Skip to comments.The Wimps of War : ( Here's how bad things are for the Democrats.-- Sounds good to me! )
Posted on 03/29/2002 9:38:01 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach
ere's how bad things are for the Democrats. During the last town meeting of liberals that still convenes on network television Hollywood's Oscar ceremony no one, not even the tag team of Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford, had so much as a mildly critical word to say about George W. Bush. But Nathan Lane scored one of the night's few laughs when he saluted movie animators for "creating the illusion of life something that was never achieved with Al Gore."
Such is the torpor of the Democrats these days that Mr. Gore's shaving of his beard is what passes for a galvanizing party event worthy of national polls (62 percent were pro-shave) and desperate '04 prognostication on CNN. Even the Democrats' rare legislative victory, the passage of the campaign finance bill, was robbed of its glory when the party chairman, Terry McAuliffe, almost simultaneously announced a record soft-money donation of $7 million from the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" mogul, not to mention a spring Apollo Theater fund-raiser at which Bill Clinton will be paired with Michael Jackson, fresh from his photo op at Liza Minnelli's wedding.
If the Democrats stand for anything in a time of rapidly expanding war, it's not clear what it is. Hours before the Passover massacre in Netanya, President Bush could assert that the latest diplomatic foray by Gen. Anthony Zinni was "making very good progress" with little worry that any Democratic leader would challenge him. The incoherence and indolence of the Bush "policy" in the Middle East, which kept General Zinni out of the region for three months of violent meltdown and ultimately rendered Dick Cheney a supplicant to Yasir Arafat, has been more forcefully dissected by conservatives like George Will than anyone in the administration's opposition. At home, the Democrats can't even offer a serious alternative to the Bush budget for the simple reason that they helped give away the store by abetting the administration's mammoth tax cut last summer and made no legislative push for even partial rollbacks after the fiscal world changed on Sept. 11.
The explanations for this fecklessness start, of course, with the president's poll numbers. Democrats are so intimidated by them that a recent open memo co-written by James Carville found hope that Mr. Bush was "falling back to earth" in a survey showing that his approval rating had tumbled from 82 percent in December to a March low of . . . 75. Compounding the Democrats' fear of a popular president is the Republicans' calculated rollout of a strategy branding anyone who questions the administration as "giving aid and comfort to our enemies" (the phrase actually used by Tom Davis of Virginia, the head of the G.O.P.'s House campaign committee).
This strategy was codified by Karl Rove in a January speech to the Republican National Committee inviting his party to politicize the war in an election year because Americans "trust the Republicans to do a better job" of "protecting America." But the impugning of the opposition's patriotism began only two months after Sept. 11, when the Family Research Council ran ads in South Dakota likening Tom Daschle to Saddam Hussein because the Senate majority leader had opposed oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. In late February, when Mr. Daschle raised a few mild, common-sense cavils about the next stage of the war, Trent Lott fired back, "How dare Senator Daschle criticize President Bush while we are fighting our war on terrorism?" Since then, President Bush's image and voice have graced negative TV and radio ads in which firefighters and flags are used as props and incumbent Senate Democrats are demonized as partisans who will "put their interests ahead of national interests."
Such tactics are sufficiently ugly that two Republican senators who, unlike Mr. Lott, didn't take deferments during Vietnam, John McCain and Chuck Hagel, were moved to defend Mr. Daschle's right to question war policy after the minority leader's attack. So was another Vietnam vet, Colin Powell. But except for a speech given in New Hampshire by John Kerry, a presidential candidate inoculated against charges of treason by his own Vietnam heroism, no Democrat has articulated a muscular alternative wartime political vision to the president's. As Nicholas Lemann reports this week in his compelling New Yorker account of the White House run-up to a planned removal of Saddam, the administration is now using Sept. 11 "as the occasion to launch a new, aggressive American foreign policy that would represent a broad change in direction rather than a specific war on terrorism." Where is the debate?
It's an index of the general sheepishness of Democratic leaders that such sporadic tough talk as there is usually emanates by default from either the clownish Mr. McAuliffe or the cranky Senate octogenarians Robert Byrd and Ernest Hollings. It's a measure of how compromised leading Democrats are by their own ties to Enron, Global Crossing and the accounting industry that the heavy lifting in pursuing Mr. Cheney's secret energy task force and the dubious Enron dealings of the secretary of the Army, Thomas White, has often fallen to the House's Henry Waxman, who doesn't have the power to call his own hearings.
