RUSH: Web exclusive commentary from Newsweek, Michael Hirsch: “How Can the Democrats Win if the Party is Scared of its Own Shadow? — A good therapist, we know, can sometimes help a person who’s lost his confidence or mental balance. But what do you do when an entire party needs therapy? You’d think the Republicans would be the ones in need of professional help… But at least the GOP is engaged in a war over real policy choices. It is an emotional debate, often a hysterical and ill-informed one, but it is a fight among adults who know what they believe in and who have the guts to battle for it. By contrast the Democrats, ostensibly the party poised to exploit this GOP civil war, don’t seem to remember what it is like to behave as adults.”
It’s because they’ve never been adults. They’re the party of privilege, and everybody knows it.
“They resemble nothing so much as ill-adjusted adolescents, afraid of their own shadows, much less the presidency. What are they afraid of? Themselves, essentially: their past, their own left, the populist rhetoric of their leaders (Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Howard Dean, Al Gore), the left-wing loony stigma represented by ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ filmmaker Michael Moore (every Dem’s favorite bugaboo). Above all they fear seeming and looking soft. They are all afflicted with varying degrees of megalophobia, a fear of assuming power. Even Dr. Melfi of ‘The Sopranos’ wouldn’t take this case.” Isn’t it amazing. Do you see the Democrats this way? Admit it, folks, when you watch the Democrats as portrayed by the Drive-By Media, how many of you have the idea that they’re still well-coordinated, that they’ve got their talking points and they get them hammered home and they’re very consistent with it and they’ve been very confident they’ve already got the election won? Here’s a guy analyzing them from their side of the aisle, and is petrified, sees them as a bunch of adolescent psychos who need mass therapy.
RUSH: Let me go back to this piece. This piece is classic, folks. It’s amazing. It’s by a member of the media, a writer for Newsweek, who says he’s got no brief in this fight because he’s not either a Democrat or Republican. Yet the whole piece is advising Democrats what they need to do to win! But it’s perspective and how he sees the Democrats and how he sees the Republicans that is fascinating to me. I just read you some of this already. Let me continue here with just a few excerpts.
“While nitpicking and nattering over Bush’s ‘errors of execution,’ they still embrace his fundamentals. In other words, they all continue to sound like unreconstructed John Kerrys, frightened of seeming soft. When they get together, this fear is virtually all they talk about. It is a fear that reeks from the party’s new draft platform for 2006…” Where is that? I haven’t seen this draft platform. Well, I remember. Yeah, I guess there was talk of a draft platform, but nobody’s actually etched it in stone yet. Anyway, “It is a fear that reeks from the party’s new draft platform for 2006, causing Leslie Gelb, the former president of the Council on Foreign Relations, to crack to liberal hawk Peter Beinart recently: ‘If you have to say you’re tough, you’re not.'”
Just like you say you’re going to inject spirituality into your agenda, you don’t have it in the first place. “The champion of this ‘new’ breed of Dem tough guys, of course, is Hillary Clinton, who every week, it seems, finds some new way of pandering to the right in her long, stealth march to the 2008 nomination. All in an apparent effort to escape her own shadow, her supposed liberal excesses from the early ’90s.” Now, is that how you see Hillary? This piece is just written yesterday. In the last three weeks, last month, do you see Hillary Clinton as “pandering to the right”? We just played you audio sound bites of her speech, her acceptance speech, hammering the Bush administration all over the place.
What this piece is, is another member of the media complaining and whining and moaning that the Democrats are not the criticizing Bush enough, that they’re frightened, that they’re scared to criticize Bush on anything. What is this guy missing? Does he not watch and read his own Drive-By Media? Really, if anybody needs therapy, it’s the guy that wrote this piece. I’ll tell you what his name is. His name is Michael Hirsch. He’s at Newsweek. But this is only on the website.
“One reason for the persistence of these Democratic phobias has been the party’s abysmal inability, a year and a half after the fact, to reckon with the real reason for Kerry’s loss in the 2004 campaign: once again, fear. Kerry’s campaign was driven by a fear of his shadow (his antiwar activism after Vietnam), of seeming too…” What do you mean? He opened the Democratic convention by saying, “John Kerry reporting for duty.” He re-conquered Boston with his swift boat buddies going to the convention. He went across Boston harbor in an attempted reenactment of his great military service. He didn’t try to hide anything here. He was exposed as a fraud, for crying out loud! He was exposed as somebody who couldn’t tell the truth. He was exposed as somebody who wouldn’t release his service records. Yet this guy thinks that Kerry lost because he was afraid of being who he really is.
