Democratic civil war may be birthed in New York

James V. Capua
If a Democratic Civil War is beginning, New York State will be the seat of the rebellion.

In a recent AT Blog post, Thomas Lifson suggests that "The long knives are going to come out after the election, when Democrats wake up to the damage Barack Obama has done to their party. I have long suspected that there will be a serious effort behind the scenes to get him off the ticket in 2012..."

In this Democratic Civil War, the curious doings over candidate Kendrick Meeks' Florida Senate candidacy could be an opening salvo. Bill Clinton claims he was not acting on behalf of the White House in exploring Mr. Meeks "options." That might actually be true. Everything we know of Clinton's character and history supports the conclusion that he was acting entirely on his own, and for his own purposes. Clinton could have been aware of Crist's acknowledged maneuvering with the White House to force Meeks out of the race, and, on the basis of his closer relationship with Meeks, made his own attempt to persuade Meeks to do so and thereby prevent a Rubio victory. If successful, Clinton would refresh his Democratic "Big Dog" credentials in preparation for the main event-a New York-based direct attack on Obama as party leader and 2012 candidate for President. Other Clinton moves in the past few weeks, like his embrace of Caprio in Delaware, could be similarly motivated.

New York and California look to be islands of Democrat survival amid this year's Republican tsunami. But compared to New York, California has little to offer the party looking towards 2012 and beyond but Hollywood money and glitz. Its leadership is exhausted and hopelessly mired in a past the rest of the country is rejecting. New York, on the other hand, while as bad off fiscally as California, is a Democratic political powerhouse that can lead and sustain the rebellion.

If Harry Reid does indeed fall to Sharon Angle, Chuck Schumer will replace him as Senate majority or  minority leader  even if his aged grandmother stands in the way, much less his housemate Dick Durbin. Michael Bloomberg, whatever he may call himself, has the moderate Democratic inclinations and the personal wealth to make him a powerful partner in any anti-Obama insurgency. George Soros has already written off the Democrat's chances for 2010, and, even if J. R. Dunn is right that he has more money than sense, he might also be persuaded to play again, this time with a team that knows its business.

New York's presumptive Governor-elect, Cuomo the Second, will hardly be an independent actor. He needs money from wherever he can get it, and so will more likely be a pawn in the game between the real Washington and New York players, but there is no reason to suppose that he can or will oppose the New York insurgents.

Finally, there are Bill and Hillary Clinton. She has already made her position clear with the remark that the fiscal crisis is a matter of national security. Hillary's 2008 supporters are loyal and eager for revenge, and her limited role in Obama foreign policy has actually protected her standing with various constituencies. And as for Bill, his intense need to be a player again is matched only by the genuine craftsman's contempt for the clumsy and inept.

On to Washington! It will be fun to watch for a while, but in 2012 the Republicans could find themselves up against Robert E. Lee, and not Braxton Bragg.

If a Democratic Civil War is beginning, New York State will be the seat of the rebellion.

In a recent AT Blog post, Thomas Lifson suggests that "The long knives are going to come out after the election, when Democrats wake up to the damage Barack Obama has done to their party. I have long suspected that there will be a serious effort behind the scenes to get him off the ticket in 2012..."

In this Democratic Civil War, the curious doings over candidate Kendrick Meeks' Florida Senate candidacy could be an opening salvo. Bill Clinton claims he was not acting on behalf of the White House in exploring Mr. Meeks "options." That might actually be true. Everything we know of Clinton's character and history supports the conclusion that he was acting entirely on his own, and for his own purposes. Clinton could have been aware of Crist's acknowledged maneuvering with the White House to force Meeks out of the race, and, on the basis of his closer relationship with Meeks, made his own attempt to persuade Meeks to do so and thereby prevent a Rubio victory. If successful, Clinton would refresh his Democratic "Big Dog" credentials in preparation for the main event-a New York-based direct attack on Obama as party leader and 2012 candidate for President. Other Clinton moves in the past few weeks, like his embrace of Caprio in Delaware, could be similarly motivated.

New York and California look to be islands of Democrat survival amid this year's Republican tsunami. But compared to New York, California has little to offer the party looking towards 2012 and beyond but Hollywood money and glitz. Its leadership is exhausted and hopelessly mired in a past the rest of the country is rejecting. New York, on the other hand, while as bad off fiscally as California, is a Democratic political powerhouse that can lead and sustain the rebellion.

If Harry Reid does indeed fall to Sharon Angle, Chuck Schumer will replace him as Senate majority or  minority leader  even if his aged grandmother stands in the way, much less his housemate Dick Durbin. Michael Bloomberg, whatever he may call himself, has the moderate Democratic inclinations and the personal wealth to make him a powerful partner in any anti-Obama insurgency. George Soros has already written off the Democrat's chances for 2010, and, even if J. R. Dunn is right that he has more money than sense, he might also be persuaded to play again, this time with a team that knows its business.

New York's presumptive Governor-elect, Cuomo the Second, will hardly be an independent actor. He needs money from wherever he can get it, and so will more likely be a pawn in the game between the real Washington and New York players, but there is no reason to suppose that he can or will oppose the New York insurgents.

Finally, there are Bill and Hillary Clinton. She has already made her position clear with the remark that the fiscal crisis is a matter of national security. Hillary's 2008 supporters are loyal and eager for revenge, and her limited role in Obama foreign policy has actually protected her standing with various constituencies. And as for Bill, his intense need to be a player again is matched only by the genuine craftsman's contempt for the clumsy and inept.

On to Washington! It will be fun to watch for a while, but in 2012 the Republicans could find themselves up against Robert E. Lee, and not Braxton Bragg.