The Anti-Democratic Democrats

Democrats named their party after democracy. They used to think it was a good way to run things.

There has been debate on the right for years about whether President Bush's promotion of democracy in the Middle East as an integral part of the GWOT is perhaps too naively Wilsonian. Democrats are largely silent or dismissive on the issue. Woodrwo Wilson was, of course, a Democrat.

The once fervent support for democracy among Democrats from Wilson through Truman has been ebbing over decades. The one time elections in much of the old colonial world in the sixties most often led to disaster and a letdown of enthusiasm for democracy. Domestically, Democrats began to seek alternatives to appeal to elected representation. In the seventies, unpopular policies like school busing, affirmative action and (initially at least) abortion found Democrats seeking cover behind the non—elected federal courts. 'The Courts have spoken' was a common Democrat response to being asked to take a stand on the unpopular issues. By the nineties it was commonplace for Democrats and the left to seek policy victory by court ruling when there was no chance of prevailing in the democratically elected branches.

In recent years Democrats have moved beyond seeking a judicial workaround to a democratic system that just won't give them what they desire. The Democrats first took the 2000 Presidential election to court, filing the butterfly ballot case in Palm Beach County . Having gone to the courts, the Democrats were furious when the Supreme Court decided against their interests, and began calling 2000 a stolen election, decided by a right wing court .

In Florida in 2000, it was about several hundred votes, but in Ohio in 2004 Democrats were questioning a plurality of over 118,000 votes, and Diebold entered the Democrat left lexicon next to Halliburton. As recently as last June, Robert Kennedy Jr. claimed to present new compelling evidence of the "stolen election of 2004" for Rolling Stone in what Salon's Farhad Manjoo deconstructed as a rehash of old distortions, omissions and inaccuracies.

So what about this year? I'd suggest watching the House. If the Democrats gain enough seats to make Nancy Pelosi the Speaker, or only gain six to ten seats and fall short of the fifteen needed to take control, the 'stolen election' theme may or may not be heard again. If, however, they pick up twelve to fourteen seats, and control of the House depends on the outcome in only one to three close races, can there be any doubt that the army of Democrat lawyers will again charge another stolen election? The obviously drunk voter removed from the polling place for seeming to think the booth contained a urinal, or the local DOT closing one lane of a four lane highway a mile from a polling place for pothole repair will be presented as examples of suppression of the Democrat vote.

To what end? While the Democrats most certainly understand by now that such appeals to the courts face long if insurmountable odds against turning the results of elections, politically, they see the tactic as undermining the legitimacy of their opposition and no doubt firing up a significant part of their base, centered in the Kos/DU/Deaniac conspiracy fringe, but not confined to it. After all, even a former Democratic Secretary of State Madeleine Albright mused that the Bush administration probably knew of Bin Laden's whereabouts and was waiting for a politically opportune time to capture him .

What they don't either understand or do understand and don't care about, is that they are undermining the very concept of democratic elections, and may well do so again in the next few weeks. There is growing evidence of a combination of frustration with democratic processes with the belief that elections are won by dirty tricks, pure and simple, among Democrat rank and file. The son of a Democrat Congressman and three other young apparently non—idealistic Democrats were convicted of slashing the tires of 100 Republican GOTV vehicles on election day, 2004 . Senator Schumer is a strong advocate for privacy rights yet aides in the DSCC that he ran committed fraud to obtain the credit report of a Republican candidate .

The "purple finger" images from the Iraqi elections touched the hearts of many Americans, even notably some of the Democrat left, as symbolic of something cherished, profound and inspiring to Americans. Yet most of the Democrat reaction to democratic elections in Afghanistan and Iraq has been lukewarm to outright dismissive. Even the idea that women in Islamic majority countries were enfranchised didn't get the feminist allies of the Democrats fired up.

Armando, a regular at Daily Kos, posted a commentary entitled "Myth of the Purple Fingers" quoting the New York Times about Iraqis seeming to be unenthusiastic about the vote for their Constitution  He wrote,

'Yes the Constitution will win the vote. And then what? Will our troops come home now? Will the Iraqi government be able to govern? What is different now than yesterday?'

Oddly enough (or not) the New York Times characterized turnout in Iraq of 63% as "unenthusiastic" ) But the Washington Post gushed about the US's enthusiastic turnout in the 2004 election of  under 61%!

For years Democrats have been fostering the notion, for short term political advantage, that democratic processes don't work, elections are stolen, and that Republican elected officials obtain position by fraud and Rovian plots, appealing to their party's long—used tactic of encouraging a sense of victimhood. Democratic processes make victims.

At some point, the chickens will come home to roost. If Democrats continue to push this theme, as they may well do next month, what alternative to democratic processes do they propose?

It is grossly ironic that the party that is undermining the very concept of the democratic process, calls itself the Democratic Party.

Denis Keohane is an occasional contributor to American Thinker.

