The rise of the disdainful Democrats

Senator Robert Byrd's previous occupation as a butcher never seems to come up when the press describes his history. It seems that mundane occupational histories of politicians matter only when they are Republicans. This is a method employed by the liberal media to demean Republicans, implicitly characterizing them as being made of "lesser stuff" and to disparage their intellectual abilities.

For example, Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert's career as a wrestling coach is routinely brought up, since jocks are probably a lesser caste in the Washington D.C. pecking order. That his well—honed talent for inspiring his troops and creating a sense of teamwork are skills undoubtedly enhanced by his teaching history matters not at all. The media similarly depicts Majority Leader Tom DeLay as a former exterminator. His nickname, the Hammer, subtly implies a view of him as a destroyer, and this merits frequent mention. 

In ways both subtle and overt, the Democrats and their press allies hold up as objects of derision those Republicans who have actually worked with their hands, or even those who plied their skills in professions which do not require a graduate degree. The American dream of self—starters rising to prominence is part of the legendary appeal of America. But the media refuse to celebrate these stories as worthy of emulation when they are accomplished by Republicans.
 
The most offensive aspect of the Democratic disdain for the common man is exemplified by their abhorrence of soldiers. While these men and women defend our shores and protect us from terrorism, they are routinely slandered by Democratic politicians eager to use the wayward actions of a few to indict all soldiers. The New York Times, the house organ of the Democratic Party, has always portrayed volunteers going into the military as dead—enders—people who have no hope of getting into or finishing college and are unemployables who have no way to earn a living other than joining our military. The condescension is overwhelming.

Howard Dean's recent condemnation of Republicans as people who "have never made an honest living in their lives" simply is out of touch with reality. Au contraire, Monsieur Dean, for your characterization seems to apply far more readily to Democratic leaders than to Republicans.

Teddy Kennedy is a proto—typical trust fund baby: a man who would not be a senator, or a leader of any sort, but for his father's ill—gotten gains and any sheen that rubbed off him as the brother of two slain American legends. After all, Kennedy cheated on Harvard exams and has had a less than stellar history when it comes to his romantic life and driving skills, and much—rumored problems involving his sobriety.

Nancy Pelosi and Senator Feinstein have family wealth derived from husbands who engage in the very behavior often condemned by liberals: venture capital and LBO financing. Tom Harkin lied about his Vietnam war experience. Joe Biden cheated in school and plagiarized in order to draft his speeches. John Edwards used junk science to accumulate a fortune. Star Democratic Senator Hillary Clinton was a long—time board member of Wal Mart—the bete noir of liberals. Howard Dean is the Park Avenue triplex—raised, private—school—educated beneficiary of the Dean Witter fortune. John Kerry is a serial gold—digger who has an obsession with marrying wealthy women.

There are a number of Democrats who have earned fortunes on the basis of their own efforts. John Corzine, formerly of Goldman Sachs, used his immense Wall Street fortune to finance his Senate seat election campaign, and now plans to use even more of his millions, by the score, to win his state's governorship. Frank Lautenberg, the other New Jersey Senator, is also loaded. He was the founder of ADP, which — gasp! — has been outsourcing data processing jobs from corporations for decades now. And don't forget Herb Kohl from Wisconsin, with a retailing fortune of his own, building up family—owned grocery stores, and starting Kohl's Department Stores, only to sell it in 1979, and seeing it become a major retailing success story. A wealthy investor since then, he owns the Milwaukee Bucs basketball team. Like President Bush, Senator Kohl sports a Harvard Business School MBA. If he attended his graduation exercises in Harvard Yard, he would have been hissed by the diploma—winners from the other Harvard faculties, as is traditional in Cambridge. All of these Democrats used hard work and business skill to build legitimate fortunes.

Other Democrats, however, came by their fortunes with less work.

