I was sitting at lunch the other day, minding my own business, when two people sat down in the booth next to me. One of them was wearing a candidate's sticker on his shirt. The candidate was a Democrat; evidently, the two people were big supporters. One of the gists of their conversation-which resonated throughout the eating establishment, of course, as they had little use for either privacy or the considerations of their fellow customers-was that in the coming years, they would elect 'real Democrats' to office here in Mississippi and across the country.
Naturally, days before I heard this, Jere Nash had made the same argument about two tenured Democrats who were treated poorly by his political party for basically the same reason-that they were Democrats in Name Only.
After November's elections, when the front of the herd was thinned, it kind of became inevitable that the rest of the flock would get thinned eventually. I figured it would take a few more years before the Legislature looked more like the Executive Branch. Of course, there's a certain segment of the state that's going to vote Republican most every time out (Desoto, Rankin, Madison, Tupelo, the 49-10 corridor), and a certain segment that's going to vote Democratic (the Delta and Jackson). Then there's northeast Mississippi, which, as Sid Salter once put it, is the last place in the state where it's as ok to be a conservative white Democrat as it is to be a Republican. God forbid someone whose political party showed him all the loyalty of Elliot Spitzer at a brothel on half-off night feel unwanted.
My question (after the run-around) is: Do these idiots actually want to win an election?
Let's be honest here: John Kerry couldn't win an election for dog catcher in Mississippi. Neither could the Al Gore, allegedly from neighboring Tennessee. Barry Obamessiah will not win Mississippi in November without some help from the graveyards. Being a 'real Democrat' here is akin to sitting inside your car with the garage door closed. Bennie Thompson makes it by demogoguery and pork, and Gene Taylor by occasionally publically butting heads with his party's leadership. Ronnie Musgrove got hung out to dry by Al Gore and the DNC.
I want to drink whatever kool-aid these people are sipping on when they say and write this stuff. I suppose the 'real Democrats' are those guys who never have to make a deal with a Republican, or court Republican voters, or maybe, just maybe, zig where the national party zags. Maybe that's why there was a lot of glee when a 'real Democrat' got 41% of the vote last fall (and, sometimes, those 'real Democrats' have to, I don't know, vote 65,000 elderly off of public assistance). It's because those 'real Democrats' eventually do have to try to actually win elections. Frankly, I hope those 'real Democrats' that I sat next to enjoy being 'real Democrats'. Meanwhile, the Republicans will be focused on building a political party instead of tearing one down.