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By David Podvin

The defection of James Jeffords is being reported as GOOD NEWS for the Democrats by the mainstream media.

That should be a cause for suspicion right there.

In fact, Georgia Senator Zell Miller's newly enhanced leverage could actually be devastating to those who are against the extremist Bush agenda.

Scenario- Bush appoints a Robert Bork clone to the Supreme Court. Knowing that this is the line in the sand for the Democratic base, Daschle and his colleagues feel politically compelled to oppose confirmation, even if it means filibustering the nomination.

Not so fast. Miller, who has supported every Bush appointment, says to Daschle, "I feel so strongly that the President (sic) should have his way on judicial nominees, especially if they are fascistic miscreants like me, that I will be compelled to leave the party unless you and your wrongly colored, wrongly gendered, wrongly sexually oriented pauper constituents back off."

Under such a premise, Daschle and The Democratic Towers Of Pudding could:

a)   Stand up for principle, defiantly waging a courageous battle on behalf of human rights, personal freedom, and the environment, consequences be damned, even if it means a personal loss of power (pause for laughter to subside), or

b)    Capitulate, leaving the Supreme Court with a new    

Justice who makes Antonin Scalia look like William O. Douglas, or

c)    Attempt to have it both ways by making an insincere gesture of opposition prior to graciously placing copies of Ebony in the back of every bus in America.               

Based on recent experience, it would be unwise to bet the rent money on a).

The departure of Jim Jeffords from the Republican Party means that the Democrats will be less likely than ever to aggressively stand for anything that is anathema to Zell Miller. And these are the invertebrates who already are afraid to challenge Bush on his attempt to shove the right wing agenda down the throats of the majority of Americans who rejected it on Election Day. The Miller factor can only serve to further intimidate the trembling Democratic tribbles. If history is any guide, then the Democrats are now superbly positioned to cave in from a position of strength.

Phil Gramm is the senior Senator from Texas. In 1981, Gramm participated in closed-door strategy sessions with his Congressional Democratic leadership, then walked over to the Reagan White House and told them everything that the Democrats were planning to do. Having earned twin merit badges in espionage and betrayal, he subsequently reregistered as a Republican. This is relevant because Phil Gramm is cited as the Senate’s most admirable member…by Zell Miller.

As a result of the new balance of power, Miller now has his Confederate hands around the throat of Tom Daschle. He can use his "my way or the highway" card whenever he chooses.

This could be played out on any issue.
This could be played out on every issue.
And that is BAD NEWS for Democrats.

More David Podvin

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Last changed: December 13, 2009