This page was last updated on March 27, 2010.
Without mincing words, today’s Democrat party leadership promotes communism and socialism using the feel-good – but grossly misleading – label of progressivism. With apologies to William Shakespeare, a skunk by any other name still stinks.
Today’s Democrats generally don’t like to be identified as liberals,1 and they really hate to be identified as socialists. I heard a caller to a radio talk show object to the conservative host referring to liberals as socialists. To my surprise, the host backtracked a bit and said he didn’t always make that connection. The host should not have backed away from calling a spade a spade. Today, those whom we think of as liberals want to be called “progressives.” This is actually a resurrection of old terminology. From around 1900 to the early 1930s, those who hold the same beliefs as today’s liberals were called progressives. At that time, both parties had progressives. Among them were Theodore Roosevelt (R), Howard Taft (R), Woodrow Wilson (D), Herbert Hoover (R), and FDR (D). By the time of the 1932 election, “progressive” lost its luster (people understood what it really meant) so FDR began referring to himself as a “liberal.” Now these folks are back to calling themselves progressives. Since lefties can’t decide what they want to be called (Green, liberal, progressive, socialist, et cetera), I’ll avoid those labels and stick with leftist.
The comments herein are directed at Democrat leadership, the Democrat “elite.” These are the guys who define issue positions and talking points. Just as rank-and-file Republicans must accept responsibility when they nominate and help elect less-than-conservative candidates, rank-and-file Democrats who vote for the candidates promoted by Democrat elitists must also accept some responsibility.
Most rank-and-file Democrats don’t have horns and pointy tails. In fact, some of my life-long friends are Democrats and they are great people. Their economic and political philosophies are misguided <g>, but they are nice, smart people nonetheless.
If you want to know what Democrats are up to, listen to the accusations they hurl at Republicans. For example, if they accuse the opposition of name-calling, it’s the Democrats hurling the insults.
Nothing illustrates the failure of Democrat policies in southwestern Pennsylvania better (worse?) than Pittsburgh. A Democrat mayor has led Pittsburgh since at least the Great Depression! That might be OK if Pittsburgh thrived during this period. As we painfully know, exactly the opposite was the case. Every four years for about the last 60+ years, masochistic Pittsburgh voters elected the same mayor – in different bodies – over and over yet wondered why things continued to go from bad to worse. In typical Democrat fashion, a recent mayor blamed suburban “bigots” (read: Republicans). This is the “us vs. them” tactic.
Several years ago then-state Sen. Gerald LaValle (D-47) recently gave us another peek into the leftist mind of a Democrat. Sen. LaValle believes there should be a limit on how much inspection stations can charge for an emissions test. Sen. LaValle said, “If we’re going to wait for the market [to work], the cost may level out, but it won’t get down to what we think is a fair price to the consumer.”2 Does anyone care to guess how many low volume inspection stations would close because they wouldn’t be able to make a reasonable profit on the service? What about the businesses that already purchased the testing equipment? Dropping the price a business can charge doesn’t reduce the cost to the business of providing the service. The price to us may drop, but how far will we need to travel and how far in advance will we need to schedule the inspection?
According to CNN exit polls3, approximately 33% of Democrat voters in the 2004 primary made their selection not because of issues, but because they believed their choice had the best chance of beating then-President Bush! That is, at least 1/3 of Democrats were so fueled by hate for Mr. Bush, they didn’t care who got elected as long as it wasn’t Mr. Bush. How insane is that?4
What’s good for the country is bad for today’s Democrat party, and what’s good for Democrats is bad for the country. Here are a couple of examples. If we perceive the Iraq War and the rebuilding of Iraq as successes and thus good for the country, that’s bad news for the Democrat party because the leadership was overwhelmingly opposed to these actions. When the economy was growing until late 2007/early 2008, generating new jobs driving up stock value, and generating record tax revenue, that was good for the country but bad for the Democrats who kept claiming the economy was in tatters. Though these folks will never admit it, you know they were hoping for economy problems and failure in Iraq. Otherwise, they were irrelevant. It’s sad – and I’m being kind – to bet your success on the failure of your country.
