Redstate is well—connected on Capitol Hill and reports the Democratic party is heading toward a civil war:
Howard Dean has compiled a solid file on the corruption of Harry Reid. For years Reid has operated as the quintessential back room politician, trading favors and legislation for money and choice positions for his children at top firms with high salaries. Reid's ties to Jack Abramoff are more extensive than some of the Republicans allegedly tied to Abramoff. Dean himself said that any Democrat doing favors for Abramoff's clients would be a "big problem." He knew before he said it that Reid had done so.
Nancy Pelosi's husband is rumored to be living large off her name and power. Individuals out to bring down Pelosi, viewing her as a threat to potential Democrat gains, are, as I write, digging through records around Washington trying to pull a Harry Reid on Nancy Pelosi —— they'll try to tie her to legislation and lobbyists via her husband's connections and clients.
It has not gone unnoticed that, after condemning Steve Elmendorf for saying that the netroots energy needs to be harnessed for money without looking captive to them, Kos is being accused of doing that. He abandoned Paul Hackett in favor of the establishment's pick and now seems ready to ignore those Democrats who sold out the netroots base by refusing to filibuster Samuel Alito. In addition to these alleged sins, Kos apparently has gone soft on the moderate Democrat Leadership Coalition. He had intended to wage war against the DLC, but backed down. Some are suggesting that he backed down under establishment pressure, an establishment of which he is increasingly a part.
The netroots and establishment have gone down divergent paths, with the establishment drawing Kos into the fold. With Dean loyal to the base, the party chairman condemned the treatment of Paul Hackett and his withdrawal from the Ohio Senate race. Dean railed against heavy handed tactics employed by Chuck Schumer to get Hackett out. Kos allied himself with Schumer and the establishment over netroots backed Paul Hackett. This put him, for the first time of any significance, against the netroots base and Howard Dean. (more)
More evidence of the activists versus the regulars can be seen in Ohio, where forcing Hackett out of the Senate race is splintering the party:
Paul Hackett's angry decision to withdraw from the Senate race in Ohio is a devastating blow for the Democratic Party and may even have profound long—term repercussions on American politics. It opens the door to the very real possibility that opposition to the war, and to any possible conflict with Iran, will focus on a new Third Party populist movement that could reach the scale of the H. Ross Perot movement in the 1990s but be far more passionate. And that could cripple the Democrats' hopes, and even expectations of regaining the White House in 2008.
And trouble for the party comes in threes. The Laborers and the International Union of Operating Engineers have joined the flight from the AFL—CIO, ATM to the party.
Clarice Feldman 2 16 06