After taking my first serious look at Unity08 yesterday afternoon, I have reached a startling conclusion. I agree with most of what they have to say. Seriously, what’s not to agree with? I agree that “neither of today’s major parties reflects the aspirations, fears or will of the majority of Americans. Both have polarized and alienated the people. Both are unduly influenced by single-issue groups. Both are excessively dominated by money.” I agree with all that.
I agree that the electorate as a whole hasn’t been excited by their Presidential prospects in quite some time, nor the wedge issues that the campaigns are run on, nor the divisive manner in which the campaigns are run. Slam dunk. Spot on. Deadly accurate. But here is where I part company with Unity08. There is still a strong sense of party loyalty on both sides of the proverbial aisle and I can’t for the life of me imagine too many voters giving serious consideration to a Presidential ticket led by both a Democrat and a Republican. It might sound like a novel idea, but I believe it would ultimately fail. Call me pessimistic.
However, another type of Unity08 could definitely be on the horizon – maybe as early as 2008. The unity I write of is the reunification of so-called “Reagan Democrats” and the Democratic party. Wait, wait, let me finish. Students of recent political history may recall that Democrats left in droves to support Reagan in 1980 and most never looked back. They’d grown tired of the 60s activist-style special interest pandering anti-war “progressives” in the party and no longer trusted them on issues of moral clarity and national defense.
But then Republicans went batshit-crazy around 1994, becoming the spend-happy drunks they’d accused Democrats of being for decades. The Republicans were suddenly the guardians of America’s morality, and when Bush and the neocons descended upon the GOP, a certain segment of that party began to get a little uneasy, and they’ve started looking leftward. Recent polling has suggested Goldwater Republicans and Reagan Democrats are gazing at the moderate end of the Democratic party, and they’re defecting in droves.
Yes, my prediction for Unity08 is a welcome home party for the Reagan Democrats. And they’re bringing dates. This will, of course, shore up the Democrats’ centrist wing, allowing a Democrat from the sensible center – Biden, Warner, Bayh, – to lead this nation in 2008.
But what is this? Just as former Democrats in the GOP are taking another look at Democrats, CT goes and makes an anti-war candidate backed by the same 60s activist-style special interest pandering anti-war “progressive” mindset that got that garnered the “weak on national defense” reputation the Democrats now how – the very reputation that lost us the voters we’re trying to woo back! Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. And as could be expected, the Republican party has wasted no time capitalizing on it:
Of course, as is often said, the devil is in the details. The portrait painted in the GOP attack piece isn’t completely accurate. Of course it is misleading. But what cannot be escaped from are the dueling quotes and actions from great Democrats like FDR, Harry Truman, and JFK versus “progressives” like Markos Moulitsas Zúniga and MoveOn. Though correct on their opinions on Iraq, they’re dangerously naive in their belief that the threat of radical Islamic terrorism isn’t real. Their words and actions essentially put a giant red apple on the heads of Democrats, and the GOP has a bow and arrow ready to go.
The “progressive” blogosphere is celebrating the Lamont victory, and are claiming it is sending a strong message to the voters for the November elections. I agree. But it isn’t the message “progressives” think it is.
John McIntyre at Real Clear Politics agrees. He believes Ned Lamont’s victory moves Democrats closer to George McGovern’s winning formula:
Democrats lost the 2004 presidential election over leadership on national security. Last night’s win by anti-war Ned Lamont over pro-war Joe Lieberman, while joyous for the far-left netroots crowd, is a bad harbinger for future Democratic Party prospects nationally in 2008 and beyond.
The closeness of the election only makes the outcome more frustrating for Democratic strategists. Had Lieberman eked out a victory, the Connecticut Senate primary would have been a huge win for the Democratic Party as they would have been able to reap the dividends of all the energy (and voters) Lamont’s candidacy had attracted, while at the same time sending a message to the country that the Democratic Party is large enough for pro-war Democrats. Had Lieberman held on and won, he undoubtedly would be reaching out to left-wing Democrats and pushing further away from President Bush and the Republicans. Instead, Lieberman will now be ostracized from the party and will be reaching out to Independents and Republicans while chastising the extremists in the Democratic Party.
Democrats went down this road in the late 1960’s with Vietnam and they are still carrying the baggage from that leftward turn. Lamont’s win is a big step back to that losing formula. During the height of the “progressive” revolt against the war in Vietnam, Americans voted 57% for Nixon and Wallace in 1968, followed by a whopping 60% for Nixon in 1972 against the avowededly anti-war McGovern.
The Democrats have an insurgency of their own that is rapidly gaining strength, and Lieberman is the first high profile victim. But in the long run the real victim will be the Democratic Party if they continue to purge the few remaining FDR/Truman/Scoop Jackson Democrats from their ranks.
Republicans, white people, voting machines, and Jews. Oh My! THOSE are the reasons Cynthia McKinney says she lost:
Despite a landslide loss in Tuesday night’s primary runoff against Hank Johnson, the controversy just keeps coming out of the Cynthia McKinney campaign.
First there was a scuffle between McKinney’s bodyguards and an 11Alive news photographer, then there were remarks made to a cable network news crew, in which members of McKinney’s entourage allegedly made shocking anti-Semitic remarks.
The Anti-Defemation League says they want to hear from McKinney – they want her to disavow the anti-Semetic remarks reported by the network crew, remarks that recall the scandal that cost her the election in 2002.
“We’re seeing some Cynthia McKinney supporters are resorting to anti-Semetic and racist language and again blaming the Jews for her loss in this campaign,” said ADL southeast Associate Director Shelley Rose.
The remarks were allegedly made just moments after McKinney’s entourage passed out of earshot of 11Alive cameras, as the congresswoman left her campaign headquarters on Tuesday night.
Someone reportedly said quote, “You wanna know what led to the loss? Israel. The Zionists. You. put on your yarmulke and celebrate.”