Democrats: Infected with Margaret Carlson Syndrome
The Democrats are the "big tent" party, or so the like to think. To hear them tell it, the Democratic Party is as American as apple pie, has its finger on the pulse of middle America, and still carries on the traditions that make it the "Party of Roosevelt". The Democrats, we are told, are a moderate party with broad appeal: to women, to minorities, to union workers, to teachers, to the middle class. And those Republicans are out there on the fringe, excercising narrow appeal mostly with white guys.
Oddly though, they can never make up their minds as to which white guys are the base of the Republican Party; is it the hicks or the corporate types? The gun-nuts from Idaho or the tycoons on Wall Street? The "Jesus freaks" or the Texas oilmen?
Well that's silly. If it were really the case that Democrats had broad appeal and Republicans had narrow appeal, we wouldn't live in a country where there is a Republican in the Oval Office, and Republican majorities in both houses of the legislature.
No, the Democratic Party is not middle-of-the-road. During the Twentieth Century, and particularty in the last quarter thereof, the party swerved left, but understood the importance of continuing to masquerade as moderates if they ever wanted to win elections.
President Clinton is a wonderful example of this. Although frequently hailed as moderate during his administration, I don't believe that he is. Oh yes, Mr. Clinton could play that game when he needed to, but that was not the real Bill. The real Bill Clinton had looser lips as a young law student, as was more likely to say what he really meant.
Clinton managed to dodge the draft by getting himself into the ROTC program, with significant influence from his mentor, Senator J. William Fulbright. Writing a letter to the ROTC colonel, he expressed his feelings that the war in Vietnam was immoral. That, in and of itself, does not make Clinton an extremist. But he goes on to say "First, I want to thank you, not only for saving me from the draft..." Later, Clinton would claim that he had received no special treatment in getting his ROTC slot. He describes two of his American compatriots as conscienscious objectors, but a third is quite simply a draft dodger, and Clinton thinks that he is heroic. "One of my roommates is a draft resister who is possibly under indictment and may never be able to go home again. He is one of the bravest, best men I know. His country needs men like him more than they know. That he is considered a criminal is an obscenity."
He finishes with perhaps the most damning, but indeed most honest statement: "I am writing too in the hope that my telling this one story will help you understand more clearly how so many fine people have come to find themselves loving their country but loathing the military..."
That, my friends, is the real Bill Clinton. Perhaps because his consciousness was forged during the Vietnam War, Bill Clinton and his compatriots loath the military. Years later, as President of the United States, and afterward as one of America's premier playboys, Clinton would never think of uttering such a thing. It wouldn't sit well with the voters, so he kept his mouth shut about it. But he never stopped believing that there is something essentially wrong with the military, and with the men and women who volunteer for it.
Clinton's disdain for the military was made clear during his presidency. Besides slashing it to bits with budget cuts (under the excuse that we then had a post-Cold War "peace dividend"), he deployed the military all over the planet for reasons that most Americans cannot explain. But most importantly, he put politics above national defense and our military's combat effectiveness. His policies on women in the military have done serious damage to our fighting forces.
Clinton also abused his power to grant pardons in order to free a convicted left-wing terrorist by the name of Susan Rosenberg. Rosenberg's story is fascinating. On the one hand, she believes that she lives in a fascist police state, and has declared war on "Amerika". On the other hand, she has lead a life of violent crime, managed to get away with most of her crimes because of the leniencies of the juctice system, and was hired to teach a course at New York's Hamilton College entitled "Resistance Memoirs: Writing, Identity and Change".
Rosenberg never met a radical Marxist organization that she didn't like. She was involved with such groups as The Family, the May 19th Communist Organization, the Black Liberation Army, and perhaps most famously the Weather Underground. Her involvement in the Weather Underground should have been enough to earn her a life sentence in a federal penitentiary. Throughout the 1970's, the Weather Underground terrorized the United States, placing bombs in the Pentagon, the US Capitol building, the State Department, the Office of California Prisons, and the office of the California Attorney General, just to name a few.
In 1970, several Weathermen were killed in a Greenwich Village townhouse, when a bomb that they had been assembling in the basement detonated and destroyed the home. If they hadn't been blown to pieces by their own handiwork, they intended to place the bomb at a military ball at Fort Dix, New Jersey. The targets were soldier and their dates.
In 1980, the Weather Underground turned themselves in, but amazingly, most of them got off scott free. The FBI, caught up in the COINTELPRO scandal, had used illegal police tactics against the Weather Underground. Although they did not deny their guilt, they were released.
