Saturday, January 31, 2004

Sometimes We Feel Like a Motherless Mutha

Ruy Teixeira, who wrote (with John B. Judis) that hopeful book, The Emerging Democratic Majority (soon to be made into a big-budget fantasy epic starring Leonardo diCaprio as John Edwards) ... in a posting on his website, Teixeira essentially writes off the South this year for any Democratic contender, thus agreeing with John Kerry about "why bother?"

NOTE: Teixeira, along with the rest of the DLC, with which he's been affiliated, is pushing Kerry as the unDean. But he's bothered by Kerry's "warmed over populism," mainly because Kerry stole it from Dean.

Teixeira writes (and be forewarned: he quirkily insists on referring to himself in the third person, as "he"): "While he is not of the dogmatic 'forget the south' school, he does believe that a basically nonsouthern strategy is the right one for the Democrats this year, if it is pursued in a sensible way."

Well, there is always that knotty problem of being sensible.

Teixeira cites a lengthy essay he's written on this subject for The American Prospect, which goes into some detail on the proper Teixeira-approved national strategy for a Democratic win this year: "The Democratic nominee will run a strategy anchored in non-southern states. And he should, for one simple reason: It is the only way to win. The reality is that just as you will not see much of George W. Bush in Providence, R.I., a Democratic message and strategy that can successfully oust the president will be one most palatable to the party's base and to swing voters on the coasts, in the industrial Midwest and in border states, and throughout the burgeoning Southwest. The South will have little to do with it."

"Here's why. Putting the Gore-Nader vote together as an indicator of underlying Democratic strength, and comparing it with the Bush-Buchanan vote, the eight closest states the Democrats won in 2000 and will have to defend in 2004 are Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington and Wisconsin. Using the same comparison, here are the eight closest states the Democrats lost in 2000, some of which they will obviously have to win in 2004: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio and Tennessee. By these rankings, only two out of 16 states critical to Democratic chances are in the South. Compare that with six in the Midwest and four in the Southwest and you have a sense of the mathematical logic that is driving the Democrats to focus their 2004 presidential strategy outside the South."

'Course, this is probably absolutely correct. It's hard to argue with Teixeira's facts. But still ... for a local, minority Democratic party, in a state where the state Democratic party machinery is distant, unresponsive, and from every appearance lolling about in a total blissed-out haze over having an incumbent Democratic gov with a 60 percent approval rating ... well, there's just nothing like feeling doubly abandoned in the mountains of North Carolina by the state and national Democrats.

Which just makes us mean and snappish, especially when those state & national party flunkies place those fund-raising calls to this household. And we should send you money ... why?

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