Sunday, September 05, 2004

Assessing the Election

In the wake of the Republican convention, the momentum in the 2004 election has continued to swing towards President Bush. Both Time and Newsweek have released polls showing Bush with a double-digit lead over John Kerry, an unprecendented development in this tightly-fought contest. It is highly unlikely that Bush can maintain a margin this big for the next two months. Still, the fact that he appears to have received a solid bounce from his convention, as opposed to the damp squib bounce Kerry received, would indicate that Bush is again the favorite.

Unfortunately, the reaction of many Democrats to this recent turn of events has been a descent into hysteria. Take for example this disgusting call for character assassination by former Democratic operative Susan Estrich, which I will not dignify by quoting. Then there's this charming op-ed piece published Thursday in Newsday, which compared the Republicans to Nazis. Sadly, this kind of obscene rhetoric has been spouted by many on the left for over two years, and it has now filtered into large portions of the Democratic Party itself. The party of Harry Truman is now the party of Michael Moore. Is it any wonder why common sense Democrats like Ed Koch and Zell Miller are so angry and disgusted?

As he has watched his electoral fortunes decline, John Kerry has chosen to respond by turning his swift boat and sailing it straight into the fevered swamp. His speech on Thursday night after President Bush's acceptance speech can only be described as desperate and pathetic. His comments were a recitation of Michael Moore's talking points. As much as I respect the fact that John Kerry served in Vietnam, I can feel only contempt for the shamelessly demagogic way he has sought to use his military service to blunt any criticism of his record. NO ONE affilated with the Bush campaign has questioned John Kerry's patriotism or his integrity, only his record on policy issues as a public figure (And no, there is NO credible evidence that the Swift Boat Veterans are acting on behalf of the Bush campaign). For John Kerry to wrongly state that his "patriotism is under attack", and then use that as a pretext to slander George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, is dishonest and repugnant. His contention that anyone who didn't serve in Vietnam has no right to question his record on national security issues is beyond pathetic. Whatever happened to "Bring it on!" anyways?

Mark Steyn fittingly mocks Kerry's attitude in today's Chicago Sun-Times:

Americans should be free to call Bush a moron, a liar, a fraud, a deserter, an agent of the House of Saud, a mass murderer, a mass rapist (according to the speaker at a National Organization for Women rally last week) and the new Hitler (according to just about everyone). But how dare anyone be so impertinent as to insult John Kerry! No one has the right to insult Kerry, except possibly Teresa, and only on the day she gives him his allowance.

Glenn Reynolds, otherwise known as Instapundit, offers some additional thoughts in his MSNBC column. As he pointedly concludes:

One question for voters -- among many, many others that we're apparently not supposed to be asking -- is this: If Kerry can't run a campaign, how can he run the Presidency?

Regardless of how this election turns out, with the Democrats staking their ground in the fevered swamp of Bush-hatred, the next 60 days promise to be ugly indeed. Victor Davis Hanson, in his Friday column for National Review Online, puts it eloquently:

The Democratic party of Harry Truman is moribund. We saw that all through the primary and convention. Democratic “populism” now consists of a screeching preppie Al Gore or Howard Dean, backed with money from Hollywood and George Soros — or John Kerry skiing in Sun Valley or windsurfing while resting up at one of his many homes. The result is that, despite the controversy over the war, the post-9/11 jitters, and the hysterical reactions to George Bush, most Americans tend to distrust those who claim allegiance with “the people.”

Thus if the Democrats lose the next election, they must confront the bitter fact that the House, the Senate, the presidency, and soon the Supreme Court are lost — and lost mostly to the dominant influence of their most vocal and wealthy supporters in Hollywood, the universities, the media, and the foundations who have privileged an agenda that is out of touch with most of those whom they never see nor wish to see.

It might have been neat the last two years to read of Soros money pouring into anti-Bush movements or the various theatrics of Answer, Not In Our Name, and But most Americans who channel-surfed their televised rallies were disgusted by the hate and the weird fringe groups that showed up to trash the United States. Witness the protests at the recent convention in New York: Again, guerrilla street theater juxtaposed with sailing off Nantucket are not the images Democrats wish to convey while Islamofascists blow up and behead innocents in Russia, Israel, Kabul, and Iraq.

The party hierarchy reflects only its accumulated years in law school — the Clintons, Ted Kennedy, Al Gore, John Edwards, John Kerry — slicers and dicers who redefine the word “is” and view the world in terms of words rather than action. When a smug John Edwards flashed his smile and thought he was reentering the televised courtroom to dissect the president’s use of “catastrophic,” we knew that his old legalese, not ideas about fighting terrorists, is about all he has to offer. But, Senator Edwards, we are not a jury that can be talked into voting for millions of dollars for you in claims. We are a people in a real war for our very existence who want to be led to victory.

Like many others, I believe that this is the most important presidential election since 1864 or 1944. We are at war, and yet the Democrats, with honorable exceptions like Joe Lieberman, refuse to offer any kind of credible strategy for victory. I can only conclude that either they don't have one, or they don't really believe that we're at war. Neither option is reassuring.


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