February 25, 2005


Dean visiting GOP strongholds: Mixed reception likely in Kansas (John Mercurio, 2/24/05,

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean on Thursday began a two-day visit to the GOP stronghold of Kansas, hoping to erase the notion that his party has surrendered so-called "red states" to Republicans. [...]

Dean is likely to face a mixed reception in Kansas, which at 43 percent trails only Nebraska and Utah in the percentage of population registered as Republicans.

The state hasn't gone for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1964, and President Bush beat John Kerry among Kansans in November by 25 percentage points.

That, Dean said, is precisely why he's traveling there. "I don't think Democrats are ever going to be a national party unless we bring our message to every state, and that includes Kansas," he told the Kansas City Star.

Some local Democrats appear unconvinced.

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat who scored a surprising win in 2002 but is a top GOP target next year, won't appear with Dean during his two-day visit.

An aide noted that Sebelius remained neutral in the DNC race and backed Kerry in the presidential primary.

Rep. Dennis Moore, the state's only congressional Democrat, is traveling out of the country and won't return until next week.

The idea that Democrats' problem is that people aren't hearing them is utter lunacy. Good news for the few Red State Democrats though, the Shuttle is scheduled to start flying again soon and they may be able to pull a Jake Garn and actually leave the planet Earth when Dr. Dean comes to town.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 25, 2005 2:10 PM

Wasn't Dennis Moore the swashbuckling lupin thief from Monty Python's Flying Circus?

Posted by: John at February 25, 2005 2:17 PM

John: That he is:

Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore,
galloping through the sward,
Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore,
and his horse Concorde.
He steals from the rich,
he gives to the poor,
Mr Moore, Mr Moore, Mr Moore.

Posted by: Bartman at February 25, 2005 2:44 PM

i remember a verse that went:
"he steals from the poor, and gives to the rich,
stupid git"

Posted by: cjm at February 25, 2005 3:40 PM

As Thomas Frank correctly points out, the Democrats are failing to present Red State voters with an economic message that would appeal to them more than what the GOP is offering. At the same time, the GOP message resonates much better on cultural and defense/foreign policy issues.

However, Dean cannot discuss any substantive means of addressing issues of concern to ordinary Kansans like affordable health care and education, because he is beholden to the Upper West Side affluent Left, for whom politics is a means of forcing society to endorse their various causes, not a means of improving life for ordinary folks. In fact, it is precisely the Clintonite me-tooism on economic policy that appeals to these people, that made them feel comfortable plunking the Dem lever. If the Democrats started doing things like increasing taxes significantly on rich people to pay for poor people's medical care, the Yuppies would have to give up those weekends in the Hamptons.

The Democrats sold their soul in the late 80s to the trendnoid Left and today they are stuck with them.

Posted by: Bart at February 25, 2005 5:48 PM