IT’S JUST A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY REPEATING: Dave Kopel checks out the parallels between the Democratic candidates in 2004, and compares them to their lineup in 1972. Talk about back to the future:
National Journal columnist Chuck Todd suggests that the current Democratic Presidential slate resembles the field from 1972. John Kerry is the “seasoned front-runner” (like Maine Senator Ed Muskie); Gephardt is the labor favorite (like Hubert Humphrey); Dean the darling of the anti-war Left (like McGovern); Lieberman is the lone hawk (like Washington Senator Henry Jackson); Mosley-Braun is the purely symbolic female black candidate (like Shirley Chisholm). But the best parallel is Al Charlatan and George Wallace. Todd delicately writes that “No one thought Wallace could win the Democratic nomination, but everyone in the field believed he would be a key factor in certain primary states.” I would put the comparison a little more directly: Like Wallace, Sharpton is an excellent orator and race-baiting demagogue who–despite claiming to fight for the little guy–appeals to the most paranoid and racist instincts of poorly-educated Democratic primary voters, especially in the South and Northeast.
The National Journal forgot to come up with a modern parallel for Sam Yorty–the Democratic Mayor of Los Angeles, whose Presidential campaign attracted no visible support (except for an endorsement from the Manchester Union-Leader). I predict that Dennis Kucinich has everything it takes to be the Sam Yorty of 2004.
More proof that it’s Morning in America.
It’s also proof that the Democrats are now the party “standing athwart history and yelling stop”, as Jonah Goldberg notes in his recent syndicated column:
In 1950, Lionel Trilling famously wrote, “In the United States at this time, liberalism is not only the dominant but even the sole intellectual tradition. For it is plain nowadays there are no conservative or reactionary ideas in general circulation.” That may not have been entirely true then, and it may not be entirely fair to say the same of liberalism today, but the comparison is apt.
Liberalism has become reactionary. Its ideas amount to standing pat and breeding fear of change. Al Gore’s central budgetary idea was a “lockbox” and his chief priorities were to fight changes to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and affirmative action. The most popular word in the left’s vocabulary is “stop”: Stop the war, stop free trade, stop biotechnology, stop Bush, stop the world because they want to get off.
As a political conservative, I see nothing wrong with saying stop -if you have a viable alternative to what it is you want to stop. Take the war for example. Most of the anti-war speakers at recent protests took the position that Iraq should comply with the U.N. resolution, but they also opposed war and sanctions. In other words, they oppose just for the sake of opposing.