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June 25, 2004
Democrat To Address Republican Nominating Convention

Every Republican's favorite Democrat, Georgia Senator Zell Miller, will speak to the Republican Nominating Convention in order to formally endorse George Bush's candidacy. Miller, who's hardly been shy about his disenchantment with his own party's direction, provides the "unity" campaign that John Kerry tried to build with John McCain, and failed:

According to the aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity, Miller will give his address on Wednesday night of the four-day convention in New York that begins Aug. 30. The Bush-Cheney campaign was expected to make an official announcement later in the day.

The speech by Miller, a former two-term governor, comes 12 years after he delivered the keynote address for Bill Clinton at the 1992 Democratic National Convention, also held in New York.

Miller, who is retiring in January, has voted with Republicans more often than his own party and has been a key sponsor of many of Bush's top legislative priorities, including the Republican's tax cuts and education plan.

Since last year, when Miller began writing op-eds in the Wall Street Journal decrying the choices of candidates from his party, Miller has made his preference for Bush clear:

This is a president who understands the price of freedom. He understands that leaders throughout history often have had to choose between good and evil, tyranny and freedom. And the choice they make can reverberate for generations to come. This is a president who has some Churchill in him and who does not flinch when the going gets tough. This is a president who can make a decision and does not suffer from "paralysis analysis." This is a president who can look America in the eye and say on Iraq, "We're not leaving." And you know he means it. ...

Believe me, I looked hard at the other choices. And what I saw was that the Democratic candidates who want to be president in the worst way are running for office in the worst way. Look closely, there's not much difference among them. I can't say there's "not a dime's worth of difference" because there's actually billions of dollars' worth of difference among them. Some want to raise our taxes a trillion, while the others want to raise our taxes by several hundred billion. But, make no mistake, they all want to raise our taxes. They also, to varying degrees, want us to quit and get out of Iraq. They don't want us to stay the course in this fight between tyranny and freedom. This is our best chance to change the course of history in the Middle East. So I cannot vote for a candidate who wants us to cut and run with our shirttails at half-mast.

I find it hard to believe, but these naive nine have managed to combine the worst feature of the McGovern campaign--the president is a liar and we must have peace at any cost--with the worst feature of the Mondale campaign--watch your wallet, we're going to raise your taxes. George McGovern carried one state in 1972. Walter Mondale carried one state in 1984. Not exactly role models when it comes to how to get elected or, for that matter, how to run a country.

So, as I have said, my choice for president was an easy decision. And my own party's candidates made it even easier.

Discovering that Miller would speak at the convention may provide mild surprise, since it is such an overt renunciation of his own party, but his book has already made that renunciation clear for everyone. However, the news apparently caught some members of Miller's party unaware, as the reaction from the state Democratic machine makes clear:

Miller drew a sharp rebuke from the dean of Georgia's congressional delegation, Democratic Rep. John Lewis, who called the senator's decision "a shame and a disgrace." ... "I think he has sold his soul for a mess of pottage," Lewis said, a reference to a speech Miller gave 40 years ago in which he argued that President Johnson was abandoning his Southern roots by pushing some civil rights issues. Pottage is defined as a thick soup or stew of vegetables.

Apparently the AP is unfamiliar with the original reference from the Old Testament about the "mess of pottage," or insists on avoiding biblical references.

Another member of the Georgia party says he's not surprised, and offers a glimpse as to why the senior Senator feels that his party has betrayed him and not the other way around. Bobby Kahn, the party's state chair, had this to say:

"Maybe I'll switch to the Republican Party so I can speak at the Democratic Convention and bash Bush," Kahn said. "It makes about as much sense."

Only to Kahn. Zell Miller has repeatedly attempted to convince his fellow Democrats to look beyond partisan squabbling and focus on the security of the nation and the survival of Western civilization. He's written essays, made speeches, and finally published a book explaining his philosophical issues with the Democratic Party. Kahn, on the other hand, applies his own small-minded thinking to Miller and comes up with nothing except a spiteful, and wholly inaccurate, characterization of Miller's actions.

This small-mindedness of the Democrats continues to be displayed in their wholesale embrace of the conspiracy-theory lunatics such as Michael Moore and their own Al Gore, where party leaders not only tolerate their inclusion but actively participate in their paranoid and inaccurate ravings solely to gain an electoral advantage. Every day, people like Kahn, Gore, Lewis, Tom Daschle, Tom Harkin, and others demonstrate Miller's assertion that his party has moved away from him, and not the other way around.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at June 25, 2004 12:45 PM

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