Star Parker

Listening to Pelosi and other prominent Democrats, it's hard not to sense that they are underwhelmed by the historic strides toward freedom in the Middle East. Sixty percent of the Iraqi people went to the polls to vote despite threats on their lives. This is the same percentage of own population that turned out in this last presidential election. Yet, Kerry cautioned on national TV against "overhype" about what has been achieved in Iraq.

It's impossible not to see the irony of 13 Democratic senators voting against confirmation of Condoleezza Rice as secretary of state. According to The Washington Post, this was the most votes cast against a nominee for that position in 180 years.

Rice embodies America. Here is a woman whose ancestors arrived in chains, who were slaves and considered chattel. Now she'll be the international representative of the freest nation in the world.

Yet these Senate Democrats voted against her confirmation, despite her impeccable credentials, because she believes that Iraqis can and should be free, and that we must help.

Democratic denial that Social Security needs massive restructuring is reminiscent of the Iraqi press officer who announced daily that they were winning the war as American troops were closing in on Baghdad. Even Rep. Harold Ford Jr., D-Tenn., said after the State of the Union address: "The Democrats are going to have to get a better message on Social Security. ... Our only response cannot be to say 'no.' "

Republicans may have cornered the market on ideas, but they certainly have no monopoly on answers. If Democrats want a future, they need to wake up to the truth of freedom. They should get in the game and compete with Republicans to deliver better and more imaginative solutions to turn power and responsibility back to people.

Ironically, it's the traditional Democratic constituencies that are the huge beneficiaries of the ownership agenda. Despite tired Democratic rhetoric, personal retirement accounts will transform the lives of low-income people, not rich people. It's low-income communities that are in most desperate need of school choice and the traditional-values agenda.

There does seem to be one voice going against the grain in the Democratic Party. It looks like it's going to be Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2008.

Star Parker

Star Parker is founder and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, a 501c3 think tank which explores and promotes market based public policy to fight poverty, as well as author of the newly revised Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can do About It.