“How else can one explain the inexplicable — the spectacle of a Silver Star winner made to look wimpy by two men who avoided combat?” Talking about Karl Rove and the Swift Boat guys. “Simple: He was terrified of speaking out. His campaign even toned down the convention speech of that most mild-mannered of presidents, Jimmy Carter. I hold no brief in this fight,” writes Mr. Hirsch, “being neither Democrat nor Republican. [Laughing] But here is a message to those few Democrats who retain their self-confidence and sanity (I’m not sure who you are, but there must be some): Come back from the shadows. If you can look past your fears, America’s entire national-security apparatus is out there making your case for you.”
No, what’s happening out there, Mr. Hirsch, is that the Democratic Party is making the case to the American people that they’re not trusted to run the national security apparatus. [T]he vast majority of Democratic leaders cannot bring themselves to say this — Hillary most prominently of all.” What can’t they bring themselves to say is that the Iraq war has been pointless; it was unnecessary; it’s a phony war. No Democrat can say that? That’s all they’ve been saying for two and a half years! That’s why I say this is classic. I don’t know what this guy is. This guy sounds like a kooky left-wing blogger who says the Democrats… That’s where you read this kind of stuff.
“…Democrats must first have the courage to strip bare the GOP’s failures. They must believe they’re every bit as good on national security as their rivals. This courage is frankly not in evidence. Five and half years on we see the Republicans as brazen and full of self-confidence as ever about their national-security credentials, and the Democrats, as timid and full of self-doubt as they ever have been over the same issue. Hence, the need for a good therapist, one with a very large office.”
Now, is that how you see the Democrats? Do you see the Democrats as being frightened and afraid to come out? Now, the only area of this that is, if this is what he’s saying, but I’m not altogether certain here that this is what he’s saying. But I do think that the Democrats are scared to death of telling us what they really believe and who they really are because they know they’re going to lose if they do that. There’s no question. That’s why they go in these closed-door meetings, come up with these policy ideas, how can we fool ’em today, hiring George Lakoff (rhymes with). But the idea that the Republicans are running around as brazen and full of self-confidence as ever about their national security credentials? Anyway…
He then says, “No one looks like a wimp when he or she tells the truth. And the public is crying, pleading for someone to tell the truth.” Admit it, my friends. This is why you listen to me, because I satisfy that craving in your hearts and your minds, although I’m not seeking office. The public is crying, pleading for somebody to tell the truth. This guy’s version of the truth is that Bush lied; Iraq was not necessary; we’ve goofed it up. We have left Afghanistan to the Taliban. They’re running roughshod all over the place again, and it’s horrible out there. Iran is getting nukes, and we’re not going to do anything to stop it. Why, everything is horrible!
This is exactly what they’ve been saying for three years if not more — and again, I don’t know how this guy misses it. “Most Americans now know, without being told, that American prestige is on the line in Iraq. And that any withdrawal will be slow and painful. This is now settled U.S. policy, and it will be followed by whoever the next president is, Democrat or Republican.” Not necessarily, because that wizard of smarts, John F. Kerry, is out there “harshly criticizing the Bush administration for disdaining diplomacy in favor of a confrontational and unilateral foreign policy that has hurt the US. In a speech yesterday in LA, Kerry warned that the mistake of Iraq must not be repeated in the current standoff with Iran,” and he basically demanded that we pull all of our troops out by the end of this year.
So we’ve got Kerry running the same campaign, the campaign that Mr. Hirsch here apparently missed. Now, there’s a companion story to this in the American Spectator Online today and it’s by Andrew Cline. You know, I’ve recently (not always, recently) been making the point that what’s missing on our side of the aisle is an elected conservative leadership. Well, his piece sort of confirms it because his piece — I’m not going to bother reading excerpts because it’s very simple to synthesize this. What he’s basically saying is conservatives have got to make it plain that they are not Republicans (laughing) and I agree with that a hundred percent. I mean, the country club blue-blooders, the elitists, the Rockefeller Republicans, the liberal Republicans, a whole bunch of them out there. They are doing their best to defeat the conservative wing of the Republican Party and they’re being joined in that by liberal Democrats as well.