Before long, Rosenberg was at it again. She was indicted as the getaway car driver at the 1983 Nyack, New York armored car robbery attempt. The robbery was botched, and allies of the Black Liberation Army tried to shoot their way out of the mess. In its wake, three people were dead, including two police officers. As the Weather Underground used to say "The only good cop is a dead cop."
Even still, "fascist AmeriKKKa" failed to put this woman behind bars. Only later, when Rosenberg was caught with 740 pounds of explosives and a stockpile of weapons, was she sentenced to prison. She was not scheduled for release until 2042. Prosecuters never retreated from the original charge that Rosenberg had been the getaway car driver for the unrelated armored car robbery. They simply dropped all charges when it appeared that she would be spending the rest of her life in prison anyway.
Fast forward to January 2001. During President Clinton's final days in office, he wrote a flurry of presidential pardons, including one for Susan Rosenberg. The unrepentant Marxist terrorist walked free.
The President's power to grant clemency carries with it great responsibilty. It assumes that the President will be a man of great honor and wisdom, which Clinton was neither. The President is supposed to use the pardon only in extraordinary situations, in which it is clear that the justice system failed to dispense justice. The President should not grant clemency simply because he has a soft spot in his heart for cop-killing, America-hating, left-wing terrorist organizations. But that is exactly what happened.
I often wonder if there would have been more media outrage, if the President had been a Republican rather than a Democrat, and the pardoned terrorist had been a Klansman who had fire-bombed a black church, rather than a Communist who liked to kill policemen and bomb government buildings. But no, the media insisted on calling President Clinton a "moderate", and nothing he could do would change their minds.
California Congresswoman Barabara Lee is another example of a left-wing radical who just happens to belong to the Democratic Party. She distinguished herself in September 2001, as the only member of the Congress to vote against responding to the 9-11 terrorist attacks with militay force. She described this as "a vote of conscience," and elaborated that she didn't think that the best way to react to the killing of innocents was the killing of more innocents. She almost sounds like a principled pacifist, if only a little naive.
She is nothing of the sort. Lee has no problem with violence, she just has a problem with the United States. As a young woman, Lee was an aide to Huey Newton, the well known Black Panther. The Black Panthers were, of course, Communist, criminal, and most of all, violent. If Lee is concerned with killing innocents, she might want to look at the Black Panther Party, which she so dearly cherishes. Her idol, Heuy Newton, was certainly a murderer, and probably a rapist and a drug dealer on top of that.
Lee is probably guilty of outright treason against her own country as well. For this, we will need to look back to the tiny island nation of Grenada in 1979. This was the year that Maurice Bishop, a Communist, seized control of the island. He quickly hosted Cuban troops (who were operating under cover, as "construction workers"), and made military deals with Cuba, the USSR, Libya, and North Korea. In 1983, rivalries within Bishop's own organization led to his murder. Grenada was momentarily plunged into chaos, and a twenty-four hour shoot-to-kill curfew was imposed.
At the request of six Carribean nations, President Ronald Reagan ordered troops to Grenada, and the island was rescued from its oppressors with a minimum of bloodshed. American soldiers reported that the Cuban "construction workers" on the island had been using "automatic repeating shovels", but the affair was rather tidy and quick.
Later, the US military found a reference to Lee (then a congressional aide to radical Leftist Ron Dellums, whose seat she won after he retired in 1998) in the minutes of a politburo meeting. The document reads "Barbara Lee is here presently and has brought with her a report on an international airport done by [Congressman] Ron Dellums. They have requested that we look at the document and suggest any changes we deem necessary. They will be willing to make changes." In a notation, it explains, "Airport will be used for Cuban and Soviet military."
Lee is one of Congress's most vocal critics of defense spending. And while she was far too principled to react to the 9-11 attacks with justified military force, she isn't particularly concerned with the Soviet military moving in next door. Lee is not a pacifist. She is a left-wing radical, a throwback to the 1960's Berkley, where she formed her political consciousness.
As mentioned before, Barbara Lee was an aide to Representative Ron Dellums before she began her own carrer in the House of Representatives. Dellums is another radical Leftist that the "moderate" "middle-of-the-road" Democratic Party has sheltered. Dellums, like Lee, appears to have had a love affair with Caribbean Communism.
Before the 1983 murder of Maurice Bishop, the aforementioned frontman of Communist Grenada, Bishop enjoyed a lively correspondence with Carlottia Scott, another of Dellums's aides. She writes to Bishop: "Ron as a political thinker is the best around and Fidel [Castro] will verify that in no uncertain terms...Ron had a long talk with Barb[ara Lee] and me when we got to Havanna...Like I said, he's really hooked on you and Grenada and doesn't want anything to happen to building the revo and making it strong. He really admires you as a person, and even more so as a leader with courage and foresight, principle and integrity. Believe me, he doesn't make that statement about just anyone. The only other person that I know of that he expresses such admiration is Fidel."
