The Democrats' Pledge (to Lie) to America

A fortnight ago, the House Republicans published their Pledge to America. It got mixed reviews, sparked a bizarre Daily Caller attack on National Review, and also prompted our own Ed Driscoll to wonder if the Democrats had any intention of publishing their own agenda for the country. Ed rang up the DNC, and political inanity ensued:

I asked spokesman Ryan Rudominer whether, since we now have the GOP agenda, there is a similar document laying out what Democrats will do if voters return them to power in the House. There was a moment of silence on the other end of the call.

“I’m sorry, you mean, like, a current one?” Rudominer asked.

Yes, I said.

“I don’t think we have, like, you know, a 21-page sort of infomercial-type package like this,” Rudominer said.

Well, any sort of agenda would be fine, I said.

“Look, you know, each race is going to have their own individualized message,” Rudominer answered. “So look, we’re not putting together a gimmicky package like this six weeks before the election. We’re talking about making each of these elections a choice.”

In other words, the Democrats have no interest in nationalizing the midterms. It's not hard to see why: Their dear leader is sinking and what was supposed to be their crowning glory, ObamaCare, is a trillion-dollar albatross around their necks. Their agenda can be boiled down to one word: survive.

But quietly, the DNC actually did publish a set of national party priorities. They just didn't brand it as such, so no one noticed.  Most were too busy bashing the Republicans.

A week before the Republicans rolled out the Pledge to America, the Democrats rolled out their new web site. It looked terrible.  It hit complete with an awful new logo and a slogan so devoid of meaning it could have come from Seinfeld: Change That Matters. "What kind of change? We're not sure, but it matters, baby!"

Since taking over Congress in 2007 and the White House in 2009, the Democrats really have brought change that has mattered: Unemployment near double digits, a housing crisis that could have been avoided but for intervention from the likes of Barney Frank, a trillion-dollar stimulus that made unions richer while leaving the rest of us poorer, corporate takeovers that shut down hundreds of auto dealerships that just happened to have been owned by Republican donors, and a health care takeover passed over the objections of a majority of Americans that has politicized our relationships with our doctors to an unprecedented degree.  They're letting clowns give fake testimony in Congress while real national security goes unaddressed.  The latest “change that matters” involved Democratic Sen. Harry Reid inserting something the majority of Americans oppose, using their tax dollars to pay for the children of illegal aliens to attend college at in-state tuition rates, into the defense spending bill in the middle of a war so that it had a chance of passing.  The Democrats may call that “change that matters”; I call it a crime against democracy. But it is change, and it has mattered.

As for the Democrats’ new logo, it has inspired riffs and parodies that will go on until the party quietly scuttles it. Is it a target? A sign of Depression? A call to arms to fight bedbugs? A toilet? The ACORN logo sliced and rolled on its side? Who knows? It is bad design that betrays a lack of life and ideas, and that’s enough.

The DNC's new web site also houses the party's agenda items. Among those is a page on “Fair Elections.” It’s in the “What We Stand For” section (not listed there: weak foreign policy, higher taxes, government running everything in the country, and empowering unions at the expense of common sense). Intrigued, I wondered if the “Fair Elections” page would discuss ballot integrity, perhaps acknowledge past sins like Lyndon Baines Johnson’s infamous Box 13 or the infamous “White Primary,” and maybe address issues like ACORN’s runs at massive voter registration fraud on a national scale. Or they might address the Department of Justice's curious approach to voter intimidation. Maybe there would be something on why LULAC is suing the Texas Democratic Party.

Nope. Nothing about this business in Atlantic City either. The entire “Fair Elections” page is just a lefty blogish riff on the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision and the Democrats’ pet DISCLOSE Act, recently shot down in Congress. These are both largely about campaign finance, which is related to but different from plain old electoral fairness.   And yet they still betray rank Democratic hypocrisy.  From their page:

Democrats have fought to limit the influence of special interests…

Let me stop ‘em right there. The Democrats have a funny definition of “special interests” that apparently includes anyone who supports Republicans, and excludes anyone who supports Democrats.  DISCLOSE was explicitly written to curtail corporate contributions to elections while giving unions, which heavily favor Democrats, a free hand to contribute as much as they want.  Additionally, the Shadow Party that I described in detail last week is a special interest. It’s trial lawyer money, controlled by a single Washington operative, for the purpose of mounting political attacks disguised as watchdog groups merely looking out for the public good. And there’s more. The Texas Democratic Party has systematically, over the course of several years now, fought sensible election reforms like voter photo ID even though a heavy majority of Texans want it. They even brought the 2009 legislative session to a grinding halt just to kill the voter ID bill.

The Texas Democratic Party also uses a bizarre primary-caucus system that is so unfair and easily manipulated that it has spawned a lawsuit by LULAC.  LULAC charges that the primary-caucus system is unfair to Hispanic voters in that it gives party bosses the final say, after the voters have voted, in who wins party nominations.  LULAC has a point: Somehow Obama got more Texas delegates than Hillary Clinton did, even though she got more votes in the primary. That doesn’t seem fair to me.  Nor does their history under Bill White of trying to curb military voting in Texas. But they did have an email making the rounds last week that encourages those "confined in jail" to get their absentee ballots.

And there’s more. Returning to the mention of those “special interests” that the Democrats claim to hate so much, there’s another major figure in the Shadow Party who is a special interest unto himself.  His name is Steve Mostyn, and he’s a Houston trial lawyer who is singlehandedly bankrolling about two dozen candidates for the state House (some of whom were either on his law firm’s payroll or were staffers to others who are on his payroll), and donating to groups that in turn donate to his quiver of candidates. Thus, he’s triple dipping. He’s also funding a PAC called Back to Basics, which is a PAC in name only: It’s funded almost entirely by him, to the tune of about $300,000 so far.  And he has given at least $125,000 directly to the Bill White campaign, and another $400,000 to the Democratic Governors Association -- money which will surely end up in White’s campaign coffers.  Mostyn runs or funds groups like the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, Texans for Insurance Reform, Annie’s List -- sift through their various filings with the Texas Ethics Commission and it’s readily apparent that they’re all basically Steve Mostyn’s money in disguise. He has pledged to personally donate $3 million to Texas Democrats this year, and he’s at about $2 million at the moment, spread across his Democratic candidates and attack front groups.

The idea that the Democrats oppose “special interests” in the name of “fair elections” is risible. They can say so on their web site all they want, but that party’s history is replete with examples of attempts to steal elections, ballot box theft and stuffing (LBJ built a career on that), and fighting tooth and nail to keep their power no matter what the voters want.  From Howard Dean’s famous admission that their health care bill didn’t include any tort reform because the Democrats didn’t have the stones to take on the trial lawyers (a group that overwhelmingly supports Democrats), to their post-election efforts to manipulate the count to get Al Franken installed as a senator, to the many ACORN schemes to generate masses of fraudulent voter registrations, the "Fair Elections" page on the Democrats’ new web site is simply a lie, stated very boldly.

Next thing ya know, the same crew that brought us the Cornhusker Kickback and "We have to pass (Obamacare) to find out what's in it" will claim to stand for "open government."  Wait...