"I hope that in this term," said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., "President Bush will fulfill his renewed promise to be a uniter, not a divider."
Don't look now, but Bush is doing some uniting.
Notice, for example, the absence of hysteria when the so-called ban against assault weapons expired. Sure, candidate Kerry, on the campaign trail, warned that the expiration of the ban makes "the job of terrorists easier and made the job of America's law-enforcement officers harder." But, for the most part, Kerry did not make this into a campaign issue. Why? Democrats know that, in 2000, presidential candidate Al Gore lost his home state of Tennessee, in part, because of Tennesseans' opposition to further gun control.
What about the divisive issue of abortion? "I am prepared to filibuster, if necessary," said former Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, "any Supreme Court nominee who would turn back the clock on a woman's right to choose or the constitutional right to privacy, on civil rights and individual liberties. . . . The test is basic -- any person who thinks it's his or her job to push an extreme political agenda rather than to interpret the law should not be a Supreme Court justice." Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-New York, stated, "I am and always have been pro-choice, and that is not a right any of us should take for granted. There are a number of forces at work in our society that would try to turn back the clock and undermine a woman's right to choose, and [we] must remain vigilant." And the 2004 Democratic Party platform says, "Because we believe in the privacy and equality of women, we stand proudly for a woman's right to choose, consistent with Roe v. Wade, and regardless of her ability to pay."
But with whom do the Democrats intend to replace the defeated liberal outgoing Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-South Dakota? Harry Reid, D-Nevada. Who is Harry Reid? He calls himself pro-life. NARAL, formerly the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, gives Reid a mere 29 percent favorability rating. Contrast that with Daschle's 50 percent. Reid even supports mining interests against environmentalists.
Whether soon-to-be outgoing Democratic Chairman Terry McAuliffe realizes it, the Democratic Party seems to be shifting toward the center -- Bush's center.