Friday, March 14, 2008

Personal Aside: “Why the Democrats Are Blue” Author will Join Alex Seith and Steve Rauschenberger on My WLS Radio Program Sunday Night.


Why the Democrats Are Blue.

A sleeper book that fills in a great gap on how the Democratic party moved from a reasonably centrist, populist, blue-collar, largely Catholic position to the left-wing it occupies today, is “Why the Democrats Are Blue” which was published earlier this year. It details the work of the McGovern Commission which followed the 1968 Democratic convention…and how the Commission structured the so-called “reform” which led the party to embrace a wide range of lefty positions culminating in the extremism fought out by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton that would have embarrassed centrist Democrats of another age.

The author who will be on the phone is Mark Stricherz of Washington, D. C. whose stories have appeared in many national publications including “The Washington Post,” the “New Republic,” “The Week,” “The Boston Globe,” “Chicago Tribune,” “The Weekly Standard,” “Commonweal,” “The Nation,” “National Review Online,” “Christianity Today,” the “National Catholic Register” and others. Stricherz, 38, was born in San Francisco and reared in the Bay area. He earned a BA in political science from Santa Clara University and am MA from the University of Chicago. In between he worked for the Jesuit Volunteer Corps to redevelop an inner-city neighborhood in BAtaon Rouge, La. To write the book, he received trnts fro the Phillips Foundation in Washington and the LBJ Foundation at the University of Texas, Austin. He lives on Capitol Hill with his wife and their daughter.

Appearing in Chicago with Stricherz will be Alex Seith who as Democratic U. S. senatorial nominee ran a very-very close race with Sen. Charles H. Percy in 1978. A well-known lawyer and former chairman of the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, Seith served for a time as vice chairman of the McGovern commission and validates much of what Stircherz has researched about the radicalization of the Democratic party.

Also on the show will be former Republican state senator Steve Rauchenberger who was known as the top budget expert in the legislature with an encyclopedic understanding of state government. Rauchenberger retired from the senate and is president of the United Republican Fund of Illinois. He is frequently mentioned for top elective and appointive posts in Illinois and Washington, D. C.

I have started using the revelatory facts in Stricherz’s book in connection with my own memoirs as a political operative in two states—Minnesota and Illinois—for the past fifty years. Persons in the news business interested in interviewing Stricherz should get the book and then contact me to reach him. One thing is certain: any comprehensive interpretation of the delegation-by-delegation mess that involves the Democratic party needs the interpretation of how it become laden with delegate quotas and misnamed “reform” to the extent that it diminished the role of the elected political leaders who had so successfully guided the Democrats in their glory days. When you look at the bosses’ candidates—FDR, Harry Truman and John Kennedy--and compare them with the types that emerged from the so-called “reform” era, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton you get the understanding that the delegate procedure bears major responsibility for the trouble…and no one has written about it with more verve and understanding that Mark Stricherz.


  1. Tom-
    Your last few days have been hohum.
    Why not report/comment on the biggest
    torpedo strike of the year?

  2. I hope your guests will also address the small percentage of citizens (including the large percentage not even registered)that actually vote. Until now at least, it appears neither the Democrats or Republicans effectively address the prevailing voter apathy. I know, you can argue we're all so happy many see no need to vote. But I believe there is substantial evidence that most of us just don't see how the election of either party matters in our everyday lives. "Fear" of the "other party exstreamists" is the main motivation for many if not most of those that do vote. Hence, the success of negative campaigning.
    Thanks for listening, Jim Morley