The Right Coast

December 08, 2004
Times watch
By Tom Smith

It's a pretty good morning for the New York Times. I am ensconced in my neighborhood Starbuck's, where the locals are being lured from their pickups by the wonders of lattes. I'm logged into the network of the friendly chiropractor next door, waiting out the traffic. San Diegans are creeping along at 15 mph, thinking "My God! It's water! And it's falling from the sky!"

The coverage of political events in the Times is so reliably clueless, and their op-ed page offers endless reassurance that the Democrats are in no danger of getting it any time soon. I gather a big powwow of the Democratic National Committee is coming up in Florida, where the inevitable topic will be What Went Wrong. In the best tradition of the these therapeutic events, truth is in little danger of being rousted out of its spider hole.

Donna Brazile opines that Dems isn't dead, that it's just gone fishing. Whatever that means. Donna thinks the Dems need to "abandon cookie cutter campaigns" and "communicate with those who enjoy fishing." Translation? This is her delicate way of suggesting maybe the Democrats need to think about how they can reconnect with, say, rural Ohio voters. But, gosh, look at how careful she has to be. Four years is not very long if she feels she has to be euphemistic at this stage.

Rahm Emanuel and Jamal Simmons are nearly as clueless. Simmons rightly notes that reliving civil rights glory days is not enough for blacks to whom King is just a picture on the wall, and Hispanics who don't identify that much with the black experience anyway (and he doesn't even say that). So what do Dems need to do? Improve their organization. These people sound as lame as some unionized classroom teacher who should have been fired 20 years ago. Oh, that's right.

What do the Democrats need to do? First, get a clue about national security. Just because you have a soft spot for hopeless utopian social schemes does not mean you have to be soft on Islamofascist terrorists. To put it very bluntly: they're not communists. It's OK to hate them. You can almost see the little wheels turning. "Let's see, they're poorly dressed, they kill Marines, they shout slogans, that means they're the good guys, right?" No, that's not right. It wasn't right in Ke Sahn either, but let's put that behind us. To be brief, the Democrats should have a purge. They should get rid of all the people who are nostalgic for Nixon's invasion of Cambodia, the one that caused Pol Pot to become evil. This is an old problem with the Left in this country, which the patriotic socialists understood, which is why they were quite happy to name the names of the communists, who really were Stalin's stooges. For heaven's sake, haven't any of these people read The Grapes of Wrath? There's a long tradition of patriotic leftyism is this country. This land is your land, blah, blah, blah. Come to think of it, it had a lot to do with the civil right movement as well.

As an example of profound cluelessness, see Nicholas Kristof's not very funny little piece. Guess what? We don't have many allies in Iraq. The coerced and the bribed! Ho ho ho! Meanwhile, W is up at Miramar, bonding with Marines. Hugging, crying, praying. (story on page A16) Is this picture getting any clearer? Memo to Donna, et al.: Nobody out here in Jesusland gives a shit if Estonia is behind us or not. I have former students who are over there. A ranger who came to my martial arts class is over there now. He looked about 14. When I later asked his best friend in the class where the guy was going, he said Germany, then Iraq, and I thought he was going to cry. And the Democrats think they need to work on their organization.

I really want the Democrats to get a clue. It makes me nervous to have a referendum every four years on whether we should defend ourselves or not. I would like there to be a consensus on self-defense, and we can argue over whether we should have a Department of Teeth that runs all dental care in the country.