Friday, December 05, 2014

Good riddance

Though I do support Mary Landrieu for personal reasons, I will not mourn the death of the "Southern Democrat" as a phenomenon. To be clear, I'm not saying I cheer the loss of Democrats in the South. The Southern Democrat was its own thing--a kind of Democrat who wasn't really a Democrat on certain key issues. The concept also carried the sense that being further left amounted to political suicide and that, to succeed electorally, Democrats had to give up some of their core values. That was the prevailing wisdom for a very long time and it drove me crazy.

It drove me crazy even though I recognized that sometimes in some races it might have been correct. That's because that prevailing wisdom only seemed to apply to Democrats even though it certainly was true in at least some cases to Republicans.

Remember when everyone knew that the Democrats could not win the White House unless someone on the ticket was from the South? It wasn't that long ago that everyone thought so. It was one of the reasons that Kerry picked Edwards in 2004. The logic of that belief never made any sense and I didn't understand why the GOP wasn't being told that they had to have a Northeastern Republican on all their tickets.

I think Obama's 2008 race marked the end of the idea that every democratic presidency needed a Southern Democrat. With Mary Landrieu's impending loss that will probably be the final nail in the coffin of the cult of the Southern Democrat.