WASHINGTON, August 29, 2015 – Looking across the political landscape today, it’s impossible to ignore the divisiveness. Pundits on both sides like to repeat the observation that the two-party system is more polarized today than it’s ever been. That’s not the case and never will be again, considering we live in a country where political parties have gone to war with each other and before that used to settle disagreements with gun duels.
The critique is not far off however; this country has certainly never seen political animosity this strident in the past several decades.
One of the principal reasons things have deteriorated to this point is that the Democratic Party that you once knew has been slowly dying over the last 15 years. The party that brought us monumental figures like Tip O’Neill, Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton, whose liberalism embodied the same religious fervor as the pope’s relationship with Catholicism but yet still allowed them the ability to work across the aisle to accomplish what the American people wanted.
They would not even recognize liberals today.
That didn’t happen overnight.
The Democratic Party has been slowly succumbing to an infection inflicted by the radical fringe of the party and, rather than correct itself and shift back to the center as all parties have done throughout American history, the left made the conscious decision to throw their hands up and see what happens.
The decline started in the late 1990s toward the end of the Clinton administration. Republicans and Democrats had just gone through one of the most productive periods of their relational history in terms of the amount of bi-partisan legislation that was passed by Congress.
It wasn’t easy and it got extremely ugly at times, culminating in a government shut-down that no one came away from looking good.
However, Republican leadership led by Newt Gingrich was able to work with Bill Clinton and the Democrats to push through some substantial accomplishments like a balanced budget amendment and welfare reform.
They didn’t always get along, but there was real respect for each other even to this day.
In October 1999, Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer stood on the Senate floor and during an argument with Republican Sen. Rick Santorum, said that a child is not protected by the Constitution until it leaves the hospital.
It was truly a shocking exchange that essentially served as Boxer’s official coming-out as a fringe figure in the party.
Her statements weren’t taken too seriously as most fair-minded people agreed that surely society wouldn’t condone a position like that. And society didn’t.
Fast forward to today and you find that Boxer’s position is now essentially the party platform. The head of the Democratic Party, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, absolutely supports a woman’s “right” to have an abortion at any point in a pregnancy even after the child has been born.
Still not convinced? Look no further than Bernie Sanders. In 1995, a self-avowed socialist, with no real accomplishments in Washington, with a strange habit of writing essays about gang rape in college would have been laughed off a presidential stage.
In 2015, he is filling arenas in Los Angeles with 20,000 frenzied young people. The left would have you think that’s “cool” and “progressive” but in reality it’s simply the result of the Democratic Party giving up on trying to appeal to mainstream Americans.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz couldn’t even bring herself to come up with one way that today’s Democrats are different from socialists. Seriously. When Chris Matthews lobbed that softball question at her on MSNBC, she could barely muster a word other than to try to spin the question into an attack on Republicans. Her lack of an answer spoke volumes about the shape of the party today.
The reality is there is no difference.
Look at two of the top political issues in the news today, immigration and abortion.
The “radical” Republican position on immigration is enforcing our laws and securing our borders. The position from the Democrats is that anyone who disagrees with them is a racist and that illegal aliens in this country should be granted citizenship with no border security.
As a party, they have banded together and are determined to secure themselves a subservient voting bloc that will win them elections for years to come.
On abortion, the Democrats believe taxpayer money should fund not only abortions, but partial birth and late-term abortions (which the majority of Americans don’t support); they argue for the sale and distribution to the highest bidder of the body parts from those abortions. If you disagree with that, you are anti-woman.
Republicans, aren’t calling for the repeal of Roe v. Wade or trying to outlaw birth control, as Democrats accuse. They simply believe life starts when DNA is formed, or when the heart is beating and that those lives deserve protection.
Who’s the radical here?
Take the Democratic leadership today; another example. The mainstream media complains about McConnell and Boehner all day and night, which isn’t at all fair, but it can be justified as long as it is about policy.
The complaints about Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders goes far beyond policy.
Harry Reid took to the Senate floor and lied when he claimed Mitt Romney hasn’t paid taxes in 10 years.
During the recent midterms, Democrats were behind ads that blamed Republicans for the death of Trayvon Martin and passed out flyers in Georgia claiming a vote for Republicans would cause another Ferguson-type police killing.
Harry Reid’s super PAC financed the Trayvon Martin radio spot.
Many of us remember the embarrassing ad Democrats ran against Paul Ryan after he pushed for Medicare reform, claiming he wants to throw senior citizens off a cliff.
When have you ever seen a Republican ad that outrageous? You haven’t. If methodically using racism to sway an election isn’t wrong, then what is?
That’s what today’s Democrats do.
They get personal, they lie, they do whatever it takes to harm the reputation of their opponents. Basically, they play dirty with a completely different set of rules.
That’s what radicals do.
If moderate Democrats still existed as a meaningful force in the party, Hillary Clinton would not be the presidential front-runner being threatened by a self-avowed socialist. There is not a single moderate Democrat with any shot in this race. Every candidate the left has gotten excited about has been a fringe candidate. Elizabeth Warren is about as far left as it gets and the Democratic base has been clamoring for her.
That speaks volumes.
In conclusion, Hillary Clinton stood in front of a crowd in Cleveland yesterday and claimed that pro-life Republicans are the same as terrorists. It was a shocking line that one would think would bring great criticism from both sides of the aisles, right? The thought that Muslim extremists who are raping and murdering women left and right in the name of God can be discussed in the same conversation as those who oppose taxpayer-funded partial birth abortion and the profit from the sale of the resulting body parts is surely a bridge too far.
Not for today’s Democrats.
As I got ready for work this morning, I heard a Democratic strategist being interviewed on television who said Hillary’s remarks weren’t outrageous and that she had a point to compare Republicans to terrorists.
The radicals have officially become the main stream.