Skip to comments.Zell Miller's Book calls Democrats out of touch
Posted on 10/17/2003 2:37:05 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
WASHINGTON -- Sen. Zell Miller, the Georgia Democrat who often votes with the GOP, says he wrote a new book criticizing his party because he got tired of people questioning his politics.
Miller said "A National Party No More: The Conscience of a Conservative Democrat," is intended as an explanation for those who continually ask why he supports tax cuts and the Bush administration's efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq.
"Whenever I was governor, I cut taxes three times and nobody raised an eyebrow," Miller said in an interview Thursday. "I passed not just a 'three strikes and you're out' bill but a 'two strikes.' I appointed a chairman of the state Board of Education . . . who happened to be a Republican. I did those kinds of things back in Georgia and . . . everybody understood it and everybody thought that was OK.
"I come up here and I want to do tax cuts and I want to punish criminals and from time to time I want to . . . vote with Republicans, and they look at me as if I was from Mars," said Miller, who was appointed to the Senate in 2000 after the death of Republican Paul Coverdell and later won election to the seat. "And so I kind of wanted to explain my background and where I came from and why I think and have come to think the way I do."
Miller's 237-page book, published by Stroud & Hall of Atlanta, does not beat around the bush about his feelings. It says the Democratic Party insists on being too far to the left when America is moving toward the middle.
In 1952, 47 percent of Americans identified themselves as Democrats, the book says. Today, 32 percent identify themselves as Democrats, 30 percent identify themselves as Republicans and 38 percent identify themselves as independents.
"The largest party is no party -- it's the independent voter," said Miller, who is not seeking re-election next year. "And if you analyze that independent voter, 45 percent say they're moderate, 26 percent of them say they're conservative. So . . . they have got to appeal to these moderates and these conservatives, and that is not what these Democratic candidates right now who are running are doing."
Miller also blames the party for contributing to last year's defeat of his fellow Georgia Democrat, Sen. Max Cleland. Cleland was leading in the polls several weeks before the election, but his acquiescence in his party's push for more labor rights for workers in the then-planned Homeland Security Department allowed Republicans to criticize him as being opposed to national security, Miller said.
In his book, Miller paints a disparaging picture of Washington in which lawmakers are beholden to well-financed special interest groups. And he charges that many of his fellow Democrats don't understand the South, once their stronghold but now a bastion of support for Republicans.
"They think the South is still the South of mint juleps and pointed-hat KKK members who want to go around and lynch somebody," he said. Instead, Miller said, the South as a region has the third-largest economy in the world. It is progressive, too, he said, pointing out that several African-Americans have been elected to statewide office in the South, some of them twice.
Miller said the book was culled from his entries in thick notebooks he carried with him and wrote in as he waited at airports, sat in hospital waiting rooms and relaxed at home with his two yellow Labradors, Gus and Woodrow.
Democratic leaders did not return phone calls Thursday seeking comment on the book.
Hastings Wyman, publisher of the Southern Political Report newsletter, said Miller's opinions might be right for some, but off the mark for others. "I certainly think its correct if you're in Georgia," Wyman said Thursday. "It's less true if you're in Massachusetts, or perhaps California, or some other places. I think it's certainly true that both parties do better when they move toward the middle, and it's also true that the activists and true believers in both parties resist that kind of movement."
What's the deal with notebooks and senators, Bob Graham, now Zell Miller???
His term is up in '04. So far only one Democrat has announced to run for his seat. Her name is Squires and her only claim to fame is calling Gov. Perdue a "racist."
Bless you Zell!
This is news? Anyone who doesn't realize this now never will.
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