A good recent indication that the political currents are beginning to change in the Republicans’ favor is the fevered Democrat response to the unsuccessful Senate vote on the proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and the brouhaha that broke out in Congress over an exit strategy in Iraq.
In both cases, the Democrats screamed foul and accused the Republicans of "playing politics" in order to score short-term points for the upcoming midterm elections.
Regarding Iraq, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) squealed that the Republicans were trying to "trap" the Dems into taking an unpopular position, while Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.) spluttered that the gay marriage issue was merely a Republican ploy to "divide our society" (as though they were the ones seeking to redefine the most fundamental institution in the history of civilization), as a means of "avoiding the tough, real problems."
And such responses are by no means limited to these two issues. In fact, if one examines the liberal line on a whole range of questions, the same pattern repeats itself continuously: rather than debate the issues on their merits, Democrats accuse Republicans of engaging in divisive political opportunism.
Whether the debate centers around attempts to restrict abortion, to expand voucher programs to allow less-affluent children (particularly among inner-city minorities, whom the Democrats profess to be so concerned about) to escape failing public schools, to eliminate preferential treatment in hiring and admissions decisions, to allow open debate of politically-correct dogma, or any number of other things, the Democrats’ tactic is utterly predictable: they claim that cynical pandering is behind any attempt to oppose preferred liberal doctrines.
But the Democrats and their allies never seem to consider another possibility, even though its as obvious as a gigantic elephant standing in the middle of a living room.
That is, maybe the people promoting and supporting conservative initiatives genuinely believe in what they’re doing.
In one classic example of this phenomenon, when Republican South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds in March signed a law banning abortion in the state, he made his reasons unequivocally clear. He stated that that backers of the legislation "believe that abortion is wrong because unborn children are the most vulnerable and most helpless in our society. I agree."
To this heartfelt statement, the director of Planned Parenthood in South Dakota could do no better than dial up the boiler-plate response: that Rounds "cares more about politics than about the reproductive freedom of women."
Apparently, pro-abortionists believe that the governor’s stirring appeal on behalf of innocent unborn children is nothing more than a smokescreen for unscrupulous political manuevering.
In their minds, this must be true, because how could concern for the lives of developing human beings possibly outweigh the "freedom" of women to abort babies that in the vast majority of cases they willfully participated in conceiving?
(Though the law’s stipulation banning abortion even in cases of rape and incest is perhaps a legitimate point of debate, the vacuous "reproductive freedom" argument would clearly not apply in such a case because free will would not be involved. In any event, only doctors can be charged, and the law allows them to prescribe contraceptive drugs before a pregnancy is determined, such as in rape or incest cases — points conveniently overlooked in much of the mainstream media.)
But this example is only the tip of the iceberg.
Attempts to widen school-choice are routinely dismissed as being prompted not by concern for poor schoolchildren — which is in fact the obvious motivation — but rather as some kind of conspiracy to destroy public schools (that are woefully underperforming, by the way). Rather than acknowledge that the desire for all people to be judged by their abilities regardless of race is behind opposition to racial preferences, liberals obtusely chalk it up to "racism." Calls for genuine critical evaluation of academic sacred cows such as Darwinian evolution are mischaracterized as nefarious attempts to "re-impose religion into schools" — when it never should have been ousted in the first place.
The recital can include practically any issue on which conservatives and liberals differ — and that seems to encompass just about everything.
But to further expose the liberals’ inherent weakness that this pattern reveals, it’s instructive to turn the tables and try to imagine conservatives utilizing a similar tactic.
To illustrate, consider why — instead of expressing his concern for the sanctity of innocent human life — Rounds didn’t resort to a preemptive strike against liberal vituperation by categorically stating that any opposition to the proposed law is merely an attempt to "play politics" for the next election.
The answer (for those particularly slow on the uptake) is that such a ploy was patently unnecessary. First and foremost, the moral case in favor of the law is infinitely stronger than a negative attack on its detractors. But it’s equally apparent that any candidate willingly embracing Planned Parenthood and its "reproductive freedom" blather would soon be consigned to the political dustbin.
Similarly, when the Massachusetts Supreme Court declared that there was "no rational basis" for preserving marriage as an institution linking one man and one woman, or San Francisco began issuing marriage licenses to gay couples in contravention of state law, what form did the opposition take?
Did it accuse the supporters of gay marriage of not really believing in what they were doing, but only seeking to profit politically? Of course not, because they knew full well that there is no political benefit to be derived from pursuing such repugnant policies.
Therefore, the counter-arguments did not consist of nonsensical accusations geared toward diverting attention from the real issue, but rather, they focused on why maintaining traditional marriage is so crucial — primarily, because of the need to reinforce both motherhood and fatherhood as absolutely essential factors in promoting strong families.
The other major response was to condemn the way activist judges and maverick public officials were deliberately scorning the popular will — an approach the Democrats rarely, if ever, have the luxury of taking for the simple reason that the public clearly does not support their bankrupt agenda.
In the recent congressional set-to regarding the setting of a date or time-table for withdrawal from Iraq, why was it the Democrats complaining rather than the other way around?
Why weren’t the Republicans feverishly striving to prevent the Democrats’ from forcing them to acknowledge support for the view that we must stay in Iraq until the job is done? And why weren’t the Republicans accusing their counterparts of merely "playing politics"?
The answer is as obvious as the aforementioned elephant — Republicans don’t need to make such silly statements because they know they know the electorate is on their side.
Or, to put it another way: only losers resort to such inane arguments.
This same exercise proves just as enlightening on every major issue across the board.
So the moral of the story for the Republicans is to keep passionately and persuasively arguing their case — something that should be easy because right is on their side. Meanwhile, just let the Democrats keep hiding behind disingenuous obfuscations and shrill rhetoric. These self-demeaning rants should yet again serve as the proverbial rope by which the Democrats will hang themselves.