Jewish World Review March 5, 2001 / 10 Adar, 5761
Dems and the ghost of 2002
WHILE I absolutely love the subject of politics, sometimes I hate the practice of politics, such as is being employed by the Democratic leadership in its unprincipled opposition to President Bush's tax cut and overall budget plan.
For you benevolent detractors out there, bless your misguided hearts, I understand that it is quite possible for there to be principled opposition to Bush's budget package, so I'm not suggesting it is flawless. In fact, there are portions of it that are troubling to some conservatives. But the thrust of the Democratic resistance to the Bush plan is more likely grounded in political concerns.
Specifically, the Democrats are so anxious to regain control of Congress that virtually every legislative stand they take is bathed in political calculations concerning that goal.
Proof of their obsession with the midterm elections of 2002 is the recurrence of macabre news stories monitoring the health of senior Sens. Strom Thurmond and Jesse Helms. (Is it just my hypersensitivity as a compassionate conservative, or do you also find it distasteful that the minority party appears to be salivating at the prospect of either of these two men passing on?)
Some may disagree that the specter of 2002 has anything to do with the Democrats' hostility to Bush's proposal. National Journal's political analyst Charlie Cook wrote a piece speculating whether Bill Clinton's newfound pardon problems would redound to the detriment of the Democrats in the 2002 elections. He concluded that the current Democratic leadership would not be tagged with Clinton's sins in this instance. But Cook argued that Clinton's latest scandal might indirectly hurt Democratic chances in 2002 because it may neutralize Clinton as a fund-raiser for the party.
Cook, of course, is correct that money will be a factor, as it is in all elections, but the Democrats will find a way to compensate if Bill Clinton is either unwilling or unable to bring home the bacon. Besides, they've got the mercenary Clinton finance guru, Terry McAuliffe, in charge of the party's fund-raising apparatus, so money is not their chief concern for 2002 right now, in my exceedingly humble opinion.
No, the Democrats are thinking about the political fallout both to themselves and Republicans if they successfully thwart Bush's plan. Now here's the rub for the Democrats: George Bush, who fervently believes in every aspect of his tax and budget plans, is on the road trying to sell it to the voters. And, if he succeeds -- and he's off to a good start -- Daschle and Gephardt are going to be faced with a powerful dilemma.
Let me lay out their conundrum. These counterfeit Robin Hoods are obstructing Bush's fiscal policies not to protect the middle class or the poor, but to stall an economic recovery that Bush's plan would help to stimulate. A prolonged recession obviously fits into their plans to reacquire power in 2002; witness a similar phenomenon in 1982.
But if Daschle and Gephardt succeed, they'll do so at the price of potentially alienating the very voters they are trying to court for 2002, who appear to be lining up in favor of Bush's plan. Indeed, Democratic Sen. Zell Miller, who has signed on to Bush's tax plan, has warned his fellow Democrats that they'll be routed in 2002 if they don't get on board. Plus, the Democrats risk being saddled with the blame if a recession continues into 2002 and they had deliberately interfered with a tax policy designed to alleviate it.
So what will these highly trained Democratic class warriors do? Glad you asked. I think they'll make every effort to ratchet up the rhetoric, stoke the stridency, fuel the fear, fool the fearful, dupe the downtrodden, pester the penniless, insult the ignorant, agitate the aged, rile the races, sever the sexes, con the clueless, deceive the disadvantaged, unsettle the unschooled, unnerve the unsophisticated, sucker the somnolent (sorry, couldn't resist), snooker the snoozers, manipulate the malleable, mislead the masses, nettle the naÔve, hector the humble, oppress the oblivious, hoodwink the have-nots, punish the producers and exploit the elite.
But this time they probably won't get away with it. They've got a tougher adversary now than they've had in a long time. And, he's got a couple of major weapons on his side, whose formidability the cynics are incapable of fathoming: truth and
David Limbaugh, a columnist and attorney apracticing in Cape
Girardeau, Mo., is the author of the just-released
exposť about corruption in the Clinton-Reno Justice
Department, "Absolute Power." Send your comments to him by clicking here.
