Good roundup and links at MyDD documenting the netroots rage at the single-vote CAFTA win. And the fallout is interesting:
Roll Call has a new report up about House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D) holding an emergency meeting of the House Democratic Steering Committee tonight to discuss formal sanctions against the 15 Democrats who sold out their party and voted for the corporate-written Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). Pelosi raised "the likelihood that defectors' committee assignments would be reviewed at tonight’s meeting of the Steering Committee." That's absolutely necessary - why should Democrats who undermine their party be given plum committee assignments over other, far more loyal and principled Democrats? Pelosi should be commended for her courage - and now she needs to back up her words with action.
"All of these people should never get a red cent from labor unions or the progressive community again, and that goes even for the ones who represent marginal districts. They are the people who undermine the vast majority of honest/courageous Democrats who fight for ordinary people in Congress everyday. They are the ones who make it consistenly impossible for Democrats to deliver a message that they are the party that stands up for ordinary working people in this country. The fact is, if Democrats are going to be in the minority for the forseeable future, it would be better if these folks were defeated, because they do more harm than good to a party that desperately needs unity to let America knows what it stands for."
There's far more ideological cohesion in the House Democratic Caucus now than there was even 15 years ago, as the last generation of Souther white conservative Democrats has faded. But the netroots wants more, and isn't buying the conventional argument that anyone with a D after their name in a red district or state is acceptable. The counterargument is that such Democrats lite weaken the larger case to be made against the GOP, allows independent voters to be lulled into thinking there's "no real difference," and lets the Republicans get away with the fig leaf of token bipartisanship.
We're seeing the same tension in the Iowa governor's race, where Mike Blouin is premising his campaign on taking choice off the table - that is, selling out women - so that other fights can be fought. I don't buy it in Iowa - and I'm beginning to see the point nationally.