State of the Democratic Party: Meltdown

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Democrats quarrel over tactics while the national party runs out of cash. Congressional leaders plot coup against Howard Dean, who is digging up dirt on Harry Reid. "Help! Mom!" author Katharine DeBrecht calls it a liberal crack-up.

Despite President Bush's weak poll numbers heading into yesterday's State of the Union address and the recent indictment of a high-profile Republican lobbyist, new information suggests that it's the Democratic party and not the GOP that is in political disarray. This according to Katharine DeBrecht, the outspoken author of the 2005 hit children's book "Help! Mom! There Are Liberals Under My Bed" (Kids Ahead; hardcover: $15.95; ISBN 0976726904).

Going into the mid-term elections with a two-term president of the opposite party should be a golden opportunity for Democrats, notes DeBrecht, but instead there are signs of strife as attempts by liberal senators to stop the Alito nomination fell flat while the party's congressional leadership seems destined to clash with its national chairman.

"To make matters even worse, the Democratic National Committee is nearly broke," says DeBrecht, "while the Republicans have millions in the bank. When Howard Dean won the chairmanship everyone thought he'd be able to raise truck loads of money from his online supporters and the crowd, but instead he's facing a rebellion from Democrats in Congress who are worried about his mismanagement."

Dean seems unlikely to take the rebellion lying down, though. Reports have surfaced that the former Vermont governor has prepared a Nixonian response by digging up dirt on Harry Reid, the Democrat's leader in the Senate. One DNC source is quoted in media reports as ominously saying that Dean's secret evidence on dealings by the Senator from Nevada makes "Jack Abramoff's lobbying work look like that of a rank amateur."

Since lobbyist Abramoff recently pleaded guilty in a high profile influence-peddling case, says DeBrecht, this posturing from one of Dean's DNC staffers suggests that Dean thinks he is in possession of extremely damaging information on the Senate minority leader. Whether Dean will disclose that information to the press or hang onto it in order to avoid an attack by the party's Congressional leadership remains unclear.

Last fall liberals including Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Fox host Alan Colmes, and MSNBC pundit Ron Reagan all vocally criticized DeBrecht's book for teaching politics to children and portraying Clinton and Ted Kennedy as cartoon villains. Clinton's spokesman twice criticized the book in published reports, while liberal blogger Andrew Sullivan called it Maoist and the Democratic Underground named DeBrecht to their "Top 10 Conservative Idiots" list. Liberal condemnations notwithstanding, the book soared to #1 on Barnes & Noble's online bestseller list following praise from Rush Limbaugh.

DeBrecht chuckles over the lack of similar cohesion among Democrats today: "Fortunately for the liberals, I have a new book -- 'Help! Mom! Hollywood's in My Hamper' -- coming out this March. It depicts Hollywood stars telling children that liberals like Hillary need to run their lives for them. Maybe that will help the Democrats find a common issue they can finally rally around."

About Kids Ahead:

Kids Ahead is an imprint of Los Angeles-based World Ahead Publishing, the West Coast's premier publisher of conservative and libertarian books. Visit to learn more.

Contact Information:

To interview author Katharine DeBrecht, contact Special Guests at or by calling (630) 848-0750.

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Jerry McGlothlin with Special Guests
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