The Honorable Zell Miller, who really should be our next president, has a new book:
The book, entitled "A National Party No More: The Conscience of a Conservative Democrat," takes few prisoners and is unsparing in its criticism. . . .

Mr. Miller ran the Democratic Party in Georgia when Jimmy Carter was governor. He himself was elected governor in 1990, and two years later nominated his friend Bill Clinton for president at the Democratic convention in New York. In 1999, he heeded his party's pleas to come out of retirement and be appointed to the Senate seat vacated by the death of Republican Paul Coverdell.

Once he got to Washington he quickly discovered that most of his Senate colleagues were out of touch with the values of the folks he knew back home in Georgia. As he pungently puts it in his book, "Today our national Democratic leaders look south and say, 'I see one third of a nation and it can go to hell.' "

Senator Miller even goes after his party's leader in the Senate, Tom Daschle. He notes that Mr. Daschle's refusal to pass President Bush's request to create a Department of Homeland Security before the 2002 elections came back to haunt Mr. Miller's colleague, Senator Max Cleland, who was defeated largely on the issue. In fact, he blames Mr. Daschle directly for the Cleland defeat, saying the Minority Leader's actions made it possible to hang a "personal albatross of partisan wrangling on homeland security" around Senator Cleland's neck.

Mr. Miller says he wrote his book because he "just couldn't help taking one more whack at trying to talk a little sense into the party I've been part of since birth." His fellow Democrats will no doubt wish he had resisted the temptation, but they'd improve their own long-term electoral prospects by taking some his criticism to heart.

It is a terrible shame that the Senator is retiring. I doubt we'll find anyone of his character to replace him.

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