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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Arianna Huffington on the Democratic Identity Crisis

There has been a lot of talk in the blogosphere about the latest New York Times article on the supposed identify crisis on the Democratic Party. One person talking about it is Arianna Huffington. Today Arianna says,
"In the latest installment, Democratic leaders decide to have an all-out, full blown identity crisis. On the front page of the New York Times. Above the fold.

Except the only ones laughing will be Republicans.

The party bigwigs -- both those on the record and off -- come across as dithering, hand wringing poltroons, worried about taking too strong a stand on... anything. It's as if they've learned nothing from the last three elections."
Arianna then goes on to describe how Democrats need to push hard on the national security issue and that this is key to regaining power.

While I don't completely disagree with Arianna, I think she is missing the big picture, particularly from the average person's perspective.

Let's take a brief look at what Democrats have said publically to America over the past couple of months:
  • Julian Bond of the NAACP said, "The Republican Party would have the American flag and the swastika flying side by side."
  • Senator Hillary Clinton referred the Republican controlled Congress as a "plantation"
  • Howard Dean said today, "All we ask is that we not turn into a country like Iran, where the President of Iran can do anything they [sic] want at any time."
  • Harry Belefonte says that President Bush is the greatest tyrant in the world and no better than Osama bin Laden.
  • Senator Ted Kennedy implying in televised hearings that Judge Alito is a closet bigot.
The list of statements like this over the past couple of years could go on and on. Completely ignoring the merits of these statements, these statements portray a party that is blidly in thrall to an "anti-Bush" agenda at all costs. It is pretty remarkable that in what should have been a disastrous year for Republicans, there does not appear to be a groundswell against them. Huffington couldn't be more wrong when she questions the suggestion that,
"Dems should stay on the sidelines and let the Republicans implode"
The reality is that the opposite is happening. Just when bad news for Republicans comes out, the Democrats make sure to remind America that anything bad that happens in Bush's fault.

The Democrats keep overplaying their hand. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, instead of simply pointing out that the Bush Administration had done a poor job of responding, they tried to score point by making a racial issue out of a non-racial issue. Democrats have continued to try to show that the vast majority of those killed in the hurricane were black and poor, when in fact the data show quite the opposite.

The Abramoff scandall is another example of Democrats overplaying their hand. There appears to be some very good cases to be made against various Republicans including some of the leaders. But the Democrats couldn't leave it at that; they had to proclaim this batch of Republicans in Congress as the most corrupt ever. The average middle-of-the-road person (if there is such a thing anymore) in America doesn't buy this. They know that there is a good amount of corruption among their elected officials regardless of political party. Republicans certainly have no monopoly on corruption.

So why do I care? While I am certainly no fan of all of the Republican agenda, I am even more appalled at the political vacuum that is being created by the irresponsibility of the Democrats. Without a serious challenge, Republicans will continue to lose all sense of the conservative principles that got many of them elected in favor of consolidating power for its own sake. As Democrats continue their mad rush to the left, Republicans will seek to fill that vacuum by moving left themselves. Quite the ironic situation eh?

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