Hillary and Bill Clinton have each made a windfall in the low 8 figures from their books, and the ex—president has doubled his lucre with public speaking fees. The ultimate trust fund baby in the Senate, Jay Rockefeller, sports the name most identified around the world with robber baron predatory capitalism. He is a plutocrat elected from West Virginia. Why isn't Thomas Frank  asking, 'What's wrong with West Virginia?' instead of picking on Kansas? Another trust fund plutocrat is Senator Mark Dayton of Minnesota, whose grandfather built a department store fortune which has morphed into today's Target Corporation, purveyor of discount urban chic to the masses. Senator Dayton, who is in his late 50s, has a resume unblemished by a private sector job in his entire career.

To be sure, there are a few wealthy Republican office—holders, beginning with President Bush. Perhaps the richest among them is Senator Frist. He inherited his Hospital Corporation of America fortune, but despite his family wealth, which he could have indulged in (as Jay Rockefeller, Teddy Kennedy and Mark Dayton did) as a way to avoid dirty work, he used his time to get his hands dirty in the noblest of professions, enduring years of arduous medical school and becoming a heart surgeon. With no publicity whatsoever, he has for many years traveled at his own expense to Africa to perform heart surgery on patients unable to pay.

One of the founding principles of America is that a man or woman ought to be able rise from humble origins to the pinnacle of power. Look at Harry Truman, for instance: a failed haberdasher who rose to become President. There are any number of other leaders in our history of not just humble origins, but also who experienced repeated failures before their eventual success. These people should become role models to be emulated, not dismissed with condescension and snobbery, as seems to be the current inclination of the Democrats' leader. This potential of America to be a place to fulfill one's dreams has been a magnet for 300 years of immigrants. It is part of our national character.

A political class drawn from the ranks of those who have ascended on the basis of their own work and talents is far preferable to selecting from those whose background is shuffling papers or cashing checks from a trust fund. Democrats have adopted a Chirac—like attitude towards the common working men and women: shocked that they don't vote the way their social betters direct them. As in the old joke goes, "If I want your opinion, I will give it to you."

It may be a bit of a stretch, but the Democratic Party leadership looks more like the House of Lords and the Republican Party looks more like the House of Commons. Judging by its leadership, one of our political parties can legitimately claim the be the party of the common man and woman. And it isn't the Democrats.

Senator Robert Byrd's previous occupation as a butcher never seems to come up when the press describes his history. It seems that mundane occupational histories of politicians matter only when they are Republicans. This is a method employed by the liberal media to demean Republicans, implicitly characterizing them as being made of "lesser stuff" and to disparage their intellectual abilities.

For example, Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert's career as a wrestling coach is routinely brought up, since jocks are probably a lesser caste in the Washington D.C. pecking order. That his well—honed talent for inspiring his troops and creating a sense of teamwork are skills undoubtedly enhanced by his teaching history matters not at all. The media similarly depicts Majority Leader Tom DeLay as a former exterminator. His nickname, the Hammer, subtly implies a view of him as a destroyer, and this merits frequent mention. 

In ways both subtle and overt, the Democrats and their press allies hold up as objects of derision those Republicans who have actually worked with their hands, or even those who plied their skills in professions which do not require a graduate degree. The American dream of self—starters rising to prominence is part of the legendary appeal of America. But the media refuse to celebrate these stories as worthy of emulation when they are accomplished by Republicans.
 
The most offensive aspect of the Democratic disdain for the common man is exemplified by their abhorrence of soldiers. While these men and women defend our shores and protect us from terrorism, they are routinely slandered by Democratic politicians eager to use the wayward actions of a few to indict all soldiers. The New York Times, the house organ of the Democratic Party, has always portrayed volunteers going into the military as dead—enders—people who have no hope of getting into or finishing college and are unemployables who have no way to earn a living other than joining our military. The condescension is overwhelming.

Howard Dean's recent condemnation of Republicans as people who "have never made an honest living in their lives" simply is out of touch with reality. Au contraire, Monsieur Dean, for your characterization seems to apply far more readily to Democratic leaders than to Republicans.

Teddy Kennedy is a proto—typical trust fund baby: a man who would not be a senator, or a leader of any sort, but for his father's ill—gotten gains and any sheen that rubbed off him as the brother of two slain American legends. After all, Kennedy cheated on Harvard exams and has had a less than stellar history when it comes to his romantic life and driving skills, and much—rumored problems involving his sobriety.

