When Tim Johnson escorted John Thune down the Senate aisle to be sworn in, it was a complicated moment. John and Thune had run against each other in 2002. If not for Daschle’s efforts to keep Johnson in office, Daschle would still have his job and Johnson would be a has-been.
But things would get more complex. Like the fact Jim Jordan, former spokesman for Tim Johnson and former John Kerry campaign manager, has jumped on the pro-Zell-Miller bandwagon
“We are too coastal. We are too urban. We are too secular. And, most of all, we are too dovish. The public simply doesn’t trust us to keep them safe”
Rich Lowry opines
All the Democrats who now say that the party has foolishly given up on the South, that it is unable to connect with religious voters, that it is too beholden to liberal orthodoxy on social issues, that Americans don’t trust it on national defense, and that it doesn’t speak the language of most Americans should take a deep breath and repeat after me: “Zell Miller was right.”
This turnabout is extraordinary given the kind of criticisms that were lodged at Miller last year, especially after he amplified the arguments in his book in a humdinger of a speech at the Republican National Convention. An AFL-CIO official said Miller had “lost his damn mind.” James Carville said Miller was being “cynically manipulated by people who are greedy to hold on to power at any cost.” Well, Miller appears, in light of events, to have been the shrewdest cynically manipulated lunatic in all of human history.
“In the eyes of Middle America,” Miller wrote of the Democratic party, “it has become a value-neutral party.” That is almost mild compared with what other Democrats are now saying. Even Miller’s battering of the party for being too extreme on abortion has gained a measure of acceptance. Howard Dean of all people â€” another candidate to lead the DNC â€” now says, “I have long believed that we ought to make a home for pro-life Democrats.”
Of course, if not for Daschle this would not have happened. A more competent democratic leader would not have alienated life-long Democrats like Miller and would not have allowed the national party to be tarred by blue-state extremism.
Ironic. Or is it fitting?