If you need proof that good news for the country is bad news for Democrats, remember it was Howard Dean (then Democrat candidate for President and later DNC chairman) who said Saddam Hussein’s capture would not help make us safer. Dean later recanted only after advisors pointed out his claim was not even credible to “Deaniacs.” Incredibly, then-Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) claimed women were better off with Saddam Hussein in power!
We all remember Democrats opposed the 2007 Iraq surge, claiming it would not work and the war was lost. When Gen. David Petraeus testified before Congress that the surge was working, Democrats accused him of lying. The Beaver County Times accused Gen. Petraeus of “playing a numbers game.” When progress could no longer be denied, Times editorials gave credit to the “Sunni awakening,” Iran, and Muqtada al-Sadr, not the surge. Then-Senators Biden and Barack Obama opposed the surge and Mr. Biden even wanted to divide Iraq into three countries along ethic/religious lines (Kurd, Shia, and Sunni).
Jump ahead to 2009/2010 and the Obama administration is exactly following the plans of the Bush administration for Iraq. What are Democrats saying today? In February 2010 VP Joe Biden said, “I am very optimistic about Iraq. I mean, this could be one of the great achievements of this administration.” This is incredible! Mr. Biden trying to claim credit for any past and eventual success in Iraq was so absurd even the usually supportive mainstream media noted it didn’t pass the smell test.
Eventually, Democrats got their wish for the economy, all the while failing to admit the core problems were the result of leftist policies and programs, like encouraging loans to people who could not repay the loans.
In summary, Democrats are “betting against the home team.”
Make no mistake about it; today’s Democrat party is not the party of Harry Truman or John Kennedy. Can you imagine any of today’s Democrats taking on the Korean War, engaging the Vietnam War15, or standing up to Nikita Khrushchev and blockading Cuba to force out Soviet nuclear weapons? Though Truman and Kennedy were clearly leftists with respect to domestic issues, they appeared to understand national defense. They remembered Pearl Harbor and understood we couldn’t wait for our enemies to attack us on U.S. soil.
Kennedy also implemented a large tax cut. Again, can you imagine today’s Democrats cutting taxes without somehow trying to more than make it up by soaking “the rich” or businesses?
I mentioned previously that some of my friends are registered Democrats. It’s time to note some no longer vote exclusively for Democrats because the party no longer represents their value system.
A childhood friend’s father called me a while ago to tell me he agreed with a letter to the editor I wrote countering a local leftist’s op-ed piece. To emphasize how much of a Democrat he had been, the man told me he cried when FDR died. Nevertheless, this man told me he has tended to vote Republican for awhile because the Democrat party no longer represents his values. His values haven’t changed since 1945; Democrat party values changed.
During the 2004 presidential campaign, Democrat candidate Sen. John Kerry called the Bush administration extreme right wing. If Sen. Kerry truly believes this, he must believe the same of the 1950s and early 1960s Democrat party.
If you believe/believed in the values of the Democrat party – plus civil rights – of the 1950s and early 1960s and still hold those values, your values align closely with today’s Republicans, not today’s Democrats.
Democrats like to portray themselves as the party of the “working class” and the “common man.” Once again it’s the “us vs. them” tactic. The truth is, nearly every American is in the working class.
The vast majority of us work hard for what we have whether we’re wealthy or not. Democrat elitists want us to believe people who make more than $____ per year (the amount varies depending on the audience) don’t really work for their paycheck. If Democrats can convince you that Bob didn’t really earn his paycheck, it’s easier to convince you you’re “entitled” to a chunk of Bob’s earnings.
The following points show the “common guy” image claimed by Democrat elitists to be a hollow claim.
· Roll Call reported in 2002 the four richest U.S. senators, and nine of the top 12, were Democrats. The richest Democrat (John Kerry) had over 13 times the wealth of the richest Republican (Lincoln Chafee).
