Sharpening Their Shivs

by digby

I'm sure a lot of people enjoyed this when they read it:

Prominent Democrats are upset with the aggressive role that Bill Clinton is playing in the 2008 campaign, a role they believe is inappropriate for a former president and the titular head of the Democratic Party. In recent weeks, Sen. Edward Kennedy and Rep. Rahm Emanuel, both currently neutral in the Democratic contest, have told their old friend heatedly on the phone that he needs to change his tone and stop attacking Sen. Barack Obama, according to two sources familiar with the conversations who asked for anonymity because of their sensitive nature. Clinton, Kennedy and Emanuel all declined to comment.

I know, it's great fun to think about Rahm and Teddy telling Bill to STFU. But everybody ought to take a deep breath and remind themselves that this is also exactly the kind of thing Democrats do to their sitting presidents, whether named Clinton or, I dare say, Obama. They run to the press with the news that they scolded them so they can make sure everyone knows they are the ones running things.(I know everybody's forgotten how that used to be because the Republicans don't constantly air dirty laundry in public for their own aggrandizement. They usually work these things out among themselves for the good of the party.)

If the Democrats win the presidency, expect many more of these little dramas. The inflated egos of powerful Democratic Senators and Congressmen require that they consistently step forward to knee-cap their president whenever possible lest anyone get the idea that he (or she) is actually in charge. They're just practicing with Bubba, kind of a reminiscence of the good old days.

Oh, and don't worry about congressional prerogatives. They'll rediscover them with a vengeance when there's a Democratic president. They'll investigate his or her every move, calling for special prosecutors and generally behaving like asses, at the smallest provocation by the press if it gives them a chance to pontificate grandly on Tim Russert about their own superiority. They don't have the guts to do it when the Republicans are institutionalizing torture or lying the nation into an illegal invasion of another country, because well, Republicans are mean. But they'll find plenty of things about which to get righteously indignant with the executive when its a Democrat. They'll be in hypervenitlating, bipartisan bliss with their Republican cohorts, elbowing each other to be first to the microphone denouncing the latest shocking presidential failure to dot "i"s and cross "t"s.

The villagers love to get out the pitchforks ---- against Democrats. They aren't scared of them. It's good fun.