- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 5, 2003

To get a sense of just how adrift the liberals are these days, it's worth taking a look at some of the colorful personalities currently weighing election bids. We're not talking about the Dick Gephardts, John Kerrys or Joe Liebermans of the Democratic Party. We're talking about the less-than-mainstream politicians who have crawled out from the dustbin of failed liberal causes to which they were once consigned. We're talking, of course, about Cynthia McKinney, Carol Moseley-Braun, Al Sharpton and Jerry Springer.
Miss McKinney, who lost her House seat in November when the black helicopters that swarm in her mind finally became too many for Georgians (her father blamed it on the "J-E-W-S"), is now finding significant support among the Greens as their presidential candidate. In the Democratic presidential primary, the race-baiting Rev. Sharpton is considering a bid, as is Mrs. Moseley-Braun. She made history by becoming the first black female senator, only to be bounced out by Illinois voters in the next election due to questionable dealings and friendships. And then there is Mr. Springer, a former mayor of Cincinnati and host of television's most debased freakshow, who is now seriously weighing a Democratic Senate campaign in Ohio.
To their credit, Democratic leaders on the national stage have done their best to distance themselves from some of these candidates. But that they had to at all goes directly to their own inadequacies and their own inability to unite the left's political diaspora. Or, to put it in terms liberals will understand, the left wing's problem is that it has no ego to restrain its id.
Nor will it anytime soon, it appears. With such high-profile gadflies from the fringe swarming about, the task of rallying centrist and independent voters will be all the more difficult. To have a big-tent party is one thing, but somehow we don't imagine that Americans want to turn the political arena into more of a circus than it already is.



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