Jonah Goldberg

Ned Lamont's primary victory against Joe Lieberman in Connecticut supposedly represented the triumph of the antiwar, anti-Bush "net roots" within the Democratic Party. Alas, our troop presence in Iraq is increasing; it appears Lieberman, running as an independent, will trounce Lamont; and President Bush is having his best week in the polls in six months (which is not quite the same thing as saying he's doing well in the polls).

So, have the Lamonters and other victims of so-called BDS - Bush derangement syndrome - been routed? Not quite. Because BDS sufferers have a related secondary affliction: WMDS. This refers not to the unfound weapons of mass destruction but to Wal-Mart derangement syndrome. And the Democratic Party is ministering to these patients with reckless abandon.

The New York Times reported recently that the Democrats have, en masse, declared their party to be the enemy of the mega-box store. Sen. Joe Biden Jr., D-Del., recently delivered what the Times called a "blistering attack" on the company at an anti-Wal-Mart rally in Iowa, and other Democrats have appeared at similar events. Indeed, one of the few times Lieberman and Lamont appeared at the same event during their primary contest was at an anti-Wal-Mart clambake in the Nutmeg State.

This bonfire of buffoonery is helping me learn to love Wal-Mart. First, let's talk politics. More people shop at Wal-Mart every week (127 million) than voted in the 2004 presidential election, according to a company Web site. They are disproportionately low-income folks who, by some estimates, are collectively saving hundreds of billions of dollars by shopping there.

Compounding the electoral asininity is the glorious hypocrisy of it all. Hillary Rodham Clinton - who returned a donation from the devilish retailer - was on Wal-Mart's board of directors from the mid-1980s until the 1992 presidential campaign. If the store's policies are so un-Progressive, how come it never occurred to her to do anything about it until now? Similarly, former would-be first lady Teresa Heinz attacked the store in 2004, saying it "destroys communities" - which apparently never stopped her from hawking her ketchup there or owning $1 million in Wal-Mart stock. Even Lamont, the golden boy of the new yuppie populism, owns a few thousand bucks of Wal-Mart stock.


Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the forthcoming book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
 
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