It looks as though former Tennessee congressman Harold E. Ford, Jr. is going to be diving into the New York Senate race. The New York Times provides a cheery account of his retail politicking. What’s missing? Ah, yes — the “civil war” story line. Where’s the angst that goes with the Florida primary race? Aren’t they concerned that there will be strife, blood on the floor, and all the other gloom-and-doom scenarios that pop up when Republicans have a contested primary?
Well the left-wing blogosphere doesn’t much like Ford. They think he’s a fake, a pro-business shill, and insufficiently liberal on social issues (Kirsten Gillibrand has been a reliable liberal on these only since she got appointed to Hillary Clinton’s seat, so go figure). But you don’t hear that all of this amounts to a party-killing exercise. That’s because it doesn’t — anymore than does the contested Pennsylvania Democratic primary (in which Arlen Specter faces off against Joe Sestak, who’s on his first and only Democratic affiliation) or the Republican senate race in Florida (or the primary contest in California).
The entire “Republican civil war” theme seems rather outdated (if it ever was true) after Republicans won in Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. I wonder when the mainstream media will get around to focusing on the very real divisions between the Democrats (e.g., double-downers on health care v. the forget-it crowd). It’s a pretty important political storyline. But then, so was the rise of the tea-party movement. Nothing to see, in other words. Just move along.