Saturday, June 11, 2005

Saunders and Jarding May Be The Democrats Only Hope

The read for this lovely early June weekend comes from the always-irreverant Matt Labash, via Powerline. The piece, "Hunting Bubba" centers on the Democratic Party's inability to garner the southern vote in recent years, and the unlikely team of "Mudcat" Saunders and Steve Jarding, who could be the only hope to get it back. Unfortunately, they have run into some resistance from east-coast elites.

Time after time, Mudcat says, he butts up against the intellectual condescension of the northeastern ruling elite in his party, who dismiss a counteroffensive out of hand.

When he and Jarding approached the Democratic National Committee about sponsoring a NASCAR truck decked out with fire-snorting donkey nostrils--as they'd done successfully with Warner, and as everyone from the NRA to the U.S. Navy has also done, as a way to start cracking the culture--he says they were rebuffed. "It wasn't the demographic they were going for." I ask what they were going for. "Fat women from New England," he snaps.

Or take John Kerry, he says, a prototypical modern Democrat, who when it comes to the South alternates between not trying at all and looking like he's trying too hard. At one campaign stop, Kerry forsook his classical guitar to break into some Johnny Cash. "I'll tell anyone who will listen how much I enjoy playing 'Ring of Fire,'" Kerry dorkishly told Newsweek.

Mudcat says that on the trail once, Kerry took him aside and told him that after the nomination was locked up, the campaign was headed south and Mudcat could "be there for the ride." A few weeks later, back home in New England, at Dartmouth, Kerry told an audience, "Everybody always makes the mistake of looking south," pointing out that Al Gore nearly became president without winning one southern state. "Now did you see Bush concede any state?" Mudcat asks rhetorically. "Hell no. The Democrats are a bunch of dumb-asses, is what they are." The way Mudcat sees it, Kerry telegraphed contempt for southerners, and in one fell swoop shot the bird to one-fourth of the country. "I'm not going to call him phony," says Mudcat, "But I am going to say he sprayed down my leg and told me it was raining."

The piece is pretty long, but the payoff is well worth the ride.

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