Crashing Canards

Posted: Jun 06, 2008 3:25 PM
Crashing Canards

In the last week, story after story informed us that our nation had passed a critical milestone because of the presidential candidacy of Barack Obama. And indeed, Americans have been taking great leaps forward.

But the crashing sound you may have heard wasn’t the shattering of a glass ceiling -- it was the sudden collapse of several liberal canards.

The first thing to go is the idea that liberals stand for democracy. Well, no.

Liberals stand for winning (and there’s nothing wrong with that in politics) through any means necessary. Back in 2000, when Al Gore needed Florida’s electoral votes to become president, the liberal mantra was “count every vote.” But Gore supporters were more than happy to toss out absentee ballots from overseas military personnel, since those were, presumably, votes for George W. Bush.

Then-TIME magazine columnist Margaret Carlson sounded the perfect liberal note when she told the Imus in the Morning radio show that it would be a shame if military ballots were a factor, because “Here we will have possibly a bunch of tax dodgers deciding the election.”

Tax dodgers, eh? Well, that’s one way to describe our men and women serving overseas (many of whom choose to live in Florida because there’s no income tax, and because the weather is awesome), although probably not the best way. Most of us would describe them as patriotic Americans, selflessly risking their lives on our behalf. If anybody’s vote should be counted, it’s a military member’s vote.

In any event, 2000 was 2000, and 2008 is a very different year. This year, Democratic Party leaders in Florida decided to hold their primary earlier than the national party wanted them to. So the Democratic National Committee effectively disenfranchised the entire state. Imagine that: From “count every vote” to “no vote counts” in just eight years.

Of course, it’s untenable to tell millions of people their votes were for naught, so party leaders huddled in Washington (where else?) to solve the problem. Their compromise puts another liberal canard to rest.

Since the foundation of the Republic, lefties have complained about the constitutional compromise that, for population reasons, counted slaves as three-fifths of a person. That idea’s been deployed over and over to supposedly prove that the United States was grounded in racism, and that nothing good can come from that foul soil.

Well, at least according to the DNC, the number three-fifths is way off. The real value of a voter, at least in Florida and Michigan, is one-half a person. That’s the compromise party leaders reached last weekend so the delegations from those two key states would be allowed in to the convention. But it means voters in Florida are being treated as half persons just because of when that state’s primary was held.

Ironically, that means voters in Iraq have a better voice in their national affairs than Democratic primary voters in Florida. Iraqis have voted three times, selecting their own representatives and accepting a constitution written by Iraqis for Iraq.

This brings us to another shattered liberal canard: that the war in Iraq has made us less safe. Sen. Obama makes his opposition to the war a centerpiece of his campaign. “The war in Iraq has emboldened al Qaeda, whose recruitment has jumped and whose leadership enjoys a safe haven in Pakistan -- a thousand miles from Iraq,” he told supporters in March.

But far from being empowered, al Qaeda looks weaker today than ever. Powerlineblog notes, “There were no successful attacks inside the United States or against American interests abroad” in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 or, so far, 2008. And as CIA Director Michael Hayden recently told FOX News, “Those parts of Iraq where al Qaeda can feel safe are small and shrinking. And again, nothing in this line of work is guaranteed, but the trend lines we are seeing right now are quite positive.”

How about a final liberal canard -- that the U.S. is a decidedly racist country. As Obama’s victory illustrates, the opposite is true. Racism has been in decline for so long, it’s difficult to find even if you go looking for it.

As John McWhorter, author of Winning the Race: Beyond the Crisis in Black America, wrote in the New York Sun, “At this point, if racism was unattended to for 10 years, during that time it would play exactly the same kind of role it does in America now -- elusive, marginal and insignificant.” Indeed.

The news is bad for liberals, but great for our country. Liberalism doesn’t seem to have much to add to the national conversation, yet Barack Obama is going forth as the most liberal political candidate in a generation.

Good luck with that.