It's not just the Democrats in general who play these games of obfuscation, but also their leading presidential contender John Kerry. At least with President Bush, you generally know where he stands on the issues. He is a strong conservative on defense and taxes, and mostly conservative on social issues. He is much less so on the spending side, particularly with respect to education. And his stand on immigration has angered many on both sides. But he has not been afraid to stake out positions, even if they are unpopular, which is relevant to both character and leadership.
John Kerry simply will not make his positions clear. Do you think there is any chance he will proudly proclaim to the general electorate the recent finding of the National Journal that he was the most liberal senator in 2003? And Kerry calls Bush extreme? Based on Kerry's various statements and past record, a reasonable person with considerable intelligence would have difficulty determining his positions on: the propriety of making a candidate's military service, especially in Vietnam, an issue; states' rights concerning gay marriage; attacking Iraq; helping to rebuild and facilitate democracy in Iraq; free trade; deficit spending; No Child Left Behind; "special interest influence;" the Patriot Act; capital punishment for terrorists; and even his commitment to his faith.
Why do Democrats work so hard to conceal their liberalism? What are they afraid of? Well, you can be sure that it is not that they are ashamed of their views; it's that they know those views are unpopular with the public when presented clearly.
Democrats are always trying to create the illusion that their ideology is mainstream -- it's no accident that they are always the ones talking about the nation being divided 50-50. But that's wishful thinking on their part. They know better, which is why they have had to resort to this litany of dishonest and antidemocratic tactics to compensate for the unpalatability of their leftist policies. If the candidates were required to ingest a truth serum before each campaign stop, the November election would be a blowout -- not in their favor. And Democrats know it. So they'll continue to hide the ball.