|Titanic Captain Dan Parker|
Details are emerging from the mess that happened yesterday that ended with Dan Parker rescinding his resignation and staying on as Indiana Democratic Party Chair. The mess that emerged has split the party statewide and won't make things any easier for John Gregg to get support in key areas of Democratic strength in Lake and Marion Counties.
What does all of this mean? Well, I think it shows (if you didn't already see it) how weak the Indiana Democratic Party is. There is no longer anyone big enough to settle these disputes. In past years, it was always up to Evan Bayh or the state's highest-ranking party elected official to step in and settle things. There would be some sort of deal made and we would go happily about our way.
There really is no one today at the state level anymore with the kind of clout to do these things. There's no Frank O'Bannon or Evan Bayh or Birch Bayh or even a strong Democratic Indiana House Speaker to solve these issues before it got out of a "dark, smoky room." What chair presided over this collapse? Dan Parker.
Here's the thing, though. Sometimes out of a dumpster fire, the ashes can provide the seeds for a new start. The Indiana Democratic Party could not be in worse shape statewide, and the details are almost depressing...only 13 seats in the Indiana Senate, a near supermajority for Republicans in the Indiana House now and friendly maps for 2012's elections, no statewide officeholders in the executive branch, two-straight demoralizing losses in Gubernatorial elections to a Republican that may be a national player come this summer, and the hits just keep on coming. The only way to go is up.
It's up to the factions to pick up the banner now and demand change. Dan Parker is, as I've said before, someone I like as a person, but he's not the answer. Apparently, John Gregg supports him, and that seems to be enough right now for him to keep his job.
The sad thing is that all of this elects the Republican in 2012 even more easily. John Gregg could be the candidate to stop it, and I'm hoping that he can still do it. A fractured state party doesn't help, and this is too important of an election to hand it to Mike Pence or Jim Wallace. We need a Democrat in the highest levels of state government. Hopefully, we can pull together the pieces and muster a challenge for the GOP.