WaPo reports that James Jeffords, the turncoat former Republican, is now attacking moderate Democrats for attacking leftist wackos:

[T]he Democratic Leadership Council, a centrist group within the party. . . recently criticized Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean as an elitist liberal, a member of the party’s “McGovern-Mondale” wing,” which “lost 49 states in two elections and transformed Democrats from a strong national party into a much weaker regional one.”

That prompted Jeffords to issue a statement backing Dean, a fellow Vermonter, that sounded strangely familiar.

“I am disappointed to see leaders of the Democratic Leadership Council characterize his positions as extreme and elitist, and I call on them to stop their divisive tactics,” Jeffords said. “I have heard such charges coming from Republicans most of my political life, but I find it incredible to hear such charges coming from Democrats.”

So, Jeffords, who routinely criticized Republican leadership while nonetheless taking their money, is now upset that the moderate wing of the Democrat party–with which he is now aligned even though calling himself an “independent”–is criticizing leftist candidates? Which means, in essence, that Jeffords was never a “moderate” Republican and is indeed a liberal Democrat in all but name. Interesting.

FILED UNDER: 2004 Election, , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. MommaBear says:

    Do the words “waltzing waffle” seem apt?

  2. Tom says:

    More like a “Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing”…

  3. joy says:

    It’s called “pandering to the electorate at home”. The only people who Jim cares about right now are the Vermonters who support Dean. Because if he’d ever run for re-election (I doubt it, but anything is possible) or for another office he needs those people, and right now they still have the “Thank you, Jim” bumpstickers still on their cars. In fact, there had been some who were wondering if he’d run for Governor since the Dems did lose the statehouse this year. Who knows?

    Also, I get the feeling he may be hoping to perhaps call in a few favors if Dr. Dean does make good.

  4. Xrlq says:

    Jeffords’s record has never been anything other than liberal-to-ultraliberal. The popular myth that he was a moderate was based on the larger myth that it is impossible to be an ideological liberal and a registered Republican at the same time.