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Democrats Talkin' Like the GOP

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

DENVER -- In some ways, the Dems confab sounds a bit like a Republican convention. For example: Nuclear energy? It's big here. The daily convention edition of the National Journal has been running pro-nuclear energy ads on Page Two every day -- and touting the support of Democratic Party biggies.

"Under any scenario, we're going to see more nuclear power, because it's just going to be more cost-effective once there's a price on carbon," quoth one Western senator.

Sen. John McCain? Nope. Sen. Barbara Boxer of California.

Radioactive is the new green. I like it.

Many of the delegates are sick of Bill and Hillary.

The candidate's wife makes it known that she only hits the campaign trail because her mother can take care of the kids. Forget the old days of careerism feminism -- attorney Michelle Obama is a mom first.

Former President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Jimmy Carter gets no respect. He didn't even rate a speaking role at the Democratic National Convention.

They used to say, "Jimmy who?" before he was elected. He was the leader of the free world for four years, and now they're saying it again.

At this Democratic gathering, taxes are a dirty word. Indeed, Democrats are talking up how tax cuts stimulate the economy and create jobs. Hmmmm. Where have I heard that before?

Democratic operatives don't even realize how much they sound like their Satan, George W. Bush. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., sat down with reporters Tuesday to discuss Barack Obama's economic package. In light of next year's anticipated $482 billion deficit, I asked her how Obama can tout tax cuts and more government programs.

Her answer: "The first question is: How do you do a tax cut and fight a war, which is what George Bush did." Hello, folks. If Obama is elected president, regardless of what he does in Iraq, he promises to increase military action in Afghanistan. He is proposing to do a tax cut and fight a war.

Speakers talk more about the economy than the war in Iraq. (I predict that speakers at the GOP convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul will talk more about the war in Iraq than the Dems talk about the war at their convention.)

Four years ago, at the Democratic National Convention in Boston (before Democrats took over Congress), the war was the overriding moral issue. Now the Democrats run Congress and U.S. troops are still in Iraq.

Where's the outrage?

In 1988, when Vice President George H.W. Bush said, "Read my lips: No new taxes," I was there. In hotel bars that night and in the weeks that followed, the buzz from the press -- I thought unfairly -- was that there was no way Bush would not be able to keep his word.

Obama has pledged to cut taxes for 95 percent of American families. Yet the media don't seem to challenge him as they challenged the Bush 41 -- who simply said he wouldn't raise taxes, not that he could cut them despite a large deficit.

It could be that the press have seen that tax cuts can work, and lead to revenue increases. But I think a larger factor is a change in the media. We expect politicians to pander, not lead. Like the public, we no longer demand that they make difficult choices.

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