Friday, September 26, 2008

In case you forgot

Zell Miller was a Democrat. As governor, he was moderate to conservative on many issues, and liberal on a few, as well. Despite his recent statements, he was pro-choice and along with the rest of the GA Dems pretty much kept abortion-related issues off the table. The HOPE Scholarships of course barely passed the statewide referendum because of the objections of religious conservatives. Zell was well within the mainstream of Georgia Democrats.

In case you had forgotten that, check this excerpt from Matt Towery's book (via Political Insider):
As Towery reveals, “Zell didn’t want to hurt Bush. In fact, he thought a third-party effort might move more moderate Democrats away from Bush’s opponent … His real motivation was to push for a whole set of issues he thought the national Democrats had abandoned. That included his initiative to see the so-called ‘Black Belt’ - an area of the South that is predominantly African-American and has been stuck in poverty for generations - receive almost a ‘Marshall Plan’ degree of assistance to pull folks out of the trap of poverty, poor health care, and substandard education.” [emphasis added - bk]
Can you imagine the folks in charge of the state house going for that sort of plan? Or our GOP House delegation? That is grade-A, old school liberal populism. Now, I'm not saying that Zell didn't go off the deep end in 2004, or that he is still a Democrat in any realistic fashion. I'm just saying that he did a lot of good stuff over the years, and that I can't help but feel a little respect for a guy who wanted to talk about the Black Belt and poverty in 2004. Heck, even John Edwards didn't go as far as proposing a Marshall Plan for poor, rural, Southern blacks.

FWIW, I always thought that if Mark Taylor had run as Huey Long he would have done a lot better against Perdue.

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