Two recent news items, both involving Democrat senators, underscore the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of the modern Democratic Party.
CNS News focuses on Senator Hillary Clinton's lurch to the right in anticipation of her imminent presidential run. Of course, this is nothing new; Hillary has been plotting and implementing her move for some time.
Despite being a feminist icon and a favorite of the antiwar, anti-Christian Left, Hillary has been laying the groundwork for what would appear to be a complete break with those constituencies.
She has pretended to be of the Michelle Malkin school on illegal immigration, has begun wearing religion on her sleeve, has been General Patton on national defense, and has seemed to vacillate on abortion -- a blasphemy that by rights should earn her enduring enmity from Liberaldom.
During a speech to the New York State Family Planning Providers (NYSFPP) in January, Hillary said, "I, for one, respect those who believe with all their hearts and conscience that that there are no circumstances under which any abortion should ever be available."
I, for one, seriously doubt Hillary's sincerity, based on her past position on abortion, other statements she made during her speech and her present incentive to transform her image. Even if Hillary has cultivated a new tolerance for pro-lifers (dream on), it's highly unlikely her position has changed on abortion, no matter what rhetorical bones she throws to the right.
As CNS reminds us, it was Hillary, in 1994, while in Beijing, who coined the phrase "Women's rights are human rights." Janice Crouse, a Christian activist, observed that Hillary wasn't referring merely to the right of women "to earn the same salary, the right to have opportunity and so forth." She was talking about "the whole women's rights agenda, which includes abortion, acknowledgment and mainstreaming lesbianism and the whole range of gender issues." Exactly.
Even during her speech to the NYSFPP, Hillary said that Roe v. Wade (the infamous 1973 Supreme Court abortion case) was "a landmark decision that struck a blow for freedom and equality for women." She told the audience she looked forward "to working with all of you as we fight to defend it in the coming years."
While Hillary said she hoped those on opposite sides of the abortion issue could find "common ground," it's obvious that what she is really looking for is common ground between herself and a sufficient number of voters.
Do you honestly think it's conceivable that Hillary would appear before a militantly pro-abortion group and say nice things about pro-lifers were she not running for the presidency?
Regardless of what Hillary's purportedly changed attitudes show about her, they speak greater volumes about the political party she seeks to lead. The fact is that Hillary remains a darling of the Left and all its fringe constituency groups despite her increasingly heretical declarations.
Just as when John Kerry masqueraded as a hawk on national defense and the Michael Moore/Howard Dean wing of the party stayed right on board with him, Hillary has virtual immunity for any such apostasies. Why? Because they know she'll always be a card-carrying, hardcore liberal no matter how much she pretends otherwise.
Democrats tell us the American people share their vision, yet many of their leaders won't be honest about who they are and what they believe. Please tell me how it's possible that Hillary Clinton could be the odds-on favorite among committed liberals if she truly believes in the center-to-right positions she's been mouthing lately? She doesn't, and her base knows it. It's a conspiratorial deceit of staggering proportions. The party is morally bankrupt, lacking the integrity to be square with the people about its core principles.
But moral bankruptcy is only half the story. The party is also intellectually bankrupt, standing for little more than obstructing the Republican majority. For a seminar on the party's intellectual vacuousness, read the transcript of Chris Wallace's interview of Sen. Patrick Leahy on "Fox News Sunday" concerning the Democrats' ideas on Social Security. Wallace repeatedly implored Leahy to provide just one idea the Democrats had on Social Security, and all he could say is that President Bush is unwilling to negotiate -- which is both patently false and annoyingly nonresponsive.
Democrat leaders are counting on the American people to be too dense to see through their games, such as pretending to be something they're not (Hillary), and pretending to be part of the solution instead of the problem (Leahy).
Given this poverty of values and character in the Democratic hierarchy, it's all the more frustrating that Republicans can't seem to get their act together.