New Congress' Key Fights Could Be Dem-on-Dem

Party split ideologically, geographically on major issues
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Nov 25, 2008 10:22 AM CST
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., center, accompanied by fellow Senate Democrats, listens to a reporter's question during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday,...   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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(Newser) – The Democrats have amassed so much power in Congress their internal conflicts may matter more than their fights with the GOP. In Politico, Martin Kady II takes a look at some likely intra-party fault lines:

  • Californians against rust-belters on the environment: “The Midwestern Democrats—Sherrod Brown, Evan Bayh, and the Michigan senators—are not going to let it go too far left,” says a Democratic Senate leadership aide.

  • Southerners against the rest of the party on labor: A bill making it easier to unionize has already passed the House, and was hung up by the filibuster in the Senate. Will Democratic senators from union-hostile Southern states help it pass?
  • Everyone against everyone on health care: “They’ve got problems from the left, caution from deficit hawks in the center and potential turf issues in the Senate." The left may not reconcile with an incremental plan, and centrists may not accept anything else.