Thursday, November 11, 2004

Phase I : Denial 

It is no news to anyone objectively viewing the news of the last week that many hard-core Democrats are in serious denial over the election results. Leave aside the fruit-cake election conspiracy nuts. Forget the "Jesusland" digs. These are all just symptoms. The fundamental core cause is a basic denial not only about what the party has become but also what their political adversaries have become.

I was at a conference this past weekend and had the singular pleasure of enjoying too much alcohol and conversation with a couple of fellow steely-eyed killers of the deep. As luck would have it, our triumvirate roughly mirrored the voting population, with a somewhat enthusiastic Bush supporter (myself), a somewhat reluctant Bush supporter and a somewhat reluctant Kerry supporter who, interestingly enough, happened to be a Bostonian. While the war was of concern to my fellow Bush voter, I was surprised that his main reason for supporting Bush over Kerry was his belief that Bush intended to try and do something about Social Security and Medicaid, while Kerry only offered more of the same. As the conversation progressed, though, I felt he demonstrated stronger support than he wanted to show. Bush was a leader; Bush had a handle on national security concerns; Bush had a feel for traditional American moral values. It seemed his greatest complaint with Bush was that he didn't think he was particularly bright. Chalk one up (almost) for the MSM.

Our misguided Kerrynista initially started on the Democrat litany but had to cede ground when pressed. For example, he came out of his corner swinging with stem cell research, but had to answer honestly when asked some true or false questions.
"True or False: Bush banned stem cell research?"
"Well, false, but..."
"True or False: the only source of stem cells is embryonic tissue?"
"Well, false, but..."
"True or False: embryonic stem cells are the only stem cells to have demonstrated therapeutic value?"
"Well, false, but..."
His wife works in public health and he offered some vague explanation of "the state there under Bush," but by the end of the evening he had dropped most of his points except three: Bush wasn't smart enough (again); Bush's religious positions are "scary", and; Bush's actions in Iraq were wrong. He expressed general discomfort with going into Iraq "unilaterally" until my back-up reminded him that there was no possibility of getting the only recognized international "authority" (i.e. the UN) on board and that it was a supremely moral act to remove Saddam regardless of relative threat. In the end, though, our Bostonian friend felt that Bush had been, if not dishonest, at least disingenuous with his reasons for going into Iraq and there had been no compelling reason to go when we did. Asked if he thought Kerry would have been any more forthcoming he couldn't say so, "but he wasn't the President and Bush was."

OK, what's the point of this long recap of our drunken political discussion? To emphasize that the Democrats are in denial not only on loosing the election but with the general alignment of the American people. The Democrats and their accomplices in friendly media outlets vilified and lambasted and maligned this President unmercifully. With one of my decidedly unscientific sample points it had an effect, but not sufficient to sway his final decision. With the other sample point I had the distinct impression that his age, history and familial association with the party (especially influence of the wifey) allowed him to swallow the kool-aid, but somewhat distastefully. Where will we be in four years, though, with a fresh candidate that has similar policy appeal without the massive negative back story? After 2004 and its public confidence melt-down, how much of that 15% will the MSM be able to deliver in 2008? Plus, all the "constructive" recommendations for the Democrats, such as talk about defining themselves, getting the message out better or connecting with America's moral base, comes down to just more form over substance, a proven recipe for failure.

Like everyone else, I, too have some advice for the Democrats in 2008. Finish the job. Completely implode, fracture and shoot yourselves. Because, the sooner you get out of the way the sooner the real fight between Conservative-Socialism and Liberal-Capitalism in the Republican party can begin. And that's the conversation we really need to define 21st century America.

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