Zell Miller Believes in "Voodoo" But Not Strong Women
2 September 2001
I recently read the letter to the Washington Post by Zell Miller, the Democratic Senator from Georgia, entitled "Making Moderates See Red." It seems Miller is upset that Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe isn't giving cover to Miller and the other "moderate" Democratic senators that voted for the Bush tax cut. Miller is just another white male in a position of power who will do and say anything to maintain the status quo and his position of privilege. That's not moderation—that's prostitution.
Miller needs a new speechwriter. The letter is more negative than a Dennis Miller rant with none of the humor. In the letter, Zell calls himself a moderate but plays to reactionaries by attacking McAuliffe, Massachusetts, and Hillary Clinton. He also throws in a not so subtle shot at Bill Clinton by comparing McAuliffe to a "sub-par golfer desperately in need of a mulligan." Why would a Democratic senator attack Bill Clinton after eight years of prosperity when a weak Republican president is driving the economy into the tank? Why would a Democratic senator praise a prospective Liddy Dole senatorial run while bashing Hillary Clinton? Why would a Democratic senator obscure Gore's electoral plurality by mouthing GOP propaganda that Republican red dominated the 2000-election map? Miller is what he is.
Miller doesn't have the character to admit his political cowardice led to his vote in support of the Bush tax cut. Miller doesn't have the courage to tell his constituents in Georgia that the Bush tax cut wiped out the United States Treasury's budget surplus and will lead to cuts in federal spending. Miller likes to hide behind the cloak of a "moderate." Miller is no moderate. Just ask James Carville, another Democrat Miller recently ripped.
The last time I was in Georgia, I sat down to dinner with six white males that Zell Miller does not want to alienate for fear of losing his Senate seat. Understand that the men at dinner were looking for investment capital and I represented the investment capital. They knew I was from Massachusetts. All of the men were college-educated professionals. Given those facts, you would expect any political rhetoric to be toned down, if discussed at all. What followed was a combination of misogyny, homophobia, and ignorance that was even too raw for a Republican fundraising letter. Hillary Clinton's name was thrown out at the table like a piece of meat to a pack of wolves. Three of the men proceeded to slam Hillary for her ambition and for being a "carpetbagger." They called her "ugly." They called her a "dyke." Despite calling her a "dyke" they were sure she had a sexual relationship with Vince Foster and was involved in his death. Two of the other men laughed at the banter. One remained silent. I wonder if this is what Zell means when he says: "Down South, even if we vote against them, we are gracious to women."
Zell Miller is uncomfortable. He should be. The fact that he is uncomfortable is progress. If Miller wants to promote moderation he should challenge McAuliffe and other Democratic leaders to take a pragmatic approach to issues sensitive to candidates in the South and West. Senators like Miller, along with party leaders, need to explain to the white male voters that their support of Bush is not in their personal interest. The majority of these men are hard working, with family their number one priority. Miller needs to speak to these men's hearts and intellects, not their fears and prejudices.
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