Some relationships are hard to get out of.
The Democratic Party is in one of the most dysfunctional and dangerous relationships in the history of the United States. It is a relationship that every Democrat indulges, cultivates and works on every day. Without the object of this relationship the Democrats would be lost.
Who is the partner in this relationship? George W. Bush.
Turn on “progressive” talk radio or listen to any Democratic politician, from a U.S. senator to a city council member, and they will associate every problem, difficulty and evil with Bush.
Before you stop reading because you think this might be a rare article defending Bush, it is not. Bush has become a part of the very fiber of the Democratic party’s identity. It has become so easy for Democrats to criticize Bush that it has sucked out all the desire to establish an agenda.
An agenda. Have they forgotten what a vision is? What are the democratic positions on the war? On the high gas prices or the enormous federal deficit?
I have no idea and no one else does either. The Democrats have decided to keep quiet about what they would do if they were no longer the feckless dullards in waiting, betting that the anti-Bush sentiment will scoot them into control of Congress.
When Bush tried to “reform” Social Security, Democrats resisted by saying that the program was not in any immediate danger of financial collapse. At the last state of the union address, when Bush mentioned that his efforts at Social Security reform had been thwarted, the Democrats broke out in rapturous applause.
This was a terrible mistake. This is the time to fix much of what is wrong with entitlements, the deficit and propose all sorts of government reform. The Democratic Party is turning a blind eye to these problems for purely tactical reasons.
It may be wise politically to let Bush and the Republicans foist themselves on the shoals of bad decisions. Democrats have been doing exactly what a high-quality political hack would advise them to do. But is saying no to everything and proposing nothing a way to show that you are worthy of power?
But what does that say about being a Democrat? Is that the whole of the party’s identity? Someone who hates Bush? What else does it mean? Being anti-war like Sen. Barbara Boxer and MoveOn.org or pro-war like Hillary Clinton? Does the party want to be left-wing and follow its McGovern liberal roots? Or veer to the center like Clinton in the 1990s? The Democrats have been silent on this, preferring to depend on Bush destroying himself and putting off all the hard decisions for the future. The party is putting all its eggs in the basket of Bush’s continual decline.
What happens if fate moves in Bush’s direction? What if he reacts well to a crisis? He has done well in that area in the past. What if Bush begins the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq? Day after day of troops coming home meeting their loved ones in tearful reunions. If the economy holds up, Democrats might be the ones in trouble.
Here’s another one to think about. Rupert Murdoch hosted a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton. Sit down and think about that for a moment. Does that disturb you? If you are a Democrat, it should.
In 1997, Murdoch abandoned his long-time support for the Conservative party in the United Kingdom and threw his newspapers behind Tony Blair and New Labour. Murdoch could feel the winds of political change and he wanted to be in on the new power in town. Does this sound familiar?
Not that many people who have read this far actually watch Fox News, but if you had you may have observed that the channel which is “fair and balanced” has been soft on Mrs. Clinton. What if Fox News began to support Hillary Clinton? What would that tell you about what she is really about?
With big money behind Clinton and with her moving to the center, who could stop her? Liberals are too timid to call themselves what they are – liberals. It seems the spirit of Bobby Kennedy has left this world.
Without a true vision and identity, relying on Bush’s unpopularity is a dangerous strategy.
Robert Mcdonald can be reached at email@example.com.