Saturday, February 12, 2005

Cliff Diving Confirmed

Since the election, the Democrats have been hurtling themselves into irrelevancy, mistakenly blaming defeat on religious bigotry and the supposed stupidity of the ordinary Americans they claim to represent. Now, Weekly Standard contributing editor Noemie Emery chronicles the party's bizarre behavior:
For mysterious reasons best known to themselves, a small diehard clique of old-line insurgents hiding out in the depths of the U.S. Senate decided to make confirmation hearings for Condoleezza Rice the venue of a bomb-throwing session, on the basis of two cherished liberal theories: one, that the war in Iraq is an utter catastrophe; and two, that while criticism of liberal nonwhites and women is always racist and sexist in nature, nonwhites and women who are right-wing or centrist are less than "authentic," and therefore deserve what they get. Thus, Margaret Carlson in the Los Angeles Times found nothing amiss in Boxer's calling Rice a liar and a lackey, but insisted Boxer's critics were somehow attacking all women. . .

Apparently, there are pro-and anti-democracy wings not only in the Democratic party but in the Kennedy family, though those on the pro side are sadly no longer with us. Unlike his late brothers, Ted Kennedy has negative moral authority, and is not the man you put out there to win hearts and minds, abroad or at home. A moral exemplar such as Edward M. Kennedy selling defeat is hardly what you want when you're trying to grow a political party that's been shrinking like a wool sweater in a tub of hot water largely because of its shortfalls in moral authority and its weakness in foreign affairs. He is the ideal spokesman to make the argument--from the point of view of the Republican party . . .

Everything that has been wrong with the Democrats in the past several years was on vivid display during Hell Week: the teeth-grinding shrillness; the race card, misplayed with such gusto; the self-interest so blatant it defeats its own purpose; the crippling dearth of ideas. With a few brave exceptions (a faction of one named Joe Lieberman), the Democrats split into two major camps: the wingnuts--Dean, Boxer, and Kennedy--who know what they think, which alas sets them at odds with the rest of the country; and the caucus of cowards--Bayh, Edwards, and Kerry--who believe in nothing so much as their own career prospects, and change their minds on the gravest of war and peace issues on the basis of what serves their ends. . .

And there you have the real vision gap between the two parties: Republicans want to win wars and spread freedom; Democrats want to save their rear ends. Bush thinks freedom is better than terror and tyranny; Democrats think they themselves are better than Bush. In 2004, Bush made it clear he was willing to lose on the basis of his convictions--and won in spite or more likely because of this. Democrats had no convictions beyond the end goal of winning, and therefore quite properly lost. No party deserved to lose more than the Democrats did in these past two elections, and unless they make changes, they stand to lose many more.
More than ever, the Democratic party seems steadfastly settled on a suicidal script, sung 25 years ago by an obscure a cappella group called "The Bobs":
The curves in the road are not really there/
Stay to the right of the line/
The driver says bus plunge, bus plunge

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