Bleak, Post-Apocalyptic Democratic Future: Day One

« January 2005 »

Memo to the Democratic Party: CHOOSE WISELY. Yeah, right.

We're a few weeks away from the one election a Democrat is almost certainly guaranteed to win: the head of the Democratic National Committee. You may be familiar with the Committee's earlier work - losing in 2004, losing in 2002, losing in 2000... but the chairmanship is still an important one, because the DNC chair is at the very least a symbolic representation of the direction the Democrats are going to take in the future.

So far, the list of candidates is not particularly inspiring. Although the list doesn't include Donna Brazile, who was Al Gore's campaign manager, which is probably a good idea, what with Gore's whole "not winning" problem. And I can't help but notice that Gore became much more dynamic and interesting after he lost, which means his campaign strategy was to suppress what natural passion he had. If Brazile was within ten feet of that strategy, she's disqualified, so hooray for her for not running even though her name had been dropped quite a bit.

The list also doesn't include Terry McAuliffe, who has been holding the post for the past several years. A number of Democratic masochists had encouraged McAuliffe to run again, since rewarding failure has been working so well for the Republicans of late, but his hat ain't in the ring either. This is also a good thing, because if he DID run, some ancestral lemming-organ present in all Democratic brains would trigger, and he'd be voted in, and then ugly things would happen inside my skull. Things it's best not to speak of in detail.

So who ARE the seven guys, and they are all guys, up for the job? Well, for most of this week, we'll be finding out, in what I like to call PROFILES IN A SORT OF THING VAGUELY APPROACHING A HINT OF COURAGE, IF YOU DON'T MIND. If you do mind, just say so, and a majority of these office-seekers will be sure to roll over for you and confirm your appointee.

As I said above, the list will not cause a wellspring of hope to appear inside your heart. Journalists writing stories about the group have had to have the letters F, O, R, M, and E replaced after every story, and swap out the R key out an extra time halfway through. The Democrats have truly internalized the motto "Those who can, serve. Those who can't, rise to prominent positions in the party leadership."


Ah, Tim Roemer, who wants to lead the Democrats into the future. He's a former Indiana congressman, man of the heartland, the Midwest. Oh, and one tiny, minor little detail, nothing to worry about, really. It's just that, well, um... he opposes abortion rights.

You know, there's "running to the right" when Clinton pushes for welfare reform. There's "running to the right" when you pick a running mate that's cozy with Bill Bennett. There's "running to the right" when you spend most of your campaign telling people how good you'll be at killing foreigners. But electing Roemer as the party chairman isn't running to the right. It's polevaulting OVER the right.

Roemer claims to "respect" that the majority of Democrats are pro-choice, but that the party should be more "inclusive". ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"I think we should not only be more inclusive on this issue, especially in the Midwest and the South if a candidate has those views, we should have them in our party." You know, I can just barely, JUST BARELY concede that these people can be in the party. But not running it. He and his supporters say he won't rewrite the platform or set policy, but how else do they expect to get all these new pro-life Midwestern voters to vote for Democrats?

The problem with a Democratic "big tent" is that Democrats, by their nature, really want to be inclusive. The Republicans' "big tent" works because it makes people FEEL inclusive, while actively working against the interests of the people they're fooling into You know, like the Log Cabin Republicans. The Republican big tent will let gay people vote for Republican candidates, but you think they'd let one run the party? Wouldn't happen.

The Democrats under Roemer would be more inclusive by continuing the restrictions on abortion, continuing to stand by idly while those restrictions extend to birth control, and acting like Republicans so that Republicans will vote for them, which is, in case I need to point it out again, the strategy that's failed us for the past decade and a half.


Tomorrow: The Bad Name Squad.