WASHINGTON, D.C. -- My colleague, the executive editor of The American Spectator, Wladyslaw Pleszczynski -- no typographical error intended -- after weeks of scrutinizing the Democrats in defeat, has come to an illuminating conclusion. They are cultivating the mentality of the born loser.
Rather than going back to the locker room and revising their strategy for the next great contest, they are whining, pointing their fingers at teammates and blaming the referees. Tom Daschle blames talk radio. Al Gore now blames talk radio, Fox News and the infallible Washington Times. Bill Clinton blames ... wait he has been almost totally silent. What can this mean? Has Hillary told him he's been a bad boy again?
My favorite adept of the losers' mentality is The New York Times, the newspaper that is to liberalism what the Christian Science Monitor is to Christian Science -- though Christian Science is so much more plausible as a medical therapy than liberalism is as a public philosophy. The Times, after polling the electorate, reports on its front page that the electorate favors the Republican Party over the Democratic Party. On the other hand, the electorate is "ambivalent about" Republican policies such as tax cuts and Social Security reform. Yes, I see what they are getting at. The Americans have been seduced by the voluptuous charms of the raffish Trent Lott and J. Dennis Hastert, the most winsome Casanova ever to emerge from Aurora, Illi. Is such an incongruous conclusion possible?
The answer, of course, is no. The electorate is more attracted to the Republicans because they find the Republican ideas more attractive. Whoever the snake charmer was whom the Times employed as its pollster, he might have noted that practically everywhere that tax increases appeared on midterm ballots, they were defeated. Moreover, wherever a Republican ran stressing Social Security reform, that Republican was the winner.
There is another reason that Republicans beat Democrats and that Democratic media are besotted in incoherence. The electorate does not trust the party of perjurers, spin doctors and abusers of power. What is more, it does not trust news media that publish contradictory and illogical polls.
The Times' pollster did divulge that the electorate does not have a very high regard for leading Democratic politicians. Well, I can understand. Americans do not esteem whiners and bad losers. I suggest the Democrats come up with better leaders. According to one poll I read, not even the roguishly charming Bill Clinton is very popular today -- Fox News/Opinion Dynamics found that if the next presidential election were run today George W. Bush would win 59 percent of the vote against Clinton's 24 percent; the Democrats' good news is that Gore would win 28 percent! Clinton's decline might be because so many in the electorate have young daughters, and almost all tell their children to tell the truth -- even under oath.
The Democrats need new leaders. Thus they are moving to the left. It makes sense. Their old founts of ideas -- the labor unions, the environmentalists, the feminists -- no longer have much dynamism. The Democrats have always been the party of "cutting-edge" ideas. I have reported in this column that the real forward-leaners among them are turning to a left-wing group that is energetic and uncompromised by passe left-wing has beens.
`Let us face the facts. The environmentalists are a gloomy lot whose prophecies of doom have all been wrong. The feminists are rancorous and rebarbative. Labor unions make it difficult for newcomers to the job market to get a job.
There was a time when traditional left-wing groups, for instance the socialists and the nudists, cast a beacon of light on the forward paths into history, but no more. Socialism is in decline. Nudism is a public health menace and a blight on the fashion industry.
The next great source of intellectual vitality for the Democrats is People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). I predict a vast increase in the power of PETA at the next Democratic national convention. PETA will help the Democrats win back the farm vote, at least among vegetable farmers. PETA's influence will prove that the Democrats are not insensitive to the issue of life, at least life among the feathered and fur-bearing. And now there is another progressive group in the animal rights group, the Earth Liberation Front (ELF).
According to news reports this week, ELF is taking credit for attacks on 30 SUVs in Richmond, Va., and nearby areas. Now here is a group with idealism and a sense of humanity. Can the time be far off when a Democratic presidential candidate is angling for the support of PETA and ELF? With Nancy Pelosi heading the Democrats in the House of Representatives, the time has about arrived. The old refrain, Better Red Than Dead is about to be replaced with Better PETA Than MEATA. Democrats, there is hope.