Democrats named their party after democracy. They used to think it was a good way to run things.

There has been debate on the right for years about whether President Bush's promotion of democracy in the Middle East as an integral part of the GWOT is perhaps too naively Wilsonian. Democrats are largely silent or dismissive on the issue. Woodrwo Wilson was, of course, a Democrat.

The once fervent support for democracy among Democrats from Wilson through Truman has been ebbing over decades. The one time elections in much of the old colonial world in the sixties most often led to disaster and a letdown of enthusiasm for democracy. Domestically, Democrats began to seek alternatives to appeal to elected representation. In the seventies, unpopular policies like school busing, affirmative action and (initially at least) abortion found Democrats seeking cover behind the non—elected federal courts. 'The Courts have spoken' was a common Democrat response to being asked to take a stand on the unpopular issues. By the nineties it was commonplace for Democrats and the left to seek policy victory by court ruling when there was no chance of prevailing in the democratically elected branches.

In recent years Democrats have moved beyond seeking a judicial workaround to a democratic system that just won't give them what they desire. The Democrats first took the 2000 Presidential election to court, filing the butterfly ballot case in Palm Beach County . Having gone to the courts, the Democrats were furious when the Supreme Court decided against their interests, and began calling 2000 a stolen election, decided by a right wing court .

In Florida in 2000, it was about several hundred votes, but in Ohio in 2004 Democrats were questioning a plurality of over 118,000 votes, and Diebold entered the Democrat left lexicon next to Halliburton. As recently as last June, Robert Kennedy Jr. claimed to present new compelling evidence of the "stolen election of 2004" for Rolling Stone in what Salon's Farhad Manjoo deconstructed as a rehash of old distortions, omissions and inaccuracies.

So what about this year? I'd suggest watching the House. If the Democrats gain enough seats to make Nancy Pelosi the Speaker, or only gain six to ten seats and fall short of the fifteen needed to take control, the 'stolen election' theme may or may not be heard again. If, however, they pick up twelve to fourteen seats, and control of the House depends on the outcome in only one to three close races, can there be any doubt that the army of Democrat lawyers will again charge another stolen election? The obviously drunk voter removed from the polling place for seeming to think the booth contained a urinal, or the local DOT closing one lane of a four lane highway a mile from a polling place for pothole repair will be presented as examples of suppression of the Democrat vote.

To what end? While the Democrats most certainly understand by now that such appeals to the courts face long if insurmountable odds against turning the results of elections, politically, they see the tactic as undermining the legitimacy of their opposition and no doubt firing up a significant part of their base, centered in the Kos/DU/Deaniac conspiracy fringe, but not confined to it. After all, even a former Democratic Secretary of State Madeleine Albright mused that the Bush administration probably knew of Bin Laden's whereabouts and was waiting for a politically opportune time to capture him .

What they don't either understand or do understand and don't care about, is that they are undermining the very concept of democratic elections, and may well do so again in the next few weeks. There is growing evidence of a combination of frustration with democratic processes with the belief that elections are won by dirty tricks, pure and simple, among Democrat rank and file. The son of a Democrat Congressman and three other young apparently non—idealistic Democrats were convicted of slashing the tires of 100 Republican GOTV vehicles on election day, 2004 . Senator Schumer is a strong advocate for privacy rights yet aides in the DSCC that he ran committed fraud to obtain the credit report of a Republican candidate .

The "purple finger" images from the Iraqi elections touched the hearts of many Americans, even notably some of the Democrat left, as symbolic of something cherished, profound and inspiring to Americans. Yet most of the Democrat reaction to democratic elections in Afghanistan and Iraq has been lukewarm to outright dismissive. Even the idea that women in Islamic majority countries were enfranchised didn't get the feminist allies of the Democrats fired up.

Armando, a regular at Daily Kos, posted a commentary entitled "Myth of the Purple Fingers" quoting the New York Times about Iraqis seeming to be unenthusiastic about the vote for their Constitution  He wrote,

'Yes the Constitution will win the vote. And then what? Will our troops come home now? Will the Iraqi government be able to govern? What is different now than yesterday?'

Oddly enough (or not) the New York Times characterized turnout in Iraq of 63% as "unenthusiastic" ) But the Washington Post gushed about the US's enthusiastic turnout in the 2004 election of  under 61%!

For years Democrats have been fostering the notion, for short term political advantage, that democratic processes don't work, elections are stolen, and that Republican elected officials obtain position by fraud and Rovian plots, appealing to their party's long—used tactic of encouraging a sense of victimhood. Democratic processes make victims.

At some point, the chickens will come home to roost. If Democrats continue to push this theme, as they may well do next month, what alternative to democratic processes do they propose?

It is grossly ironic that the party that is undermining the very concept of the democratic process, calls itself the Democratic Party.

Denis Keohane is an occasional contributor to American Thinker.