“Senate Democratic Aide” warns of “irreparable harm to the party’s agenda” from liberals (who just expect party to enact its agenda)

Roll Call (sub. req.):

Another Senate Democratic aide said the White House and Senate leaders need to clamp down on the intraparty unrest — particularly the noise coming from the liberal flank — to prevent irreparable harm to the party’s agenda.

This is classic DC speak. The party’s agenda is what engaged the liberal flank. Because of that agenda and the liberal flank, we elect Democrats. In fact, that’s why Senate Democratic aides have jobs. There is a direct connection between the work that happens in elections and who serves. I swear, many, many people on Capitol Hill prefer to ignore that reality.

Democratic insiders are complaining about the “liberal flank.” Why? Because we’re asking Obama, the Senate and the House to deliver on the party’s agenda. That agenda was laid out by Obama, Senate candidates and House candidates during their campaigns. We don’t separate party’s political agenda from the party’s policy agenda, although people at the White House and on Capitol Hill do. We think that if candidates campaign on ideas and win, the candidates should deliver on those ideas — but we’re viewed as the bad guys for thinking that.

This happens on gay issues all the time. Candidates, like Obama, court the gay vote and, especially, the gay money. They make campaign promises on gay issues like the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT). But, after they win, when gays ask the elected officials to follow through on their campaign promises, we’re told we are doing harm to the party’s agenda. (I call this political homophobia.) Those LGBT equality promises ARE part of the agenda.

That’s what I don’t get. If the commitments made during the campaign aren’t the party’s agenda, what is? And, who determines it? What causes irreparable harm to a party is when its elected officials ignore campaign promises and act like run-of-the-mill politicians who will say anything to win. That’s damaging to both the Obama brand and the Democratic party brand. The liberal flank is trying to prevent that damage from happening.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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