Judging from most news reports, you would think that the Republicans are everywhere in retreat, and the increasing radicalism of the Democratic Party is free of any consequences. Every now and then, however, reality intrudes. As it did on Saturday in Wyoming:
State Democrats should distance themselves from liberal national party leaders whose agenda frequently differs from Wyoming, Democratic Gov. Dave Freudenthal told state party members at a meeting attended by a Democratic National Committee vice chairman.
“This is a party that’s not afraid of firearms,” Freudenthal said. “It’s a party where people are interested in whether the governor managed to shoot an antelope with one shot.”
“I don’t care about Howard Dean,” he said, referring to the chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
Most striking to me are these comments by the DNC’s vice chairman:
DNC Vice Chairman Rep. Mike Honda, D-Calif., who attended meeting, acknowledged that the national organizations had slipped.
“We lost touch at the federal level,” Honda said. “Our job is to correct this with you.”
But Honda was careful to outline a role for the party in future elections, including placing those like Dean in context.
He said Democrats have learned a lot of hard lessons in the last few years and are ready now to move forward.
It would be interesting to ask Honda what “lessons” he thinks the national party has learned. From all appearances, the main lesson Howard Dean and others seem to have inculcated is that the party needs to move farther to the left.