Nancy Pelosi and Senator Feinstein have family wealth derived from husbands who engage in the very behavior often condemned by liberals: venture capital and LBO financing. Tom Harkin lied about his Vietnam war experience. Joe Biden cheated in school and plagiarized in order to draft his speeches. John Edwards used junk science to accumulate a fortune. Star Democratic Senator Hillary Clinton was a long—time board member of Wal Mart—the bete noir of liberals. Howard Dean is the Park Avenue triplex—raised, private—school—educated beneficiary of the Dean Witter fortune. John Kerry is a serial gold—digger who has an obsession with marrying wealthy women.

There are a number of Democrats who have earned fortunes on the basis of their own efforts. John Corzine, formerly of Goldman Sachs, used his immense Wall Street fortune to finance his Senate seat election campaign, and now plans to use even more of his millions, by the score, to win his state's governorship. Frank Lautenberg, the other New Jersey Senator, is also loaded. He was the founder of ADP, which — gasp! — has been outsourcing data processing jobs from corporations for decades now. And don't forget Herb Kohl from Wisconsin, with a retailing fortune of his own, building up family—owned grocery stores, and starting Kohl's Department Stores, only to sell it in 1979, and seeing it become a major retailing success story. A wealthy investor since then, he owns the Milwaukee Bucs basketball team. Like President Bush, Senator Kohl sports a Harvard Business School MBA. If he attended his graduation exercises in Harvard Yard, he would have been hissed by the diploma—winners from the other Harvard faculties, as is traditional in Cambridge. All of these Democrats used hard work and business skill to build legitimate fortunes.

Other Democrats, however, came by their fortunes with less work.

Hillary and Bill Clinton have each made a windfall in the low 8 figures from their books, and the ex—president has doubled his lucre with public speaking fees. The ultimate trust fund baby in the Senate, Jay Rockefeller, sports the name most identified around the world with robber baron predatory capitalism. He is a plutocrat elected from West Virginia. Why isn't Thomas Frank  asking, 'What's wrong with West Virginia?' instead of picking on Kansas? Another trust fund plutocrat is Senator Mark Dayton of Minnesota, whose grandfather built a department store fortune which has morphed into today's Target Corporation, purveyor of discount urban chic to the masses. Senator Dayton, who is in his late 50s, has a resume unblemished by a private sector job in his entire career.

To be sure, there are a few wealthy Republican office—holders, beginning with President Bush. Perhaps the richest among them is Senator Frist. He inherited his Hospital Corporation of America fortune, but despite his family wealth, which he could have indulged in (as Jay Rockefeller, Teddy Kennedy and Mark Dayton did) as a way to avoid dirty work, he used his time to get his hands dirty in the noblest of professions, enduring years of arduous medical school and becoming a heart surgeon. With no publicity whatsoever, he has for many years traveled at his own expense to Africa to perform heart surgery on patients unable to pay.

One of the founding principles of America is that a man or woman ought to be able rise from humble origins to the pinnacle of power. Look at Harry Truman, for instance: a failed haberdasher who rose to become President. There are any number of other leaders in our history of not just humble origins, but also who experienced repeated failures before their eventual success. These people should become role models to be emulated, not dismissed with condescension and snobbery, as seems to be the current inclination of the Democrats' leader. This potential of America to be a place to fulfill one's dreams has been a magnet for 300 years of immigrants. It is part of our national character.

A political class drawn from the ranks of those who have ascended on the basis of their own work and talents is far preferable to selecting from those whose background is shuffling papers or cashing checks from a trust fund. Democrats have adopted a Chirac—like attitude towards the common working men and women: shocked that they don't vote the way their social betters direct them. As in the old joke goes, "If I want your opinion, I will give it to you."

It may be a bit of a stretch, but the Democratic Party leadership looks more like the House of Lords and the Republican Party looks more like the House of Commons. Judging by its leadership, one of our political parties can legitimately claim the be the party of the common man and woman. And it isn't the Democrats.