Sheehan is a mother who has lost her son. That’s a tragedy. But it’s nothing like Tiananmen. President Bush will probably ignore her, but he won’t send in a line of tanks to break up her protest. Besides, Sheehan is playing up her tragedy and turning it into comedy. “You get America out of Iraq and Israel out of Palestine and you’ll stop the terrorism,” she told Veterans For Peace this month.
Of course, terrorists were at work long before the U.S. invaded Iraq. Leaving before the job there is finished would only embolden them to strike again. And by bringing up the Palestinians, Sheehan is just roasting an old liberal chestnut.
Israel is voluntarily pulling settlers out of Gaza this week, but nobody (except, apparently, Sheehan) thinks that will stop Islamic terrorists from targeting the United States or Israel.
Meanwhile, 88-year-old Sen. Robert C. Byrd is already running campaign ads, which certainly suggests he’ll run for re-election next year in West Virginia. Maybe he’ll even win, as Thurmond once did. But if he’s the best man his party can field in a traditionally Democratic state, a Byrd victory would be a Pyrrhic one.
What the left needs is a George W. Bush -- a candidate who will come out and be positive.
Recall that during 2000, Bush seldom mentioned Bill Clinton at all. He certainly never called the president a “liar” or a “loser,” as current Sen. Minority Leader Harry Reid has called Bush this year. Instead, candidate Bush focused on what he would do differently as president, not on the perception that he was somehow a better person than Clinton.
That strategy was frustrating to some conservatives. We wanted more red meat. But it worked.
If Hackett, Byrd and Sheehan are the future of the Democratic party, it won’t be long before it completely disappears. To be successful, a Democratic candidate will need to be relentlessly positive. It may be frightening to conservatives -- but that’s why if Hillary Clinton is as smart as she’s alleged to be, we’ll see a permanent smile etched on her face from now until 2008.
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