Thursday, January 20, 2005

Where did this lesson come from?

It's a good thing I don't watch FoxNews a lot, otherwise I'd spend all my time blogging. . .

Today, after the Inaugural luncheon in the Capitol Building, Senate Minority leader Harry Reid took a few moments to talk to Shepard Smith of Fox. Here are some of the tidbits of the interview (I only wish I had it verbatim, but believe me that I represent the content correctly):

Reid is a pro-gun, anti-abortion Democrat. When Shep asked him how he could be the leader of a party that strongly takes the opposite view on those two fairly major issues, Reid responded that his position is evidence of the "big tent" that is the Democratic party. And while that sounds all good and well, "big tent" is not how most people would describe the Democratic Party. . .although that does explain why Dean seems to have the lead towards being the next Chair of the DNC. Dean certainly wouldn't add any square-footage to the Dems' tent, so maybe their party leaders DO think that they already have a big enough tent. I guess I'll just have to wait and see on this one. . .

. . .but that wasn't my favorite part of the interview. When asked to briefly explain what went wrong back in November, Reid basically said that it wasn't the message but rather the messenger--or lack thereof. To wit, he spoke of his native Nevada, where (according to him) 91% of the state's population is in Reno and Las Vegas and supposedly Kerry "did well" in those centers--but in the other 9% of the state (the "rural areas") there was a significant majority of voters for the GOP to help Bush carry the state by 2 points. Reid chalks that up to a "lack of presence" by the Dems in the rural areas--"the message is fine" is a quote that I seem to remember--and said that the difference in voter preference in non-urban areas throughout the country is the reason for the result of the election.

So there it is: the reason for Bush victory, the reason for the increase in majorities in both the Senate and the House--it all boils down to the fact that the Dems didn't want to hit the backroads and take their message to non-populous areas of the country. It has NOTHING to do with "issues", "values" or anything like that--it's all about the laziness of the Dems.

Of course, Reid takes no guesses as to how the votes in these "rural" places would have gone had the Dems spent the time to pass their message into those areas. Apparently "ruralists" don't vote for a candidate or for issues--they just vote for the name that they recognize. Another rationalization--and yet again, more arrogance on display.

So, I take a couple things from this amazing statement originating from the mouth of the de facto leader of the Democratic Party:

1) there will not be a change in tone, message, or "reach" from the Dems in the near future--at least the next 2 years. Interesting. . .you would think a party that's found itself placed increasingly further from the main table of the nation's leadership 3 ELECTIONS IN A ROW would actually come up with something more constructive than "we didn't talk to people".

2) I don't know which bothers me more: a party with a poor message, or a party that blames defeat on their lack of interest in spreading that message to the people. EVEN IF the result can be summed up as Reid tried to do in this interview, that doesn't paint a pretty picture of the Democratic Party--"we don't need you outdoor types, you're not the kind of voters we're looking to attract" or something like that. I wonder if he realized that his claim of "all is well" came off as the most smug, arrogant and nauseating piece of spoken word possible, especially given the backdrop of the day.

3) Kerry's candidacy looks to be the most inept campaign in modern history. IF the problem was spreading the Democratic word, then Kerry's failure to spend $15 million campaign dollars is even more perplexing--and the lack of oversight from the party to ensure that the funds were properly spent again speaks volumes (in a negative sense) to the governing power of that party. And this guy is still looked to as a possible candidate in '08? I have one thing to say: PLEASE!!!


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