Once again, prematurely sanguine Democrats are caught scratching their heads over the recent drops in their poll numbers and the price of oil. Darn the bad luck. What is an imploding opposition party to do?
Well, now that the well has gone dry on their portraying the GOP as one giant oil cartel bent on gouging consumers, where can they turn?
How about national security? That's not such a slam-dunk either, to borrow former CIA Director George Tenet's terminology, since sagacious voters rightly see Democrats as offering no alternative agenda in the war on terror. They do a masterful job slandering President Bush, but in the process of undermining his prosecution of the war in every particular, they don't inspire confidence about their fitness to lead the nation in war.
How about values issues? If they could narrow the gap here, they might just ease back into control of Congress in November, no?
It seems that every other week since late 2004, when presidential exit polls revealed that "values voters" were one of the largest voter blocs and that they preferred Republicans, Democratic leaders have been lurching for their Bibles and meeting with consultants to discuss how to repackage their moral message to better connect with these ephemeral Cro-Magnon types lurking in the bowels of red-state "Jesus Land." They are doing it again this week.
Far be it from me to promote my new book "Bankrupt," but I must confess that I devote two full chapters to this values phenomenon, detailing how the Democratic leadership has been desperately trying to appeal to those same Christian conservatives they have been ridiculing for years.
As noted, the Democrats' problem with values voters is not one of semantics, linguistics or packaging. It is not one that can be cured, for example, by John Kerry sauntering into a Midwestern gun store and saying, "Can I get me a hunting license here?"
Despite the backwardness of the dueling-banjo strumming, reality-challenged among us, we know an authentic peddler of moral values when we see one. Citing Scripture here and there isn't going to do the trick.
The Democrats' failure to connect with values voters has not been the result of a poorly articulated message. Their problem is precisely the opposite: They have communicated their values message all too well. They don't have much respect for traditional values, and even less for those who promote them.
But don't take my word for it. Check out the voluminous citations in my book to see how the left has indicted itself in this department.