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Friday, April 29, 2005

Zell Miller Ill

Zell Miller excused himself from a speech Thursday afternoon when he said he felt ill. According to his wife, he had shown some flu-like symptoms during the week and, in a move that surprises absolutely no-one who has known him for five minutes, would not stay in bed. He's in stable condition, and released a statement to that effect.

Without missing a beat, the Democratic Underground is all over this with (mostly) ill-will wishes and absolutely snarky comments about him. Zell Miller rose to fame (or infamy, depending on who you ask) when he came out as an ardent supporter for President Bush's re-election, breaking with Democrats. Zell Miller gave a decidedly southern-style hellfire speech at the Republican Convention in New York, criticizing the Democratic party for being like wet noodles when it comes to national security. Zell Miller was replaced in January by a Republican after announcing he would not run for re-election, completing the term of Democrat Paul Coverdell after he passed away.

Zell Miller was relentlessly criticized for breaking with party lines in his support of the President, but it wasn't just a token "Oh, I support him instead of Kerry" sort of deal - he campaigned hard for President Bush. The liberal pundits (my personal favorite blind-to-reality budgy being Susan Estrich) were aghast at the idea that someone would dare break the cardinal rule of the Democratic party, with that being you don't ever support a guy with an (R) after their name - its all loyalty to the party, all the time. Don't defy the Groupthink! It's almost funny that the Democratic party still doesn't realize that people like Zell breaking rank isn't a fluke - its indicative of a problem that needs to be looked at seriously. Zell Miller didn't break with the Democrats solely because of John Kerry's rather immature behavior following his return from Vietnam - although, to be sure, that was likely a big factor in Zell's book - but rather that they didn't have a clear vision for defending this country from terrorism, and for taking the fight to the terrorists abroad instead of just swatting flies at home.

The Democrats lost, wholesale, on the prime basis of appearing and acting weak on defense - never something they were good at establishing publicly, but defenitely failing to sell the deal last November. It wasn't Zell Miller's fault for their losing - he was telling them what was wrong publicly, and they did and said the wrong things. They only have themselves to blame when they can't accept the idea that maybe, just maybe, they are wrong on a few things and changing tacks a little bit would improve their chances at election. Instead its bogeymen and finger pointing, hollering about the Republicans (or, "Repugs", "Repukes", or whatever childish DU term they could toss out) being Nazis and every other doom-and-gloom proclamation they could make. Funny how they so eagerly toss out the Nazi label when they demand rigidity thats borderline insane out of the members of their own party. But hey, what do I know - I'm just a Repug.
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