Jewish World Review Oct. 3, 2002 / 27 Tishrei, 5763
http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | How many ways have the Democrats, circa 2002, developed to commit suicide? It took Bill and Hillary Clinton two years of diligent effort to blow their chances of reelecting a Democratic majority in 1994. For all of 1993 and 1994, they labored hard to develop a tax package and a program of healthcare reform which would destroy their party's chances in the mid-term elections. Now, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (S.D.), Al Gore, Clinton, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and even Jimmy Carter have joined forces to destroy their party's prospects in just a few short weeks.
Why on earth did Carter and Clinton decide, last month, to challenge President Bush to explain his policy on Iraq to the American people? What were they thinking? When the Democrats followed their lead like lemmings over a cliff, did they leave their brains behind? What induced the party to stand in the way of the 10-ton Mack truck Bush was driving, building up national momentum for a strike against Iraq?
After a year of skillfully hugging Bush on terror and saying, "Me too," when Bush acted decisively to attack the Talliban, the Democrats suddenly decided to throw the terror issue into the partisan mix for the 2002 election. It is the dumbest mistake they have made in eight years.
Like most errors Democrats and Republicans make, it comes from listening too hard to their own extremists who comprise their much honored "political base." These relics from the Vietnam War reflexively oppose military action even when the case for intervention is obvious and clear, as it is in Iraq.
They have not learned the lesson of Sept. 11 that America is not secure behind its ocean, and that the likes of Saddam must be stopped before they acquire terrifying weapons.
Now, to compound the error, the Democrats are holding firm to their policy of insisting that the staff of the new Homeland Security Department be governed by civil service rules and protections. If the Democrats' policy on Iraq is beholden to the party's minuscule peace wing, their views on the Homeland Security Department are governed by their labor allies who would drag the party down to defeat rather than show some inkling of common sense.
What a time for labor to assert a defense of bureaucracy and civil service rules? Imagine the myopia to demand these procedures at a time when the nation is under attack! It is breathtaking in its misreading of the American voter.
For those of limited imagination, here's what the GOP negative ad will sound like: Operator (in a tired nasal voice): "Homeland Security, may we help you?"
Woman phoning in a tip: "The people in the house next door are hiding bombs in their basement. I think they are planning to do something. They come from some Mideastern country."
Operator: "Hold the line please, I will switch you to Bombs and Demolition."
Woman: "Hello, some young Arab men just moved into the house next door and I have seen them carrying weapons in and out at all hours of the night. I'm worried they may try to hijack a plane."
Operator: "Hold the line. I'll transfer you to Hijacking."
Announcer: "Sound crazy? But that's what the Democrats want to do to Bush's Homeland Security Agency. They want union rules and civil service rules to stop the president from shuffling the employees to where they are needed."
Operator: "Suspicious Aliens, may we help you?"
Announcer: "President Bush says give him the flexibility to transfer manpower to where it is needed to meet threats as they arise. The Democrats want the same old bureaucratic rules to run the show."
Operator: "Nuclear Power Plant Protection, hold the line a moment."
Announcer: "No more bureaucrats. No more business as usual. Just Homeland Security. For our homeland."
Unless the Democrats want this ad or worse showing up in swing districts and states next week, they had better get some sense and rein in their union proclivities and give Bush what he wants on Homeland Security.
Can the Democrats eradicate the dovish stench their Iraq positioning is leaving in voters' nostrils? Not likely. Certainly not before November.
If Bush delivers a prime-time speech to the nation, simulcast on all the networks,
making the case for an attack on Saddam Hussein, the Democrats' chances in
November will decline even further. And they will have nobody but themselves to
blame. What are these guys using for brains?
Enjoy this writer's work? Why not sign-up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
09/30/02: The Dems just can't stop themselves