September 25, 2006
The Fairy Tale DemocratsBy James Lewis
Like some fabled vampire jerkily rising from his crypt, John F. Kerry crept back in the news, madly signaling a new run for the Democrat Party nomination. As in previous revivals, Kerry is banking on his faithful Teresa, who sprinkled her life—giving Heinz ketchup money all over his stiff body to bring it back to life. Teresa even does a darned good imitation of Count Dracula's sidekick Igor.
If I seem to be fascinated by Kerry's resemblance to Count Dracula, it is because mythic thinking plays such a big role in the Democratic Party. John Kerry has been driven by one supreme fantasy all his adult life: to be just like JFK. In pursuit of that dream Kerry goes through all kinds of amazing transformations. Unlike the rest of us who just get older day by day, in the 2004 campaign John Forbes Kerry seemed to grow magically younger. Starting out looking gaunt and tired, his cheeks suddenly botoxed out, his hair morphed from grey to black, and his body hiccupped into he—man shape. It was awesome. The Dems were selling a fraud, of course, but the thing is that they expected their voters to believe it. Most of them went right along. Gosh, they must have marveled, our guy John looks better every day!
Recently Kerry has been theatrically threatening to "kick their ass from one end of America to the other" ——referring to his former Swiftboat commanders and comrades —— if they to dare to question his heroic record during those three fabled months in the Mekong Delta. Apparently Kerry's media advisors have called for an Alpha Male impression early on in the campaign. The candidate is doing his best.
Bill Clinton notoriously marched a group of US Marines up the West Lawn, after his popularity crashed early in his first term. By putting media cameras on top of the hilly slope of the grass lawn, our fearless leader could be made to look much bigger than all the real soldiers marching up the hill behind him. As I remember it, after several heroic media scams along those lines his poll numbers rebounded. It's a sort of tradition. After all, LBJ finagled a Silver Star to jump—start his political career in Texas. He also got away with it. But Clinton and LBJ knew they were faking. It seems that John Kerry really believes his own story of the moment.
We sorely need presidents who can tell the difference between truth and fakery. For that reason, the return of Count Kerry is pretty scary. Here's a man who has been carrying his old Navy hat in his briefcase for almost forty years, only taking it out to share with a few selected reporters (and possibly for his own private delectation).
Kerry scripted his victory speech at the 2004 National Convention as a pretend—USN officer coming aboard a pretend—USN warship, making a pretend—salute, and uttering the brave words, "I'm John Kerry and I am reporting for duty!" It made one cringe with embarrassment.
The Democratic National Convention roared its approval, but the phoniness of that gambit must have struck millions of viewers like a clear warning bell. It was a revealing moment. Apparently the Kerry campaign expected us to fall for childish antics by this rather faded man in late middle age, the sort of guy who constantly revises his life story to preserve the fiction that he is always right. During his entire career John Kerry has never been held to account, either by voters or by a harsh reality. A safe Senate seat is the ultimate shield against the real world. Until his big chance came, Kerry was content to merely float along. Does he have any capacity for shame? Does he feel any guilt for building his career on discredited accusations about American atrocities in Vietnam? If anybody ever shafted his military comrades, John Kerry did. He quite deliberately helped ruin the reputations of hundreds of thousands of men who served in Vietnam. There is no sign that he ever thinks about it.
Do Kerry's lifelong efforts to paint himself as JFK suggest a fantasy—prone personality? I'm afraid they do. That old magic hat is a magic talisman for John 'Fitzgerald' Kerry. It proves that he is just like his childhood hero. But what kind of man carries an old service hat in his briefcase, day in and out, for forty years? Isn't there something pathetic about that? Does Theresa ever tell him to just leave it home, John?
