The WaPo discovers that there are Alabama Democrats.

(Via the Corner) I am not really going to get into the meat of this WaPo article about Alabama candidate for Governor Artur Davis.  If the man is going to run on the admittedly sensible notion that being for health care rationing is political suicide in Alabama, then presumably Rep. Davis was already aware that he’d be more or less called a race traitor for doing so*.  My sympathies are, as they say, muted.

But I wanted to highlight this one throwaway line, because it reveals a certain problem for the Washington Post.

Davis has played down the impact of race in his run but acknowledged that being a Democrat is a challenge in Alabama.

Um.  No, it’s not.  It’s actually fairly easy to be a Democrat in Alabama: Democrats have powerful if not super-majorities in both houses of their state legislature, the current Lt. Governor of Alabama is a Democrat, and up to the point where Parker Griffith flipped they had a 4-3 GOP-Dem ratio in the House.  The reason why that ratio could be 6-1 after the next election is because being a liberal is a challenge in Alabama – which, by the way, accurately describes Artur Davis, Washington Post or no.

This may seem a minor problem, but it’s actually one of the reasons why the newspaper business is in such horrific shape these days: a basic lack of knowledge outside of a very narrow comfort zone.  An editor who happened to know these details about Alabama, or who had thought to look them up (like I did, for some of this), could have easily flipped this story back to the reporter for a quick rewrite.  But the editor was as ignorant of Alabamn politics as the reporter was.  So why are they writing stories on the topic?

Bless their hearts.

Moe Lane

*Artur Davis happens to be African-American.

Crossposted to Moe Lane.

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