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THE LIBER MIND - The Endless Party [long, outstanding] ^ | February 3, 2005 | WILLIAM VOEGELI

Posted on 02/03/2005 10:31:44 AM PST by 68skylark

What do Democrats stand for? The real question is, what do they stand against?

The epilogue of a presidential election is strangely like the opening chapter. Before the primaries there are several candidates. First this one is in the lead, then that one, and finally the party settles on the nominee. After the general election, the party that lost has to make sense of what went wrong. For a while one explanation gains favor, then another, and finally the party settles on the lesson to draw from defeat.

It's been only three months since John Kerry gave his concession speech, but the process of explaining the loss has already had phases. In the first and angriest one, the Democrats blamed the voters. Within two days of the election, Jane Smiley, Maureen Dowd and Garry Wills (among others) fingered the electorate's stupidity and bigotry as the decisive factor. Although a candid expression of what lots of Democrats really think, vilifying the people creates problems for a party that might like to win an election at some point in the future.

If it won't do to blame the voters, maybe the thing to do is blame the candidate. A variety of criticisms have been put forward. But few Democrats can work up the anger against Mr. Kerry that they directed at Al Gore after the 2000 election or Michael Dukakis in 1988. It's not that Mr. Kerry engendered more affection than his predecessors, or that he ran a much better campaign. Instead, the Democrats realize that it's pointless to keep blaming the candidate for the party's defeats.

Certainly, Mr. Kerry was not a perfect candidate. No one suitable for Mount Rushmore, however, was running in the Iowa caucuses. It's hard to see how any of the alternatives to Mr. Kerry...

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

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This essay is amazing. Thanks to powerline for the tip.

Here's one of my favorite parts, about how inconsistent and confusing liberals can be:

But the complaint that it's impossible to figure liberalism out has, until recently, typically been voiced by exasperated conservatives. For decades they have watched liberals rushing around with wheelbarrows and ladders, busy, busy, busy at building the welfare state. New programs are created, old ones expanded, urgent needs discovered and rediscovered. Conservatives marvel at this vast construction site and ask prosaic questions: What is this thing going to look like when it's done? How big is it going to be? How will we know when it's finished? And just in case there's any doubt that they are conservatives, how much is all this going to cost?

1 posted on 02/03/2005 10:31:44 AM PST by 68skylark
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To: 68skylark
According to Ryan Lizza in The New Republic, "The no-message critique is congealing into conventional wisdom." He argues that "the Kerry campaign had a laundry list of policy proposals, or, in the words of James Carville, a litany rather than a narrative."

funny... we conservatives have (for at least six years) been twitting leftists about their penchant to spout mantras of DNC talking points rather than offer a real debate

2 posted on 02/03/2005 10:40:22 AM PST by King Prout (Remember John Adam!)
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To: 68skylark

Odd, I could swear I've read that article before, but it says it was published today.

Anyway, there is no hope for the Democrat party, because the only people who see clearly what their problem is are Republicans. The Democrats, as is their nature, will assume the truth is 100% the opposite of what the Republicans think, and thus head in exactly the wrong direction.

Need proof? "Chairman Dean"

3 posted on 02/03/2005 10:42:54 AM PST by thoughtomator (How do you say Berkeley California in Aramaic?)
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To: 68skylark; 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub
Even Sen. Kerry's brother, Cam, said, "There is a very strong John Kerry narrative that is about leadership, character and trust. But it was never made central to the campaign."

hah hah hah! that's a freakin' RIOT!

4 posted on 02/03/2005 10:44:16 AM PST by King Prout (Remember John Adam!)
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To: thoughtomator
Odd, I could swear I've read that article before, but it says it was published today.

I had to cut this article to meet FR rules. At the bottom of the article at the OpinionJournal site, they say the article previously appeared in the Claremont Review of Books.

5 posted on 02/03/2005 10:46:40 AM PST by 68skylark
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To: 68skylark
Interesting reading.

Everyone seems to have a different take on what Dems stand for since they will not clearly tell us. I base my interpretation on what the support.

Socialist economic system, Institutionalized racial classification and racism, Abortion and Euthanasia of lives viewed as "unfit to live", Restriction of dangerous "hate" speech (thought policing), Political correctness, Gun control...

