It is difficult to know whether to reflect on the seriousness of this situation, or to have a laugh at its overtly buffoonish aspects.
Shortly after this year’s elections, the 2008 presidential race will begin in earnest. This means that among Democrat politicians, the venom and bile being spewed against President Bush will only increase. But at some crucial point, it must be redirected from the outgoing president to any Republican “rising star.”
Those who believe that American politicking has already been overwhelmed by such antics should brace themselves. Much worse is yet to come. And even a cursory line-up of Democrat hopefuls suggests the likelihood of a campaign that is as permeated by duplicity as it is devoid of worthwhile ideas. As a result, the ‘08 elections are ultimately the Republicans’ to win or lose.
Hillary Clinton, presumptive leader of the Democrat pack (insofar as such “leaders” can be established by mere presumption) seeks tirelessly to reinvent herself as each situation might warrant, ostensibly as the kind of “moderate” who might appeal to mainstream America. Unfortunately for her, enormous roadblocks exist, which she will be compelled to overcome if her bravado is ever to translate into her party’s nomination.
First, her long track record of dubious campaign finances makes Jack Abramoff look comparatively like Mother Theresa. And though the old-media would once have given her sufficient cover merely by ignoring inconvenient particulars, any political advancements on her part will only result in vastly increased scrutiny among the new media. When the facts are made public, Democrat accusations of a “culture of corruption” among Republicans will seem downright silly in comparison.
Secondly, every attempt by Hillary to recast herself as “mainstream” will redound to the Cindy Sheehan/George Soros Democrat base as an abandonment of liberal principle. Already, they have made it difficult for Hillary to maintain a facade of being “mainstream” while satisfying the blood lust of the radical left which enjoys an ever-increasing influence on Democrat politics.
Having excoriated President Bush some months back for his lax immigration policy, Hillary was only last week compelled to air an entirely different viewpoint, characterizing Republican plans to tighten the borders as being reflective of a “police state.” And her distortions of President Bush’s foreign policy are no less schizophrenic.
On the one hand, she excoriates the President for his Iraq policy. Yet in the next breath, she proclaims her support for “the troops” and the War on Terror. Aside from proving herself to be completely disingenuous, one has to wonder just what benefit she will reap from such posturing, once she learns that Bush has no plans to run for another term.
Another Democrat with aspirations of the Oval Office is former South Dakota Democrat Tom Daschle. Having suffered a humiliating defeat to Republican John Thune in 2004, Daschle now seeks to reinsert himself into the public limelight. No longer needing to put forth a facade of “moderation” for his heartland constituency, the real Tom Daschle now campaigns as an aggressive liberal, howling with a vengeance about President Bush’s supposed dishonesty.
Daschle, famous for his attempts to generate hysteria over such fleeting issues as elevated levels of arsenic in America’s drinking water, now accuses the GOP of fomenting a climate of fear in response to the terrorist threat. Yet in the next breath, he asserts that the country is no more secure now than it was prior to 9-11. Scary stuff to be sure.
In particular, Daschle seeks to inflame paranoia in regards to NSA surveillance of foreign terrorists who make phone calls to individuals, whom he refers to as “average citizens,” living inside the United States. In Daschle’s world, the NSA activity poses a greater threat to America’s well being than the terrorists themselves.
Not to be outdone, Russ Feingold of Wisconsin launched his own obligatory assault this past weekend by sponsoring a resolution to censure President Bush. Feingold obviously hoped that this craven attack might establish him as leader of the Democrat opposition. And given the nature of that opposition, he might just have a point.
However, in the process, he flippantly commented that Bush’s conduct is “so much worse than anything Bill Clinton ever did.” The not so subtle reference to corruption in the previous administration was no accident. Feingold knows that before he can take on any GOP candidate, he must neutralize Hillary.
As the 2008 presidential race is currently shaping up, at least among Democrats it will likely be built far more on theatrics than substance. And if slander and attack-dog politics can prevail, Democrats may have a chance.
Christopher G. Adamo is a resident of southeastern Wyoming and has been involved in state and local politics for many years. He writes for several prominent conservative websites, as has written for regional and national magazines. His contact information and article archives can be found at www.chrisadamo.com, and he can be followed on Twitter @CGAdamo.