It is the party that falsely claims President Bush is trampling on the Constitution -- while making no secret of its own willingness to subordinate the Constitution to its own political ends, most notably through using the judicial branch to "legislate" policy it cannot achieve through democratic means.
It is the party that isn't honest about its core convictions, knowing that honesty will render it even less electable in a center-right America. It denies its liberalism in favor of the euphemistic "progressivism." But while "progressive" implies "forward-looking," Democrats are mired in the past, reactionary on issues from Social Security (don't change a bankrupt system) to Iraq (don't defeat a hostile dictatorship and try to make it a democracy).
It is the party of elites who look down their noses at red-state America. It is the party that snubs Christians and "values" voters yet claims to be their authentic representatives. It is the party that can't decide whether its electoral difficulties stem from its failure to effectively articulate its message or from the wholesale stupidity of an electorate that's too Christian, too much in favor of traditional family values, and too patriotic.
It is the party that often doesn't even bother to offer alternative policies, but chooses instead to slander President Bush and obstruct his policies. In the last few decades the party has increasingly engaged in the destructive partisan politics of class and race warfare, further alienating and dividing Americans. But it has sunk to new lows more recently with the egregious practice of playing partisan politics with our national security.
My book, whose introduction I've adapted for this column, is an indictment of today's Democrats -- in their own words, and meticulously documented -- revealing them to be a party of moral and intellectual bankruptcy with little promise of redemption in sight. Our country needs a responsible opposition party -- a party willing to participate in an honest policy debate -- but sadly, the Democrats fall way short of the mark.