Harold Ford: Mr. Short Term Memory

Via Kos, Harold Ford finds himself the new darling of the WSJ Ed Board:

Mr. Ford, for his part, has dark warnings for those activists selling the line that last year's election is proof that their liberal ideas are now "mainstream" . . . "That's called short-term memory," he says . . .

Perhaps Harold Ford has forgotten that he lost his race in 2006 in a big Dem year. Or perhaps he is as ignorant as the WSJ regarding the 2006 election:

As he does his convincing, Mr. Ford is going to be holding up a few key facts, ones that no belligerent blogger has yet been able to refute. The party's most impressive gains last year all came from politicians straight out of the DLC cast. Four governors spoke at the DLC convention this year; all four had beat Republicans. The vast majority of the pick-ups in the House came from DLCers in red states in the South and Midwest. The Senate wouldn't be in Democratic hands were it not for Montana's Jon Tester.

This is simply false. Most of the pickups for Dems were NOT from DLC style candidates. They came primarily in the Northeast with unabashed partisan Dem candidates who were strongly anti-Iraq War. The numbers? 2 seats picked up in New Hampshire. 2 in Connecticut. 4 seats picked up in Pennsylvania. 2 in New York. A third from the Northeast. Hardly DLC country. And what of the rest? In Iowa, two pickups from solid Dems Braley and Loebsack. In Ohio, Zack Space. In Arizona, Giffords and Mitchell, hardly DLC types. In California, McNerney. Minnesota, Walz. Kansas, Boyda. And so on.

There is one state where the DLC style won. Indiana, where Dems picked up three seats with Conservative Dem candidates. But even these 3 were partisan and passionate against Bush and the Republicans.

In the Senate, NO candidates adopted the DLC approach. Jon Tester defeated a DLC supported candidate in a primary. Webb was a Netroots candidate. Sheldon Whitehouse is hardly a DLC type. Sherrod Brown is an old style liberal. Claire McCaskill won on holding the progressive view on stem cell research and choice. Bob Casey could be described as a DLC type on social issues no question but he is unabashedly pro-Labor. Amy Klobluchar in Minnesota, typical mainstream Dem. The truth is the DLC had nothing to contribute in the 2006 election and certainly seems intent on further marginalizing itself for 2008.

Ford is simply wrong when he says:

"The reality is, without the DLC, and without candidates who subscribe to our platform, Democrats wouldn't be in the majority today. If we abandon that group, we will lose the majority and we will lose the White House," says Mr. Ford.

The truth is the DLC is irrelevant now. And Harold Ford is one of the reasons why.

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    the irony here though (none / 0) (#1)
    by Stewieeeee on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 03:39:35 PM EST
    is the votes we now see being made by the candidates listed above and whether or not those votes reflect the dlc or the blogosphere agenda.

    Which candidates? (none / 0) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 03:54:36 PM EST
    Which votes?

    The North East contingent voted with me.

    Is your argument that the DLC represents the South? I can accept that. Can they?


    well we always seem to gravitate (none / 0) (#3)
    by Stewieeeee on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 04:10:29 PM EST
    towards webb.  

    but we could include tester in the mix.

    just seemed to me most of the '06 winners were part of the capitulating contingent on the supplemental.

    so.  i guess.  we could start with that vote.

    i don't see why the dlc would be afraid to say they represent the south.  i think that's, in a way, they're whole point.  have dem candidates who can also win in the south.


    Tester voted (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 04:47:24 PM EST
    against gutting FISA.

    Gravitate to someone else in the South, say, Heath Shuler.


    Didn't Ford himself ... (none / 0) (#6)
    by chemoelectric on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 07:16:42 PM EST
    ... lose?

    I mean, really, let's put earplugs in and just nod our heads at him every once in a while, as if to agree.

    From the post (none / 0) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 07:42:17 PM EST
    "Perhaps Harold Ford has forgotten that he lost his race in 2006 in a big Dem year. "

    Imagine Harold Ford Jr. in the Senate Today (none / 0) (#8)
    by Aaron on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 11:58:32 PM EST
    Say what you want about Harold Ford Jr.'s conservative political position, but as a politician the guy has real guts.  He gave up his seat in Tennessee's 9th Congressional District, the only district in Tennessee that has an African-American majority, Shelby County, a district that was held by his father Harold Ford Senior for 11 terms since 1975, before his son took it over in 1996.  

    Harold Ford, Jr

    Ford could have remained in that House seat, a solid Democratic stronghold in the state, for the rest of his political life. Instead he chose to run for the Senate in Tennessee which hasn't had a Black senator since Reconstruction. Ford was ahead in most of the polls late in the 2006 election, but lost the general election by less than three percentage points after he was virtually accused of miscegenation with a white woman at a Playboy party in attack ads initiated by the state's Republican leadership.

    The Battle for Congress: Tennessee's Harold Ford Aims to Become First Black Senator From the South Since Reconstruction

    While I may disagree with Ford's political views, I respect the man for his courage, and realize that he is an asset to the Democratic Party, a successful politician and genuine leader who could help bridge the divide between Republican and Democrat, the kind of Democrat who could end up deciding which party controls this country.  When I see such a politician shifting his viewpoints to fall in line with a leader like Barack Obama I think we should all take notice, and recognize the opportunities it gives us, or would have given us if he was a sitting senator today.

    I drove through western Tennessee during last year's election, and I could see that the battle between Bob Corker and Ford Jr. was one that the Republicans desperately wanted to win.  If I had lived in Tennessee I would surely have voted for Ford, as I think any smart Democrat would have done.  On election night I was sad to see him lose knowing how evenly the Senate would be split.  

    Just imagine if Ford was a sitting senator today, and was having second thoughts about his support for George W. Bush, with many Republicans wavering as well.  As I said in a previous comment, politics is about keeping your options open, and if Ford was the current senator for Tennessee, he would be giving the Democrats options they don't presently have, like a majority, that's an advantage worth a few compromises.

    Ideology is important in politics, but unless you win, you'll never get the chance to put your ideas to test and show the superiority of that ideology.

    Nonsequitor (none / 0) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 08:42:17 AM EST
    No one said Harold being elected would have been bad. Harold Ford's political prescription for the PArty as a whole is what is being discussed.

    I am happy Ben Nelson is the Senator from Nebraska but I deny that his philosophy is the right one for the PArty as a whole.