Now the dust has settled and all is quiet on the election front, save wailing and the gnashing of teeth in regions that are now blue in more ways than one. Yes, in many respects, life has resumed its usual rhythms. The Hollywood left can return to the therapist's couch and their Zoloft, George Soros can assuage his sorrow by breaking another currency, Michael Moore can eat to forget, and erstwhile Senator John Edwards can induce a 'runner's high' endorphin rush with his favorite brand of exercise: ambulance—chasing. And as wounds are being licked and licks administered to remiss strategists, recrimination and re—evaluation are the order of the day. And a question, one solitary question, is preying upon the minds of crestfallen Democrats in every leather bar: what went wrong?
I knew what the problem could be, should be and must be for the President to win a second term, and I shook my head as I watched him muddle through the debates and utter nary a word about it. Then, when the President finally gave voice to the truth that was his silver bullet, for just a moment I could have believed in telepathy. Because what was in my heart and mind was finally on the President's lips. But, truth be known, it should have been emblazoned on every wall in Bush's re—election war—room, just as it should be the epitaph for Terry McAuliffe's political career. To wit: 'It's the liberalism, Stupid.'
Admittedly there were other factors that redounded to the President's benefit. The economy has long been on the rebound and Bush is an affable fellow. And I realize that image trumps substance, as most people embrace candidates based on media characterizations and emotional appeals. But that really is the point, because the image—makers and electorate—shapers who constitute the media/Hollywood/academia complex were on the Democrats' side. They had the deck stacked, but their dealing from the left side of it was their undoing.
The problem started with their candidate. They could have chosen a Joe Lieberman or Evan Bayh, moderates whose pasts could pass the smell test. Instead, they chose a man with a patrician presence and a Che Guevara past. A man who has THE most liberal voting record in the Senate — and with comrades like Hillary Clinton and Ted Kennedy in those hallowed halls that's no small accomplishment. John Kerry's photograph holds a place of honor in a communist museum in Vietnam. Yet, somehow, someway, he was supposed to be the best and brightest the Democrats had to offer.
But John Kerry wasn't alone; he played the same old liberal song to the accompaniment of the discordant din of an unseemly crew of kindred spirits. Take the Democratic National Convention: to steal a line from Pat Buchanan, it looked like the bar scene in Star Wars. Shakedown artists and racial—hustlers Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton gave speeches, and the frames of footage that captured them and John Kerry together could have, in and of themselves, sunk Kerry's campaign. Teresa Heinz—Kerry also took the podium, spoke in foreign languages and foreign English, and throughout the campaign seemed like a thoroughly weird, unstable, odious prima donna. But the piece de resistance was openly homosexual Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank. He was allowed to make history by becoming the first speaker at a national political convention to advocate same—sex 'marriage,' as he waxed passionate about the homosexual agenda. Yeah, that played really well in Peoria. It's no wonder that if there was a poll bounce from the Democrat's convention, the one who got it was George Bush.
Then there was Michael Moore. He is a propagandist, a Leni Riefenstahl without the artistry, but despite this, was allowed to become a standard bearer for Democrat anti—Bush activism. The Democrats could have disavowed his nefarious actions in no uncertain terms, which would have lent them an air of dignity. Instead, they were hoisted on their own petards as they cast their lot with Moore, Eminem, Sean 'P. Diddy' Combs and other such guttersnipes. What was America to conclude? Tell me who your friends are and I'll tell you who you are. Call it guilt by a lack of disassociation.
The only positive thing I can say about the Democrats' putting of their worst foot — and increasingly only foot — forward, is that it presented a face that was as honest as their rhetoric was dishonest, a face that reflected the values the party has come to embody. Theirs is a party that has advocated condoms in schools, sex—education that equates homosexuality with normalcy, partial—birth abortion and so—called homosexual marriage. Theirs is the party that has given us the abomination that is big, intrusive government, with its labyrinthine tax code, immorally high taxation and onerous regulations and mandates. It's the party that has worked feverishly to purge every last remnant of Christianity from our public square while facilitating Islam's filling of the resulting void. These are the fruits of the liberalism that has so beset the modern Democratic Party, and more and more Americans are becoming aware of it. And many of these Americans are Democrats who realize that they needn't agonize over whether or not to leave the party, for the party long ago left them, in Ronald Reagan's famous phrase.
No, it certainly isn't your father's Democratic Party. It has become a soulless organization whose only immutable principle is self—preservation, only source of passion is hatred, and only method for achieving success is opportunism. The last is shamelessly on display at present. Much to the surprise of most, a recent poll showed that 22% of voters cited values issues as being of primary importance to them, even surpassing the Iraq War. Well, right on cue, the Democrats have found their moral compass. It's as if they issued their members a talking points memo, because they suddenly can't talk enough about values and are saying that they have to change the 'language' of the debate.
So, this is their latest con: Let's exploit the values issue because that's what's resonating among the dumb yahoos in flyover country. But could anything be more laughable? In light of what the Democrats have supported, their casting themselves as a party of virtue is a bit like casting Yasser Arafat as a Zionist.
After denouncing President Bush's habit of daily prayer on his knees as weird and frightening, some liberals seem to have suddenly found God. For instance, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi referred to herself as a 'devout Catholic,' mentioned the Bible and quoted Scripture during a CNN interview. How this miraculous conversion came about and how she reconciles her newfound faith with her ardent support for abortion and same—sex 'marriage' was not explored, however.
Of course, all this posturing about values and religiosity by the party of secular humanist fundamentalists is so transparent that it's the ultimate insult to the people's intelligence. In fact, it conjures up images of the pathological liar on Saturday Night Live and I can just hear: Yeah, values and faith, that's the ticket!
So the Democrats just don't get it. For all the President's flaws, he resonates with traditional voters when he talks about faith because he has real faith. For all their flaws, Republicans resonate with traditional voters when they talk about values because they defend traditional values. It's not about finding another gimmick, like 'changing the language of the debate.' It's not about packaging or presentation; if that were paramount, Bush's continual fumbling for words would have been his downfall. No, it's about the fact that the Democrats have become a haven for miscreants and radicalized ne'er—do—wells, a purveyor of misbegotten ideas and a peddler of cultural poison.
The Democrats will try to fool traditional voters with the pretense of morality and religiosity. But try as they may, the latter can hear what they mutter under their breath. It's the sound of murmurings about how these infernal red—staters are knuckle—dragging Neanderthals who are a scourge upon this Earth. And it bespeaks of the kind of arrogance and contempt that lost the Democrats this election. In a phrase, it's the liberalism, Stupid. And as many in the red states would say, That dog won't hunt.