There’s little doubt today’s Democratic party is destroying itself. It seems unable to come up with any ideas or solutions, so it spends its time filibustering conservative judges and blocking Republican proposals. However, for a two-party system to work you need -- well -- two parties. So in the spirit of encouraging competition, here’s what the Democratic party needs to save itself: its own George W. Bush.
The left’s problems today oddly mirror the right’s problems 10 years ago.
Back then, conservatives thought their opposition to President Clinton would be enough. We didn’t like him, we didn’t trust him, and we expected the rest of the country would agree. “I think trust is a very important issue just from the response we have had from the people who show up at rallies,” Sen. Bob Dole told CNN in October of 1996.
During one of those rallies, Dole sounded almost like a car alarm: “Who do you trust, who do you trust, who do you trust?” he asked. The answer probably didn’t please him -- enough people trusted Clinton to make him an easy winner.
At the same time, 94-year-old Strom Thurmond was running for re-election to the Senate from South Carolina. Republicans considered it an important seat, and Thurmond did manage to win and serve out his final six-year term. However, the fact that the GOP needed to depend on a nonagenarian didn’t portend well.
Today, though, the roles have reversed. Liberals hate George W. Bush, and assume that will be enough. “I don’t like the son of a bitch that lives in the White House,” Democratic congressional candidate Paul Hackett told USA Today.
Hate didn’t help. Hackett went on to lose to Jean Schmidt in a special election on Aug. 2.
But even though he won’t be coming to Washington, Hackett declared victory. “This was a success. We should all be proud,” he told supporters. Rep. Rahm Emanuel of Illinois also drew the wrong lesson from the election. “There’s no safe Republican district. You can run, but you cannot hide,” he announced. But there’s no need for Schmidt to hide. You can find her in Congress.
Now that Hackett has failed, some liberals have latched on to Cindy Sheehan, a mother whose son died in Iraq. She wants a few choice words with President Bush. “You get that maniac out here to talk with me in person,” is how she put it.
James Moore, co-author of the book “Bush’s Brain” (hint -- Moore doesn’t think the president has one, and instead suggests Karl Rove is the brains of the operation) says Sheehan “is becoming the symbol of our American Tiananmen.”