But it isn't just Kerry. The whole Democratic Party seems terrifyingly prone to mythic fantasies. It's probably the single biggest reason for its decline. While Kerry is living out his life as JFK, Al Gore is posing as a prophet of doom with Powerpoint slides —— in spite of his complete and total lack of scientific credentials. The real Al Gore wouldn't know a statistical t—test from a tea cup. The best supercomputers in the world may still fail to model climate change, but Albert Gore, Jr. just knows the answers. Gore is another mythic Man of Destiny, trying to live out his dream and expecting America to follow.
Then we have Hillary Rodham Clinton, who as First Lady was convinced that she was personally destined to reshape the US health—care industry into a single all—embracing monopoly. That's a half trillion dollar industry, with Hillary dreaming herself on top, ensuring that medical doctors were evenly distributed across the land, and telling medical schools how to slice up their admissions by race. It was a Central Planning fantasy straight out of the old Soviet script. We are lucky that Mrs. Clinton didn't get control over US agriculture, or we might be having a Soviet—style famine just about now.
The three front—runners on the Left live in their own mythic bubbles. None of them seems to have the remotest idea about market economics. None has ever had to work the way up in the private sector, unless you count being a lawyer married to the attorney general and then governor. None of them has survived the rough and tumble of the private sector. All are children of destiny in their own eyes.
In the case of Hillary, a devoted press mob confirms her rosy picture of herself. The very sight of Hillary Rodham Clinton triggers moony dreams in the most cynical reporters in the land. A fantasy Party is looking again for a fantasy candidate: A JFK, a Jeremiah of Global Warming, or the Greatest Woman in the World. They are not so much running for president as auditioning for the next run of Camelot.
One of these days the Dems will get into the White House again. The Clinton Administration barely made it through eight years of stunning security blunders, always teetering on the edge of disaster. The Clintonites couldn't understand something as simple as color—coded security badges in the Energy Department. Hazel O'Leary abolished them, apparently fearing that they might hurt somebody's feelings. Well, the DoE controls nuclear storage facilities in the United States, and those hot radioactive sites were that much more vulnerable because people could wander around without clearly visible badges. The Clintonites' ignorance was simply horrifying. It was Amateur Hour at the very heart of the US Government. Well, nine months after they left, disaster actually struck.
It is typical that Democrats now blame Bush for 9/11: After all, they seem to think, Bush was in the White House. This is pure magical thinking: As if the jihadis don't plot their terror strikes for years ahead of time. The Dem leadership explodes in outrage if anybody even mentions that the same terror network bombed the same World Trade Center in 1993, shortly after Clinton came into office. The first time they killed six people and wounded a thousand with a sizable truck bomb. Luckily, concrete pillars blocked most of the blast. But they came back a second time, and succeeded in crushing and burning three thousand innocent people to death. Bill Clinton, in a program broadcast just yesterday, broke into a near purple rage when a TV reporter had the temerity to ask if he had done all he could have to get bin Laden.
It is rarely pointed out how lucky we were, relatively speaking: The Twin Towers may have contained 50 thousand people when the first plane hit. Fortunately there was just enough time for most of them to run out of the buildings. Certainly the Pentagon had many thousands of people in the bull's eye of the third suicide plane, which luckily hit only the side of the building. And if the fourth plane had crashed into the White House or Capitol the way bin Laden intended, the overall death toll would have been yet worse. We were so very lucky it wasn't.
Yet liberals still believe that those two assaults on the Twin Towers had nothing to do with each other. There can't be a connection: It would be too horrible to imagine. They seem to be perfectly sincere in their own minds. There has to be something basically wrong about that mindset, something evasive and wishful, something about eternal hippies who will never grow up.
After 9/11 the United States cannot risk another Clinton administration. The next president will face the toughest challenge since the Cuban missile crisis: The fast—moving spread of nuclear weapons to America—hating regimes around the world. Next time, PR won't cut it, folks.
I just have one question:Are there any adults left in the Democrat Party? So far, I don't see a single one except Joe Lieberman, and they have just about run him out of the party.
James Lewis is a frequent contributor.