The rancid attack ad against Supreme Court nominee John Roberts shows, in a nutshell, what's wrong with the Democratic Party. Emphasis on nut.
The $500,000 TV ad, paid for by an abortion-rights group, so viciously distorted Roberts' record that nonpartisan watchdogs and even some liberals called for the ad to be withdrawn. Missing from the voices of reason was any Democratic official or party leader. New York's senators were conspicuously silent.
Sen. Hillary Clinton's earlier call for "common ground" on abortion would have more credibility had she condemned the ad's false claims.
Sen. Chuck Schumer would have proved himself more than a partisan had he done more than brush off Roberts' ads from both left and right as "just trying to stir the pot."
Neither Clinton nor Schumer even mildly rebuked a group that is part of their party's base. It took Pennsylvania's Sen. Arlen Specter, the pro-choice GOP chairman of the Judiciary Committee, to blow the whistle. He called the ad "blatantly untrue and unfair" and said it was hurting the pro-choice cause. It was then withdrawn.
In a previous post, I noted how the far left has come to dominate Democratic politics in general and the abortion issue in particular. Goodwin seems to be in agreement with me:
In fact, as the whole episode shows, it's Democratic advocacy groups that have become the real radicals. From Michael Moore to Moveon.org, and now to NARAL, the left has taken a turn toward the extreme that is as vitriolic as anything on the right.
It was a phenomenon I saw in last year's presidential race. When a host on Air America radio advocated violence against Bush, I was shocked that some liberals applauded. One call from a 78-year-old Connecticut woman still gives me chills: Speaking of Bush, she said: "Osama Bin Laden had it right: His throat should be slit."
A New York Times reporter who dared write something nice about Bush got an E-mail from a California man who said he hoped the reporter's child would be killed by a terrorist bomb.
Such ugly views are hardly typical of every Democrat or liberal. But there is no denying that the fringe is starting to dominate the party. Leaders who have the courage to say "enough" need to come forward. Where are they?
They're in hiding, because they're not real leaders. The Democratic establishment dare not chastise their radical fringe lest their allowances from the same be cut. Yes, indeed - McCain/Feingold has taken money out of politics.