Doug Schoen To Democrats: Cave On Iraq

It is nice to see Democratic consultants trying to divide and undermine Democrats in the ongoing battle with Republicans over Iraq. I mean, we wouldn't want a united party of anything during this fight, because I can't possible imagine that would help us:
A dangerous game of 'chicken' for Democrats

By Doug Schoen | April 23, 2007

DEMOCRATS and Republicans in Washington are headed toward a showdown. At issue is how to provide an additional $100 billion in supplemental funding to support American troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. Congressional Democrats are intent on passing legislation that will include a requirement -- or at least a call -- to bring the troops home next year. President Bush insists he will accept no such provision, even if it means vetoing legislation that would provide badly needed money for the troops in the field. The American people, he maintains, will fault Democrats if that happens.

In short, the politicians in Washington are playing a high stakes game of chicken -- one whose outcome will change the balance of power and have a profound effect on the 2008 presidential elections.(...)

Democrats should not be misled by polls showing that most Americans support the idea of cutting off funding for the war unless benchmarks of success are reached. Of course they do, in the abstract. But Bush's counterargument -- that Democrats are prepared to undermine troops in the field -- will be a powerful one, in part because it is far more concrete than Democrats' complex, poll-tested plan.

In short, Democrats would do well to compromise. If that means accepting a "clean" supplemental funding bill, so be it. While Democrats must continue to criticize the prosecution of the war and the Bush administration's failure to promote political reconciliation, they should also recognize that the public has not yet elected a new commander in chief.
Democrats are "playing chicken?" They should "compromise" by doing exactly what Bush wants--pass a "clean" supplemental bill? They will be blamed for abandoning troops in the field? They should ignore polling showing public support for timetables and withdrawal? This is so anti-Democratic, it is barely even triangulating. This is basically just a stream of Republican talking points on Iraq that seeks to divide the Democratic Party, sprinkled with a few neo-liberal hawk talking points like "Democrats must continue to criticize the prosecution of the war" without ever mentioning that the war was a bad idea or that withdrawal is a good idea.

The regularity with which DLC-nexus Democratic consultants publicly triangulate against their own party and attack Democratic Congressional leaders while employing Republican talking points is a constant drag on our electoral and legislative efforts. The lack of disclosure in these attacks, and the complete lack accountability these consultants face for such attacks, is particularly grotesque. For example, in the recent past, Doug Schoen has publicly attacking and defended Fox over the Nevada debate, without disclosing that he is a paid commenter on Fox News, and also posted anti-Democratic messaging on Medicare drug benefits without disclosing that the polling information he gathered for the article was commissioned by pharmaceutical companies. Schoen seems to basically exist in order to provide anti-Democratic messaging in public on any major political battle Democrats currently face, often without disclosing his conflicts on interest on the matter. Shouldn't there be some form of reprisal for this behavior in terms of lost business among Democratic campaigns, or at least in the form public smackdowns from prominent Democrats for his regular lack of disclosure and divisive anti-Democratic messaging? Do we just let our consultants run wild and never hold them accountable? It certainly seems to be the case, and the tacit approval that many leading Democrats give to such behavior by continuing to hire firms like Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates despite Schoen's actions demonstrates that it probably won't come to an end anytime soon. Right now, attacking and dividing Democrats is a profitable business for Doug Schoen, and for several other "Democratic" consultants as well. As long as that is the case, expect DLC-nexus consultant attacks against Democrats to continue unabated.

Update: Commenter tgeraghty directs us to a recent post by Matthew Yglesias on this very subject.

Tags: Democrats, DLC-nexus, Doug Schoen, Iraq, Machine (all tags)



Re: Doug Schoen To Democrats: Cave On Iraq

What reporter or citizen will have the balls to ask HRC about Schoen?  Especially since he works with her boy Penn.  Anyone know when HRC if and when HRC is coming to Philadelphia?

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2007-04-23 12:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Doug Schoen To Democrats: Cave On Iraq

To follow up on my own post ... here is contact info:

Washington, DC
Jonathan Gardner, Chief Operating Officer
1110 Vermont Avenue, NW
Suite 1200
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202-842-0500
Fax: 202-289-0916

New York
Tom Agan, Managing Director
245 East 92nd Street
New York, NY 10128
Phone: 212-534-4000
Fax: 212-360-7423

Los Angeles
3500 W. Olive Ave. Suite 210
Burbank, CA 91505
Office: 818-237-5847

Judd Serlen, Vice President
110 16th Street, Suite 300
Denver, CO 80202
Phone: 303-534-5588
Fax: 303-595-0347

Doug Wilson
600 108th Ave, NE Suite 1040
Bellevue, WA 98004
Phone: 425-637-3665
Fax: 425-637-1041

Call them and ask why Schoen stabs fellow Democrats in the back.

