Last week, U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu from Louisiana was defeated in a runoff election by Republican candidate, Bill Cassidy. Landrieu was the last remaining Democratic senator from the Deep South – a region that the Democratic Party dominated for much of the 20th century.
The Democrats’ lack of remaining political prospects in the region has been concerning to many within the party, but one liberal journalist has a unique take on the situation: Good riddance!
Writing for The Daily Beast, Michael Tomasky went on an absolute tirade over the “reactionary, prejudice-infested” South, comparing the voters who didn’t support Landrieu to a veterinarian who takes pleasure in gassing pets.
According to Tomasky, a vote against a Democratic politician is a vote against “tolerance, compassion, civic decency, trans-racial community, and the crucial secular values on which this country was founded.”
All of that? Really?
He goes on to write that “the whole region has rejected nearly everything that’s good about this country and has become just one big nuclear waste site of choleric, and extremely racialized, resentment.”
The temper tantrum is comical in a way, considering that Louisiana – the state he singles out – has a twice-elected governor and national figure named Bob Jindal, who just happens to be of Indian descent. I guess that doesn’t count because he’s a Republican.
I guess it also doesn’t count that Mary Landrieu, who herself just a few weeks ago attributed her poor election forecast to bigoted voters, was elected three times by the people of Louisiana prior to losing her bid for a forth term last week. Apparently, her constituents didn’t become a bunch of sexist pigs until her poll numbers went down.
Logic aside (and you have to put logic aside in order to try and take the column seriously), Tomasky says it’s good that the Democratic Party now has little of a political presence in the South. He says the Democrats should abandon the region, forget about it, and let the GOP “turn it into Free-Market Jesus Paradise.” He believes the party just doesn’t need the South in order to maintain power at the national level, and says that trying to win Southern seats just isn’t worth the “ideological cost” for Democrats.
Tomasky quotes Memphis Representative Steve Cohen who said that “a lot of white Southerners vote on gays and guns and God, and we’re not going to ever be too good on gays and guns and God.”
With that in mind, Tomasky says that Democrats should concentrate on the rest of the country – you know, those of us who apparently still have enough marbles left in our brains to appreciate the infinite wisdom and greatness of liberalism.
As a right-leaning political thinker, I must admit that I’d be perfectly fine with the Democratic Party taking Tomasky’s advice and conceding the South to the Republicans; ironically it would establish the Democrats as a regional party, which is how the media has been trying to portray the GOP in recent years. But as an objective reader of political punditry, it’s impossible not to recognize that Michael Tomasky is nothing more than extremely poor loser, and an elitist buffoon.
To people like Tomasky, who are so instinctively liberal that they probably couldn’t even bring themselves to crawl out of the right side of their beds in the morning, the Democrats’ diminishing presence in the South can only mean one thing: Racist, sexist, homophobic constituents who are just too ignorant to vote the correct way anymore.
To Tomasky, the Democrats’ increasing unpopularity in the South couldn’t possibly have anything to do with things not related to race, gender, sexuality, or religion. It couldn’t possibly have anything to do with issues like healthcare, energy, jobs, the economy, over-regulation, and good old-fashioned leadership. Nope, it’s bigotry – plain and simple, despite all of the evidence showing that minorities and women have little trouble getting elected there.
But hey, if it helps Michael Tomasky sleep well at night to think that he’s one of the smart ones, and that the Southern region of the United States is hopelessly ignorant and unworthy of his party’s efforts, who am I to wake him up from his dream?
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