The Moose celebrates the diversity of the Democrats and asks that they accentuate their unity.
One of the strengths of the donkey is that he is more representative of the racial and ethnic diversity of the nation than the elephant. That is a good thing. What is not necessarily a positive for the party is that it appears to be less a sum of its parts and more as an amorphous collection of special interests groups.
This light-hearted story in Saturday's Washington Post underscored the party's problem,
"Incoming Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean spent yesterday in a series of meetings with valued Democratic constituencies at the Hilton Washington. He did the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Caucus at 12:15 p.m., the Seniors Coordination Council at 12:45 p.m., the Women's Caucus at 3:40 p.m., the Native Americans at 4:35 p.m., the African Americans at 5 p.m., the Asian Pacific Islanders at 5:20 p.m. and the Hispanics at 5:40 p.m.
Cynics might call this regimen emblematic of the Democratic Party's over-attention to special-interest groups. Not so, says Laura Gross, spokeswoman for the former Vermont governor who is expected to be elected party chairman today at a DNC meeting. "Governor Dean is going to need everybody's help," Gross says, "and that's why he's talking to all these caucus groups."
These caucuses only serve to feed the stereotype of the Democrats as the party of the special interests. In fact, it is the Bushies who divide the nation by class on behalf of the comfortable. But the widespread impression of the Democrats is that it is a party of political correctness which seeks to balkanize the country by our various differences. The Democrats must once again be the party of bread and butter economic progressivism rather than the party of identity politics.
The Moose would argue that the Democrats should become the party of national unity and purpose. Perhaps, the new DNC Chair can surprise us all and recommend the abolition of official party caucuses. They can certainly exist outside the structure of the party. But, the Chairman can send the message that the Democrats are one party for a united America.
Out of many, one. --