Russ links to an excellent article by Rich Lowry over at the National Review Online:
Zell Was Right.
It's an excellent article, and I recommend you read it. I heartily approve of Russ' choice of the following comment in the article as his Quote of the Day:
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."
That sums up the entire article well. The main theme is that Zell Miller, for all the derision that was directed at him from the left, was not only right, he was downright prophetic in predicting that by embracing and normalizing the far left fringe of the party, the Democrats have alienatied many moderate Democrats and centrist independents. This "marginalization of the center" is, many believe, the reason the Democratic Party's power in the national arena has slipped. I believe it, most Republicans have seen it for a long time. Ed over at Revealed Truth makes a good point in quoting a statistic gleaned from a Suzanne Fields Townhall.com article: Surveys taken at the national conventions of both parties "revealed that 14 percent of the Democrats had once been Republicans - and 28 percent of the Republicans had once been Democrats." Ed quips,
If I were a Democrat power broker ("there but for the grace of God...."), I'd be awfully worried about that. That sort of descrepancy in conversion levels bespeaks a dramatic contrast in the relative vitality of the two parties.
Indeed. Furthermore, I'd be asking myself what was drawing my former faithful to the "enemy", or, more importantly, what was driving them from me. For all my support for the GOP, I tend to think that a good portion of those former Democrats left because they were disillusioned with their old party, not because the GOP suddenly exerted some irresistable allure. And according to Rich's article, maybe the Democrats are finally getting it -- a day late and a dollar short:
"What I was telling them was right and correct, if only they had listened to it," says Miller, who recently retired from the Senate. Democrats are essentially saying these days that they want a party in which someone like Zell Miller can feel comfortable. Alas, they used to have one. But, as someone once put it, today's Democrats are a national party no more.
Someone indeed said that. You have to wonder who, if anyone, was listening.