Recently, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) pulled an internet video ad from its web site after receiving bipartisan criticism over images of flag-draped coffins returning to the United States from overseas.
Using pictures of our war dead to achieve political objectives is inexcusable by either party, but the video ad is important for another reason. The DCCC internet ad revealed more about the Democratic Party than just the consequences of the war in Iraq. The video, which was filled with images attacking the Bush administration and the Republican-led Congress, reinforced what many have long argued: that the Democratic Party has no direction of its own and draws its entire agenda from a deep hatred of the President and the Republican Party.
A quick review of the Democratic Party’s web site exposes a party so consumed by its loathing of President Bush and the GOP that it fails to offer voters any substantive information on where it stands on the issues of the day. There is the obligatory link to the so-called “Republican Culture of Corruption,” which curiously leaves out Democratic Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s acceptance of money from the section dealing with indicted lobbyist Jack Abramhoff, who was deeply involved with members of both parties.
Then there are the links to the 10 issue areas on the Democratic Party’s agenda, including economic growth, education, health care, and retirement. But if you actually navigate to an issue area, you find generic statements like, “If you want job creation, a strong economy, and a fiscally responsible federal government, there’s only one choice: vote for democrats.”
Or you might find the section on retirement, which has such phrases as, “We are open to any and all ideas that ensure that the current and future generations of retirees receive the benefits they were promised….” Why would they solicit ideas unless they don’t have a clear position themselves?
Every issue area on the Democrat’s web site begins with such nonspecific statements followed by attacks on the President and the Republicans in Congress. In fact, more web space is devoted to attacking Republicans than to advancing Democratic positions. True to form, the Democratic Party released on June 16 its “New Direction for America,” a two-page document that devotes fully half of its space to attacks on Republicans.
Phrases like “raise the minimum wage,” “expand Pell grants,” and “invest in stem cell research” fill the first page, which is devoted to advancing Democratic Party ideas. Similarly, the party’s web site uses the phrases “…expand the pace and scope of programs…,” “expanding health care benefits,” “providing relief from skyrocketing college tuition,” and “provide every child with a world-class education.” These phrases imply bigger government and more spending, but the Democrats wisely do not say this outright. Instead, they focus on incessant attacks on the Bush administration and the Republicans in the Senate and House.
Out of curiosity, I also navigated my web browser to the Republican Party’s web site in search of the GOP’s agenda for America. Remarkably, I found a party that laid out clear positions on every political issue imaginable, while devoting almost no space at all to attacking the Democratic Party, its positions, or its members.
The entire web site was focused on the party’s past successes and its future objectives. A 92-page document is available for those who want to learn more about Republican positions on tax cuts, the privatization of Social Security, immigration, welfare reform, health care, education, and a host of other important topics. There are virtually no attacks and no hateful rhetoric, just clear, detailed positions on where Republicans stand.
The Democratic Party is advancing two themes: that Republicans are corrupt and evil, and that government in the form of the Democratic Party is the answer to the problems faced by Americans today and in the future. While claiming to be the best choice for America, the Democratic Party offers no solutions to the issues it raises. Instead, it practices the politics of hate that obscure the inevitable truth: the “New Direction for America” has no direction at all.