Over the last few weeks, we’ve been bombarded with the thought that the Democratic Party was a sinking ship because of all the retirements taking place – Sens. Christopher Dodd and Byron Dorgan the most prominent among these.
Then I ran across this interesting piece by well-respected media critic Eric Alterman in The Nation titled “What Would Molly Say?” (WWMS) about what the deceased liberal commentator Molly Ivins would say about recent coverage of major political events:
I found myself wondering WWMS on the day Chris Dodd withdrew from the 2010 Senate race in Connecticut. The withdrawal, unlike Byron Dorgan’s in North Dakota a day earlier, vastly improved Democrats’ chances of retaining that seat, and brought to, um, four the number of incumbent Democrats who are planning not to run. (That’s compared with six Republicans.) In the House, ten Democrats are planning to retire (compared with fourteen Republicans). Among the nation’s governors, it is three Democrats (and four Republicans). Add it all up, and what do you get? According to that unerring guardian of Beltway bloviation–ABC News’s The Note–“Democrats Are Dropping Like Flies.” A contradiction, you say? Turns out that it, too, is the Democrats’ fault: “You know things are bad for Democrats when a move that actually improved their chances in this fall’s elections…was universally interpreted as yet another sign of the party’s bleak prospects,” explains Wall Street Journal ace columnist Gerald Seib. (Remember, he said “universally.”)
This take about retirements gives a different spin on who’s jumping ship. Yes, not everything is going perfectly for the Democrats, but things aren’t as bad as the MSM (Mainstream Media) claims. With the MSM falsely lumping these retirements with the stabilized, but not growing economy, and the Dems inability to pass healthcare reform, power is being stripped from the party in charge, and a false narrative about the state of the nation is told.
And the question not being asked is, “If these 14 Democrats are jumping ship, what are the 20 Republicans fleeing from?”