Wednesday, December 19, 2007


In Dodd We Trust: The Vice Presidency

A lot of people have been mentioning Chris Dodd for Majority Leader in 2008. I know that because I have been one of the people doing just that. But there is another idea that came up when I was interviewing Marcy Wheeler of Empty Wheel on Monday (during our filibuster show to promote Chris Dodd's filibuster in the Senate).

How about Dodd for Vice President?

He could be the anti-Dick Cheney. Every force in the universe has an equal and opposite force. If Cheney was the dark matter of the Bush administration, Dodd can be the experienced hand inside the next Democratic administration pushing the new White House toward the light.

Sen. Dodd had a great line on Countdown on MSNBC the other night. It went something like this: If you want to be a leader in 2009, how about you start leading in 2007?

In some ways, of course, this is embarrassing because all of these folks should have been leading since 2001 when Bush stepped into office. The fact that they have to remember to lead this late in the game is a sad indictment of Democratic leadership.

But that's precisely why I'm scared that the Democrats in the Senate might not vote out Harry Reid as Majority Leader. They don't mind his leadership at all; he represents their collective inaction and timidity. He is their leader.

I'm not sure the Senate is at the point where there are enough progressive Democrats that someone like Dodd or Feingold can be the leader of a group of strong Democrats who know how to fight for their principles. But as Dick Cheney showed us, a vice president can do amazing things inside the executive branch (even though he might not even admit he's in that branch).

I believe in the title of this post (I'm sorry, I might have seen "In Dodd We Trust" somewhere else, but I don't remember, so let me know if I should credit someone for that catchy title). Because right now, I'm scoring the race for leadership among the presidential candidates as:

Dodd 1 Everyone Else 0

Senator Dodd won the fight to make sure Bush and the telecom companies didn't get immunity for their crimes (they admit they need immunity, so obviously they must have committed crimes). This was a huge win (by the way, the New York Times ran it on Page A29, that's ridiculous and shameful - what, they didn't think Bush's only significant legislative loss this year was newsworthy?). And how many other wins do Democrats even have?

Which other Democratic candidate can claim to have defeated George Bush at anything? Isn't that really, really sad? The most unpopular president of all time and he blanked the other guys. I'll never get over that. But what might help is if the one guy who actually made Bush retreat on an important issue was on the Democratic ticket. Maybe I could trust that ticket a little bit more.

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