Saturday, January 31, 2009

This Question I Can Answer

The other day, dakine asked this in a FireDogLake diary:

I have a question for the members of the Congressional Blue Dogs Coalition. Why are you a Democrat? I ask this of Mike Arcuri. If I were still living in Rome, NY, you would be my Congressman. I ask this of Ben Chandler since you represent the district in Kentucky that I grew up in and where I first voted. I ask this of Heath Shuler and Jane Harmon; of John Salazar and Loretta Sanchez. I ask this of all members of Congress who claim this name for themselves.

Why are you a member of the Democratic Party?

Question for Blue Dogs: Why Are You a Democrat?

(h/t Eli)

It's quite simple, really.

Who wants to be in the Republican Party these days? Women won't vote for them. The young won't vote for them. Latinos won't vote for them, and blacks won't vote for them. For proof of the latter, one only needs to examine the behavior of the Republican National Committee's new chairman:

[RNC Chairman Michael] Steele's Senate campaign, you may recall, has twice bamboozled homeless people to campaign for him. The first time the "volunteers" never got paid; the second time they were told to hand out literature so misleading, the men were verbally assaulted by the voters they interacted with.

In that literature and elsewhere, Steele has repeatedly portrayed himself as a Democrat. Not by adopting Democratic stances -- but by literally labeling himself "Democrat" in the material.

RNC Taps Homeless-Hustling Pol for New Chief

[links from original]

This is the guy who is now in charge of helping Republican candidates win elections. I suppose that taking advantage of peoples' ignorance is a less egregious tactic than vote suppression, but it doesn't speak well of a party when these are the choices available.

Still, when 70 percent of the population is overwhelmingly unwilling to vote for you, you have two choices: pretend to be part of the other party, or actually join it. The Blue Dog approach strikes me as a little more honest.

Now I'll answer the question dakine should have asked, which is why does the Democratic Party welcome these people, even though they don't support any of the party's platform points? The answer, an obvious one I think, is that it's more about power than about the good of the country. If the Democrats control Congress, they have the power. They obtained that power, but they didn't obtain the ability to put that power to good use. They must have known it would work out that way.

When I say I'm cynical about Democratic politicians, I think you'll now better understand why. Of course, it's also clear that there's no reason to be less cynical about the GOP.

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