02/28/01: Common threads in Clinton pardons
02/26/01: Clinton defenders should apologize
02/22/01: Clinton woos media as Bush governs
02/20/01: Liberal idealism: Where have all the flowers gone?
02/14/01: The Clintons and selective media outrage
02/12/01: Bush's tax cut challenge: A historical view
02/07/01: Democrats' Dubya dilemma
02/05/01: Dubya is confounding the media
01/29/01: The Teamsters, the DNC and the reformers
01/29/01: The Old Limey
01/25/01: Clintonís disgraceful departure
01/22/01: Ashcroft: Principle above self
01/17/01: Justice for Riady?
01/15/01: Ashcroft: A hill to die on
01/10/01: Returning to the supply side
01/08/01: Reasons for optimism
01/03/01: Bush's daunting challenges
12/28/00: Ashcroft: A triumph for the rule of law
12/26/00: A tinge of revenge?
12/20/00: GOP: Breaking the race barrier
12/18/00: Civility doesn't require surrender
12/13/00: Al Gore: Innocent victimizer
12/11/00: Judicial restraint and ordered liberty
12/06/00: The four years war
12/04/00: Debunking Gore myths
11/29/00: Defending the smaller principles
11/27/00: Albert O'Gore and the little people
11/22/00: Doing 'anything to win'
11/15/00: Enough is enough, Mr. Gore
11/13/00: Al Gore: Thy country or thyself?
11/08/00: Bill and Al: Your time is up
11/06/00:The impending Bush mandate
11/01/00: Can't stop thinkin' 'bout tomorrow
10/30/00: George: Give Gore the ball back
10/25/00: Mr. Gore: A few more questions
10/23/00: It's the big government, stupid
10/18/00: Gore's down, so will he panic?
10/16/00: We're fresh out of new Al Gores
10/11/00: Gore: Fuzzy math = dirty politics
10/10/00:Gore: Renaissance man or unbalanced?
10/04/00: Where have you been, Albert Jr.?
10/02/00: Clintonís fragmented presidency
09/27/00: Liberal media doth protest too much
09/25/00: AlGore: Turning dreams into nightmares
09/20/00: Something fishy's going on
09/18/00: It's the liberalism, stupid
09/13/00: An open letter to open-minded cynics
09/11/00: The virtues of going negative
09/06/00: On a mission for marriage
09/04/00: Al Gore's 'Trivial Pursuits'
08/30/00: Lieberman and the paradox of liberal 'tolerance'
08/28/00: A campaign divided against itself
08/23/00: Al Gore's trickle-down populism
08/21/00: Prosperity without a clue
08/16/00: AlGore can run but he can't hide
08/14/00: When hate speech is OK
08/09/00: Bush: The pundits' enigma
08/07/00: GOP convention: Live or Memorex?
08/02/00: The first attack dog
07/31/00: The Cheney taint?
07/26/00: The anti-gun bogeyman
07/24/00: The raging culture war
07/19/00: Is Hillary 'Good for the Jews'?
07/17/00: How dare you, George?
07/12/00: Jacoby's raw deal
07/10/00: The perplexities of liberalism
07/05/00: Big Al and big oil
07/03/00: Partial-birth and total death
06/28/00: Some questions for you, Mr. Gore
06/26/00: Supreme Court assaults religious freedom
06/21/00: Waco: We are the jury
06/19/00: "Outrage" just doesn't quite cut it anymore!
06/14/00: Al Gore: Government's best friend
06/12/00: Say goodbye to medical privacy
06/07/00: Elian: Whose hands were tied?
06/05/00: Who, which, what is the real Al Gore?
06/01/00: Legacy-building idea for Clinton
05/30/00: Clinton: Above the law or not?
05/24/00: Not so fast, Hillary
05/22/00: Gore's risky, fear-mongering schemes
05/17/00: Can Bush risk pro-choice running mate?
05/15/00: Right to privacy, Clinton-style
05/10/00: Patrick Kennedy and his suit-happy fiddlers
05/08/00: Don't shoot Eddie Eagle
05/03/00: Congress caves to Clinton, again?
