Saturday, March 01, 2003

Revenge of the Dixiecrats

One of the things that's bothered me most since the Trent Lott/Strom Thurmond debacle is the fact that Lott wasn't the only person in attendance at Thurmond's birthday/retirement party. He wasn't the only one saying great things about a man who ran for president on a segregationist platform. And when Lott's comments were made, it sounded to me like the majority of the room laughed and applauded in approval. Since then, I've reassured myself that most of the crowd wasn't really paying attention and didn't really agree with what Lott said; they were just being polite. And Lott's comments were not just empty praise, as I'm sure most of the other comments were; they were an endorsement of the principles Strom Thurmond stood for.

However, not everyone was able to sweep the dinner under the rug. In comments to the Washington Times, former Mayor of Atlanta (and one-time candidate for chairman of the DNC) Maynard Jackson reopened the debate. "I didn't appreciate [Joe] Lieberman saying that Thurmond is 'a man of iron with a heart of gold.'Ê" The Washington Times, which clearly has its own agenda, went on to list every racial fissure in the Democratic Party from 1984 to present, claiming Jackson's comments as evidence of a long-standing feud between black and Jewish party activists.

As I said, I think this is clearly agenda driven. But it is important to note that Lieberman faces a tough fight from the progressive wing of the party on the road to the nomination. And it's just downright absurd that the exodus of the Dixiecrats is still impacting the Democratic Party.

posted by Scott | 3/01/2003 | |

Fox News, of all sources, is suggesting the Bush is vulnerable in 2004. They conducted a national poll recently which showed Bush's reelection support dropping from 49% in January 2002 to 42% in February 2003, running against an unnamed Democrat. Today, 38% of those polled say they would vote for the Democrat, 10% say it depends on the Democrat, and 10% were undecided. An interesting finding from a very unlikely source.

I wonder what Roger Ailes' advice to Bush is going to be this time?

posted by Scott | 3/01/2003 | |

The Atari Democrat rides again?

On CNN's Crossfire this past Thursday, Gary Hart all but announced his candidacy for president. When Tucker Carlson suggested he would be running "as an antiwar candidate," Hart cautioned him to not "assume anything." He then went one to give approval to the idea of a war in Iraq that would have international backing, be over quickly, not cost "any lives," and not involve troops fighting their way through Baghdad.

This suggests that Hart is running as the anti-Dean. Howard Dean has made very similar comments about the type of war he would be willing to approve of in Iraq. Of course, the media has all but ignored these comments and headlined Dean's fiery antiwar rhetoric. When they do point out that he has made comments that he is not against any war, they use his statements as evidence of waffling or pandering to the antiwar base. So here we have Gary Hart, saying the same thing as Dean, but making sure that his conditions for approval of war are well publicized. Not a bad idea.

However, a number of Democrats quite rightly seem to be concerned that Hart's past personal indiscretions will remind too many voters of another rather indiscreet Democratic when it comes time to pick a president. After all, Al Gore could not put enough distance between himself and President Clinton in 2000. So Hart's quasi-antiwar stance may be all for naught.

posted by Scott | 3/01/2003 | |

Friday, February 28, 2003

Speaking of Dennis Kucinich...

Everyone's favorite Natural Law/Democratic fusion candidate Dennis Kucinich is at it again! It seems that the formerly staunch pro-life progressive has (wisely) changed his tune. It was clear to most that no matter how liberal or progressive Kucinich could claim to be otherwise, his pro-life voting record in Congress, highlighted by his one-time 95% scorecard rating from the National Right to Life Campaign, was going to be a bit of a stumbling block (read: 700 foot high concrete wall) on his way to the nomination. He's now approaching the issue from the rather sensible viewpoint that he is not pro-abortion, but pro-life. However, much of the Democratic base will bristle at the idea that such a distinction must even be drawn.

In other Dennis the K news, it seems that TPM has dug up some rather unpleasant dirt. I am going to pass it off as "youthful indiscretion." Some young men like to drive drunk while some like to play George Wallace...

posted by Scott | 2/28/2003 | |

The plot thickens...

Senator Bob Graham of Florida has officially thrown his hat into the ring for the 2004 Democratic nomination. Not really a surprising development to anyone who's been paying attention for the last few months, but newsworthy nonetheless. Graham is most notable for his recent vote against the bill authorizing the use of force against Iraq. Mind you, it's not because Graham is an antiwar dove. Au contraire. Sen. Graham did not find that the language of the bill was harsh enough. Take that, Dennis Kucinich!

In case anyone's keeping score, that's a whopping 28 candidates in the Democratic field. Think I'm lying? Check it out at Okay, okay... There are only nine declared candidates that have any sort of shot at winning the nomination. And even then, I'm not sure all of them have a real shot...

posted by Scott | 2/28/2003 | |

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Well, I really hope DemWatch doesn't turn into PollWatch...

As President Bush continues to insist on passing his latest round of tax cuts, the public opinion numbers continue to slip away from him. Only 42% of those polled support the tax cut, while 48% disapprove of Bush's handling of the economy.

Nothing but good news for the Democrats.

Read it here.

posted by Scott | 2/26/2003 | |

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

This morning on Washington Journal, it was noted that a new Zogby poll of those likely to vote in the New Hampshire primary has John Kerry way ahead of the pack, Howard Dean in second, and Dick Gephardt third. Everyone else was in the single digits. This was a VERY strong showing for Howard Dean considering that polls elsewhere in the country put him very near the bottom of the pile, in a few instances even behind Al Sharpton.

posted by Scott | 2/25/2003 | |

Monday, February 24, 2003

Welcome to DemWatch! I've been watching the progress blogging has made over the past few years and been extremely impressed. Having only scratched the surface of the format in the past, I decided to finally take the plunge. As I'm sure many political bloggers are, I'm a total news junkie. Just can't get enough. So now my addiction is your resource.

Things you should expect to see at DemWatch:
- News about the 2004 Democratic primary race.
- News of interest to liberals, lefties, and progressives.
- Links to news stories, op-ed pieces, and resources of note.

Things you should not expect to see at DemWatch:
- Anything about my personal life.

It seems to me that too many blogs are hyperpersonal substitutes for a spot on bloggers' favorite reality TV shows. Don't get me wrong, personal blogs are great, but in order to pull it off, you've got to be GOOD. (You know who you are, dear friends.) But I digress...

So thanks for visiting. Come back as often as you like. Feel free to be in touch. And remember, I love a good debate.

posted by Scott | 2/24/2003 | |
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