Denial is not just a river in Egypt. It’s a state many Democrats have been in since Nov. 3, 2004. Maybe the site of George W. Bush taking the oath of office as president Thursday snapped the Democrats out of their self-imposed psychosis.
President Bush’s inauguration is the culmination of an implausible 12-month run to re-election. Bush was not supposed to win a second term. The odds were stacked against him. He barely won the presidency in 2000. He was at the helm during Sept. 11, 2001, a devastating blow to the nation’s psyche as well as the U.S. economy. Bush launched a war against Iraq that was opposed by most of the world and many Americans. And he made the same mistake his father did in the Gulf War. He stopped the war short of victory. Instead of allowing the U.S. military to hunt down and kill every armed Iraqi militant, Bush called off the offensive campaign and settled in for a year of occupation that has led to the unnecessary loss of 1,300 soldiers. It’s one thing to die in battle. It’s another to be killed while sitting down for lunch in a tent or blown to pieces driving in a convoy.
The Democrats bungled their best chance to win the White House in 20 years. It might take that long to get back to the White House, especially if they’re foolish enough to pick left-wing extremist Howard Dean as their party chairman and rally around the unelectable Hillary Clinton in 2008.
But back to 2004. Not only did Bush face a well-financed candidate in John Forbes Kerry, but the fix was in. The television networks, led by CBS, didn’t even pretend to be objective in this election. The liberal anchors and producers worked openly to defeat Bush, giving Kerry free campaign advertising with every broadcast. Socialist billionaire George Soros promised to spend whatever it took to oust Bush. The final tally that Soros funneled to the Kerry campaign and its shadowy propaganda network (MoveOn.org and the like) was $20 million.
Hollywood’s leftist brigade, led by master hustler Michael Moore, spewed anti-Bush propaganda on television and movies. Book publishers churned out one anti-Bush after another. The media elite worked overtime, slanting news coverage against the president. The evening news and cable talk shows were taken over by Democratic operatives. Dan Rather went a step further and invented stories to smear Bush.
The big newspapers turned over their news pages — and eventually their credibility — to the liberals. Thumb through every issue of The New York Times in 2004 and you will find a negative story about Bush on Page 1 every single day of the year. The Philadelphia Inquirer turned its editorial page into a 21-day advertising blitz for Kerry. And so on.
You couldn’t escape the anti-Bush venom at concerts. Linda Ronstadt was giving political speeches in her Las Vegas lounge act until casino owners gave her the boot. A parade of aging rockers, including Bruce Springsteen and R.E.M., staged a pre-election tour designed to indoctrinate young people into the Kerry campaign.
And in a last act of desperation, the Democrats tried to rig the exit polls to discourage Republicans from voting on Election Day. They sent their goose-stepping party loyalists (the Kool Aid brigade) to track down pollsters and pretend they were voters who just pushed Kerry to a landslide victory. But it didn’t work. Not even in Ohio, the Democrat’s version of Waterloo. Bush still took the state by 118,000 votes and he won the election by more than 3 million votes nationwide.
What did we learn from the 2004 election? A few things. You want Karl Rove on your side. Every vote still counts. Don’t believe the liberal media. And above all, Democrats will never return to power until they stop underestimating the intelligence of the American people.
Bush offered concrete solutions to the nation’s problems. Kerry offered platitudes. Bush admitted mistakes were made in Iraq, but refused to run away from the problem like Lyndon Johnson did in Vietnam. Kerry still wants the U.S. to pass a global test. That’s why Kerry was sitting in the audience Thursday. That’s why he’ll remain the junior senator from Massachusetts until Teddy Kennedy croaks. And where was the lovely Teresa Heinz Kerry?
E-mail Tony Phyrillas at firstname.lastname@example.org