Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Democrats Facing Pressure from Activists on the Left

The Washington Post ran an article today discussing the "mounting pressure from liberal activists" for Democrats in Congress "to chart a more confrontational course on Iraq and the issues of human rights and civil liberties, with some even calling for the impeachment of President Bush."

The carefully calibrated legislative blitz that Democrats have devised for the first 100 hours of power has left some activists worried the passion that swept the party to power in November is already dissipating. A cluster of protesters will greet the new congressional leaders at the Capitol tomorrow. They will not be disgruntled conservatives wary of Democratic control, but liberals demanding a ban on torture, an end to warrantless domestic spying and a restoration of curbed civil liberties.

Many progressives are concerned that despite the clear repudiation of the Bush Agenda in the last election, Democrats in Congress will fail to address the issues that matter most to the Democratic base and the millions Americans who expelled the Republican majority from Congress. This concern may have been exacerbated by a survey sent out by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee a couple of weeks ago that asked respondents which issues Democratic leaders should focus most of their attention on. Conspicuously absent from the list was ending the war in Iraq, restoring habeas corpus and other civil liberties, banning torture, and holding accountable members of the administration for misleading the nation into war.

In an effort to hold the Democrats' feet to the fire, activists are planning a number of demonstrations, beginning tomorrow, the first day of the new Congress: World Can't Wait Demonstration for Impeachment
The protest will be held at Upper Senate Park (Delaware & Constitution, just north of the Capitol) starting at 12:00 noon Thursday, Jan. 4.

The day Congress opens, World Can’t Wait will lead a major challenge to the political direction in this country since the election. A regime as criminal as the Bush regime still allowed to even remain in office? No! An unjust war started on lies, allowed to continue for four years despite an election where people meant to express how strongly they want it stopped? No! The Democrats, now the majority, allowing debate only on how to run the war more effectively, and saying that impeachment can’t even be considered? No!

Evening program:
Voices for Impeachment
Jan. 4, 7pm, National Press Club
Speakers to Include:
Cindy Sheehan
John Nichols
Michael Ratner, Center for Constitutional Rights*
Debra Sweet

On January 27, United for Peace and Justice is urging people to Bring the Mandate for Peace to Washington, DC

On Saturday, Jan. 27th, people from every corner of the country will march on Washington, DC. Our message will be clear, our voice will be strong: End the war in Iraq, Bring all the troops home now! We urge you to join us!

On Mon., Jan. 29th, we will take our message directly to the new Congress during our lobby day.

There will also be a demonstration in DC on January 11, in which various groups will be denouncing arbitrary detention and torture on the fifth anniversary of the first prisoners being sent to Guantanamo Bay.

With the mounting pressure from progressive activists over the war, civil liberties and human rights, it should be interesting to see how the Democrats respond. If Democratic leaders continue to ignore these issues, they could find themselves facing an increasingly angry base and a divided party heading into the 2008 presidential election.

1 comment:

James Young said...

The first order of business is, of course, changes in the law unfairly to advantage those who will perpetuate the Democrat majority. Hence, card-check recognition --- i.e., repeal of the guarantee of a vote for or against unionization --- is high on the list of the far Left's priorities.