Oh gee, sorry, that is a description of the National Socialist German Workers party (aka Nazis).
6 posted on 02/03/2005 10:50:09 AM PST by WindOracle (If it looks like a duck, waddles like a duck, and quacks like a duck... it is probably a duck.)
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To: 68skylark

Ping for later

7 posted on 02/03/2005 10:52:17 AM PST by Hu Gadarn (Millions for Defense not one cent in Tribute)
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To: thoughtomator
The article has a strong ending:
Ruy Teixeira says that after 2004, "the bigger question is: What do the Democrats stand for?" Here's a better and bigger question still: What do the Democrats stand against? Tell us, if indeed it's true, that Democrats don't want to do for America what social democrats have done for France or Sweden. Tell us that the stacking of one government program on top of the other is going to stop, if indeed it will, well short of a public sector that absorbs half the nation's income and extensively regulates what we do with the other half. Explain how the spirit of live-and-let-live applies, if indeed it does, to everyone equally--to people who take family, piety and patriotism seriously, not merely to people whose lives and outlooks are predicated on regarding them ironically.

Until those questions are answered, until Americans have confidence about the limits liberalism will establish and observe, it's hard to see when the Democratic narrative will again have a happy ending.

Unfortunately, I think I can answer the question about what they're for and against: they're for election victories and the endless accumulation of power. They crave power more than a midas wants money, more than a glutton wants food. Liberalism is just a smoke screen that's supposed to be vague enough to sound good to a majority of voters.

Unfortunately, those who crave power aren't all on the left -- we need to watch all sides of the political spectrum.

8 posted on 02/03/2005 10:52:39 AM PST by 68skylark
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To: WindOracle
I'm not a big fan or Nazi analogies -- they're usually not very helpful. I'd rather leave that rhetoric to the left.

I agree 100% with the first part of your comment -- Dems won't tell us what they stand for. In fact, this article says they can't tell us what they stand for, for a whole variety of practical and philosophical reasons.

If they did tell us, the truth would be too horrible to look at -- it would either be so petty, small and insulting that no one would embrace it, or it would be so large that it would stamp out our core freedoms and prosperity.

9 posted on 02/03/2005 10:57:33 AM PST by 68skylark
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To: 68skylark; King Prout; All

Col. Geo. "Bud" Day Medal of Honor Vietnam POW 1967-1973 USMC - USA Attorney 1949-2004-

Dear Joe: The major issue in the Swiftboat stories is, and always has been,
what John Kerry did in 1971 after he returned from Vietnam.

Kerry cast a long dark shadow over all Vietnam Veterans with his outright perjury before the Senate concerning atrocities in Vietnam. His stories to the Senate committee were absolute lies.. fabrications.. perjury.. fantasies, with NO substance. That dark shadow has defamed the entire Vietnam War veteran population, and gave "Aid and Comfort" to our enemies..the Vietnamese Communists. Kerry's stories were outright fabrications, and were intended for political gain with the radical left..McGovern, Teddy and Bobby Kennedy followers, Jane Fonda, Tom Hayden, and the radical left who fantasized that George McGovern was going to be elected in 1972. Little wonder that returning soldiers from Vietnam were spit upon and castigated as "baby killers".
A returned war hero said so.

Kerry cut a dashing figure as a war hero, lots of medals, and returned home because of multiple war wounds..even a silver star. His Senate testimony confirmed what every hippie had been chanting on the streets.."Hey hey LBJ..How many kids did you kill today"?????
He obviously was running for political office in 1971.

Until Lt. John O' Neil, himself a Swifboat commander, spoke out before the 1972 elections against Kerry's outright deceptions, there was no one from the Swiftboat scene that could contradict Kerry's self serving lies.

I was a POW of the Vietnamese in Hanoi in 1971, and I am aware that the testimony of John Kerry, the actions of Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden, and the radical left; all caused the commies to conclude that if they hung on..they would win. North Vietnamese General Bui Tin commented that every day the Communist leadership listened to world news over the radio to follow the growth of the anti-war movement. Visits to Hanoi by Jane Fonda and Ramsey Clark gave them confidence to hold in the face of battlefield reverses.
The guts of it was that propaganda from the anti-war group was part of their combat strategy.

