It appears the Democratic Party is no more alive than the conservative movement--at least according to two prominent opinion columnists writing in today's papers. The New York Times's Bob Herbert has the lowdown on the Democratic downfall:
This was supposed to have been the Democrats' year. But instead of marching to victory, the party has been at war with itself in some of the ugliest ways imaginable. There was a time, not that long ago, when Democratic voters were crowing about how happy they were with all (or almost all) of the potential nominees. But the Clinton and Obama partisans spent months fighting bitterly on the toxic terrain of misogyny, racism and religion. It can only make you wonder about the vaunted Democratic claims of moral superiority when it comes to tolerance. This should have been the year when the Democrats just hammered the Republicans over the economy, the war, energy policy, health care, appointments to the Supreme Court, the failure to rebuild New Orleans, and so on. The list of important issues on which the Republicans are vulnerable is endless. Instead of running for cover, the G.O.P. is growing ever more confident that it will be tossing inaugural balls for John and Cindy McCain come January.
And Herbert is not alone. The Washington Post's Richard Cohen also has a take-down today that characterizes Democratic party voters as a racist and misogynist crew. Not the ones that attend the same "glittering dinner parties" that he does. Rather, Cohen attacks the voters in middle America, who he claims don't even have the good sense to mask their prejudice.
I loathe above all the resurgence of racism -- or maybe it is merely my appreciation of the fact that it is wider and deeper than I thought. I am stunned by the numbers of people who have come out to vote against Barack Obama because he is black. I am even more stunned that many of these people have no compunction about telling a pollster they voted on account of race -- one in five whites in Kentucky, for instance. Those voters didn't even know enough to lie, which is what, if you look at the numbers, others probably did in other states. Such honesty ought to be commendable. It is, instead, frightening. ... I loathe what has happened to Hillary Clinton. This person of no mean achievement has been witchified, turned into a shrew, so that almost any remark of hers is instantly interpreted as sinister and ugly. All she had to do, for instance, was note that it took Lyndon Johnson to implement Martin Luther King's dream, and somehow it became a racist statement. The Obama camp has been no help in this regard, expressing insincere regret instead of a sincere "that's not what she meant."
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