The 2008 election is shaping up to be one of the most important in decades. With every passing day we are seeing a greater contrast between the Democratic Party platform and the national interest -- as witnessed by the positions of the leading Democratic presidential candidates in their debates.
Indeed, the unpopularity of the war in Iraq has fueled a remarkable boldness by these candidates in bringing their liberalism out of the closet. Whether the candidates are sincere in advocating some of their radical positions or merely sucking up to the various interest groups, they are parading their extremism on national television.
The Democrats rail against lobbying, as if to suggest they abhor special interest politics and the undue influence of these interests on policymakers. Yet they are nothing if not beholden to a collection of special interest groups, from labor unions, to gay activists, to race-baiting civil rights leaders, to illegal immigrants, to feminists, to global warming alarmists to antiwar, antimilitary groups to outright class-warfare-waging socialists.
While the Democrats claim to be uniters, virtually every demand of these groups of their puppet-stringed candidates is inherently divisive. The consequent message the candidates carry forward is one of an alienated, polarized, divided and perpetually agitated America.
A disturbing theme coursing through every policy they promote is that almost every problem in America is caused by a wrong action or inaction of the federal government, which Democrats obviously believe is responsible for everything from people's jobs to their health care to global warming -- even their happiness.
Read the transcript of the AFL-CIO debate and you'll find that Democratic leaders squarely place responsibility for almost every calamity in America -- whether caused by natural forces, human negligence or imperfection, or even excess government intermeddling in the first place -- on the federal government or evil corporations. This is scary stuff.
Hillary Clinton exploited the Minneapolis bridge collapse to tell us we need the federal government to invest in infrastructure -- "to protect us" and to "create jobs." How would she improve the recovery in New Orleans? Simple, "The first thing I would do is put somebody in charge who actually cared about the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast," as if Republicans don't care and as if caring is all that matters -- vintage liberalism.
John Edwards agreed on Minneapolis and also seemed to blame the Utah mining accident on the federal government. To Edwards, these disasters are not only the fault of the federal government, but of insider, lobby-driven Beltway politics ignoring the needs of "working men and women." But Edwards outdid himself when he suggested that 51-year-old James Lowe's speech-impairing cleft palate is the fault of the federal government in failing to provide sufficient health care and the evil "drug companies and insurance companies."
Joe Biden said the government ought to give us "100,000 new nurses." Oh, boy.
When the candidates were not promoting a paternalistic government or demonizing corporations, they were either telling tall tales about taxes and deficits or waxing recklessly about the Iraq War and the Global War on Terror (GWOT).
They never tire of mischaracterizing President Bush's tax cuts as being skewed for the benefit of the wealthy, when the cuts actually made the income tax slightly more progressive and caused the wealthy to pay a higher share of taxes. Hillary Clinton led the charge in misrepresenting that the federal budget deficit is growing when it has been cut in half as President Bush promised -- primarily because of his revenue-generating tax cuts.
All the candidates are now tied to the position that we must withdraw our troops from Iraq -- yesterday, success of the current "surge" notwithstanding. Several of them imply our exit will miraculously cause a wonderful peace to descend on the region. Those who don't and even some that do, like Obama, take the ridiculous position that though we must "redeploy" our troops, we should either leave enough there or close by to "make sure they (Al Qaeda) don't establish long-term bases there." Isn't that what we're doing now?
Whether heartfelt or mandated by their collection of malcontent special interest groups, the Democrats' vision for America is one of surrender in Iraq, denial and appeasement in the GWOT, constitutional rights for enemy combatants, socialized, inferior and rationed medical care, obstruction of entitlement reform, tax code-administered punishment of producers, a command-control economy with the government creating jobs, balkanization of America along ethnic and racial lines in the name of diversity, government intervention to erode traditional values, suppression of speech of those who don't toe the liberal line and more.
I only wish more people were tuning in.