WASHINGTON, D.C. -- All I heard from the analysts and pundits in the past two weeks after the Democrat caucuses in Iowa and primary in New Hampshire, was that Democrats across the board are "united" against President Bush and want to defeat Bush to the point that they will vote for the "most electable" candidate.
There is no doubt that there is a great deal of hatred for this president at all levels of the Democrat Party -- and that is more than a shame. It is seen in the wild-eyed followers of Howard Dean to the divisive rhetoric of the candidates like Wesley Clark, who refuses to denounce his friend Michael Moore who called President Bush a "deserter." Clark, who friends say would be a Republican had Karl Rove only returned his phone calls, called the Bush administration "the most closed, imperialistic, nastiest administration in living history" -- which just shows that hell hath no fury like a washed up general scorned.
From day one of this administration, many Democrats in the Congress and across the country were unable to put the Florida election behind them and work with a man who had a well-deserved reputation for reaching across the aisle.
But in fact, not all Democrats are "united." Already, nearly 10 months before the election, there are signs of defection among some top name Democrats who have announced their support for the president.
Georgia Sen. Zell Miller, the author of, "A National Party No More: The Conscience of a Conservative Democrat" (read review), has already endorsed President Bush's re-election, saying that Bush is "the right man at the right time" to govern America. Miller added at the time that many of the Democrat contenders for the presidential nomination, particularly Howard Dean, were trying to use the war in Iraq for "political advantage," which to the Georgia senator is a "disgrace."
"The way I see it," Miller explained, "is that these next five years are going to be crucial in determining the kind of world my grandchildren and great-grandchildren live in, and I don't entrust that to any of these folks that are running out there on the Democratic side."
After Miller's endorsement of George W. Bush, former President Jimmy Carter, who called Howard Dean's antiwar rants "courageous," rushed to disown Miller, accusing him of "betraying all the basic principles that I thought he and I and others shared."
Perhaps that is because the Democrats only continue to carp and complain and flip-flop their positions regarding the war. But even as New Hampshire Democrats were going to the polls to vote for their favorite antiwar antagonist, a plane was landing in Al Gore's home state of Tennessee with 55,000 pounds of material from Libya's nuclear weapons program to be tested. It turns out that all these months that Howard Dean and John Kerry and their pals were condemning George W. Bush's decision to hold Saddam Hussein accountable, Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi was getting the message that he had better say goodbye to his weapons programs, or he might be dragged from a hole as Saddam was.
And two weeks ago, another veteran Democrat publicly announced his intention to vote for President Bush, saying that though he has some disagreements on domestic issues, they "pale in importance beside the menace of international terrorism, which threatens our very survival as a nation." Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch said that he will vote for George W. Bush because "he has shown the resolve and courage necessary to wage the war against terrorism."
Koch said the team of Democrat presidential contenders, with the exception of Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, "inspires no such confidence."
Rep. Ralph Hall of Texas agrees with Koch and Miller. In January, Hall, a longtime Democrat, announced he was switching his party affiliation to the Republicans. In making the announcement, Hall said: "I support a Republican president who is constantly criticized by the Democrats who seek to unseat him. In the past year, some members of my party sought to politicize our efforts in the War on Terror and the liberation of Iraq to a point that the president's domestic agenda, which is overwhelmingly supported by my constituents, and the interests of my district were jeopardized."
On a recent trip to Georgia, 12 Democrat state senators threw their support behind the president due in large measure to the leadership he has displayed in the War on Terror. Former Attorney General Griffin Bell, former U.S. Sen. David Gambrell and former Rep. Doug Barnard, all Democrats, have also endorsed the president.
Wesley Clark, Howard Dean and John Kerry have been chasing the support of antiwar protestors like Madonna, Michael Moore, Ted Danson and others. Throughout their campaigns they have shown that they are willing to put their opposition to Bush's efforts in the War on Terror in the spotlight.
But what we are beginning to see is that some Democrats believe national security is no longer a priority for the Democrat Party, and they are echoing the words of John F. Kennedy who said, "Sometimes party loyalty asks too much." Good for them.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.