While the Commies were hanging on, innumerable U.S. Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Air Foce members were being killed in combat.

Every battle wound to Americans after Kerry's misdirected testimony is related to Kerry's untruthfulness.

John Kerry contributed to every one of these deaths with his lies about U.S. atrocities in Vietnam.

He likewise defamed the U.S. with our allies and supporters.

His conduct also extended the imprisonment of the Vietnam Prisoners of War, of which I was one.

I am certain of at least one POW death after his testimony,
which might have been prevented with an earlier release of the POWs.

I draw a direct comparison of General Benedict Arnold of the Revolutionary War, to Lieutenant John Kerry. Both went off to war, fought, and then turned against their country. General Arnold crossed over to the British for money and position. John Kerry crossed over to the Vietnamese with his assistance to the anti-war movement, and his direct liason with the Vietnamese diplomats in Paris.
His reward. Political gain. Senator..United States.

“Without question,
we were held captive longer
because of the anti-war people,
the Kerrys, the Fondas and Haydens,
the names we knew over there -
they encouraged the enemy to hang on.”
Excerpt from “Stolen Honor” website
- Leo Thorsness
Former Vietnam POW

U.S. Constitution Amendment XIV

Section 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress,
or elector of President and Vice President,
or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States,
or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress,
or as an officer of the United States,
or as a member of any state legislature,
or as an executive or judicial officer of any state,
to support the Constitution of the United States,
shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same,
or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.
But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

Violation of 18 US CODE 2381

Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States,
levies war against them or adheres to their enemies,
giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere,
is guilty of treason and shall suffer death,
or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined
Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection
under this title but not less than $10,000;
and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.

Violation of 18 US CODE 953

Private correspondence with foreign governments
Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States,
directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse
with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof,
with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government
or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes
or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States,
shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply,
himself or his agent, to any foreign government or the agents
thereof for redress of any injury which he may have sustained
from such government or any of its agents or subjects.

Violation of UCMJ Section 904. ART. 104

Any person who--
(1) aids, or attempts to aid, the enemy with arms, ammunition, supplies, money, or other things; or
(2) without proper authority, knowingly harbors or [protects or gives intelligence to or
communicates or corresponds with or holds any intercourse with the enemy, either directly or indirectly;
shall suffer death or such other punishment as a court-martial or military commission may direct.

10 posted on 02/03/2005 11:00:29 AM PST by 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub (I served in Viet Nam Oct'68-Apr'69 I'm a war criminal, Hanoi Kerry is a hero AND a US Senator)
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To: 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub
Since this article isn't about Kerry, I'm not sure how relevent this information is to this discussion.

On the other hand, it's easy to see that material was put together based on some very strong feelings -- strong feelings that are fully justified, in my opinion.

11 posted on 02/03/2005 11:06:33 AM PST by 68skylark
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To: 68skylark
Lyndon Johnson gave one other memorable speech in 1964. At a campaign rally in Providence, R.I., he climbed onto his car, grabbed a bullhorn and summed up his political philosophy: "I just want to tell you this--we're in favor of a lot of things and we're against mighty few." The Democrats' problem is not that they, like "Seinfeld," are a show about nothing. It's that they are a show about everything, or anything. (At one point, the Kerry-for-president Web site referred to 79 separate federal programs he wanted to create or expand.)
They can't say no to any special interest group, no matter how small, how irrational, how anti-American, or even how criminal.

The Democrats never saw a hand outstretched that they didn't want to put something in (the "something" always coming from the taxpayers, of course, never themselves) or an extortion demand they didn't want to yield to.

They've got no class. They've got no principles. And they've got no intelligence. They can't even forge documents without getting caught.

12 posted on 02/03/2005 11:14:14 AM PST by samtheman
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To: 68skylark

"Even Sen. Kerry's brother, Cam, said,

"There is a very strong John Kerry narrative that is about leadership, character and trust.

But it was never made central to the campaign."

