"I belong to no organized party. I am a Democrat."
—Will Rogers


If Will Rogers were alive today, he might not recognize the current Democratic Party. From top to bottom, Democrats have been shaken by eight years of Bush policies— and after the legislative failures of the Clinton years, they’ve learned the necessity of uniting behind their popular new leader.

Democrats still don’t display the lock-step discipline of Republicans, but recent examples of dissent are mild given the party’s history. Oddly, the most significant boat rockers are not on the left—they’re moderate Democrats from Republican-leaning states and districts, less than keen on supporting deficit spending meant to stimulate the economy.

When MoveOn.org and Americans United for Change launched ad campaigns pressuring moderates to back Obama’s economic plan, the reaction was interesting. “These groups should leave them alone,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. “It’s not helpful to me. It’s not helpful to the Democratic Caucus.” The ads stopped, but still sent a message to the deficit hawks in Congress: There are dangers to bucking Obama and party unity.

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