The Bush Democrats

Sen. Zell Miller has come out and endorsed Bush for the 2004 election. Sen. Miller is a Democrat.

Obviously this is not good news for the Democratic Party, as it underscores the major problem the Democrats face in 2004. The Democrats have running on a strongly anti-war platform, a platform that has forced them to continue to shift farther and farther towards the left as the campaign goes on.

The American public are not anti-war activists. This is not Vietnam. The American people are glad to see Saddam gone and understand that restoring order to Iraq will take some time. They may have reservations about the war, but those reservations don’t invalidate the central thesis of the war: that the world would be much safer without Saddam Hussein.

Yet the Democrat’s central argument is that the world would be safer with George W. Bush out of power and Saddam Hussein back in power. At this rate of ideological drift by January one of the Democratic candidates will be announcing that Saddam Hussein would be his running mate for 2004.

Sen. Miller isn’t the only Democrat seeing this for what it is. Roger L. Simon is stating that he’s with Zell on this one:

Let me begin by saying that there is not a great deal of domestic policy about which I agree with George Bush. I think taxes should not be reduced for the upper classes. I would like to see a lot more done for the environment, including the automobile companies being forced to build truly fuel-efficient cars as quickly as possible. I favor a woman’s right to choose and gay marriage. I’d like to see salaries raised for teachers. I could go on, but I think you get the picture—in many ways I’m a liberal.

Still, if the election were held today, like Georgia Democratic Senator Zell Miller, I would vote for George W. Bush without a second’s hesitation. That’s how bad I think the Democrats are on foreign policy, by far the most important issue of our day. I will go further. They are one of the sleaziest collections of low-down opportunists I have ever seen on one stage together short of that crowd of tobacco executives who testified “No, sirree, I didn’t know that nicotine was addictive.” These dudes and one dudette (Mosely-Braun) are downright dangerous. (Okay, Lieberman can be sane, but he doesn’t seem to have a chance in that bizarre atmosphere). And here’s why I think they’re dangerous—they’re acting like we’re still in Vietnam when we’re in a real war of civilizations. We’re on the right side this time. Haven’t they seen the videotapes of Baathists chopping their own countrymens’ heads off and pushing them off roofs? Haven’t they seen the unmarked graves of children? What’s going on with these people? Do they think suicide bombers driving into the Red Cross are pacifist Buddhist monks? (Actually, I think some of them deep down know the truth, but are afraid to admit it because they’re trolling for votes—how pathetic is that!).

We’re going to see more like this in the future. The Democratic base isn’t a coalition of a number of very different groups, and a lot of those groups tend to be hawkish on foreign policy. A union member in Detroit who has to choose between a Democrat who wants to retard America’s fight against Islamofacism and Bush might just well pull the lever for Bush on this issue. National security is a key issue, and when the Democrats have staked a position on that key issue that is so ideological extreme that it represents the views of only a small minority, they shouldn’t be surprised when more defections like this occur.

8 thoughts on “The Bush Democrats

  1. Miller’s part of a long line of Democrats from the JFK/Scoop Jackson wing of the Democratic Party. Remember that JFK was an ardent anti-Communist (as was Bobby) and dramatically cut taxes during his term in office.

    The kind of liberalism displayed by the Democratic Party didn’t really develop until 1968, around the same time the modern conservative movement took off. Before that the two parties were not nearly as different as they are now.

  2. No, Miller is an “old south” Democrat who hasn’t yet realized that the rest of his wing skipped town decades ago.

    Again, he’s as much a Democrat as Tom Daschle is a Catholic. Fess up to one or the other. 😛

  3. Well, if you define Democrat as being a member of the Tom Daschle/Nancy Pelosi ideological stripe, then Zell Miller would be as much of a Democrat as Tom Daschle is a Catholic.

  4. Let me put it this way: If a Republican senator came out and endorsed Howard Dean, or even Joe Lieberman or Wesley Clark, what would you make of it? You’d probably be calling said individual a RINO, and calling for their quick exit from the party… same diff, IMHO.

  5. Oh, and Daschle and Pelosi are definitely not of the same stripe- Daschle is far more of a midwest moderate than you give him credit for.

  6. Check the AJC story about this. There’s a pretty good quote on the subject from former US Rep (and close personal friend of mine) Buddy Darden. And, if I may offer another comparison, Zell Miller is as much a Democrat in today’s world as Lester Maddox would be a Democrat in today’s world. Georgia raises us funny: most of us overcome it.

  7. Nick’s right here. Miller has as much in common with the post-New Deal Democratic Party as Norm Coleman did when he was a Democrat. There are very few Zell Millers in Congress these days, which may indeed hurt the Democratic Party’s chances in the right-wing South for some time. On the other hand, there are a handful of liberal Republicans in the Senate (and a few in the House) that could easily be prompted to switch parties as they continue to be compared to Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden for not agreeing with everything Bush dictates. Whatever problem the Zell Miller factor poses for Democrats in the South, the Lincoln Chaffee and Olympia Snowe factor seems to pose an even bigger problem for Republicans in the North, because Bush’s worldview is WAY out of the mainstream most places north of the Mason-Dixon line.

    And you’re not exactly consistent here. Just two weeks ago, you were blasphemizing Democrats for only giving terrorism 1% of their vote on a list of “biggest concerns.” Considering our complete and utter apathy towards terrorism risks, are we then gonna give Bush a blank check to do as he pleases both domestically and foreign-policy wise? I think Roger Simon represents a very small percentage of American voters…liberals who are smitten with Bush’s foreign policy. You can’t seem to get the new reality through your skull…a reality where the majority of Americans no longer think the war with Iraq was worth the cost, and a majority that is growing with each series of bodybags brought home. Granted, there are significant regional differences in attitudes about the war, but what I’ve seen here in Yankee country is that even many Republicans who would otherwise support Bush strongly disapprove of his handling of this war. Thus, the prospect of Detroit autoworkers willing to sacrifice their livelihood to the most labor-loathing shark to reside in the White House at least since Herbert Hoover because of a commitment to Bush’s fraudulent Iraq policy seems like wishful thinking and a half.

    As for Daschle, he just received applause from Wayne LaPierre of the NRA for supporting policy that would make gunmakers immune from lawsuits. Somehow, I expect Nancy Pelosi will be on the other side of the issue. As for Daschle being a “real Catholic”, he seems more in line with the values of Catholics than the Republicans, at least the non-German Catholics. Simply because of the church’s opposition to abortion, Catholics are somehow branded a conservative lot loyal to the Republican party line, even though the facts suggest the exact opposite. The two most Catholic states in the union are Rhode Island and Massachusetts…not exactly conservative bastions. Here in Minnesota, St. Paul (where favorite son Norm Coleman won a grand total of zero of the city’s 119 precincts in the 2002 Senate race) is a city dominated by Irish Catholics. Two of the most Catholic counties in rural Minnesota are Mower County in southern Minnesota and Swift County in western Minnesota. Republicans rarely poll better than 35% in either county. There are sects of Catholic voters who are strongly Republican, but by and large, they are a working-class lot from Democrat-friendly ethnic origins with a commitment to social justice who vote for people like Tom Daschle and scorn people like George Bush even though they don’t embrace Daschle’s position on abortion.

    Jay, as for the silly yet oft-repeated analogy that JFK was the inspiration for modern-day supply side economics and neoconservative foreign policy, I’ll make a deal with you. If you work to return to the JFK era with a top tax rate of 72% and a union membership rate of 44%, I’ll agree with you that JFK was really a conservative.

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