by Chris Bowers, Mon Aug 07, 2006 at 07:12:19 AM EDT
(a) No person shall be eligible to serve as a member or officer of any Democratic committee as provided in Section 1 of this rule who:(...)
(3) by voice, vote, financial support or otherwise has, within two years, supported a candidate in a general or special election opposed to the duly nominated candidate of the Democratic Party in that election, except as provided in paragraph (c) of this Section. While Governor Rendell is not technically violating this section, with his recent remarks on Santorum, he comes very close to doing so:Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D) has confounded his party with some recent comments about Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA). He recently told the Weekly Standard that Santorum "has proven that he gets the job done. Time and time again he has come through." Rendell later praised Santorum again to the Philadelphia Inquirer: "How could I be tearing a new rear end for someone who worked effectively to get flood relief for Pennsylvania?"
The Inquirer reports that Rendell officially supports challenger Bob Casey (D) and plans to campaign for him, but that Santorum is already running radio ads in Philadelphia highlighting Rendell's remarks. Why is Governor Rendell saying positive things about Rick Sanotrum in the Weekly Standard? For that matter, why is Governor Rendell giving an interview with the Weekly Standard at all? Now Rick Santorum is using those comments in his ads. Of course, I am talking about a Democrat who went on Fox News in order to support Samuel Alito during the confirmation hearings and repeat the talking points Republicans were using about Democrats during those hearings. I am also talking about someone who was openly a member of the Fainthearted Faction during the Social security fight. Whatever lesson Democrats in DC may or may not learn from the Connecticut Senate primary, I wonder sometime how long it will take that lesson to filter down from DC and back into Pennsylvania.
This is a huge, huge, huge mistake by Rendell. Rick Sanotrum is closing the gap on Casey because he has gone on the air first. This isn't particularly worrying because it is a common phenomenon in politics: the candidate who goes ont eh air first often receives a boost. However, it is worrying because of Santorum's ridiculous war chest that should allow him to stay on the air pretty much continuously between now and Election Day. Fortunately, Casey has a lot of money too and we scored some points with the base this week by pointing out that the Green Party of Pennsylvania is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Republican Party. In the meantime, we do not need to show that the communications apparatus of the Democratic Party in Pennsylvania is operated by the same people who run the Republican shop. I do not care what 1990's school of triangulation politics Governor Rendell comes from, the simple fact is that he has consistently performed better than other Democrats in the state, and his consistent willingness to talk up Republicans and talk down Democrats is a major reason for this. He has no problem benefiting himself at the expense of his fellow Democrats. When I attended my first state committee meeting back in June, the party leaders repeatedly hammered the concept of "loyalty" to us newbies. Quite frankly, after seeing Governor Rendell do something like this yet again, I don't think that we were the ones who need to learn that lesson.