Bush defines party line for Duke

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Louisiana gubernatorial fights.

In this corner, we have David Duke, a right-winger with a born-again Christian present and a Ku Klux Klan past. In this corner, we have the former champ, Edwin Edwards, who used to run the governor’s office before accusations of bribe-taking and corruption ran him out.

In the middle, we have the Republican party, desperately trying to separate itself from Duke. So far, the White House has done its almost obvious and mandatory duty by denouncing the White Sheet.

President Bush, Dan Quayle and highflyer John Sununu all have rejected Duke, who’s running on the GOP ticket. Bush already told Louisiana voters to vote for the Democrat.

Hopefully, voters will take Bush’s suggestion. But the entire mess the Republicans find themselves in is inherent in partisan politics and party labels.

There is no way one party can cover the ideological spectrum its members espouse. Republicans can be from hard-core right-wingers to moderates. Democrats are moderate to far-left radical. Overlap is inevitable.

It’s something the Dems got a taste of 1968, when thousands of Vietnam protestors stormed the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. The irony is that most of the protesters probably voted as Democrats.

Still, it’s Louisiana citizens who must make the sad choice between the two evils. Was Buddy Roemer really so bad?