· Of the five richest presidents, three were Democrats (John Kennedy, Andrew Jackson, Lyndon Johnson). The richest was George Washington (Federalist) and Herbert Hoover was the sole Republican (#5, and even he was a progressive). Rounding out the top 10 are one Whig (Zachary Taylor), two Republicans [Theodore Roosevelt (a progressive), George W. Bush], and two Democrats (Thomas Jefferson, Franklin Roosevelt).16 There’s nothing wrong with being wealthy, so why do Democrat elitists try to convince us they are not?
· Using Federal Election Commission (FEC) data, the (CRP) reports Al Gore received fewer contributions from small donors (less than $200) than George W. Bush during the 2000 campaign. In other words, more “little guys” supported Mr. Bush than Al Gore. Of course, the leftist spin will be “real little guys can’t afford to give anything.”
· Likewise, in 2002, Democrats raised more contributions than Republicans did in the high-end $10,000+ and $100,000+ ranges. Republicans raised more contributions in the low-end <$200 and the $200 - $999 ranges than Democrats. In other words, “fat cats” tended to support Democrats while “little guys” tended to support Republicans.
· CRP data shows the top 20 contributors to the Democrat party during 2002 contributed almost two and a half times as much as the top 20 contributors to the Republican Party. The top Republican contributor would rank only number 10 on the Democrat party list. Again, more of those “evil” <g> rich guys supported Democrats than supported Republicans.
· Based on the above points, a lot more “little guys” gave to Republicans than to Democrats. Likewise, more “big spenders” gave to Democrats than to Republicans. Why do Democrats feel they must misrepresent the facts?
The above notwithstanding, there’s nothing wrong with the wealthy supporting either party. I suspect the contribution profile for each party varies from election to election, though I need to do some research to support this position. That is, in some years Republicans predominantly get the small contributors and in others Democrats get the small contributions. I made the above points to highlight Democrat hypocrisy in this area.
· A sometime Beaver County resident with leftist beliefs used college graduation rates (bachelor degrees) in an attempt to show only less educated (read: stupid) people voted for George W. Bush in 2000.17 I guess this means the Democrat party embraces only “smart” people, that is, people with at least a bachelor degree.
Over 84% of Beaver County residents over 25 years of age do NOT have at least a bachelor degree.18 In fact, all but one (West Virginia) of the states cited as having a low percentage of college graduates had a higher percentage than Beaver County (15.8%). Therefore, using the “dumb people voted for Bush” theory, Beaver County should have voted overwhelmingly for George W. Bush in 2000. In fact, Al Gore narrowly won Beaver County with 53% of the vote.
Given the leftist premise that you are stupid if you don’t have at least a college bachelor degree, I guess we know what leftists think of Beaver County residents except as a source of blind, straight ticket Democrat votes.
· The leftist claim that conservatives are dumb is nothing new. Despite President Reagan’s success, leftists still like to claim he was not very bright. The CBS movie entitled The Reagans (ultimately shown only on Showtime) portrayed President Reagan as little more than Mr. Magoo. We heard the same comments about former President George W. Bush. Depending on the day, either then-Vice President Dick Cheney or political consultant Karl Rove provided the brains. If Presidents Reagan and Bush were such morons, what does that say about the Democrat opposition they beat?
· Replying to an article he believed raised the specter of cronyism on the part of another person, a local Democrat state representative mentioned he had three college degrees, as if that made his opinion on distinguishing right from wrong more authoritative.19 If he believes college degrees enhance your ability to distinguish right from wrong, it doesn’t sound like a view consistent with a focus on the common guy. You’re in trouble if you can’t distinguish right from wrong long before college, and you are in even more trouble if you think college classes can impart moral values. On a side note, this state representative lost in the Democrat primary a couple of years later and pled guilty to two counts of conflict of interest (felonies) from when he was in office.
