The Democrats are kvelling about Todd Akin. Indeed, at the New York Times, one enterprising writer has put together a list of a handful of Republicans who hold views that are outside of the mainstream (or who articulate arguably valid views in invalid ways). A cartoonist has also put together a crude cartoon that shows a doggy crate in which the RNC will hide “unsightly reminders of your party’s past.” Here’s what I need from you: help putting together well-sourced evidence showing that the Dems have some people of their own with views outside of the mainstream, not to mention an unsightly past. My memory being shaky, I thought I could use help from the collective knowledge that is the Bookworm Room.
Here’s my start:
Teddy Kennedy is one of the unsightly past winners. It was bad enough that he was cheating on his wife, but he made it worse when, probably under the influence of alcohol, he drove off a bridge, walked away from the car leaving a young woman in it, and then forget to get help for her. Mary Jo Kopechne took several hours to suffocate in the cold and dark.
If we’re counting dead Democrats, there’s the Ku Klux Klan Exalted Cyclops, Sen. Robert Byrd. (This article from Slate, written in the wake of Byrd’s death, is fascinating, because it manages to make a bloodless recitation out of what ought to be an appalling insight into the Democrats’ past.)
There’s Hank Johnson, currently representing Georgia’s 4th Congressional District, who was worried that overpopulation could cause the island of Guam to tip over.
Maxine Waters represents California’s 35th Congressional District. She’s responsible for quite a few gems that put her outside of the American mainstream. A short list includes (a) her deep and abiding love for Fidel Castro; (b) her demand that the U.S., 149 years after slavery ended, give reparations to this generation of American blacks; (c) her insistence that the CIA created the crack cocaine epidemic amongst American blacks; (d) her devout wish that the Tea Party go “straight to Hell,” and (e) the fortune her family made off the political perks she sent their way.
And then my memory fails me. I’m sure that there are more serving Democrats or deceased “lions” who have advanced views or engaged in conduct that, in a normal world, would get a column in a major American publication anxious to show that the entire party is a collection extremist nut cases.