The larger question hovering over the Democrats, like any other out-of-power
party, is how to strike the right balance between conviction and expediency.
Rich Galen, a Republican strategist, expressed the consultants-know-best
argument in the most bipartisan tone he could muster: "As we Republicans learned with Ralph Reed and the Christian Coalition, those on the ideological edges are willing to lose an election on the grounds of doctrinal purity. Consultants
don't do that. Consultants are in the business of winning elections."
But Time magazine columnist Joe Klein ("Primary Colors") will argue in a new book coming out this spring, "Paradise Lost," that misjudgments by Democratic
consultants have played a major role in leaving the party without a power base
more influential than the state of Illinois. And from my own vantage point, the
Democrats' positioning on the eavesdropping issue invites comparisons to their
fetal crouch in the run-up to the Iraqi War. A majority of Senate Democrats
voted for Bush's go-to-war resolution -- including John Kerry, John Edwards and
Hillary Clinton -- at least partly because the pollsters insisted that it was
the only politically safe position, a ludicrous and self-destructive notion in
The problem with a consultant-driven overreliance on polling data
is that it is predicated on the assumption that nothing will happen to jar public opinion out of its current grooves. As Elaine Kamarck, a top advisor in the Clinton-Gore White House and a professor at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, argued, "These guys [the consultants] just don't get it. They don't understand that in politics strength is better than weakness. And a political party that is always the namby-pamby 'me too' party is a party that isn't going to get anyplace." Kamarck also shrewdly pointed out that if leading
Democrats follow the consultants and abdicate the field on the NSA spying issue
(Hillary Clinton, please call your office), "They're going to leave the critique
open to the far left. And that will exacerbate two problems the Democrats have:
one, that they look too far out of the mainstream, and the other, that they
don't believe in anything."
But things have already happened to jar opinion out of its grooves and is likely to continue: oil.
Really, it's time they showed spine and called the Repubs on this whole sham, on the whole dependency on this situation on oil, and came up with a plan to end our oil economy.
LONDON, Jan 20 (Reuters) - OPEC producer Kuwait's oil reserves are only half
those officially stated, according to internal Kuwaiti records seen by industry
newsletter Petroleum Intelligence Weekly (PIW).
"PIW learns from sources
that Kuwait's actual oil reserves, which are officially stated at around 99
billion barrels, or close to 10 percent of the global total, are a good deal
lower, according to internal Kuwaiti records," the weekly PIW reported on
It said that according to data circulated in Kuwait Oil Co
(KOC), the upstream arm of state Kuwait Petroleum Corp, Kuwait's remaining
proven and non-proven oil reserves are about 48 billion barrels.
from KOC were not immediately available for comment to Reuters.
PIW said the
official public Kuwaiti figures do not distinguish between proven, probable and
But it said the data it had seen show that of the current
remaining 48 billion barrels of proven and non-proven reserves, only about 24
billion barrels are so far fully proven -- 15 billion in its biggest oilfield