· Of those Democrats who ran for President in 2004, John Kerry’s father was a U.S. diplomat and Mr. Kerry summered in France as a child. Mr. Kerry attended Swiss schools, attended Yale, earned a law degree from Boston College, and married “up” with two wealthy women (not at the same time <g>). His current wife is H.J. Heinz heiress Teresa Kerry, widow of the late Sen. John Heinz (R-PA). Howard Dean was the product of a wealthy family and his wife was a practicing doctor. John Edwards was a wealthy personal injury trial lawyer. (We learned a lot more about Mr. Edwards in 2008/2009.) Do these men sound like the blue collar, common guy image they try to project?
There’s nothing wrong with being born into wealth or legally acquiring wealth, so why act as if there is?
· To convey the blue collar, common guy image, John Kerry campaigned saying to vote for him because he wasn’t controlled by “special interests.” Unfortunately for Mr. Kerry, federal records showed he accepted more lobbyist money than anyone else in the Senate during the 15 years preceding the 2004 campaign.20 Because every person and every group is a special interest, you can’t claim not to take special interest campaign contributions unless you accept no contributions. Unless you accept contributions on a quid pro quo basis, there’s nothing wrong with accepting campaign contributions. Why claim you don’t?
Once again, the facts contradict Democrat propaganda. The Democrat party leadership is a bunch of elitists trying to convince us they are something they are not.
The image of Democrats as civil rights champions is a function of repeating a lie so often and for so long that people accept it as fact. History tells a different story.
Frankly, neither the Democrat nor the Republican parties can lay claim to unblemished civil rights records. Democrats, though, have some minorities convinced they are the champions of civil rights.
For example, the author of a letter to the editor claimed Democrat support for the civil rights movement is the reason black Americans vote for Democrats.21 The author claimed black Americans previously voted for Republicans out of respect for Abraham Lincoln.
Consider the following historical facts.
· Democrat-controlled southern states imposed a poll tax during the late 1800s and early 1900s. The purpose and effect was to take the vote away from blacks. The poll tax also took the vote away from poor whites. As a result, only about 33% of eligible voters could participate in elections.
· Democrat Woodrow Wilson expanded segregation from “only” the military to all federal facilities.
· Democrat Franklin Roosevelt issued an executive order for the unconstitutional internment of over 100,000 Japanese-American citizens during World War II. The Democrat-controlled Congress didn’t stop it.
· The same president and Congress oversaw a segregated military.
· Democrat Senator Robert Byrd (WV) once belonged to the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, said he would not serve in integrated armed forces, filibustered and voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act, voted against the nominations of Supreme Court Justices Thurgood Marshall (1967) and Clarence Thomas (1991), and referred to “white niggers” during a 2001 television interview.22
· In 1957, Democrat Governor Orval Faubus used the Arkansas National Guard to block black students from attending a Little Rock high school. Republican President Eisenhower sent the U.S. Army to enforce the kids’ civil rights.
· Democrats, who had significant majorities in both houses of Congress, filibustered the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Republicans delivered the votes for cloture. In the Senate, only 69% of Democrats voted for the act while 82% of Republicans supported it. Of the “nay” votes, 78% were by Democrats. In the House, only 61% of Democrats voted for the act while 80% of Republicans supported it. Of the nay votes, 74% were by Democrats.
· While President Lyndon Johnson gets credit for signing the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Democrats don’t mention he was also responsible for watering down President Eisenhower’s 1957 Civil Rights Act. Democrats controlled both houses of Congress during this time. Then-Senator Johnson was worried the bill would prove divisive for the Democrat party. As we learned in 1964, his concerns were well founded.
· The management of the United Steelworkers of America union, along with nine steel companies, was slapped with a federal consent decree in 1974 to address “discriminatory hiring, promotion, assignment, and wage policies directed against women and minorities.”23 The discrimination was determined to have affected 40,000 minority and women employees.
Democrats continue to show their fondness for government-sponsored/mandated discrimination by their support of programs they euphemistically call affirmative action and diversity. You can’t eliminate one kind of discrimination by replacing it with another form of discrimination.