05/01/00: The resurrection of outrage
04/28/00: A picture of Bill Clinton's America
04/19/00: President Clinton: Teaching children responsibility
04/17/00: Elian, Marx and parental rights
04/12/00: Elian, freedom deserve a hearing
04/10/00:The fraying of America
04/05/00: Noonan: End Clintonism now
04/03/00: Bush: On going for the gold
03/27/00: Treaties, triggers, tobacco and tyrants
03/22/00: Media to Bush: Go left, young man
03/20/00: Stop the insanity
03/15/00: OK Al Gore: Let's go negative
03/13/00: Deifying of the center
03/08/00: The media, the establishment and the people
03/01/00: McCain's coalition-busting daggers in GOP's heart
02/28/00: Bush's silver lining in McMichigan
02/24/00: A conservative firewall, after all
02/22/00: Bush or four more of Clinton-Gore?
02/16/00: Substance trumps process
02/14/00: The campaign finance reform mirage
02/09/00: President McCain: End of the GOP as we know it?
02/07/00: From New Hampshire to South Carolina
02/02/00: SDI must fly
01/31/00: Veep gores Bradley
01/26/00: The issues gap
01/24/00: GOP: Exit, stage left
01/20/00: Nationalizing congressional elections
01/18/00: Do voters really prefer straight talk?
01/12/00: Media's McCain efforts may backfire
01/10/00: Conservative racism myth
01/05/00: Just one more year of Clintonian politics
12/27/99: Al Gore: Bullish on government
12/22/99: Bradley's full-court press
12/20/99: Bush: Rendering unto Caesar
12/15/99: Beltway media bias
12/13/99: White House ambulance chasing
12/08/99: Clinton's labor pains
12/06/99:The lust for power
12/01/99: In defense of liberty
11/29/99: Are Republicans obsolete?
11/24/99: Say you're sorry, Mr. President
11/22/99: Architects of victory
11/17/99: Trump's tax on freedom
11/15/99: GOP caves again
11/10/99: Triangulation and 'The Third Way'
11/08/99: Sticks and stones
11/03/99: Keyes vs. media lapdogs
11/01/99: Signs of the times
10/27/99: The false charge of isolationism
10/25/99: A matter of freedom
10/20/99: Clinton's mini-meltdown
10/18/99: Senate GOP shows statesmanship
10/13/99: Senate must reject nuclear treaty
10/11/99: Bush bites feeding hand
10/06/99: Jesse accidentally opens door for Pat
10/04/99: Clinton and his media enablers
09/29/99: Reagan: Big-tent conservatism
09/27/99: The Clinton/Gore taint?
09/22/99: Have gun (tragedy), will travel
09/20/99: Hillary's blunders and bloopers
09/15/99: GOP must remain conservative
09/13/99:Time for Bush to take charge, please
09/10/99: Bush's education plan: Dubya confounds again
09/07/99: Pat, savior or spoiler?
09/02/99: Character doesn't matter?
08/30/99: Should we judge?
08/25/99: Dubyah's drug question: Not a hill to die on
08/23/99: Should Dubyah start buying soap ... for all that mud?
08/16/99: 'W' stands for 'winner'
08/11/99: The truth about tax cuts
08/09/99: Hillary: Threading the needle
08/04/99: What would you do?
08/02/99: No appeasement for China
07/30/99: Hate Crimes Bill: Cynical Symbolism
07/26/99: Itís the 'moderates', stupid
07/21/99: JFK Jr. and Diana: the pain of privilege
07/19/99: Smith, Bush and the GOP
07/14/99: GOP must be a party of ideas
07/12/99: Gore's gender gap
07/08/99: Clintonís faustian bargain: our justice
07/06/99: The key to Bush's $36 million
06/30/99: Gore: a soda in every fountain
06/28/99: 'Sacred wall' or religious barrier?
06/23/99: GOP must lead in foreign policy
06/21/99: Crumbs of compassion
06/16/99: Compassionate conservatism: face-lift or body transplant?
06/10/99: Victory in Kosovo? Now What?
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