Tuesday, August 12, 2003
It is passing strange to watch the Democratic Party's Totenkopfverbande wing sieze control of the Party. The motivating force behind such online outfits as DemocraticUnderground.com and MoveOn.org is a deep and abiding personal hatred of George W. Bush.
It is so deep that centrist Democrats, such as the mildly liberal members of the Democratic Leadership Council, have taken issue with the Left's personal demonization of the President. The Centrists failed to understand the depth of this hatred. They also failed to realize that it could be harnessed to benefit a candidacy if properly addressed.
Liberal Democrats don't want the soft admonitions of Evan Bayh or Joe Lieberman. They want red meat and hatred.
Howard Dean understood this early on. Going into the Iraq war, Dean was one of the few Democratic Presidential candidates who came out foursquare against the conflict. Indeed, while mass graves continue to be uncovered, Uday and Qusay continue to molder in their well-deserved rest, and David Kay goes about the business of uncovering Saddam's weapons program, Dean and other Democrats continued to oppose this war. Not out of principle, of course. Rather, they oppose it out of political calculation.
Howard Dean wants to lock up the base vote so he can move to the right for a general election campaign against Bush. Antipathy towards the President helps in that effort. Liberal Democrats say to each other that this guy hates Bush just as much as they do. Liberal Democrats want an immediate pullout from Iraq, having lost their nerve to fight the war against terrorism. So to curry favor with them, Dean wants an immediate pullout as well. This kind of red meat reasoning shows the lack of serious intent within that party.
Virtually the entire Democratic opinion and political class defended Bill Clinton's DESERT FOX air campaign of 1998. Al Gore and others insisted that Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction, which he did, and was a mass killer, which he was. Now Al Gore and Howard Dean act as if there never was an Iraqi weapons program, the Kurds of Halabja never died, and Saddam was simply a misunderstood Boy Scout who came from a deprived home. The only thing that changed between 1998 and 2003 was the fact that there was a Republican in the White House.
With that change came a smoldering anger among base Democratic voters against George W. Bush. It is a personal hatred, based on their perception that the 2000 election was "stolen" and based the proposition that the Bush family is a corrupt instrument of the oil and banking industries. Understand this: base Democratic voters despise George W. Bush, his family, and his dogs Barney and Spot.
Liberals want them put to sleep...
They despise George W. Bush in a way that they could never hate Saddam al Hussein or Usama bin Laden. Hussein and Bin Laden were abstractions to the left. One was a comic opera fascist, complete with tailored uniform and jaunty beret. The other was a latter day Sauron of Modor, sending out Nazgul to kill people and destroy things from a metaphorical Barad-Dur.
But George Bush is real to them. And the liberal Democrats hate what is real. Part of what is going on here is a denial of reality. Remember that we all lived through the Nineties. We were all told that there was nothing but blue skies ahead. We had prosperity. We had a budget surplus. Too, we had a massive credit bubble that would inevitably burst. However, off in the distance and far away, there lived a mysterious terrorist named bin Laden who would blow up our ships and embassies from time to time. But we had other concerns: there was money to be made. That was the world in which liberal Democrats and their lovable hero, Bill Clinton, lived for almost a decade.
For all that illusion, there was a terrible price to be paid.
It matters not. Democrats want their world back. Usama bin Laden, Kim Jong Il, and the other Usual Suspects won't let them have it back. Their response is to do what they normally do: blame the President for whom they have feelings of hatred, malice, and revenge.
I hold that the American people have moved past the Left. Howard Dean may seize the nomination, but elections are won by candidates who offer something to do, rather than oppose what is done by their opponent. There is a reason that Gallup, Ipsos-Reid, and FOX News/Opinion Dynamics have Bush back up the high fifties after the summer long "Bush Lied! They Died" agitprop campaign conducted by the DNC and its outriders. The hate that Democrats have for Bush, the disdain that base Democratic voters feel for the War, and the public campaign to defame the President and his National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice, has led to an increase in support for the President out in Middle America.
The voters understand that this President is honest about this war and sincere in his objective: to destroy the terrorist international and the states that support it, and to protect the American people. There may be reverses from time to time; there will be more dead American soldiers in the coming months. The mass of the people, however, have decided to see this through.
The liberal Democrats do not see that, yet. They will not see it until it is all too late for them. They can't, you see. They are blinded by hatred and anger towards one man. The Party that gave us such titans as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, George C. Marshall, Adlai Stevenson, John F. Kennedy and Hubert H. Humphrey is offering up a cheap, dimestore version of George McGovern in the person of Howard Dean. In the end, all the Democrats have to offer is fear itself.