Chris Bell, who has endorsed Edwards, is not joining those who say a Hillary nomination will be bad for Texas Democrats. This was an email I can't find posted on the web.
Polarizing HillaryTags: Chris Bell, John Edwards, Texas, straw poll, Democrats, Hillary Clinton
By Chris Bell
The Examiner, Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Isn't it great that Hillary Clinton is the only polarizing Democrat in the race for president? I'm extremely pleased that if Barack Obama, John Edwards or someone else is the nominee, the Republican Party plans to take a hands-off approach and not demonize them in the same way they have Hillary over the past 15 years. Therefore, it's only Hillary Clinton who could possibly be a drag on down ballot candidates in states like Texas in 2008 and not any of the other Democratic candidates.
If the above paragraph sounds absurd, it should. But according to the Associated Press, many leaders of the Democratic Party really do think that way. In a recent AP article, the chairman of a Midwest state party called Clinton "a nightmare for congressional and state legislative candidates."
I've heard similar comments from a number of Texas Democrats. The argument is that Senator Clinton is so polarizing that she'll "jeopardize the party's standing with independent voters and give Republicans who otherwise might stay home on Election Day a reason to vote."
Who has made her polarizing? Not Democrats; that's why she's leading in all Democratic polls. Instead, it has been a steady drumbeat from the right which has succeeded in turning so many against her. And to pretend that won't happen regardless of who wins the Democratic nomination is pure fantasy. That's what Republicans do. They are all about the politics of polarization and they have made it an art form. Look what they did to John Kerry, for crying out loud.
The Republicans haven't driven Obama's and Edwards's negative ratings up to the same level as Clinton's because those two haven't received nearly the same level of attention but there have already been signs of just how far they will be willing to go if necessary. Ann Coulter, that great paragon of conservative virtue who still thinks name-calling is cool, has called Edwards a "faggot" and Rush Limbaugh, still the leading right-wing radio windbag, played a little racist musical ditty on his show called "Barack, the Magic Negro."
So Democrats should expect the worst and stop pretending that someone other than Hillary will get a free pass. They also need to stop playing into the Republicans' polarization game and start standing up for what and whom they believe in. That's what majority parties do. It's time for the Democratic Party to start acting like one.
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