The idea that Democrats have been selling is that a factual airing of their default presidential candidate's record is dirty politics.
Following Sen. Zel Miller's convention speech, the cable shows were flooded with handwringing liberals beside themselves over the "meanness" of Miller's remarks. The newspapers followed with "news" stories and editorials registering the same complaint.
The Associated Press reported, "Republicans are satisfying their convention delegates with an angry vision of the presidential race and attacks on Democratic nominee John Kerry, but it won't play well with voters in the closing weeks of the campaign, Democrats said Thursday."
Sen. Edwards told "Today" show anchor Matt Lauer, "What we heard from the Republicans in that hall last night was an enormous amount of anger." Edwards called the GOP criticisms of John Kerry "completely over the top" and said they made him mad. Watch that anger there, Senator.
I don't deny that Zel Miller delivered his remarks with a healthy flavor of righteous indignation at a party that has left him and other conservative Democrats, a party whose presidential candidate is the most liberal senator in America with an abominable record on defense.
Senator Miller has a right to be upset. We're in the middle of a war, and his party has selected a man who has made a career of emasculating our intelligence services and our military readiness. We are not playing games here.
That's why I was incredulous when Chris Matthews asked Miller last night how his speech was going to further the goal of promoting harmony among the parties and the people (my crude paraphrase). These conventions are not about promoting national harmony, but the business of selecting candidates who can lead the nation in these exceedingly dangerous times.
But Chris Matthews' question reveals the liberal mindset. They act more interested in advancing the Rodney King credo: "Why can't we all just get along?" than in adopting proactive policies to safeguard our national security. That explains why John Kerry is always so preoccupied with currying the favor of French and German leaders.
But the dirty little secret is that Democrats just pay empty lip service to promoting harmony. They've been sniping at President Bush for four years now, and it has been petty, nasty, mean-spirited and, yes, angry.