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Monday, June 05, 2006 | 4:10 PM

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ONE SNEAKY S-O-B...ENGAGE AT YOUR OWN RISK

My father used to say that it was better dealing with a rattlesnake as opposed to a water moccasin. The rattler lets you know he's going to strike by rattling his tail. You have a choice to engage said rattler, or avoid getting bit.

On the other hand, the water moccasin would creep up on you, not making any sound, and the next thing you know, you're bitten and being hopefully rushed to the nearest hospital. The bottom line is that in both instances, you've engaged in dealing with poisonous snakes; the difference is in how you chose to deal with 'em.

It's appropriate to use snake anologies here when referring to the one member of the Congressional Black Caucus, card-carrying DLC member and AIPAC water boy, Rep. Artur Davis (D-Alabama). This guy's flying low as a snake, but is twice as deadly, and three times as cunning in his political ambition.

Davis came on the scene in 2002 when he defeated longtime representative Earl Hilliard, largely on the strength of AIPAC financing. This is also about the same time AIPAC engineered a similar take over in the 4th District of Georgia and deposed Rep. Cynthia McKinney with former Rep. Denise Majette. Poor, Ms. Majette; she should be forgiven for not realizing that if you dance with a snake, sooner or later the snake resorts to its nature of turning on you and biting you. In Majette's case, she didn't quite do what the AIPAC gang wanted and pissed them off by deciding to run for the Senate seat vacated by Zig Zag Zell Miller. At last instance, AIPAC demanded Majette refund their contributions they spent to oust McKinney by getting her elected.

Davis, for his part, has towed the AIPAC line, even though it's not always visible by his voting record (or maybe it is, since the CBC Monitor gave him a failing grade and labeled him as a "Derelict" of the Caucus). So now that you have the ever-growing mess of what to do about Rep. William "Dollar Bill" Jefferson, the fact that when the CBC had their confab about Jefferson, Davis was conspicously absent from the meeting. It was later reported in the Congressional newspaper, "The Hill", that Davis was absent because he's angling for Jefferson's seat on the coveted Ways and Means Committee, even if it means he leapfrogs over another CBC member (and fellow derelict) Rep. Sanford Bishop of Georgia, to get that position.

Mr. Davis is very likeable, far more than the hapless and hopeless Rep. Harold Ford, Jr.(D-TN), and very engaging. He's articulate and has a good command of law, regulations, historical perspective and factual evidence; after all, his previous profession was that of an attorney. He's a Harvard Law Grad, which really explains how he's able to present himself as a working congressman. What is a grave concern to me as a DLC watcher, is that this guy's flying under the national radar, while being positioned to do major damage to the Democratic Party that hasn't been completed by Nancy Pelosi and her ilk.

Of course, Ms. Nancy may have her hands full, fighting off that shiv that Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) continues to attempt to stick in her back on an almost daily basis, not to mention pissing off the rest of the Congressional Black Caucus before the Jefferson fiasco, when she ordered Mel Watt (D-NC) to scrub 20 CBC members off the Voting Rights Amendment as co-sponsors. So, Davis flies under the radar, and while doing so, he's quietly amassing clout within the Democratic caucus as a Vichy Dem.

Rahm Emmanuel (D-IL) gave him the responsibility of recruiting Dems to campaign for Congressional seats, and direct campaign funds to their efforts. Usually, such responsibility would go to someone who's been in Congress at least five terms or more, but Davis is campaigning for a third term this year. You have to ask: "What does he know, or what did he promise in exchange for such a responsible position within the Democratic caucus that's not being entrusted to members with longer tenure?" He's short of being the actual bag man for the DLC. What gives here?

A seat on the Ways and Means Committee means a seat for AIPAC to govern over all things Congressional in the House of Representatives. The Democrats are in enough trouble trying to be Democrats, while having to deal with this internal fracture among their leadership. The DLC has done nothing except infect the party with corporate cash, and facilitating 30% or more of them in becoming slaves to their Corporate masters, while weakening the entire caucus with their continuous "caving in" to ReThugs in order to maintain civility and decorum.

That might work at a tea party, but not when your fighting for the life of democracy and a government "of the people, for the people, and by the people".

Artur Davis is one DLC who's flying under the radar. Which makes him one very sneaky S-O-B.

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