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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Judgment Day

SPECIAL JOINT STATEMENT FROM BULLMOOSE AND NEWDONKEYThe Moose and the Donkey are pleased to join hands–or more precisely, hooves–and express gratification that Ralph Reed is not going to become Lieutenant Governor of Georgia. Nor will Brother Reed, whose eyes were on much higher aspirations, hear the strains of “Hail to the Chief” unless he ponies up a few grand to attend some GOP fundraiser where the president is present.Verily, verily, Ralph Reed has discovered that the Proverb was prescient: pride goeth before the fall. Once among the highest and the mightiest in Republican councils, Reed could not win a low-turnout Republican primary in his adopted home state; indeed, state senator Casey Cagle wound up routing him by double digits.Allow the Donkey and the Moose to enjoy a little schadenfreude.The Moose does not fault brother Ralph for having been a leader in the religious right. There are many good and decent folks in the religious conservative movement. What the Moose faults Ralph for is his hypocrisy and crass cynicism as he reportedly exploited the good will of religious folks. Ralph Reed and Jack Abramoff truly deserve each other. Ralph would have had us believe that he didn’t know what old Jack was up to. He was merely the piano player in the bordello of corruption. This claim gives a new meaning to the word chutzpah. Ralph is many things, but he is not stupid. And Abramoff was one of Ralph’s closest friends.The Donkey is from Georgia, and is relieved that even Republican primary voters could not bring themselves to ignore Reed’s distinctive history of combining money-grubbing, self-righteousness, and vicious political tactics. Sure, some Georgia Democrats liked the idea of running against Ralph right down to November. But even a temporary victory for Reed would have reinforced the cynical belief in GOP circles that no one will pay an electoral price for the scandals and corruption of the Bush Era–that voters really are dumb sheep waiting for the next opportunity to be shorn.As both the Moose and the Donkey acknowledge, Ralph Reed is an excellent salesman. But he couldn’t he sell himself with all his baggage to the voters of Georgia. He’s had his “accountability movement,” as the president might put it, and lost. Maybe this setback will begin Ralph’s road to redemption. But it’s good to know he won’t be driving down that road in a publicly owned vehicle.

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