It's the Barbara Lee, Ron Dellums, and Maurice Bishop love triangle. And they seem to be awfully fond of Fidel Castro as well. Also, Scott writes that her boss doesn't want anything to happen to "the revo", meaning the "the revolution", which has always been a buzz word among Communists signifying a complete takeover of the planet by Marxist forces. It would have been tossed around freely among every fringe Leftist group of the 1970's and 1980's, from the Symbionese Liberation Army to the Black Panthers. In fact, she's so comfortable using the word that she truncates it, assuming that everyone will know exactly what she means. Indeed, when writing to a Communist dictator like Maurice Bishop, that's a pretty good assumption. Corlottia Scott, the writer of the letter, incidently became the Democratic Party's "political issues director" in 1999.
Although it was quite fashionable for Democrats to claim after the Fall Of Communism that "we were all Cold Warriors", this is simply not the case. When the Vietnam War went sour, liberals grew weary of fighting the Cold War, and true Leftists were never in favor of fighting it in the first place. Nonetheless, everyone from Bill Clinton to Madeline Albright has claimed credit for something that they had absolutely nothing to do with.
During the 1970’s, liberal Democrats used the term "Cold Warrior" as a pejorative term, and always referred to "The Cold War" in the past tense. The 1970’s was the decade when the Democratic Party drifted to the left, although there were left-leaning factions within the Democratic Party as early as the 1930’s.
The first Democratic candidate for President in the 1970’s was George McGovern, no doubt a Leftist. The public rejected him outright, losing forty-nine states, including his home state of South Dakota. At that point, it was the biggest landslide in the history of American presidential elections.
The Democrats tried again in 1976, with the slightly less radical Jimmy Carter. Carter easily defeated Gerald Ford, who had been tainted by Vietnam and the Watergate Scandal.
Carter was probably as far left of a President as we have ever elected, and we only did it once. And while he, like Clinton, tried to present his ideas in ways that the American people would find agreeable, he sometimes slipped up, and the real Jimmy Carter came out.
Carter spoke of our "inordinate fear of Communism", despite the fact that ten nations fell to Communism during the 1970’s, with disasterous consequences in all of them. The worst of them was Pol Pot’s Cambodia, which technically fell to Communism during the Ford administration, although Carter was the President during most of Pol Pot’s days in power, which came to an end in 1979, when the Vietnamese invaded Cambodia for imperialist reasons of their own.
Still, though he must have been given daily briefings about the horrors of Cambodia—not to mention the other nine countries that tumbled to Soviet pressure during the 1970’s—Carter admitted that it was the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan that made him appreciate the true dangers of Communism. He may have only been mouthing political platitudes at the time as well.
Carter appointed Andrew Young as Ambassador to the United Nations. Young’s comments about his own country, given in front of an international body, were shameful. And while it may be "guilt by association" to assume that Carter agreed with Ambassador Young on all points, it seems unlikely that this man would have kept his job in any other administration, or even been appointed to the position in the first place.
While Young criticized the United States for failing to follow a foreign policy based on human rights, he found ways of excusing the massive human rights abuses of the USSR. "We must realize that they are growing up in circumstances different from ours. They have, therefore, developed a completely different concept of human rights. For them, human rights are essentially not civil or political, but economic…Under those circumstances, [it] inevitably becomes far more economic in expression than it would in a country such as ours…"
So Soviet oppression is justified, because the Soviets don’t really buy into our concept of human rights. And as long as the Soviets provided a decent standard of living for all its people, the Soviet Union was not to be criticized. In fact, the Soviet Union did not provide a decent living for all its people, and those who believed that it did were dupes for the Kremlin’s propaganda. In any case, Young would never apply his own unique definition of human rights to his own country, which he attacked constantly as a racist, oppressive police state.
Speaking on the presence of Cuban troops in Angola, where the Soviets and Cubans were busily assembling another oppressive African dictatorship, Young said "I don’t believe that Cuba is in Africa because it was ordered there by the Russians. I believe that Cuba is in Africa because it really has shared in a sense of colonial oppression and domination."
Yes, domination and oppression were two things that Cuba knew very well. In fact, they still practice it to this day. But the point here is that Young would never give as much slack to his own country as he generously gives to the Soviets and Cubans. An outspoken critic of the Vietnam War, he believes that American attempts to rescue the South Vietnamese people from the tyranny and the bloodbath that eventually followed, was the the essence of "colonial oppression and domination". But when the Russians and Cubans conspired to bring the same blood bath and tyranny to Angola, they were doing it because they are actually opposed to "colonialism and oppression".
