Remember all those Dems who announced they would be leaving the country for good after G.W. Bush won reelection in November? Well, as far as I know, they’re all still here. Nonetheless, a few of them are doing the next-best thing: leaving Washington for Bush’s inauguration. The Washington Post’s Steve Hendrix sympathetically notes:

“Just as in January 2001, plenty of Washington Democrats are planning to be Anywhere But Here during [the] GOP victory celebration. For these partisan refugees, the lure of sunnier climes or mountain hideaways — heck, how about a basement safe room in Gaithersburg [Md.]? — beats the prospect of streets filled with Red State revelers drunk on patronage and cash-bar bourbon amid security that promises to be as welcoming of dissent as Pyongyang in one of its grouchier moods.

“‘I’m going to the Arizona desert,’ said Ellen R. Malcolm, president of Emily’s List and one of the powers behind America Coming Together, the Democrats’ massive — and ultimately futile — get-out-the-vote effort in November. ‘Watching cactus grow is a lot more exciting than watching Republicans in fur coats listening to George Bush give a speech.'”
We hope that Malcolm stays a couple decades out there overseeing the seguaro to maturity–but don’t count on it.

The irony–and there’s always an irony where professional Democrats are concerned–is that our liberal friends have been complaining nonstop that the government is spending money–horrors!–on Bush’s inaugural festivities when there was a tsunami in the Indian Ocean a few weeks ago. (Never mind America’s breathtaking outpouring of charity both public and private to the waves’ victims.) Now, you would think, in the interest of showing how virtuous and non-hypocritical they are, are, the runaway Dems would be spending the inaugural weekend say, teaching literacy to Appalachian pine-cone pickers while bunking in tin-roofed sheds.

Hah! Not a chance. Here, according to Hendrix, are the inaugural-weekend plans of Stephanie Cutter, communications director for Dem. presidential candidate John F. Kerry: 

“For her part, Cutter, now a senior adviser to Ted Kennedy, plans to be sunning on Miami’s South Beach….’I’ll be sitting on the beach, not reading a newspaper,’ she says. At press time, the last-minute travel service Site 59 was offering a three-night stay (Thursday through Sunday) at the Tudor Hotel in South Beach starting at $369.86 per person double, including airfare. Info:”

And here’s Joe Lockhart, the Clinton press secretary who tried in vain to save Kerry’s campaign when it started running off the skids in September:

“For his part, Lockhart plans to watch Bush’s second inaugural address on television, and then bolt the next day for Seattle to give a speech to a pro-Kerry group. ’I’m going to the West Coast to talk about why we lost, to a group of people who were very disappointed that we lost,’ he said….At press time, was offering airfare and three nights (Thursday through Sunday) at Seattle’s Days Inn Town Center for $475.99 per person, double. Info:”

South Beach. Seattle. Shouldn’t these folks be staying home and spending the money on tsunami victims the way the Republicans are supposed to?