Thursday, August 18, 2005

 

Howard Dean's Democratic Party

Doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results

Democrats are failing to take advantage of Bush's sagging poll numbers:
Democrats hoped they would be scoring political points in this year's election cycle as a result of increasing terrorist violence in Iraq and skyrocketing gasoline prices that have combined to send President Bush's job-approval ratings plunging into the low 40s.

But things are not turning out as they hoped. The Democrats are beset by internal division over the lack of an agenda, carping from liberals who say party leaders are not aggressive enough in challenging Mr. Bush's nomination of Judge John G. Roberts Jr. to the Supreme Court, bitterness among abortion rights activists after criticism by Democratic leaders that forced them to pull a TV advertisement attacking Judge Roberts, and complaints from pollsters that they have no coherent message to take into the 2006 elections.

Independent pollster John Zogby says that although Mr. Bush is not doing well in the polls, the Democrats aren't doing any better.

"The Democrats aren't scoring points in terms of landing any significant punches on Bush or in terms of saying anything meaningful to the American people," Mr. Zogby said.
Whenever they try to say something meaningful, its negative and/or demonstrative of the fact that they are living in an alternative reality:
What is so demagogic about Dean's stance is his insinuation that women were better off under the Saddam dictatorship. He is following the lead taken by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton at the Brookings Institution on Feb. 25 last year. She quoted Iraqi women leaders as ''starting to express concerns about some of the pullbacks in the rights they were given under Saddam Hussein. He was an equal opportunity oppressor, but on paper, women had rights.'' She contended that ''as long as they stayed out of his way, they had considerable freedom of movement.''

Clinton in 2004 was not nearly so over the top as Dean in 2005, but both are contradicted by people who know the situation better than they and are not driven by partisan concerns. Nina Shea, director of the religious freedom center at Freedom House, responded to Clinton's claim: ''Women's rights [under Saddam] were largely an illusion.''

In 1989, when the dictator was at full power, Iraqi dissident and intellectual Kanan Makiya said: ''Male domination has not been done away with. It has found a substitute in the all-male Revolutionary Command Council, the higher army command and the ever-so-male person of Saddam Hussein.''

Howard Dean is not the first politician to distort facts in his own interests. But many activists in the party he now leads are puzzled over what he thinks he is accomplishing politically. Is it good politics to contend that Iraq was better off under Saddam than even a flawed Islamic republic? Does it make sense politically to tell Americans that more than 1,800 troops have died to make life worse for half of Iraq's population?
To most Americans, the answers to these two questions are obvious. As usual, the leaders of the Democratic Party get them wrong.

The Democrats have known for some time that their strategy is hurting them more than the Republicans. Yet they persist. Why?

Sadly, the biggest overall losers from this are the American people.

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