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In Artur Davis And Erskine Bowles The Democrats Lose Two Serious People

If you claim that doom awaits, but in 50 years, only the 1% of the population with the brains and character to think ahead are going to care about what you’re talking about. The 99% are going to change the channel.

(HT: Brett Stevens)

I’ve been harshly critical of The “Democratic Wing” of The Democratic Party for organizing itself as a Visigoth Holiday that eats out the sustenance of the productive citizens of the American Republic. Fairness demands that I recognize that not *every* Democratic occupies a similar biological niche to the intestinal parasite. Some even manage to remain Democrats for several years despite their ability to think over long time horizons and address the insidious threats that seek to undermine American greatness while the rest of their fellow partisans demand government-sponsored birth control, education and cradle-to-grave health insurance. It is of more than passing interest that both Erskine Bowles and Artur Davis have chosen to disassociate themselves from the current Democratic Party Presidential Administration.

When Erskine Bowles flatly rejected the speculation that he could succeed Timothy Geithner as Secretary of The Treasury, the Democratic Brand took a hit. Bowles was the liberal partner in the Simpson-Bowles Coalition to reduce the long term national debt. This refusal marked a major blow to the credibility of a President who got elected in 2008 promising to cut the current account deficit in half during his first term. If anyone in The Democratic Party had the chops to seriously engage this project, Erskine Bowles was he.

He would have been a major upgrade to President Obama’s cabinet over Timothy “I don’t have a plan, but I know I don’t like yours” Geithner. The difference between Bowles and Geithner on current account spending is the difference in gravitas between a serious adult and a “Choom-Smoking” teenager. Appointing Bowles would have given President Obama’s agenda greater respect than it currently enjoys. It is a telling sign that Mr. Bowles will not work for Mr. Obama.

Artur Davis used to serve as a Democratic Congressman from The State of Alabama. He attempted to become Alabama’s first African-American Governor, but suffered a colossal political humiliation in the 2010 Democratic Primary. He was beaten down hard by a political apparatchik who went on to a similar defeat at the hands of current Alabama Governor Bentley.

To Davis’ great credit, he seemed to both learn and grow up after taking a professional smack-down. He has since moved to Virginia to restart his career as a more moderate politician. He authors a thoughtful blog and sometimes guest posts at National Review.com. Some have suggested he run for Congress as a Republican.* Davis, who understands the rigors of the job, and may feel personal qualms about switching sides, hasn’t reached a definitive decision.

I encourage him to consider carefully and decide well however he chooses. He still has the potential to redeem his defeat and become a great statesman and leader. He describes the goal of his blog below.

Politics is rife with orthodoxies and a lack of imagination. This website represents a different point of view that does not belong to the traditional left or right. My perspective is that upward mobility matters, a growing economy beats dividing a shrinking pie, reforming our schools requires radical effort, politics is too dominated by narrow elites and the way we approach race and culture is diminishing our nation by breaking it apart. Above all, I believe civil, informed discourse is the most powerful value in a society that believes it can do better. That is the voice I bring.

So the Democrats won’t have the service of two of the smartest and most capable people in their party. Bowles and Davis don’t win every election they run in and sometimes stray off the reservation. The Daily Kos crew wouldn’t miss them for a heartbeat. Either one of them would tell Julia to grow up and accept personal responsibility. Neither would accept the likes of Brett Kimberlin as a political operative. They would both probably want to raise my taxes and add power to the Federal Government. From my perspective, either man is a mixed bag in terms of politics and policy.

What each of these men brought to DC was a serious commitment to doing good deeds and improving the nation. When the Democrats lose people of this caliber, they become the party of the purblind and the myopic. They become addicted to subsidies and short term fixes. They hand out favors instead of justice and seek to eat the seed corn at their Bacchanalian Revels. People like Bowles and Davis at least offer the Democrats some sense of vision. Absent leaders of this caliber, the Democrats are increasingly blind. It becomes more imperative to vote against having them lead our nation.

* – Moe Lane even wants him to switch.

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