13 posted on 02/03/2005 11:14:45 AM PST by 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub (I served in Viet Nam Oct'68-Apr'69 I'm a war criminal, Hanoi Kerry is a hero AND a US Senator)
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To: 68skylark

Tonkin's been posting this stuff around a lot lately. I'm not sure what to think about his actions. On the one hand his collection of material is very good. Totally nails that scumbag Kerry. On the otherhand, when does even good material become spam?

I would prefer that FR give him some kind of permanent link on the main page, saving him the trouble of posting and reposting the same material over and over.

14 posted on 02/03/2005 11:17:01 AM PST by samtheman
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To: 68skylark
Whether you like such analogies or not, they hold pretty true. The most dangerous, core elements of liberalism is the same as existed in Nazi Germany, USSR, Cambodia, etc...

The core elements being Secularism and Socialism. We all KNOW they support THOSE two attributes. Not being a bible-thumper, I still support what is at the VERY LEAST a necessary fiction. Govts MUST recognize some Supreme Being, some law higher than itself. In the absence of a God, neither human life nor anything else can be said to be "Holy". Right and wrong have no absolute meaning, and morality cannot exist. Human life is reduced to a mere resource, as much as a lump of coal, an animal, or a tree, to be used and disposed of as the State deems fit. We see in our society numerous people who think of animals and trees as just that.. equal in value to human life. Human Rights cannot exist in a secular society since that which govt gives, govt can take away, and thus is not a Right at all but is instead a privledge. This is the reason our founders declared that Rights came from the Creator.

These dangerous elements of thought existed in the philosophies of those murderous regimes, and exist within the thinking of the left today. The evils they condemn in Christian history were not caused by religion.. they were caused by religious INTOLERANCE, and now they wish to perpetuate the same evils, the same intolerance, in the name of their god... Secular Socialism.
15 posted on 02/03/2005 11:22:06 AM PST by WindOracle
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To: samtheman
I was hoping a few freepers would want to discuss this article.

It's not real helpful to have comments about "John Kerry is a traitor!!" and "Democrats are Nazis!" But hopefully those won't get in the way of some good discussion also.

16 posted on 02/03/2005 11:59:57 AM PST by 68skylark
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To: 68skylark

Well, John Kerry is a traitor. I think the statement "Democrats are Nazi's" has important elements of truth but that the word "Nazi" is so over-used, mis-used and widely-abused that it's not at all helpful in any discussion.

It does have some bearing on this article, however, in the sense that the article touches on the idea of a "hidden agenda".

The Democrat party most definitely has a hidden agenda. To call it a "Nazi agenda" --- with all the implications of rounding up Jews and starting world wars --- is a silly waste of time. But to point out that it is a SOCIALIST agenda, with a very strong goal of NATIONALIZING as much private wealth as possible, is not much emphasized in this article.

The Democrat party is a NATIONAL party of SOCIALIST agendas. That is certainly true, and I'm not quite sure yet how the article handles that truth. I'm going to read it again.

17 posted on 02/03/2005 1:15:33 PM PST by samtheman
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To: 68skylark

I'm glad I searched. This is in two posts already!

I think it's a wonderful and well written piece on why the left is as dangerous and pompous as they are.

18 posted on 02/03/2005 5:06:05 PM PST by Fledermaus (I searched on E-bay but there are no sane Democrats left.)
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To: samtheman

You don't think that, if they could, the Democrats wouldn't round up or "outlaw" religion and people who practice it?

They have their abortion murders and probably wish they could extend Margarat Sanger's ideas which were taken directly from the Nazis.

19 posted on 02/03/2005 5:09:08 PM PST by Fledermaus (I searched on E-bay but there are no sane Democrats left.)
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To: 68skylark
This is a great article. Well worth reading.

The crux I think is the conflict between two ideas of the word "liberal." There is 1) liberalism as freedom or choice on the one hand and 2) as uplift or evolution or development on the other. And the problem for liberals is that they can't decide whether they want to let people alone to pursue their own private goals, or whether they want to reorganize society to achieve some common transformative goal.

That's a serious quandry for the liberal fringe. "Problem solving" is never enough for liberals because it makes people contented and turns them against further liberal experiments, so liberals are forever running in circles. It goes beyond liberalism to the more general dilemma of government in a democratic age, though.

20 posted on 02/03/2005 5:28:33 PM PST by x
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