When asked about political prisoners in the Soviet Union such as Natan Sharansky and Alan Ginzburg, Young described it as "a gesture of independence" on the part of Moscow. In other words, the Kremlin was telling the world that they would lock up whoever they wanted to lock up, and no one could tell them otherwise.
He then employed a famous trick of the Left, and tried to make a moral equivalence between the two superpowers. "We also have hundreds, perhaps thousands of people in our jails that I would call political prisoners." Young later resigned his post, after he met with the Palestinian Liberation Organization, in violation of US laws that ambassadors not meet with terrorist organizations.
Tom Hayden has been a superstar on the fringe Left for forty four years, ever since he authored the Port Huron Statement which gave birth to Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) in 1962. He would later go on to plan (yes, plan) the 1968 Chicago riots.
He and his future wife, Jane Fonda, travelled to the North Vietnam on a number of occasions. Tom sat down for strategy sessions with North Vietnamese officials, and mapped out the "anti-war" movement that was so essential to Communist victory in Vietnam. Both Hayden and his wife propagandized on behalf of the North Vietnamese government. After visiting the infamous "Hanoi Hilton" the couple reported that American POWs were being treated humanely (they were not), called U.S. soldiers "war criminals" and later denounced them as liars for claiming they had been tortured. Fonda would later have her picture taken on an enemy anti-aircraft gun. Neither Haden nor Fonda denied their affection for Communism, and Fonda even remarked that "If you understood what Communism was, you would hope, you would pray on your knees that we would some day become Communist. . . . I, a Socialist, think that we should strive toward a Socialist society, all the way to Communism."
In 1979, Hayden would be asked by singer Joan Baez to sign a public statement, that would appear as a full page ad in The New York Times
, condemning the government of Vietnam and their atrocious behavior in the aftermath of the Vietnam War. Baez is a practicing Quaker, and is opposed to all war and violence, regardless of the source. Although she had been an outspoken critic of the American war in Vietnam, she was also appalled with what the North Vietnamese were doing to the South in the days after we so ignobly abandoned our allies there. Baez was hoping that many of her old friends from the her anti-war days would give the letter some credibility with their signatures. Baez asked three hundred and fifty "peace activists" to sign the letter, and she got only eighty-three signatures. One of those who refused was Tom Hayden. He went as far as to call the Quaker folk singer a "tool of the CIA" for daring to run such an ad.
Hayden hasn’t changed much. Since Septmeber 11th, Hayden has been acting much the same way as he always has. He has written an article called "How to End the Iraq War", in which he writes "The anti-war movement can force the Bush administration to leave Iraq by denying it the funding, troops, and alliances necessary to its strategy for dominance." Hayden shows a lot more candor here than most "anti-war activists". Most maintain that they oppose the War in Iraq because we can’t win. At least Hayden is honest enough to admit that he fears we will win, and has taken it upon himself to undercut the mission in any way possible. We used to call that treason, but the "t-word" has been thrown out, ever since patriotic Americans became so afraid of the being accused of "McCarthyism" or a "fascism" for simply for calling treason by its name.
Haden goes on to explain that "The movement will need to start opening another underground railroad to havens in Canada for those who refuse to serve." Aiding deserters is, of course, a crime. He also calls on his followers to "undercut the pillars of war" (a brutally honest phrase; most Democrats react with scripted horror whenever they are accused of undercutting the war effort, but Hayden uses the exact word) "by link[ing] with working class through counter-recruitment."
"Counter-recruitment" is, of course, the ongoing campaign to disrupt U.S. military recruiters, exclude them by law from college campuses and high schools, and vandalize recruiting stations. While most counter-recruiters will claim that their only goal is to keep recruiters from "preying" on our youth, Hayden once again phrases his support in brutally honsest terms: it's part of his strategy to "undercut the pillars of war", in other words, to sabotage it. As much as liberals complain that the war is driving recruitment down, they secretly celebrate poor recruiting numbers, and even apply a concerted effort to make sure that the numbers continue to fall.
Hayden served eighteen years in the California legislature, in both the State Assembly and the State Senate. He ran unsuccessfully for the office of the mayor of Los Angeles. Did he run on the ticket of the Communist Party? The Socialist Worker's Party? The Greens? No, he's a Democrat.
