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Wanted: Right-wing Kansas pro-lifer

Matt Zalaznick

The same mass media that brought America Janet Jackson’s bare breast, up-to-the nanosecond coverage of the Scott Peterson sleazefest and prime time wife-swapping has now convinced Democrats they should convert. And all because of “moral values.”Never mind the drop in the number of voters in the last election who told pollsters that moral values were the overriding issues. Never mind that the sex-and-adultery drenched “Desperate Housewives” and the ultra-violent “24” are both smash hits, and not just in Blue America. John Kerry, like Howard Dean before him, was the media’s horse and when its horse made a public spectacle of itself instead of beating W., the media has to rescue its image lest it be dragged down with a licentious liberal loser. So it took up the cause of the ultra-right-wing fanatics they had alienated throughout the election, the same creeps they continue to alienate with not just their dingy prime time lineups but also with Saturday morning cartoons about fancy-free sponges and tolerant bunnies. So just as howlin’ Howard became an unhinged lunatic after one exuberant speech over-amplified by the very same media, Kerry, a church-goer and prosecutor who volunteered to go to Vietnam, represented depravity and moral decay.And now, reluctant to let a good story line fade, the media is demanding the Democrats – should they harbor any hopes of regaining ground in Congress in 2006 or retaking the White House in 2008 – become Republicans. But Democrats did not go down in flames in 2004 because of their “liberalism.” John Kerry is hardly an ultra-liberal. Ardent liberals would have voted against the war in Iraq and the Patriot Act the first time. Ardent liberals, unlike John Kerry, think homosexuals have the right to marry. Democrats did not blow it because they weren’t Republicans. They blew it – and will continue to blow it – for not being Democrats. But they are currently consumed with the existential self-doubt imposed by the media. Led by Hillary Clinton, for instance, they are starting to hedge on abortion rights, a core part of the party platform. They appointed an abortion opponent (Sen. Harry Reid) to lead them in the Senate and almost picked another one (former Sen. Timothy Roemer) to run the party. Rather than carrying the party back to the Oval Office, this sounds like a fine plan to drive the considerable and absolutely vital “liberal wing” of the Democratic Party into the arms of a third party candidate, should a viable one surface. The Democrats, apparently worried about alienating Americans who will never ever vote for them, are alienating the Americans who very much want to vote for them. Here’s proof. Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback, an arch-Christian conservative and one of the Washington’s most virulent abortion foes, is licking his chops. He called the Democrats’ courting of anti-abortion candidates, “an enormously positive development for me.” No, Democrats didn’t blow it because they weren’t Republicans. They blew it because they weren’t Republicans or Democrats. They’ve blown it in the last two presidential elections because they let their candidates be mealy-mouthed, uninspiring wonks – not galvanizing, humanist big-L liberal problem-solvers like John Kennedy or even Lyndon Johnson.In the next election, Democrats should stand up for themselves, their values and the Americans who share those “values” – tolerance, choice, federal programs to help the the poor and addicted, freedom of and from religion. Whether you adore W. or he makes your skin crawl, his stances on Iraq, on terrorism, on gay marriage were so crystal clear he was able to sweep all his administration’s lying and intolerance under the rug.Even Kerry’s most devoted supporters still can’t explain his vision for Iraq. I certainly can’t. And along with plain talk – liberal plain talk – what will help the party more than anything else in 2008 is star power – not the flash-in-the-plan rock ‘n’ roll of Howard Dean, but the sustainable Middle American, easy-to-pin-down superstar power of Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and yes, George W. Does Hillary have it, or is she tainted by her adopted New York City, though, ironically, it’s home to Ground Zero, which still drives the Republicans’ very successful terror campaigns. Does Sen. Barack Obama have it? Or is he still too black for such a moral nation? City Editor Matt Zalaznick can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 606, or mzalaznick@vaildaily.comVail, Colorado


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