As for Mr. Gore, America's "president in exile," in the hopeful formulation of the best-selling populist Michael Moore, his most pointed remarks are served up to rich paying customers at fund-raisers. Our country has seen more spirited political back-and-forth over the merger of Hewlett-Packard and Compaq and the factual verisimilitude of "A Beautiful Mind" than it has over a $48 billion defense-budget increase (itself larger than the entire defense budget of any other nation) or our uncertain policy for stabilizing Afghanistan so that the victory by Mr. Bush and our armed forces over the Taliban isn't usurped once more by Al-Qaeda-breeding chaos.
Trent Lott did nail his adversaries correctly on one score. "When you don't have anything substantive to talk about," he said, "you start talking about process or how you need more information." This fits the Democrats' one bold but almost substance-free stand of late the threat to subpoena Tom Ridge if he won't formally testify before Congress about what he's up to as director of homeland security. Would Mr. Ridge really have much to say even if he did testify? His biggest function seems to be to supply gags to late-night comics with his color-coded alert system. The man who has by far the most clout over domestic security (and much else) is John Ashcroft, who continues trying to grab authority from other agencies (from the Treasury Department to the Federal Trade Commission), not to mention extra-constitutional power, with even less resistance from Democrats than they mustered against his appointment in the first place.
Last week, in a typical stroke of grandstanding designed to deflect us from his stalled anthrax investigation and other hapless efforts to find terrorists within our borders, the attorney general announced that he would haul in thousands more men for questioning. He hopes we'll forget that his previous dragnet produced no Sept. 11-related arrests and, according to officials consulted by USA Today, "little usable intelligence about terrorism."
Mr. Ashcroft couldn't even find half of the nearly 5,000 subjects he intended to interview in that previous roundup, but not until there was universal outrage this month over the I.N.S.'s posthumous granting of visas to two of the Sept. 11 hijackers did he decide "to move up [the] timetable" for the agency's reform (as a Justice Department official delicately put it). This week Mr. Ashcroft made yet another move that puts his own political posturing ahead of the war on terrorism by seeking the death penalty for Zacarias Moussaoui. Few legal experts believe that the courts will uphold a death sentence for an indirect participant in the attacks (Mr. Moussaoui was already in jail on Sept. 11), but by overreaching anyway Mr. Ashcroft has given the French government grounds to withhold evidence needed to prosecute the case.
It isn't treason for a party out of power in wartime to talk about these matters. If anything, it's the Democrats' patriotic responsibility not just to hold up their end of the national dialogue over the war's means and ends, but to say where they want to take the country in peace. Yet now that they've capitulated on issues ranging from fuel-economy standards to gun control, the sum of a Democratic social vision these days often seems to have dwindled down to a prescription drug program for Medicare patients. For the party itself, however, nothing short of a spine transplant may do.
The voice of the democratic party.
Please, allow me:
1. Abortion of the innocent
2. Making Homosexuals feel good about what they do
3. Putting Money into the hands of Union Thugs
4. Bashing Christians
5. Worshipping the Earth (Gaia)
6. Polluting our schools
7. Race bating and racial prejudice
Did I miss anything?
Not only is that a bad lie (the logic would have to be that if U.S. negotiators don't pay enough attention to Palestinians, then suicide bombers automatically blow up Israeli civilians), it demonstrates how out of touch the Democrats are becoming.
After all, since when would middle America ever blame an American President for the actions of Middle-Eastern fantatics? That sort of thing just won't play well to fly-over country, blue-collar America, veterans, or even anyone who ever paid the least bit of attention to world affairs.
Democrats are already losing unions because of their Enviro-Nazi mentality about drilling in the ANWR. Soon they'll be losing Jews over their ardent Big (D) support of Palestinians (if the Democrats follow Crumm's lead, anyway). Next they'll lose the Hispanic/Catholic support over their rigid abortion-uber-alles positions.
Poor Zell Miller and Charles Stenholm are probably going nuts about right now trying to get their party to stop going the way of the Greens and NOW (i.e., less than a million members). And that doesn't even touch the damage that Gray Davis is doing to their party out in California.
Heck, if it wasn't for a complicit media and an indoctrinated group of tenured university professors, the Democratic Party would have already imploded under its own self-contradictions...
No truer words were spoken!
Wait and see.
Do they make uniforms small enough to fit Daschle?LOL!
The immensely unfunny Whoopi attempted one slam by tying a scarf around "oscar"'s waist covering the pelvic area while making a reference to Ashcroft wanting her to do it. Not funnny (because, among other things, there isn't any truth in it) and she didn't get much of a laugh --even from the liberal ultra-left audience.
8. Class Warfare
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