Trick or Treat?

Halloween marks a true countdown to election day. In fact, by this time next year it will be two days until the 2004 election. So one has to wonder whether or not the American people are going to be tricked or treated next year. Is rhetoric against President Bush on the economy and Iraq/Afghanistan going to hold next year for whoever gets the nod from the Democrats? Will they actually have to start coming up with ideas other than socialized health care, raising taxes and pulling troops out of Iraq (if we are still there).

The sorry state of the Democrat party today, amplified by the fact that the economy is surging ahead, is really a kick in the head to the nine Presidential candidates. Ideological liberals have to be shaking their heads right now as nobody outside of populist candidates has a chance at the nod. Not that ideological conservatives (especially fiscal conservatives) have much to celebrate with President Bush. His expansion of the federal government is on target with Johnson’s and even with tax cuts, nothing is being done at the federal level to preclude spending.

Two excellent articles in the Washington Times gives an accurate view of the split going on right now and why the populists are going to win over the idealogues.

In the first one, Democrats Urged to Move to the Center, it demonstrates how much the Democrats are trying to become everything to everybody. Sen. Tom Daschel demonstrates this principle perfectly in this exerpt:

Earlier this month, Mr. Daschle and nine other Senate Democrats threw their support to a Republican bill that would protect gun manufacturers and dealers from liability lawsuits.

"The vast majority of gun owners, manufacturers and sellers are honest and law-abiding," Mr. Daschle said. "It is wrong, and it is a misuse of the civil justice system, to try to punish honest, law-abiding people for illegal acts committed by others without their knowledge or involvement."

For those railing for more gun control, this sends the wrong message that the Democrats are on their side. By abandoning their progressive stance on gun control, Democrats could alienate a lot of Michael Moore clones who would like to arrest gun makers for killing five year olds.

This recent boost in the economy is already getting discredited by Democrats. They say that we have a long way to go and that is true. But proclaiming that the growth is insignificant is only going to hurt their cause and highlight a position that would take more money from citizens. This growth is extremely significant and jobless rates are now at a level that most agree is a recovery number (slightly below 400,000 claim to be jobless). Naysayers who are not cautious of their words could find them getting bit back by them next Halloween.

Those two articles highlighted by the article by David Remer about Democratic Senator Zell Miller endorsing President Bush shows that the Democrats are again repositioning themselves as centrists. This comes to no surprise since Democrats haven't seen a non-populist candidate get elected since before World War II. Kennedy, Johnson, Carter and especially Clinton are all known for being left leaning populists and the non-populists have been obliterated in the election (read McGovern and Mondale). Clark is a former Republican who within the last year, threw his support behind President Bush and then revoked it when it became politically inconvienient. Dean is more pro-gun than Bush. Gephardt and Lieberman took stands to both go to war in Iraq and fund it completely to the rally cry of the White House. Sen. Kerry and Edwards have been trying to bill themselves as the liberal solution but have seen their poll numbers drop as a result.

The Democrats are split in half and they have stayed that way since the 2002 election. This has allowed GOP victories by convincing populists to move to the right on key issues. Next Halloween, will the Democrats be tricked or treated? Or will they already be planning for their take over in 2008?

Posted by at October 31, 2003 2:05 PM