Posted: Nov. 7, 2013


By Celia Cohen
Grapevine Political Writer

The Democrats in Wilmington have the "War of the Cousins," the soap-opera split between the mayor and the Potters.

The Democrats in New Castle County have the boys-against-the-girls with Tom Gordon's administration accused of picking on women, be it a couple of council members or an 84-year-old volunteer at the Rockwood museum.

The Democrats statewide have Chip Flowers, the traveling treasurer whose trip to a conference in Alaska turned into a confusion of who-paid-what-for-whom, sightseeing on the side, and a delectable room-service breakfast tab for a farmers omelet, wheat toast, pancakes, two orders of bacon, two orders of apple juice, orange juice and a small pot of coffee.

There has not been a breakfast so famous since the one at Tiffany's.

This is the Delaware the Republicans have been warning people about, the state with a one-party system, where the Democrats have the governor and lieutenant governor, the congressional delegation, the attorney general and the General Assembly, as well as an unbeatable open channel to the vice president.

"It just doesn't work. There's a certain amount of a lack of accountability when it's a one-party state," said Laird Stabler, the Republican national committeeman.

The Democratic shenanigans ought to be the chance the Republicans have been waiting for, but they have left the voters hanging by offering nothing, not counting criticism.

With a year to go until the 2014 election, the Republican recruitment for their statewide ticket has the look of Old Mother Hubbard going to her cupboard.

What candidates have the Republicans come up with? Nobody against Chris Coons, the Democratic senator. Zip against John Carney, the Democratic congressman. Nothing-doing against Beau Biden, the Democratic attorney general. Inexcusable against Flowers.

Even worse for the Republicans, the next election should be their year. The economy is still limping. The party that holds the White House typically loses ground in the mid-term election. Who knew the Democrats would chip in, too, with high jinks galore? 

Instead, the Republicans are acting like they would declare victory if they can re-elect Tom Wagner, the auditor who is their only statewide official, and eke out a seat here or there in Legislative Hall.

This is what happens when the Republicans look up and see that the Democrats have 123,000 more voters than they do.

Dan Short, the House minority leader, modestly has set his sights on electing enough Republican representatives to stop tax hikes, which require a super-majority vote to pass. There are currently 14 Republicans among the 41 members in the House of Representatives. They need 17 Republicans to make Short's dream come true.

When Short really thinks big, he even envisions one extra. "We need four votes. We need to get back to 18, because then they need to talk to us," he said.

The Democrats are doing their part to fracture the one-party system, but they cannot do it by themselves. No matter how ugly it gets for the Democrats, it still takes Republicans.