Are the Democrats Going To Waste Another Election?
by James Glaser
One can argue that Al Gore was robbed in the 2000 election. After all, Al did get over a half million more votes than George Bush, but the Supreme Court gave the election to Bush. You can argue right or wrong about it, but the fact remains the same, Al Gore received 543,895 more votes than George Bush.
In the 2004 election George Bush had 3,000,176 more votes than John Kerry. In both of these elections I think all Democrats can agree that their candidate ran less than a great campaign. Also in each of these last two elections only fifty some percent of American eligible voters cast a ballot. In 2000 it was 51%.
Americans thought they were voting for a choice between a conservative Republican and a liberal Democrat. Now that candidates are lining up for the next election in 2008, Americans are starting to wonder what kind of politician they sent to Washington. They are starting to wonder if they can trust the label put on anyone who runs for office now.
There are conservative Republicans who look back fondly at the time when Bill Clinton was in the White House. Long time conservative writer Bruce Bartlett has just written a book on the Bush Presidency titled, "Imposter." Bartlett contends that George Bush is a "pretend conservative," and that he has more in common with liberals than conservatives of the Republican Party.
Kevin Drum writes in a "Review of the Imposter," "Consider Bartlett's review of Bush's major domestic accomplishments. He teamed up with Ted Kennedy to pass the NO Child Left Behind Act, which increased education by over $20 billion and legislated a massive new federal intrusion into local schools. He co-opted Joe Lieberman's proposal to create a gigantic new federal bureaucracy, the Department of Homeland Security. He has mostly abandoned free trade in favor of a hodgepodge of interest-group-pleasing tariffs." And the list goes on to include "new business regulations, campaign finance, and a prescription-drug bill that has become the "biggest new entitlement program since the Great Society."
What an opening for the Democrats, and it looks like they are going to blow it again. The conservative wing of the Republican Party is divided and disillusioned. With owning the White House and Congress they just knew that government would get smaller and deficit spending would be a thing of the past. Here was the first chance for Republicans to finally show the country what they and been talking about for the last 50 years, and they blew that chance.
George Bush turned the conservative movement on its ear. No more talk about closing the Department of Education. In five years under an all Republican Government the debt ceiling has gone through the roof with record trade deficits and record spending. There is almost nothing Republican about the Bush Republican Presidency.
So the country knows that this next election is the Democrats' to win... if they can put up a Democrat as a candidate. Right now it doesn't look that way. With the vast majority of Democrats and a large majority of the nation against Bush's War in Iraq, Hillary Clinton is the Democratic Party's front runner by a large margin.
Even with most Americans and even most American troops wanting us to bring an end to the war, Clinton says an immediate pullout of American troops "would cause more problems for us in America." Clinton not only voted to send the troops off to war, she now refuses to talk about bringing them home.
Every mother of every son or daughter killed or wounded in Iraq will have to question just who Hillary Clinton is working for. Most Americans are starting to realize that war is a money-maker for the rich, and it is the poor and middle class who do the fighting and the bleeding.
In the real America, not Hillary Clinton's America, young men and women "join up," not because of patriotism, but because the military has become a stepping stone to education. Education that is getting further and further out of reach for anyone whose family is not above middle class.
Hillary Clinton is not alone in backing the President in his war and his assault on the Constitution with the Patriot Act. Almost every Democrat other than Russ Feingold, of Wisconsin has backed George Bush every step of the way.
If the Democratic Party wants a shot at taking back the White House, they will have to run a candidate who has not followed George Bush's lead. They need someone without the taint of the Iraq War vote or the Patriot Act vote.
There are millions of Americans who were never fooled by George Bush, but very few of those Americans are Democratic Senators and Representatives. Who knows, after eight years of George Bush, Americans might want a change. Almost nothing the Republicans have tried has worked out. Washington doesn't know it, but many Americans are hurting. Not everyone has the money our elected officials have, and every year they get more out of touch with the average American.
It would be nice if the Democrats or even the Republicans could come up with some one who could unite our country again. I am sure he or she is out there, but I am thinking that person is some one we have never heard of before.
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