Here are my initial thoughts on his FDL chat which just concluded. I don't think he was ever going to gain a lot from his comments, but the appearance was important. He left a lot folks frustrated, including yours truly with his failure to address repeated questions. He was never going to be able to get to them all, but I believe it may be wise for him to take the time to respond to some of them.
Jerry was able to clear up one very important thing. His negative comments about the leadership were about two things, letting FISA go through without a fight and not stopping the supplemental with the rule he voted against (that's a pretty parliamentarian discussion, not worth getting into right now). Jerry stuck strong to his belief that he can bring along Republicans to negotiate a pull out and override the president's veto.
More below the fold, including the my questions that went unanswered.
Here is my initial question, which Jane Hamsher echoed further down the thread.
Jerry, thank you for continuing the dialogue. I feel confident in saying that we have a heck of a lot more in common than we don't. That said, there seems to be a big difference in what you believe is the swiftest path to ending the War and the blogosphere/Dem leadership/AAEI.
My question is why did you choose to speak to that particular reporter at the WaPo about our differences on a day when you were working to repair your relationship with the netroots?
He never came close to talking about the Washington Post article and his role in its formation. I repeated my question in a different way towards the end, but before he ended the chat.
I may be beating a dead horse at this point, but I don't think anyone disagrees about pressuring Republicans to come to Jesus on the war. I actually think it is a great idea for you to be doing this up on the Hill with individual Republicans.
What I question is talking about it publicly. There seems to be little for you to gain from talking to the press, unless someone has tried to make the case that appearing "moderate" on the war and conciliatory towards Republicans is to the benefit of your re-election. That could not be further from the truth.
Ambassador Joe Wilson was tenacious in the thread and his points were never addressed.
I'd like to know who on the Republican side of the aisle you think you can work with who won't in the end double cross you or be forced back into line by the Republican leadership.
Let me add as one who has fought the right tooth and nail for the past five years, offers of compromise are viewed as weakness on the other side and pocketed as concessions.
There is the issue of trusting them and working with them in general and then the point about the discussion of those efforts publicly. There is severe friction on both items.
I have to leave and it is clear that there are many more questions than you have time to answer, so let me just offer a thought or two.
It is the nature of democracy to seek the compromises that benefit the many without disadvantaging the minority's essential, constitutionally protected rights. And in normal times your ideas of persuading republicans of the value of your positions would be laudable.
These are not normal times and your political adversaries have a very different agenda as we have seen since the arrival of Newt, and then W to positions of power. It is clear that they are committed shredding of the constititution and the imposition of undemocratic and unAmerican practices including the politicization of those very institutions that have grown up over 230 years to protect our contract with those who govern us. It is an unprecedented power grab and simultaneous looting of the American treasury for the benefit of a few who they hope will keep them in power. You don't negotiate with fascists, you defeat them in the name of democracy.
As an afterthought, the military takes orders from civilian authority. We don't "negotiate" with generals.
This post is a little rougher than I would like, but I want to get this up while everyone has the discussion fresh in their mind. I know I was on IM with two regulars round these parts and people are wanting to mull over what just went down.