I don’t claim Democrats never did anything good for civil rights, but anyone who votes for Democrats because they believe the Democrat party to be the party of civil rights is misguided or misinformed.
4. The last time we elected a president by voting against his opposition was in 1976, when Jimmy Carter beat President Gerald Ford. Mr. Ford was “tainted” by association with the Nixon administration. As a result, many voted against Mr. Ford, not for Mr. Carter. We saw how well that turned out. During the Carter administration, we gave away the Panama Canal, were impotent to do anything about the taking of the U.S. embassy in Iran, and suffered with double-digit inflation and borrowing rates.
5. I don’t diminish the sacrifices made by our military and their families. We can’t repay that debt. While we must not forget the hundreds of soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice, we must remember doing nothing carries a far higher body count.
6. The largest refugee camp in the world was in Iran for Iraqi refugees from Saddam Hussein. Within a year of Hussein’s removal, the U.N. closed the camp because everyone had returned to their homes in Iraq.
8. Employment Situation Summary – March 2004; U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; April 2, 2004.
9. Despite the fact that Bureau of Labor Statistics show more people working at the end of 2003 – 2.4 million more unadjusted/0.7 million seasonally adjusted – than when President Bush took office and the employment rate (94.4%) is within 0.7% of the pre-Bush level, “economy and jobs” tended to be the number one issue. It appears Democrats believe the bogus claim of 2.8 million jobs lost since President Bush took office. At 5.7%, the current (March 2004) unemployment rate is below the average for the 1990s – and 1970s and 1980s - and dropping. What about those darlings of Democrats, socialism-based France and Germany? Their unemployment rates are 9.6% and 10.5%, respectively. Because their success depends on painting a picture of gloom and doom, Democrats would like us to believe America is covered with soup kitchens.
10. A railroad employee saw a bomb on tracks outside of Madrid on April 2, 2004. The explosives were the same as used in the March 11th attacks. Fortunately, it appears the person planting the bomb was scared off before he could complete the act. So much for the wisdom of buying off terrorists.
13. Anti-American cleric al-Sadr warns that Iraq could become 'another Vietnam' for America; Associated Press; The Boston Globe; April 7, 2004.
15. Democrats like to engage in a little revisionist history with respect to Vietnam. To hear Democrats tell it, President Eisenhower was responsible. Here are the facts. In 1950, President Truman started assisting Vietnam with financial assistance. During his administration, President Eisenhower sent military trainers to South Vietnam after Vietnam’s partitioning. When President Kennedy took office, there were only about 700 military trainers in South Vietnam. Within about a year, the number increased to a few thousand and was about 16,000 when Kennedy was assassinated. The real escalation came during the Lyndon Johnson administration and reached its peak of about 540,000 at about the time President Nixon took office. By the end of his first year in office, Nixon reduced U.S. troops to about 460,000. There were “only” about 27,400 U.S. troops in Vietnam by the end of President Nixon’s first term at the end of 1972.
17. A Beaver County and/or Maryland and/or eastern Pennsylvania resident [Nikola (Nick) Drobac] with leftist beliefs used college graduation rates in an effort to show only less educated (read: stupid) people voted for George W. Bush in 2000. This person’s website displayed a USA Today (January 11, 2001; page 1a) map showing the six states with the lowest college graduation rates overwritten with “All voted for Bush.” Mr. Drobac even named the image file “dumbest-states.jpg.” Personally, I believe the effort shows these voters had above average common sense. Also, I don’t believe a college degree necessarily means you are smarter or a better judge of character than a person without a college degree. Of my parents and grandparents, only one had a college degree yet I considered all of them intelligent and excellent judges of character. Using a longtime leftist strategy, Mr. Drobac applies a negative stereotype to keep a group down. I guess we know how Mr. Drobac really feels about most of those hard working souls who toiled in the Beaver County steel mills, on its railroads, et cetera. They were dumb. I wonder what Nikola Drobac thinks of his brother, Stevan Drobac, Jr., as a former political candidate. You see, Stevan Drobac does not have a bachelor degree according to his website.