Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Sorry Spectacle: The End of the Democratic Party as We Knew It

Paul Adams

I have never been a member of either Democratic or Republican party and do not even have a vote.  But I was shocked four years ago by the political messianism in which good friends were caught up, as well as the talk of Obama by apparently sane and sober public figures that spoke of Obama in terms normally reserved for messiahs.  This phenomenon has been usefully tracked by a site that poses the question, "Is Barack Obama the Messiah?"

After four years of failure, unprecedented debt, new military adventures, and countless broken promises, the faith has become hard for all but the most deluded to sustain.  Few politicians are able to accomplish what they promise, of course.  They simply lack the control over economy or society, or the information, or wisdom.  And in Obama's case, the much ridiculed promises about healing the planet and stemming the rise of the oceans were bound to make actual achievements seem minuscule compared with the promises and hopes.

But few political leaders have amassed such a record of lies and hypocrisy in so short a time as President Obama.  Here is a sampling:

Peggy Noonan has an insightful assessment of the Democrats' convention.  Her most important point is about how the failures of the last four years have led the party, not to more modesty, let alone the once-promised spirit of bipartisan cooperation, but to an unusual extremism.
The fight over including a single mention of God in the platform—that was extreme. The original removal of the single mention by the platform committee—extreme. The huge "No!" vote on restoring the mention of God, and including the administration's own stand on Jerusalem—that wasn't liberal, it was extreme. Comparing the Republicans to Nazis—extreme. The almost complete absence of a call to help education by facing down the powers that throw our least defended children under the school bus—this was extreme, not mainstream.
The sheer strangeness of all the talk about abortion, abortion, contraception, contraception. I am old enough to know a wedge issue when I see one, but I've never seen a great party build its entire public persona around one. Big speeches from the heads of Planned Parenthood and NARAL, HHS Secretary and abortion enthusiast Kathleen Sebelius and, of course, Sandra Fluke.
"Republicans shut me out of a hearing on contraception," Ms. Fluke said. But why would anyone have included a Georgetown law student who never worked her way onto the national stage until she was plucked, by the left, as a personable victim?
What a fabulously confident and ingenuous-seeming political narcissist Ms. Fluke is. She really does think—and her party apparently thinks—that in a spending crisis with trillions in debt and many in need, in a nation in existential doubt as to its standing and purpose, in a time when parents struggle to buy the good sneakers for the kids so they're not embarrassed at school . . . that in that nation the great issue of the day, and the appropriate focus of our concern, is making other people pay for her birth-control pills. That's not a stand, it's a non sequitur. She is not, as Rush Limbaugh oafishly, bullyingly said, a slut. She is a ninny, a narcissist and a fool.
And she was one of the great faces of the party in Charlotte. That is extreme. Childish, too.
Something else, and it had to do with tone. I remember the Republicans in Tampa bashing the president, hard, but not the entire Democratic Party. In Charlotte they bashed Mitt Romney, but they bashed the Republican Party harder. If this doesn't strike you as somewhat unsettling, then you must want another four years of all war all the time between the parties. I don't think the American people want that. Because, actually, they're not extreme.

It is not good for either party or the country that the Democrats have given up the big tent and become resolutely, brazenly, triumphally the party of death, narcissism, nihilism, and the disintegration of marriage and family.   As Robert George has pointed out, by the rhetoric of the party's new same-sex "marriage" orthodoxy, their own leader President Obama has been either a bigot or a liar for most of his presidency.  Pro-life liberals and Democrats like Robert Casey or political successors of the late Sargent Shriver seem to have become irretrievably homeless while the party, as Noonan says, builds its whole public persona around the likes of NARAL, Planned Parenthood, and the advocates of repressing religious freedom so that women will no longer have to buy their own contraceptive and abortifacient drugs.   What used to see itself as the party of concern for the poor, oppressed, the unemployed and homeless has subordinated everything to an absolute right of mothers to rip apart or poison their babies who are waiting to be born, in the name of a supposed right to reproductive health care that is anti-reproductive, anti-health (not least the health of one of the two patients involved in a pregnancy), and anything but caring.    Meanwhile hardly a word or thought for our children and children's children who are being loaded down with crippling debt exceeding all previous public debt combined by many times over as their educational, spiritual, and moral needs go ever more neglected.

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