The past two presidential elections taught the losing Democrats a couple of political lessons. They learned that attacks on guns and defense of abortion are no longer winning issues for them, and this new awakening is reflected in their 2008 party platform adopted in Denver.
The platform grudgingly states, "We will preserve Americans' Second Amendment right to own and use firearms." The powers-that-be in the Democratic Party have learned to tolerate a few pro-gun candidates.
Feminist pressure won't let the Democrats recede from their "proudly" stated 2004 platform position that "Abortion should be safe, legal and rare." This year's platform is just as pro-abortion, but uses slightly softer words, stating that the Democrats support "a woman's ability to make her own life choices and obtain reproductive health care, including birth control" (throughout nine months and with taxpayers' money, of course).
Proclaiming that "we will end the Bush administration's war on science," the Democratic platform promises to "lift the current administration's ban on using federal funding for embryonic stem cells." The genuinely pro-life Republican Platform calls for "a ban on human cloning and a ban on the creation of or experimentation on human embryos for research purposes."
The 2008 Democratic platform stridently toadies to the feminists on all their issues. The platform reaffirms support for the Equal Rights Amendment (which was declared dead by the Supreme Court 26 years ago), enforcement of Title IX (which has canceled hundreds of men's college athletic teams, thereby costing us dearly in the recent Olympics), passage of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (which would use a U.N. treaty to keep abortion legal) and the Violence Against Women Act (which puts a billion taxpayer dollars a year into the coffers of the radical feminists).
The platform reiterates the phony feminist slogan that "women still earn 76 cents for every dollar that a man earns." That figure includes women who have spent many years out of the workforce and, of those who do have jobs, about a third work only part-time.
The platform promises to "expand" the Family and Medical Leave Act. "Expanding" means forcing employers to pay wages to employees who are on extended leave at times of their own choosing.
The Democratic platform goes all-out in recognizing the support of their gay rights constituency. "We support the full inclusion of all families, including same-sex couples, in the life of our nation, and support equal responsibility, benefits and protections."
The platform adds, "We oppose the Defense of Marriage Act." Overwhelmingly passed in 1996 to prevent judges from forcing other states to validate Massachusetts' same-sex marriages, DOMA was one of the most popular laws ever passed -- and it was even signed by Bill Clinton.
Most of the Democratic platform consists of promising benefits that will cost already burdened taxpayers plenty. There's no mention of how these extravagant handouts will be paid for.
For example, the Democratic Platform enthusiastically endorses the incredibly extravagant worldwide handouts in the bill sponsored by Barack Obama called "the U.S. Millennium Development Goals, which aim to cut extreme poverty in half by 2015." The platform promises to "double our annual investment in meeting these challenges to $50 billion by 2012."
The Democrats' mindset is that "we need stronger international institutions." So, the platform promises to "create a $2 billion Global Education Fund ... with the goal of supporting a free, quality, basic education for every child in the world."
The Democrats want the government to take care of American kids from birth through college. "We will make quality, affordable early childhood care and education available to every American child from the day he or she is born," and "we will provide all our children a world-class education, from early childhood through college."
The Democratic platform is full of proposals to raid the pockets of John Q. Taxpayer and reduce the American standard of living. This includes "an economy-wide cap and trade program," a plan to "reduce oil consumption by at least 35 percent, or 10 million barrels per day, by 2030" and designing legislation based on the belief that "global climate change is the planet's greatest threat."
These expensive plans will require a giant expansion of government money and government jobs. The Democrats must have had this result in mind when they promised they "will make government a more attractive place to work."
There is much more expensive foolishness in the Democratic platform, but the plank that takes the cake is: "We oppose laws that require identification in order to vote or register to vote." That sounds like the Democrats are planning on winning the 2008 election by stuffing the ballot box.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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