In light of the political marketing blitz that was the Democratic Convention last week, I was asked again by a WTMA listener why I spend so much time criticizing the Republican Party instead of the Democrats. That's easy. On policy issues, Democrats never lie to me.
Few Democrats have promised to reduce bureaucracy, cut taxes, and return the federal government to its constitutional boundaries. In my lifetime, Democratic presidential candidates Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry, and now Barack Obama never strived to be the next Ronald Reagan, but Franklin Roosevelt or Lyndon Johnson, promising newer deals and greater societies to all — courtesy of my paycheck. And they're up front about it.
Republicans lie to me all the time. Instead of opposing the Democrats, they insist on mimicking them. For example, one of the primary reasons given by conservatives to fear Obama is his plan to implement socialized health care. During the primary, both Obama and Hillary Clinton touted their own health plans and both agreed the current Massachusetts plan would be their model.
The Massachusetts model was implemented by former Republican Gov. Mitt Romney, who also bragged about this achievement throughout this year's campaign, and was considered the "conservative" alternative to McCain during the Republican primary by everyone from Rush Limbaugh to Ann Coulter.
Why am I supposed to fear Obama again?
During Ted Kennedy's speech last week, I saw not simply a Democrat, but a man whose liberalism is identical to that of the current Republican brass. In 1965, Kennedy helped pass the Immigration and Naturalization Act, which scrapped all ethnic quotas from U.S. immigration policy. Said Kennedy at the time, "The bill will not flood our cities with immigrants. It will not upset the ethnic mix of our society. It will not cause American workers to lose their jobs."
Of course, Kennedy was proven wrong on every count. Two decades later, in seeking to clean up a portion of the mess he created, the senator said of his support for granting amnesty to illegal aliens in 1986, "This amnesty will give citizenship to only 1.1 to 1.3 million illegal aliens. We will secure the borders henceforth. We will never again bring forward another amnesty bill like this." Reagan signed it.
In 2007, Kennedy and John McCain cosponsored a comprehensive immigration reform bill, which sought to grant amnesty to the estimated 12 to 20 million illegal aliens currently residing in the U.S. Our Republican president was an enthusiastic supporter of amnesty and our own Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham called opponents of the bill "bigots" before the National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic ethnic lobbying group.
On this crucial issue, Bush, McCain, and Graham are identical to Ted Kennedy and have aided and abetted the senator at every turn. Graham even says Kennedy is "one of the most principled men I've ever met," yet his South Carolina constituents are "bigots." Exactly why am I supposed to vote Republican, again?
Perhaps the most interesting part of watching the Democratic Convention was their presidential ticket's turning away from the antiwar rhetoric that had earlier energized the Obama campaign. Obama now wants to transfer Bush's mess in Iraq to Afghanistan. McCain has been making the case that his foreign policy is not the same as Bush's, which it is, and now Obama's foreign policy is eerily becoming more similar to McCain's.
Joe Biden promised to "hold Russia accountable" and to "help the people of Georgia rebuild." Why we should hold Russia accountable for invading sovereign nations, when the U.S. has made a sport of it, and what national interest we might have in rebuilding Georgia, remains unclear? In 2000, George W. Bush promised to end Bill Clinton's irresponsible military interventions in Kosovo, Somalia, and Haiti and said the United States should never be involved in "nation building." Bush went on to do the exact opposite of everything he promised.
The problem with Democrats is that they typically offer nothing but more problems. The problem with Republicans is that they not only offer zero opposition, but insist on serving up the same thing and calling it conservative. Whoever becomes our next president, there will be no substantive change this election year. And on the issues that concern me most — big government, open borders, and sending our troops around the world — the Democratic Convention was little more than a grand attempt to prove that when president, the amateur Obama is competent enough to make the same colossal mistakes as the current Republican experts.
Catch Southern Avenger commentaries every Tuesday and Friday at 7:50 a.m. on the "Morning Buzz with Richard Todd" on 1250 AM WTMA.