WASHINGTON, D.C. -- You have to hand it to the liberal Democrats. They know how to attack. And now they've pulled out all the stops to break records in self-deception. As President Bush successfully represented American interests and discussed sensitive foreign policy with leaders across Europe last week, Democrats stayed home to chastise and criticize.
On the eve of the G-8 European summit in Genoa, Italy, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., launched an uncustomary attack on a sitting president's prosecution of U.S. foreign policy. "I think we are isolating (and) minimizing ourselves. I don't think we are taken as seriously today as we were a few years ago. I'm increasingly troubled by the fragile relationship (between the United States and our allies) that is becoming more and more evident," Daschle told USA Today as President Bush prepared for meetings in London with British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Later, as Bush negotiated a mutual reduction in nuclear arsenals with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Daschle reiterated his charges on the Sunday talk circuit. Meanwhile, Joseph Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told CNN's "Late Edition" that although "we should not be criticizing presidents when they're abroad," Daschle has "no need to apologize."
During the G-8 summit, Sen. Hillary Clinton criticized President Bush for "repudiating" the Kyoto Environmental Protocol. After eight years of trying to run the White House, she just can't get over the fact that she's not in charge. Over the weekend, this presidential "want-to-be" instructed Bush to "go in and try, based on the fact that you are a new administration, to renegotiate or change some of the provisions."
Former President Jimmy Carter also joined the attack, declaring in an interview published in the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer that, "I have been disappointed in almost everything he has done." The one-term Democrat further castigated Bush for "fruitless" efforts in the Middle East and for failing to seek ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, and described plans for Ballistic Missile Defense as "technologically ridiculous." He then depicted the president's call for moving beyond the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty as "a setback for the prestige and respect due our country," and predicted that it will "re-ignite the nuclear arms race."
In the aftermath of these assaults, not one congressional Democrat came forward to reprimand their errant colleagues or temper the rhetoric. And, either out of ignorance or enjoyment for the sport of "Bash the Republican President," the pliant mainstream media failed, once again, to mention their obvious hypocrisy.
Daschle's complaint that the United States is "isolating itself" is absurd. In just six months, Bush has completed his second European trip and met with over 80 foreign heads of state. And last week, the G-8 leaders responded overwhelmingly to his visit. When he appeared on Sunday's "Talking Head" shows, Biden knew President Bush was well received -- and yet chose to fire his partisan volley.
Clinton's critique of the Bush administration's Kyoto stand is specious and partisan. When her husband signed the Gore-negotiated "Environmental Protocol," it was in the face of a 95-to-0 Senate vote rejecting any treaty that would adversely effect the U.S. economy or favor one country over another. The Kyoto Treaty failed in both counts. Clinton knew in 1997 that it shouldn't have been signed and still knows the Senate won't ratify such an unfair accord.
Beyond partisan, former President Carter's comments verge on embarrassing. His vitriolic reproof appeared the day President Bush announced his agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin to hold comprehensive talks linking Ballistic Missile Defense to mutual cuts in offensive nuclear weapons. Just last month, Putin warned that if we built BMD and scrapped the ABM treaty, he would put multiple warheads on more ICBMs. Now the Russian leader has reversed course. Carter -- and his Democrat colleagues -- should applaud the president.
But they aren't. Instead, lacking their own ideas, they blindly abuse him -- and push their party further to the leftward fringes of American politics. That's why no Democrat chastised NAACP Chairman Julian Bond for calling Bush's Cabinet a "Taliban wing" whose "devotion to the Confederacy is nearly canine in its uncritical affection."
The absence of Democrat self-criticism might be ascribed to "party loyalty" by some. But to most of us, it is far worse -- a lack of moral courage, an ethical hollowness at the core of the Democratic Party.
And that's why, despite formidable evidence that "The Honorable" Gary Condit has lived a double life, not one Democrat has joined Republicans Bob Barr, Dave Weldon, Roscoe Bartlett, Tom Tancredo or Fred Upton in requesting that the California Democrat resign. Despite daily revelations of his adulterous escapades with a stable of women, Condit enjoys universal party support.
As they did with Clinton, leaders from the once-proud Democratic Party turn a blind eye to deceit, efforts to suborn perjury and attempts to hide misconduct. They claim that Condit's conduct is a "matter for his constituents to decide" and unleash their minions to promote two-sided morality -- one private, another public. They ought to hang their heads in shame.