Saturday, January 28, 2006

The Senate Lemming Caucus

Hugh Hewitt gets a good laugh at the expense of Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid. On Thursday, both Ted Kennedy and John Kerry announced their support of a filibuster of Judge Alito's Supreme Court nomination. But as Hewitt says, while Harry considered the possibility of joining the filibuster call, he "stopped long enough to count votes before he came charging out of the tunnel with no team behind him."

Reid's admission that the Lemming Caucus is a few votes shy of 40 is, of course, a tremendous disappointment to those of us who had hoped to watch Democrats finally kill off their few remaining Red-state senators, the way they destroyed Max Cleland's re-election bid in 2002 by insisting that every employee of the Department of Homeland Security must belong to the AFL-CIO. I mean, the GOP is going after Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Bill Nelson of Florida, no matter what. But a filibuster over Alito would be the answer to Karl Rove's prayers.

Q. Senator Nelson, can you explain why your Democratic colleagues won't permit an up-or-down vote on Judge Alito's nomination?

A. Well, to be honest with you, there's this weird-looking freak named Ralph Neas. When Ralph Neas says "jump," Ted Kennedy says, "How high?" So while Sandra Day O'Connor would dearly love to be retired and relaxing someplace warm and sunny, instead she's going to die in Washington, D.C., because Ralph Neas thinks Judge Alito is "out of the mainstream."

Q. So what you're saying is, whoever's name is on the ballot in November, if we vote for a Democrat ....

A. You're voting for the dictatorship of Ralph Neas.

Beltway Republicans, heaven knows, live in something of an echo-chamber. But given the pronouncments of their leaders, the Democrats seem much more insulated from political reality in the Red states. Zell Miller tried to talk sense to them, but DC Democrats live in an insular fantasy world of "penumbras and emanations," where ordinary Americans are up in arms about the NSA spying on terrorists, where everyone is upset that the Geneva Conventions aren't observed at Club Gitmo -- the United States of Canada, in other words.

And, of course, everyone's entitled to their fantasies (we've all got a few of our own) but as a political strategy, liberal wet dreams spell disaster for Democrats as a national party. The GOP puts up with Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe and Chris Shays in order to stay reasonably competitive in some of the Blue states, but the Democratic leadership always seems to be coming up with new ways to bungle away a few more seats in Jesusland.

I've often thought that people in Washington (in both parties) just need to get out more. Somebody needs to organize a conference on "Red State America" -- maybe Labor Day Weekend at Berry College in Rome, Ga. In between the usual lectures, panels and seminars, attendees would go spend half a day at the Armuchee Bluegrass Festival, ride up to Summerville some other day and hang out with Ryan Jarrett, and maybe ... I don't know ... go to Wal-Mart. Whatever, just so that they could be exposed to ordinary Americans who don't give a crap what Ralph Neas or the New York Times thinks about anything. Republican or Democrat, it would be good for anybody in Washington, D.C., to get down to Jesusland and meet some of the finest people in the world.


UPDATE (about an hour later): It's impossible to satirize Democrats, because whatever parody or lampoon you come up with, they'll manage to do things that are funnier than anything you could ever make up. So imagine my chagrin when I popped over to Michelle Malkin's and learned that Ted Kennedy is blogging on DailyKos. It's like the set-up for a bad joke: "A fat Irish drunk stumbles into the Internet and ...."