Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
November 9, 2003
POLITICS: Democrats in Chaos
So, let's review the past week or so of news for the Democrats:
*Howard Dean couldn't stick to his guns (so to speak) and issued a groveling apology for having said that he wanted guys with Confederate flags in the backs of their pickup trucks to vote for him (but not before issuing a James G. Blaine-style declaration that "We’ve got to stop having our elections in the South based on race, guns, God and gays").
*Terry "Florida Forever" McAuliffe is under fire yet again as the 2003 gubernatorial fiascos in California, Mississippi and Kentucky (with Louisiana possibly to follow) lead to the usual ritual denunciations:
Giving up on the South and taking African-Americans for granted: “Terry McAuliffe is out there on his own agenda, which does not involve the South,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the only black member of his state’s congressional delegation. “It does not involve African Americans to the extent that they need to be."
Putting Beltway-based consultants first and ignoring local issues: A [Democratic Governors Association] spokeswoman said it had been hard raising money to channel into state races. “This is a federally focused town,” the DGA’s Nicole Harburger said.
Fighting to the death for appalling incumbents rather than knowing when to police their own ranks: Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) said Democrats in Washington had complicated congressional Democrats’ efforts to hold on to the governorship. National party figures had impeded efforts to rally around Davis and, at the same time, come up with a viable alternative, she said. . . . “We were fought publicly, privately, by Democrats, by Davis’s people, of course, donors, party people, people who believe they are the major structure of the Democratic Party,” Sanchez said. She added that national party leaders had been “dismissive” of California’s 33-member Democratic delegation.
*Kevin Drum noted that the Democrats, mirroring their obessessive preference for all things European and their lingering grudge against the Electoral College, have established a primary system where nearly all the primaries distribute delegates proportionally, rather than winner-take-all, a system that seems likely to make it difficult to winnow the field and settle conclusively on a front-runner.
*Al Sharpton, of all people, breaks ranks to demand a floor vote on the likely-to-be filibustered nomimation of Janice Rogers Brown to the DC Circuit;
*Wesley Clark, who's reminding me more and more of of Jerry Brown every day, even down to the black turtlenecks ("touch my monkey!"), calls for Paul Bremer to be replaced by - well, really anybody, as long as it's not another one of those horrid Americans, and adds the following (note that, in fairness, this is a paraphrase):
"To crimp the flow of terrorists into [Iraq], he said the United States should find ways to work with Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia and make safeguarding the borders the highest priority."
So much for the idea that Coalition Man was going to follow Bob Graham's calls to get tough with the Saudis.
A tough week for the Dems. Is there anybody left to offend?