The Company They Keep
It’s not a big observation, but over the weekend, while keeping tabs on the campaign, something struck me.
Bush’s rabid opponents paint him as an extremist with views that are out of the main stream. They say he’s driving a wedge between the parties and some sort of neocon ideologue. After all, the democrats are supposed to be the party of inclusion, right? They’re the ‘big tent’ party where everyone is welcome, right?
Well, that’s not the case if you judge by how the campaigns have been going. Bush has surrounded himself with happy, supportive moderates of substantial stature. These are people who don’t agree with him at all on certain key issues, but who still believe he’s the better leader for the country. They aren’t just paying lip service, they’re out there day after day making speech upon speech with considerable enthusiasm. You have to take Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rudy Giuliani and John McCain pretty seriously. They’re the leading lights of moderate politics in America today and they’re 100% behind Bush. As for big tents, Bush has prominent moderates crossing party lines and supporting him, like Zell Miller and Ed Koch. They’re democrats, but they put the good of the country ahead of slavish party loyalty.
As for Kerry, who has he got out campaigning for him? Well, mostly hired flacks and other ultra liberals. The big names of his party are significantly absent. They don’t want to be tainted with the brush of ultraliberalism. He did manage to get Bill Clinton to come out for a couple of appearances, but Joe Lieberman, Hillary Clinton and other semi-moderate democrats are pointedly staying home. The best he can do is some appearances by the increasingly crazed and anti-American Jimmy Carter. And his tent certainly doesn’t include any Republicans. Even the anti-war and Bush-hating Republicans are staying as far away from him as possible. Kerry’s tent just keeps getting smaller, filled with nothng but bomb-throwing ultraleft diehards and paid-off yesmen.
When you want to throw around claims of extremism and exclusion, just look at who supports each of the candidates. The spectrum supporting Bush is truly broad. Kerry’s supporters are hard core, but that core rests far away from the middle of the road. Perhaps the truly scary implication is what this will mean if Kerry wins, because then the forces of extremism and socialism will have the key to the doors of the executive branch. Not something to look forward to.