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Have Democrats Become a Hopeless Cause in Alabama--and Elsewhere?

By       Message Roger Shuler     Permalink
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Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer

How did the Democratic Party get into such disarray that it lost two special elections this week--one for a normally safe Congressional seat in New York and one for a toss-up seat in Nevada?

We can't offer a one-size-fits-all answer to that question. But part of the explanation might come from here in Alabama, where a party elder admitted he hasn't "voted for a Democratic governor for a pretty good while."

With friends like that . . . well, you know how the rest of that goes.

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Any list of the most prominent Democrats in Alabama surely would include Jere Beasley. A former lieutenant governor who served briefly as governor after an assassination attempt on George Wallace, Beasley is perhaps the best known trial lawyer in Alabama. His firm, Beasley Allen of Montgomery, is seen by many as the premier plaintiffs' outfit in the state. Sources tell Legal Schnauzer that Beasley still has the clout to be a kingmaker in Alabama Democratic circles.

So we had a jaw-dropping moment this week when reading a wide-ranging interview with Beasley, conducted by Neal Vickers at  The article, titled "Tea Party: A Movement of Lemmings," offers up Beasley's view that the Tea Party movement is hurting the cause of good government in America.

We certainly agree with him there. In fact, the interview gets off to a rousing start, with Beasley stating that a third-party candidacy could make the 2012 election one of the most tumultuous races in American history. He says the Tea Party appeals to the same voters who went for Wallace in the 1960s. From the Vickers interview:

[Beasley] says he thinks the Tea Party undermines the efforts to provide good government.

"Even though Congress, under threats by the Tea Party zealots, concocted a debt agreement that sold out middle income Americans, the Tea Party groups still weren't satisfied. They continue to do everything they can to destroy what's left of the American Dream."

Monday, during a telephone interview, he was asked to expand on those ideas.

Beasley: "The Tea Party was put together by two brothers who are billionaires [Charles and David Koch] and their interests are not really in line with the thinking and the needs of most common, everyday folks. People take the tea party line not realizing exactly who's behind it and who's financing it."

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Sounds like Beasley has the Tea Party figured out, doesn't it? But then comes this exchange:

Beasley: "The think tanks who have been financed by these billionaires have sort of changed public opinion. . . . . You have people, for example, today in America voting against their own economic interests, voting for the interest of the super-rich to their detriment. And they don't really realize exactly what's going on in my opinion.

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I live in Birmingham, Alabama, and work in higher education. I became interested in justice-related issues after experiencing gross judicial corruption in Alabama state courts. This corruption has a strong political component. The corrupt judges are (more...)

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