They Will Not Be
March 6, 2001
"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,"
Jesus is reported to have said on the cross. And then, so
the story goes, He died for our sins.
The Democratic party in its cowardice is constantly looking
for such a savior. What they hope to gain I do not know. Maybe
it is simply the rather cliché liberal guilt. Maybe
it is an inability to defend their agenda, even though this
agenda, for the most part, has the support of a majority of
Americans (I swear, if Democrats would just beat a couple
of bibles now and again for effect they'd win in landslides
every time. Oh, well, that and being against gays. And immigrants.
They ran from Clinton at the first whiff of failure, and
at the first whiff of scandal. I remember watching the humorist
Dave Barry give a speech in front of (I believe) the National
Press Club, approximately 3 days after the 1992 election.
In his speech, Barry kept referring to the "failed Clinton
presidency." It was incredibly funny, and incredible perceptive.
The press had already turned in Clinton. In fact, they turned
on him during the campaign. They had already written him off.
That is troubling, however although we would like the media
to be balanced we cannot expect them to be loyal.
Admittedly, the event that first turned the party against
Clinton was probably largely his own fault. The first major
policy initiative was the health plan. It was designed behind
closed doors without congressional input. And, to be frank,
the product was a mess. When the time came, and the "Harry
and Louise" commercials had run, Democrats in Congress scurried
away as fast as they could and never looked back. I believe
the health proposal was a mess. Though I supported its intent,
I could not support the actual product.
However, it was disgusting how the Dems fled. Couldn't they
have warned him? Couldn't they have communicated their intent
- brokered a compromise? Tried to fix it before it was too
late? Maybe they did - I do not know. But I do know that they
left Bill and Hil out to dry. And now, they are falling all
over themselves to put the final nail in. It is unnecessary,
unwarranted, and damaging. If they would take a page from
the opposition, smile and say the whole thing is silly, it
Republicans almost never violate Reagan's sacred 11th commandment:
Thou shalt not criticize another Republican (I don't
think he knew what the other 10 were). Even when they do,
they come through when it matters - at the final vote. They
threaten to defect to broker a compromise, and then vote along
party lines when the time comes. When one of their own shoots
a watermelon, or divorces his wife, gets caught in a "youthful
indiscretion", or gets on the wrong end of any number of ethics
violations, you never hear them speak ill of, or apologize
for, their actions. Never. (Please correct me if I am wrong
- with examples).
When they do go after one another - and they do - they don't
do it in public. Molinari and Paxson were sacrificed for reasons
that we will never truly know. They eventually took Gingrich
down as well. But, again, they did not air their dirty laundry
in front of the press. Publically, it is one big happy family.
On the other hand, too many Democrats are constantly apologizing
for each other, taking each other to task. They have not learned
the lesson of loyalty. In order to find salvation for themselves,
they figure they can martyr each other until none of them
are left. I do appreciate them for their honesty - I do believe
that some of what motivates their lack of loyalty is that
they are much more uncomfortable with lying than the other
The fact is, some Democrats screw up big time - the Right
doesn't have have a monopoly on ethical indiscretions. But,
nonetheless, I cannot help but conclude that Democrats are
all too willing to sacrifice one of their own. They need to
learn to stand up. For each other. For what they believe in.
Until Democrats stop nailing their own to the cross, they
will continue to fail to capture the imagination of the voters.
I think they know what they are doing. Because of that, they
will not be forgiven. They will only find redemption when
they manage to unite. Both as majority and minority they continue
to fail to do such a simple thing.
And the faithful wept.