Cameron report on Social Security cast Dems as "stonewallers" from the "angry liberal left"January 12, 2005 7:40 PM EST ››› GABE WILDAU
FOX News chief political correspondent Carl Cameron claimed that Democrats favor a "stonewall strategy" on Social Security and applied various inaccurate labels to the candidates vying for the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
Near the beginning of his January 11 report on FOX News' Special Report with Brit Hume, Cameron explained that Democrats have resorted to "confrontation" on Social Security not because they believe Bush's plan will harm the American people, but because they want to revive their "demoralized" party. Cameron said: "Hoping to re-energize a party demoralized by [Senator] John Kerry's defeat, Democrats plan confrontation."
Cameron also noted that "even the centrist Democratic Leadership Council [DLC], which prefers bipartisan results over gridlock, favors a stonewall strategy," suggesting that non-DLC Democrats prefer partisan gridlock. But elected officials presumably all "prefer" bipartisanship to gridlock, though not if "bipartisanship" means supporting policies that they consider damaging.
Later in the report, Cameron explained that the DNC would soon elect a new chairman to succeed Terry McAuliffe, saying this choice "may signal the party's long-term ideological direction." While Cameron described all the leading candidates, he relayed praise only for the most conservative, Indiana Representative Tim Roemer:
Former Vermont Governor and presidential candidate Howard Dean, who emerged as a champion of the angry liberal left last year, officially jumped into the race today, against former Indiana congressman Tim Roemer, a pro-life moderate who many Democrats say might better court centrist swing voters, and Marty Frost from Texas, a fairly typical House liberal -- member of the Democratic leadership -- with a reputation for hard nosed anti-GOP partisanship; and Simon Rosenberg, until recently chairman of the moderate New Democrat Network; along with a handful of other lesser-known candidates.
In fact, the nonpartisan National Journal ranked (subscription required) former Texas Representative Martin Frost 154th most liberal out of 204 House Democrats (205 counting Representative Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who generally votes with Democrats), placing Frost in his caucus's conservative wing.
Finally, Cameron explained that Dean is the front-runner for DNC chair since "the DNC is made up largely of liberal activists" but warned that "Democratic officials" fear that choosing Dean would hurt Democrats.
Because the DNC is made up largely of liberal activists, insiders say Dean probably has an edge for chairman. But Democratic officials tell FOX News that should Dean become chairman, some conservative Democrats, particularly in the South, will bolt the party -- losses that a minority can ill afford.
Cameron did not specify which "liberal activists" "insiders" believe will give Dean an "edge." The DNC has only 440 members, so all are by definition "activists." And while many DNC members hold liberal views, Dean framed his primary campaign as a revolt against the "Democratic establishment." DNC members are drawn overwhelmingly from the state party committees, and the chair appoints 50 members directly; neither of these avenues to membership seem particularly oriented towards empowering "the angry liberal left," where Cameron suggested Dean's strongest support lies. Indeed, if "Democratic officials" believe that Dean will hurt the party, as Cameron reported, it's hard to see how he could be the front-runner, as "Democratic officials" largely control their states' party committees.