All the Democrats oppose the war. And all the Democrats who took a position on the war before it began were for it, but now believe that everything Bush did from that moment forward has been bad! bad! bad! This is with the exception of Joe Lieberman who, as an observant Jew, is forbidden to backpedal after sundown on Fridays. Representing a large flabby chunk of the Kennedy wing, Ted Kennedy gave a speech last week in which he called the liberation of Iraq a "political product." Then again, Ted Kennedy calls Chivas Regal "that life-sustaining liquid."
Finally, all the candidates are willing to sell out any of these other issues in service of the secret burning desire of all Democrats: abortion on demand. If they could just figure out a way to abort babies using solar power, that's all we'd ever hear about.
For all his talk, even Dick Gephardt was willing to abandon blue-collar workers in a heartbeat. The Teamsters haven't asked for much, only two big votes in the past decade: (1) Oppose NAFTA, and (2) support drilling on a small, godforsaken patch of the Alaskan wilderness, as the people who actually live there have been begging us to do for decades. Like all the other Democrats, Gephardt voted against the Teamsters ? but with Barbra Streisand ? to oppose drilling in the godforsaken Alaskan wilderness.
When Gephardt entered politics he was pro-life. But then, like Al Gore, Jesse Jackson, Dennis Kucinich and scores of other Democrats with national ambitions, he quickly figured out that position wasn't, well ... viable. In short order he had adopted the whole NARAL party line. That's how you woo old-time union Democrats.
On Monday night, Gephardt was shocked to discover that blue-collar Democrats have gone the way of patriotic Democrats: They're all Republicans now. (But thanks for that NAFTA vote a decade ago!) You knew Gephardt was toast when even responsible journalists have started using words like "decent" and "solid" to describe the two-faced weasel from Missouri. Though I suppose "decent" has a pretty broad meaning in a party that still admires Bill Clinton.
The Iowa caucus was just another one of the Democrats' ongoing public debates about how to fake out the American people. Fifty percent of Iowa Democrats participating in the caucus said they "strongly disapprove" of the war with Iraq and another 25 percent "somewhat disapprove."
But more important to Democrats than their pacifism was "electability." The entire Iowa electorate was committed to the proposition: How do we fool the neighbors? In the end, the caucus-goers chose a decorated war hero who voted in favor of the very war that 75 percent of them oppose. So much for the anti-war fever sweeping the country. The Democrats aren't even man enough to run a genuine coward for president.
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