The Return of McGovernism
Newly resurgent radical liberals are reasserting control over the Democrat party and are demanding zero tolerance for Democrats (especially high profile ones) who veer away from their pacifist, anti-war party line.
In order to gain compliance with the new policy they found themselves needing to make an example of someone. And no Democrat has been more high profile and more supportive of the ongoing war effort (and displayed more common sense about the true nature of our enemy) than Joe Lieberman.
It was almost comical to watch how soon after Ned Lamont's victory that "mainstream" Democrats, even those that had previously endorsed Lieberman, jumped on the Lamont bandwagon. They saw the handwriting on the wall writ large by the party's new radicals. "Conform or else!" Taking Lieberman's scalp had the desired effect.
And then, less than forty-eight hours later, news breaks that the long dreaded successor attack to 9/11 had been discovered and prevented. That while liberals were demanding fealty to a flaccid foreign policy, Al Qaeda was busy making arrangements to kill several thousand American and British citizens in the skies over the Atlantic.
Moreover, it now appears that some credit for the bust is due to the very type of warrant less, electronic intelligence that many liberals (and some Republicans) have been having public conniption fits over since the NY Times apprised the public and the terrorists of its use by our intelligence services.
Just how many of these fair-weather friends that turned on old Joe would have done so had the plot been discovered a few days earlier? How many of them would have cast their lot with the intellectual heirs of George McGovern, if they had known the terms of the debate and the public's focus would shift so suddenly?
For the past forty years or so, Democrats have been perceived by the American people as being weak on the issue of national security or at least less reliable than Republicans.
To get an idea of how far they have fallen, note that the Democrat that liberals tend to lionize most for his massive growth of the welfare state, FDR, is the same President that demanded unconditional surrender by the Germans and Japanese in WWII. Today, most Democrats don't understand the meaning of unconditional surrender, unless it involves things like defending traditional American values.
At the risk of insulting the feminine population, politically speaking, the American public always has and always will respond to testosterone and the Democrats are in short supply right now.
Americans understand the importance of having the biggest stick in the global neighborhood. We know this instinctively to begin with, as it is part of our culture, but we also know it by way of over two hundred years of history. And nowhere do we find examples of where it has paid us to be weak, seem weak, or seem unwilling to defend ourselves and our interests with raw naked force if need be.
The fact is that national security is, now more than ever, the central issue of our time. Given current circumstances and the enemies arrayed against us, it is an issue of life and death.
The resurgent liberals are pulling the Democrat party further to the left on the issue, while the vast majority of the American people are to the right of where they are now, let alone where the new radicals want to take them.
The last time this happened in such a major way was in 1972 with the rise of George McGovern and his defeat of former Vice-President Hubert Humphrey for the Democrat presidential nomination. The anti-war left took a scalp then too, (Humphrey's), and the victory sent the Democrats into a political wilderness that they didn't begin to exit from until Bill Clinton came along.
The current Democrat leadership is allowing itself to be led into repeating history. Even George McGovern himself recognizes the danger, stating in a recent interview that "For fifty years, (Republicans) used the fear of communism to beat Democrats. I hope we don't have fifty years of terrorism for them to do the same thing."
It will be interesting to watch as the Democrat field for 2008 begins to take shape in terms of how the candidates react to the pull of the opposing forces of the resurgent left and its allies in the blogosphere vs. the reality of the world around them.
In the meantime, it seems that no matter how many mistakes, missteps and other problems the Republicans encounter in the run-up to the coming mid-term elections, the Democrats do their best to avoid taking advantage.
Off they go to do political battle in November, armed with a foreign policy that's been double dipped in estrogen. Somebody pinch me.