This week marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War. But there's another "civil war" of sorts on the horizon, this one between the ultra-liberal wing of the Democratic Party, which has thus far steadfastly refused to accept cuts to entitlement programs in the name of fiscal solvency, and the party's more moderate members (which include, amazingly, President Barack Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi) who recognize that such cuts are all-but-inevitable.
But true to form, most of the media, fond of labeling GOP infighting a civil war, has yet to brand Democrats' budget feud with that label. This despite the increasing uneasiness of liberal legislators and organizations who are worried the president has already caved to conservatives on the budget battle.
In fact, some groups have gone beyond simply complaining about the apparent embrace of the Bowles-Simpson deficit reduction plan by the president (and key congressional Democrats, including Reps. Nancy Pelosi and Chris Van Hollen). The Progressive Chance Campaign Committee (PCCC) sent an email to its members on Tuesday encouraging them to withhold financial contributions to Obama's reelection campaign if his eventual plan includes any cuts to Medicare or Medicaid, two of the prime drivers of federal red ink.
The PCCC pledge reads:
"President Obama: If you cut Medicare and Medicaid benefits for me, my parents, my grandparents, or families like mine, don't ask for a penny of my money or an hour of my time in 2012. I'm going to focus on electing bold progressive candidates -- not Democrats who help Republicans make harmful cuts." Click here to sign…
Many people still want to believe in President Obama. But the White House needs to understand that their actions now will have real consequences for 2012. The level of grassroots enthusiasm will be determined by whether the President fights for bold progressive change -- and takes cuts that hurt grandparents, the disabled, and kids firmly off the table.
Clearly there is a strong divide among liberals even when it comes to the reelection of a Democratic president. Yet there has been a conspicuous absence of "civil war" labels among reports on the infighting - in stark contrast to reporting on GOP squabbles over insufficiently-conservative candidates in recent elections.