Friday, November 01, 2013

Why has the Democratic Party abandoned Barbara Buono?

By Frank Moraes

I just saw a segment on All In talking about why it is that the Democratic Party hasn't gotten behind 
Barbara Buono for governor of New Jersey. Steve Kornacki was guest hosting and he was on with E J Dionne. I admire both of those men and usually agree with them. But I thought they both demonstrated the problem. Democrats just don't seem to give a shit. They are so used to dealing not just with extreme Republicans, but politically clueless Republicans. Chris Christie is an extremist but he is anything but clueless. Most Democrats mistake this for being reasonable.

Both Kornacki and Dionne talked about how the Obama administration didn't want to attack Christie because they were grateful to him for the nice things he said during Hurricane Sandy. There are a couple things they're missing. First, Obama was leading Romney during the entire general election. I believe the nadir of his campaign was when he had a two-thirds chance of winning and Romney had a one-third chance. That was the worstthat Obama ever did. By the time of Sandy, he was doing far far better—he was almost certain to win.

The second reason this narrative is ridiculous is that Christie didn't do any of that for Obama; he did it
for himself. What's more, he likely enjoyed poking Romney in the eye. As I reported right before the election, Christie did want to be Romney's VP, so he was probably a bit angry about not getting picked. But more to the point, I'm sure that Christie (who is not an idiot) understood that Romney was going to lose. He used Hurricane Sandy to look good on the national stage. And that was mostly about getting along with Obama and not seeming like some ideological dick.

In general, when a very popular politician runs for re-election, it is hard to find good candidates of the opposing party to run against him or her. But in this election, the Democrats got a great candidate: Barbara Buono. She is currently only a state senator, but she has the polish of a national politician. And she's run a good campaign. No one expected her to win. It would have taken a major error on the part of Christie to allow that. But it is absolutely unconscionable the way the state and federal Democratic Party have abandoned her. "Unconscionable" but hardly surprising.

In the modern Democrat Party, overrun as it is with New Democrats, standing for anything really is an uncomfortable notion. And it's not a party that rewards loyalty. You know the old saying: Republicans fear their base and Democrats hate theirs. Well, that's not just true of the base. Where is Obama in New Jersey? I guess we liberals can add it to our long list of things the president has done to show his contempt for us. What does it matter if the Republicans take the White House in 2016 as long as Obama has his "legacy" as a bipartisan deal marker? The whole party disgusts me.

(Cross-posted at Frankly Curious.)

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