Special Interest Problem
The column concern's the Democratic party and it's special interest problems. I've said for a long time that as long as the far left interest groups are the loudest groups in the party, they are destined to be the minority party in congress.
Shields not only talks of the problem, but gives some very specific examples of where and how it's hurting them.
While special interests are hard on both parties, the fact is the GOP really has two groups that folks like to bash, business, and Christian conservatives. The Democrats have dozens, with environmentalists, unions, pro-choice groups, women's groups, and minority groups leading the way.
When the groups start yelling a lot, the problem the Dem's have is that they look like they are caving to them, and just giving fodder to the GOP machine to beat them up over it. When a lot of groups are yelling a lot, it makes for an horrible din, with no message coming out of it other than confusion. And because there are so many of them, it's almost impossible for the Democrats to actually have a true policy message, for fear of alienating one of them.