Archive for March 5th, 2010

School for Scandal

RangelNot Resting, Just Dead…

Will Rogers famously said he belonged to no organized political party. He was a Democrat. The cowboy philosopher would find himself right at home in the national party these days.

Disorganization, disunity and doom hangs around the party, with its Congressional fortunes neatly summarized by a snoozing Rep. Charlie Rangel catching a few winks outside the Caribbean villa on which he failed to pay taxes.

Do you think this photo might show up in a few GOP ads this year?

The Times chronicles today the litany of scandals dogging Democrats and further souring the anti-ruling party sentiment in the country. Here is a key graph from the piece:

“The mix of power and the temptations of corruption can be a compelling political narrative at any time. But with voters appearing to be in an angry mood and many already inclined to view all things Washington with mistrust, the risks for Democrats could be that much greater this year.”

Another piece with the same conclusion at The Daily Beast. Here is the key sentence:

To understand why the Rangel scandals are so dangerous for Democrats, you need to understand something about midterm landslides: They’re usually composed of three parts. First, the other party’s activists are highly motivated. Second, your own activists are highly unmotivated. Third, independents want to burn Washington to the ground.”

The reality for Democrats this cycle is simple: the party in power suffers from scandal. Republicans paid the same price when they last controlled the Congress. Remember Tom DeLay and Duke Cunningham? Writing at Slate, Christopher Beam quotes the always reliable Larry Sabato:

“I’ve always called elections the opportunity to throw the bums out and throw a new set of bums in. Partisans never believe that. They think their side is golden and the opposition is a bunch of second cousins to Beelzebub.”

Democrats are riding for a major fall in the fall and, it seems to me, there is little they can do about it because, as Will Rogers also, said:

“The more you read and observe about this Politics thing, you got to admit that each party is worse than the other. The one that’s out always looks the best.”

Right now, Democrats look both bad and like losers.