It ain’t easy being a Democrat these days. After the butt-kicking endured by the party of the Jackass, them Dems are starting to feel like a Christian Scientist with appendicitis.
Al Gore is in full meltdown, blaming anybody and everybody for the fact he ain’t President (everybody, that is, except Al Gore).
Former Senate Majority Leader (and now minority leader) Tom Daschle pulled his head out of his ass just long enough to say the humiliations his party suffered in the November mid-term elections weren’t his fault and then returned to the nether region where the smell is as nasty as his party’s issues.
At least former House Democratic Leader Dick Gephardt had enough sense to quit his leadership post before his suddenly disloyal troops dumped him. Geppy says he may run for President where his chances are about the same as a virgin’s maidenhood during a night alone with Bill Clinton.
Which leaves Terry McAuliff, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, the ethically-challenged blowhard who predicted massive wins for his party on election day and then tried to spin the losses as a positive by saying that “52 percent of Americans can now wake up each morning knowing they have a Democratic governor” (something that should cause nightmares for those unlucky souls).
“I’m not a member of any organized political party,” humorist Will Rogers once said. “I’m a Democrat.” If Will were around today, he’d probably claim to be anything but.
The Democratic party attracts an odd assortment of scuzballs, weirdos and left-wing freaks: feminists with hairy armpits, tree huggers who think any forest is more important than jobs and the usual assortment of con-artists, liars and neer-do-wells.
Which, of course, makes McAuliff the perfect choice to head the party. The DNC chairman is the consummate fast-buck hustler, a smooth snake-oil salesman who plays fast and loose with both the truth and other people’s money (habits which have resulted in a number of investigations into his business dealings).
In most cases, the devastating defeat on Nov. 5 would have sent the DNC chairman packing, but the Democrats love money more than morality and smooth-talking Terry is a master at raising big bucks (especially if nobody takes too close a look at the legality of his methods).
McAuliff was Bill Clinton’s personal choice to run things for the Dems, a take the money and run operative well schooled in the art of back door deals and the gray areas of political fundraising.
“Terry can raise money and right now we need money more than credibility,” says one Democratic political operative. “Once we have the money, we can buy all the credibility we need.”
A McAuliff memo circulated to Democratic insiders last week puts fundraising at the top the party priority list for the 2004 elections.
“The key to victory is adequate financing,” the memo says.
“Adequate financing” means Terry is shaking down unions, teachers and minority groups to contribute to the party. He claims none of the usual Democratic special interest groups delivered for the party on Nov. 5 and now they must atone.
“The message is simple,” says a Democratic fundraiser. “He tells them ‘you forgot us on Nov. 5 so why shouldn’t we forget you.’”
But Democratic insiders say McAuliff and other party leaders refuse to look in the mirror when they try to find someone to blame.
“You can’t win elections without a message,” says strategist James Carville. “Hell, you have to stand for something and we didn’t stand for a damn thing this time around.”
Others feel the party hurt itself badly by standing behind the many transgressions of Bill Clinton for eight years.
“Bill Clinton damaged this party in many ways,” says Democratic operative Arnold Roth. “His loose morals, dishonesty with the public and ability to discard supporters when they were no longer of use drove a lot of good people out of the Democratic ranks. Most won’t admit it publicly, but the party would have been a lot better off without Bill Clinton in the White House.”