Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Howard Dean - Not Southern

Apparently the fact that Howard Dean will be the new chairman of the Democratic National Committee is bad news, primarily because he's not Southern. This news come to us thanks to Larry Kudlow
But let me add a more simple reason why Dean should never chair the DNC: He is not from the South and has no pull in the South.

In their White House bids, Al Gore and John Kerry were destroyed in the pro-military, anti-tax, culturally conservative South. Not merely the Deep South, but the border states as well. Meanwhile, Democratic senators, House members, and governors have been crushed in a series of Republican landslides in the Southern states.

The Dems will not reclaim the White House until they start the process of electoral recovery in the South. This has long been former Sen. Zell Miller's message to his party. At the very least the next DNC chair should be a moderate from the Rocky Mountain West, someone with good communication skills who can reach out to Southern voters. But if Dean, another Northeast liberal, rises to the top, the headline becomes clear: "Dems to South: Drop Dead."
Yeah, I can confirm that Dean is definitely not from the South. No Southerner he. But the other part of the thesis is less definite.

Basically the assumption is that we can't really win America unless we win the South. Note that Mr. Kudlow doesn't consider the Northeast States, the Mid-Atlantic States, the Great Lakes States, the Plains States, the Rocky Mountain States, The South-Western States or the Pacific States as relevant. The only states that really matter are the Southern States.

It's easy enough to see why Mr. Kudlow and other Conservatives would propagate this view point. They see the South as safe ground, where traditional prejudices and resentments make them, more or less, unassailable. Personally, I'm not sure about this assessment; I think the South has a certain generosity of spirit and bone crushing poverty that might bush them the other way, if those traits were capitalized on.

Bringing up Zell Miller, of course, makes Mr. Kudlow's point even more explicit. If the Democratic Party is to be an effective party they need to be the Republican Party. A lot of conservatives don't seem to understand why Democrats would rather the Democratic Party stayed the Democratic Party.

At any rate, the idea that a Northeastern DNC Chair is a "screw-you" to the South is total crap. We are all Americans. It's time that Mr. Kudlow and others who would play on regional resentments learned that. It's past time that the American people taught him that.

No comments: