The beginning of the End

Posted: Oct 29, 2004 12:00 AM

?This isn?t Russia, is it, Danny? Is this Russia??
When Caddyshack?s Ty Webb asked Danny Noonan that famous question, the answer was ?No.? However, if he asked some folks on the American left today, they might well say, ?Yes!? If, that is, they didn?t insist that the United States is actually worse than Russia.

 On Oct. 25, Howard Kurtz of The Washington Post took a look at some left-wingers. With the election just a few days away and their man trailing in the polls, many seem to be approaching -- if they?re not already off -- the deep end.  Columbia?s Todd Gitlin told Kurtz that if President Bush is re-elected, ?I would not be surprised to see outbursts of political violence the likes of which we haven?t seen since the Weather Underground of the 1970s.?

Maybe Gitlin missed the news, but there?s real violence, not silly political violence (burning bras, burning draft cards), in today?s world. We?ve got Islamo-fascists trying to kill Americans. In New York, Washington and Shanksville just a few years ago they succeeded. In Iraq, terrorists are decapitating hostages, bombing troop carriers and killing National Guardsmen.

This real violence is likely to continue regardless of which man is elected Nov. 2 -- but for reasons we?ve discussed before, some consider President Bush the better man for dealing with these thugs and thus bringing this real violence to a speedier end.Another loony lefty, CNN?s Paul Begala, opined that, ?Bush and his allies are likely to embark on a campaign of political retribution the likes of which we haven?t seen since Richard Nixon.?


All that retribution must explain why left-wing publications like The Nation are thriving; its circulation has almost doubled since 2000. If the administration?s attempting to retaliate, it?s doing a remarkably poor job of it.

But for some reason, liberals seem to think that will change in a second term. Maybe that?s because it?s actually folks on the left who believe that those they disagree with ought to shut up.

For example, on Oct. 12 a John Kerry spokesman appeared on FOX News to discuss the Sinclair Broadcasting case -- a group of television stations that planned to run a documentary critical of Democratic candidate John Kerry.

?Listen, they better look out there at Sinclair Broadcasting. I?m not a lawyer, but they?ve stirred up a lot of people,? Chad Clanton said. ?I think they?re going to regret doing this and they better hope we don?t win.? So much for the First Amendment. So, Mr. Begala -- still believe it?s the Bushes who will engage in political retribution?

If the president is re-elected, ?We will continue to fight the good fight during what we think is the dismantling of our democracy,? Katrina van den Heuvel of The Nation told Kurtz. So much for bringing us all together.

Besides, whichever candidate wins next week, he?ll have won a genuinely democratic election. If van den Heuvel wants to see a dismantling of democracy, she should look toward the east.

For example, Belarus recently held a referendum on whether or not to make Alexander Lukashenko the country?s de facto president-for-life. As Jackson Diehl reported in the Oct. 25 Washington Post, exit polls showed the proposition failed. But Belarusian authorities claimed it passed with 77 percent of the vote, and Russia quickly announced its support.

Sadly, this may be the final time Belarusians are allowed to vote for anything meaningful. They may soon find themselves once again a part of Russia. And don?t forget that Russian President Vladimir Putin is attempting to consolidate his power at the expense of local governors. So much for democracy.

Finally, Elaine Kamarck, a former Clinton aide now at Harvard, declared that a second Bush term would mark ?the beginning of the end of American greatness.?

Well, let?s face facts: This election isn?t going to diminish America?s greatness. No election could do that.

One reason for that is we enjoy the freedom of speech -- which allows our loony lefties to say outrageous things in an influential newspaper. On the other hand, the Islamo-facists want everyone to shut up, dress a certain way and worship a certain way.

The United States is a unique force for good in the world. Our freedom will eventually defeat their restrictiveness.

No, this isn?t Russia. And that?s exactly why our enemies -- whether those abroad or right here in our midst -- fear and hate us so much.