Though Democrats are stunningly and obsessively wrong about which party tried to steal the 2002 presidential election, they're entitled to their opinion. Where they cross the line is in their endless campaign to illegitimatize President Bush. And doing it on the verge of a war is unconscionable.
It would be one thing if only fringe Democrats persisted in this destructive charade, but it's their leaders. Sadly, the adults have never regained control of the party. The adolescents still reign, and boy, do they carry a grudge. George Bush took their ball away from them, and they have been pouting and whining ever since.
Terry McAuliffe, the titular head of the party (the real head being Bill Clinton), tells us repeatedly, as do scores of other Democratic heavyweights, that Bush didn't win. Yes, the Clintons are still calling the shots -- and I do mean shots. Every chance they get they take cheap shots at President Bush -- since arguing the issues hasn't seemed to get them anywhere.
Senator Hillary Clinton, at a private fund-raiser in Los Angeles for Missouri Senator Jean Carnahan (Los Angeles, by the way, is in California, not Missouri), told the audience that President Bush had been "selected," not elected president. I couldn't obtain the full transcript of Hillary's speech, so I don't know if she also called the president a moron. So the jury's still out on whether New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd has become her speechwriter.
Hillary didn't limit her negative remarks to the presidential election. She said, "You know, I'm a fan of Clintonomics, and this administration is destroying in months our eight years of economic progress." (Don't miss her use of "our," making it quite clear she wants to perpetuate the image of her co-presidency with Bill as she continues to position herself for a presidential run at the earliest feasible convenience.)
Then, Mrs. Clinton, in vintage pot-calling-the-kettle-black mode, accused the Bush "machine" of trying to "ruin the reputations of our candidates or, if they can't, to depress the turnout" through nasty politics. "But, you know," said Hillary, "you have got to hand it to them. These people are ruthless, and they are relentless." (The philosophical question to ponder is whether one should take it as a compliment and vindication when a ruthless and relentless person calls him ruthless and relentless.)
Seriously, how can these co-authors of the politics of personal destruction complain about other politicians employing their signature tactics? Of course, the truth is that Bush has not engaged in this type of politics. If anything, he has consistently erred on the side of appeasing Democratic partisanship.
But I do use the term "co-authors" deliberately. It isn't just Hillary making noise out there. And it isn't just happening in Los Angeles with fawning Hollywood types looking on. Last month, former President Bill had the audacity, as you'll recall, to undercut his successor on foreign -- albeit ally -- soil.
In his shameful speech to a Labour Party Convention in Blackpool, England, Clinton spit, "The election was so close in America that they won it fair and square -- 5 to 4 at the Supreme Court. We actually should be glad, though, because there were seven Republicans and only two Democrats on the Supreme Court -- and two of those Republicans (God bless them, they will be rewarded in heaven), they actually took the decision that we should count votes when the American people vote, and I appreciate that."
You don't have to take my word for the Clintons' vindictiveness. Newsweek reporter Howard Fineman, in an interview with MSNBC's Chris Matthews, provides some insider confirmation. "What do the Clintons want? They want back in the action. They want credit for the, quote, 'Clinton years.' And they want to humiliate the Bush family if they can."
You also don't have to take my word that the Clintons still have a vise-grip on the Democrats. According to Fineman, "The people who are running the Democratic campaign behind the scenes are Bill and Hillary Clinton and all of their friends from the Clinton years. Whether it's Harold Ickes, James Carville, Stan Greenberg, Terry McAuliffe, the party chair -- it's all the Clinton crowd."
The Clintons, with the Democrats in tow, are still trying to rescue their legacy from the embers of its smoldering corruption by falsely accusing their opponents of similar corruption. Would somebody please tell them it's not going to work -- and that their speechwriters need some new material?