Circular. Firing. Squad.

This is not an argument against Accountability Now by any means. Just me being a worrywart. It sounds from the stories Atrios linked to that this organization is going to be something to watch, and the odds are, I'm going to agree with most of their goals. Lord knows the definition of "the center" has been pushed way to the right over the past three decades, with concomitant shifting by the Democratic Party, and we could use a strong push back to the left. As long as this doesn't turn into the sort of purity purge currently being pushed by some conservatards on their side, and it sounds like the AN founders are well aware of how stupid that would be, I'm all for it.

(I'm sure they'll be relieved to hear that.)

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