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2007-04-23 12:36PM | 0 recs
"game of chicken"

where have I heard that before about Iraq funding?

by TarHeel 2007-04-23 12:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Doug Schoen To Democrats: Cave On Iraq

Yep, seems like every few weeks we go through something like this:

Matt Yglesias: Baer on Pelosi

. . . It's worth just noting the fact that a Democratic-aligned political consultant is harshly criticizing [Democrats] in exactly the terms which the Republican Party is currently deploying all throughout the media. One doesn't remark much upon things like this, because it actually happens quite frequently. . . .

That, in turn, tells you a lot about the relative distribution of power inside the Democratic Party. The consultants -- the important ones at least -- are more powerful than the people they nominally work for. . . .

by tgeraghty 2007-04-23 12:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Doug Schoen To Democrats: Cave On Iraq

 People like Doug Schoen aren't Democrats. There is no evidence that Mr. Schoen actually supports the Democratic position on any relevant issue, so exactly why this guy gets a forum on which to spray his wankery is one of those imponderable questions whose resolution can move the Democratic Party forward ten years overnight.

 In a conversation with a friend last night, we talked about the DLC-nexus a bit and what a drag it was on the party. I have a general question about the DLC-nexus -- are they replicating themselves over the long term? The Republicans have their wingnut-welfare networks and their stink-tanks in which they incubate their young "talent", but I've never heard of a parallel structure with the DLC-nexus. It seems like most of the young activists and idea-developers on the Democratic side are emerging through the netroots, and while we might not have the levers of power in the party NOW, we're getting more and more each year. And once the DLC withers away, it will be gone, and won't re-assert itself.

  Granted, this doesn't help us with professional concern trolls like Mr. Schoen NOW. But over the long run I can't see the DLC-nexus sustaining itself -- after all, they appeal to no one but their own little coterie. "Join the DLC! Be A Republican While Calling Yourself A Democrat!" isn't the most inspiring sales pitch with which to recruit a young activist...

by Master Jack 2007-04-23 12:38PM | 0 recs
Reid is going to stand firm.

Why does any candidate need someone like Shoen?  They don't, unless they want to lose  

by littafi 2007-04-23 12:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Doug Schoen To Democrats: Cave On Iraq

I've already come to the conclusion that most of the Democratic consultants are actually Republicans working undercover. This just supports the theory.

by cmikes 2007-04-23 01:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Doug Schoen To Democrats: Cave On Iraq

I guess this message didn't get to Reid who just reinforced what he said late last week on CNN today.  Plus, Reid said that if Bush vetoes the funding bill the Democrats will pass another with our favorite word: timeline.

by Bob Miller 2007-04-23 03:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Doug Schoen To Democrats: Cave On Iraq

This is a bunch of crap.  If Congress sends the President a bill that provides the funding he asked for and he vetoes it, they can try to spin it all they want, but in the end, the blame for the funding not being there lies with the person who refused to sign the bill that provided it.

by NJIndependent 2007-04-23 04:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Doug Schoen To Democrats: Cave On Iraq

   Didn't Hillary critique Obama for his not standing up to Bush on this stongly enough?

by nevadadem 2007-04-23 04:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Doug Schoen To Democrats: Cave On Iraq

The attacks will continue unabated, for a single reason: these people ARE Republicans.

But let's be even clearer (since terms like 'Republican' and 'Democrat' merely pick out certain politicians at a given moment in time, rather than have fixed and clear definitions): these people share with most Republicans, many Democrats, and most major corporate share-holders, a desire for increased centralization of economic and political power. This means more deregulation, more FTAs, more cheap labor funneling across our border, as well as extensions of Presidential power into what was traditionally the domain of Congress. They dig in their heals about supporting the President's war effort not because they think his policy will be successful, but because the last thing folks like this desire is an informed populace 'getting its way' in terms of policy.

When that happens, there is a crisis of governance, handily labeled (by S. Huntington) The Crisis Of Democracy.

by scudbucket 2007-04-23 05:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Doug Schoen To Democrats: Cave On Iraq

For background, Schoen was Bloomberg's pollster during Bloomberg's mayoral run.

by SteveWFP 2007-04-24 08:56AM | 0 recs


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