To be fair, Hayden co-founded the Progressive Democrats of America, in July 2004. The goal of PDA is to bring the current Democratic Party further to the Left. In other words, Hayden is not satisified with the current Democratic Party, probably because it still sticks to that silly donkey logo, when it should have adopted the hammer and sickle years ago. PDA is founded mostly by followers of the failed Dennis Kucinich presidential campaign, and takes credit for the appointment of Howard Dean to chairman of the DNC.
Hayden has found that he can work within the Democratic Party, and the Democrats have done next to nothing to distance themselves from him, as the Republican Party has done to distance itself from David Duke and other far-Right-wingers.
The Democrats have more extemists within the ranks of their party. Those mentioned here, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Andrew Young, Ron Dellums, Barbara Lee, Carlottia Scott, and Tom Hayden, represent a small portion. What's worse is that these few examples may be unique in one aspect: their demonstrable Leftist histories. Other stars within the Democratic Party seem quite adept at keeping their radical thoughts to themselves, or finding much more palatable ways to phrase what they really mean.
Rather then saying calling our troops "liars" and "war criminals" (as Hayden did) or admitting to "loathing the military" (as Clinton did), they keep up the old refrain of "Support our troops! Bring them home!". They've found it much more effective to pretend to love our troops than to insult them. It sells better in Iowa, and probably every other state in the country as well.
Being a keen political observer for about half of my young life, I'm still frequently unable to distinguish a liberal from a Leftist. Sometimes I think that the only difference between the two is that the Leftist is so proud of his putrid beliefs that he refuses, in most cases, to keep them undercover. The liberal, being more pragmatic and understanding that our system of democraticly elected leaders requires them to at least pretend that they love this country, are smart enough to keep their mouths shut about what they really believe. Consequently, the liberals seem to follow the same policy objectives as the Leftists, and usually buttress their goals with convoluted arguments. It should be no surprise that these arguments ring hollow because the person making the argument doesn't even believe it himself.
Maybe, for the sake of sanity, I will go on believing that there are great patriotic liberals out there, who have more in common with conservatives than they have with their screwball cousins on the left-wing fringe. After all, conservatives (center-right) and liberals (center-left) should be closer relations with each other than with either of the extremes. Sadly, I usually find that not to be the case in the case of the Democratic Party.
And to make things worse, the Democratic Party, the party of Hayden, Dellum, Lee, and Young, will not admit to even being a liberal party. Their gall is astounding. They appear to have "Margaret Carlson Syndrome", a phrase coined by Daniel J. Flynn, in reference to the liberal reporter and columnist Margaret Carlson.
Carlson appeared on CNN's Crossfire
for two nights in 1995, and adamantly refused to go off the air with the traditional Crossfire
farewell. Carlson was supposed to say "From the left, I'm Margaret Carlson", and her debate-opponent was supposed to say "From the right, I'm Robert Novak." Carlson refused, and caused Novak to miss a few steps when she signed off with "From Washington, I'm Margaret Carlson. Good night for Crossfire
." Novak claims that she later told him that she just couldn't say such a thing, because she was "middle-of-the-road". "What planet are these people from?" remarked Novak.
The Democratic Party has a serious case of Margaret Carlson Syndrome. In all honesty, they are probably a liberal party with a generous sprinkling of Leftists, although you will never get them to admit even that. All the big Democrats, right down the line from party chairman Dean to the Clinton super-power duo, cling to the ridiculous notion that the Democrats are the epitome of mainstream, despite the fact that they haven't won a majority of seats in either house of the Congress in thirteen years.
This denial has interesting effects. A former professor of mine, a dogged Leftist who adores Gramsci and Chomsky, spouted the familiar line that there is a "right-wing media bias." I've never heard such a silly thing in my entire life. When faced with the overwhelming evidence that reporters go hard on Republicans and soft on Democrats, his response was typical: both parties in this country are right-wing parties, so favoring one or the other does not disprove the idea that there is a right-wing bias in the media.
I don't know how he said it with a straight face. Perhaps there were some naive undergraduates in the lecture hall that day who fell for such a silly assertion. I did not. For the reasons stated above, I have come to the conclusion that the Democrats are not a right-wing party, not a centrist party, and possibly not even a liberal party. They are the party of retreat and defeat, a party composed of Leftists who openly supported the NVA and Vietcong during the Vietnam War. The current leadership of the Democratic Party were "just kids" then, most of them staying in school as long as possible to avoid the draft. Now, thirty-five years later, they've grown up, smartened up, and learned how to advance their beliefs without actually spelling out their beliefs. The party of Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy, and Senator Scoop Jackson was replaced with the party of Clinton, Carter, Dellums, Lee, and Hayden.