Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Kerry's Choice

Persians YawningThe anticipation is over, the selection made: it's John Kerry and John Edwards. After all the media hyperventilation, the speculation about Hillary and surprise candidates who would add pizazz and dazzle to the Democratic ticket, flirting with McCain (who, while flaky, is not suicidal), the NSA-level secrecy, it's ... John Edwards?? ... Oh, well. It was fun while it lasted.

There were two VP candidates who could have made the race interesting and competitive: Hillary Clinton and Sam Nunn. Hillary wouldn't be caught dead with a dud at the top of her ticket, given her designs on the Whole Enchilada in 2008, so I would have been very surprised to see her selected - she's far too calculating. But Sam Nunn - now that would have been a horse race. Nunn, the retired Senator from Georgia who chaired the Armed Services Committee, has it all: a moderate Democrat from a Southern state with strong defense credentials and a smooth, non-abrasive manner, a real winner in every regard. He's a Democrat of the old school: principled, reasoned, and with a good perspective on the role of the U.S. in the world in the midst of a terror war. They don't make 'em like that anymore.

When George Bush the First chose Dan Quayle as VP, does anyone recall the media spin? Bush had chosen Quayle because, even though a lightweight, he was young, attractive, would help carry a key state (Indiana), and had sex appeal for women voters. I'm sure we'll see the same sort of analysis of Edwards - who is Quayle without the character - in the mainstream media, but don't hold your breath. One major difference between them, though - Quayle & Bush carried Indiana.

Kerry's choice is just another indicator of the empty shell which the Democratic Party has become since the Clinton years. Once a party of noble ideals and true (albeit often misguided) compassion, they sold their soul during the Clinton scandals to maintain power at all costs, dropping lockstep into increasingly vitriolic rhetoric while studiously emptying themselves of principle and integrity. The outcome is a party which cannot find anyone of greater substance and character for VP than John Edwards, whose sole attributes are his good looks, his domecile, and the deep pockets of his trial lawyer friends.

As a conservative, this development - at first seemingly attractive - is not a good thing. Character develops through struggle and resistance. As the Democratic Party devolves into Michael Moore hysteria, seeking policy directives from Barbra Streisand, Republicans morph into the growing void, becoming less principled, more dependent on big money, throwing entitlement bread and circuses at the increasingly restive and surly mobs.

It is for this reason more than any other that I hope for a Bush blowout in November, although I am not optimistic. If Democrats are competitive this Fall - or, God forbid, win the Presidency - it will only energize the influence of the postmodern psychosis which has taken posssesion of their party, to the ultimate detriment of our nation's political process.