While many people are watching the fights inside the Republican party between the Tea Baggers and the more traditional business elements, there is a fight being waged in the Democratic Party. On one side stand such figures as Rahm Emmanuel and Bart Stupak, while on another stand people such as Raul Grijalva and Howard Dean. There is division, even in the different camps, not just on objectives but strategies.
Perhaps no other issue of late has showcased these division in the Democratic Party than health care. There were successes and failures along the way for each faction, and there are signs that some Democrats are looking at organizing outside of the party to promote progressive candidates. I suspect that any victories will take a while to achieve, due to the massive inertia and corporate influence in the Democratic Party.
There is an interesting and VERY long article at the Huffington Post on this. Here is an excerpt:
Power Struggle: Inside The Battle For The Soul Of The Democratic Party
Raúl Grijalva is sitting quietly with a few of his staffers at one end of the bar, a bottle of Bud and a shot of whiskey in front of him, while his fellow Democratic members of the House of Representatives roar in celebration at the other end. It's 1 a.m. Less than two hours earlier, after a 14-month battle, Congress approved comprehensive health care reform.
Joe Crowley, ascendant leader of the New Democrat Coalition, stands behind the bar, passing out beers to his colleagues -- Bart Stupak, Melissa Bean, Steve Driehaus, John Larson. Crowley owns the place, his six-foot-four frame and Tyrannosaurus head towering over the crush of members, staffers, reporters and regulars.
Grijalva is a regular. So much so that for weeks, a cartoon caricature of him hung on a wall by the front door: a shirtless Grijalva, at the beach, admiring a sandcastle he has built with Lynn Woolsey and Debbie Wasserman Schultz. None of them see the menacing gang of senators marching their way. In the unsubtle tradition of political cartoons, the sandcastle spells out PUBLIC OPTION. The cartoon, fittingly, has been taken down before tonight. "We're commiserating and celebrating," says Grijalva, whose mood is leaning heavily toward the former.
The Senate hooligans depicted in the cartoon had co-conspirators. Democrats in both chambers let the sand castle get smashed, each blaming the other. The Democrats celebrating their victory in the bar tonight are of a decidedly conservative variety, the result of a conscious strategy to move the party to the right in order to take back the House and pad the majority. They may be the ones partying, but it's Grijalva and his progressive allies who are picking up the tab.