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A predictable epidemic of "Reagan Democrats"

By Christopher Adamo
web posted October 30, 2006

Ever since the rise to prominence of the Christian Coalition during the early 1990's, Democrats have toiled ceaselessly to figure out a way to draw "values voters" into their camp. Not surprisingly, in this election cycle Democrats are forced once again to contend with the clout wielded at the voting booth by so-called "values voters," and are desperately trying to manipulate them into the liberal fold on the basis of anything and everything except for values.

During the mid 1990's, as Bill Clinton campaigned for a second term, his political machine endeavored a reinvention of "values," particularly aimed at those religious hayseeds, by focusing on the issue of arson attacks on black churches. Of course, all discussion of the subject instantly dissipated into thin air, once Clinton had secured his reelection in 1996.

Recently, Hillary challenged us to confront our fallen eternal souls with the burning theological question of "WWJDAIA" ("What would Jesus do about Illegal Aliens?"). And of course, throughout their flailing efforts to convince America's Christians that Godly faith really aligns them with liberal Democrats, those on the left monotonously repeat their case for the righteous generosity of the "nanny state" and big-government socialism.

The now mostly-dead horse of the Mark Foley scandal, into which liberals are desperately attempting to beat a shred of life, at least until Election Day, represents only the latest attempt by the party of abortion, "gay rights," and the counterculture as it seeks to appeal to Americans of traditional morality. But far from being some "Great Awakening" among Democrats, it is merely another purely political ploy with no more sincerity than any of its predecessors.

Ronald ReaganNevertheless, the pattern continues, essentially claiming that the God-Hating liberals of the party of Ted Kennedy and Diane Feinstein are really devout, life-long conservative Americans. Paramount in this ruse is the bi-annual deference to a President whom Democrats fervently revile. But between now and November 7, the Gipper can smile down from Heaven on an America that appears to universally embrace him. Today, Mr. President they are all Reagan Democrats.

Senator George Allen (R.-VA) likely faces the most blatant example of such pandering, with James Webb, his opponent, now an unabashed "cut and run" liberal Democrat, nonetheless replaying old film clips of himself as a member of the Reagan Administration. Though few can doubt that Ronald Reagan would ever have kept him on board, had he espoused the far left of center rhetoric that he spews today, during that time he was held in high regard by the President.

So, in a race that has become dominated by the venom of "political correctness" and slanderous attacks against Allen, based on his possible breaches of its unshakable moral/religious code, Webb's real strategy is to lay claim to the governing ideals of arguably the most stridently conservative President of the twentieth century. And the people of Virginia are supposed to buy all of this?

Clearly, the Democrats have accomplished the amazing feat of sinking to new lows. Any obligation they might once have felt to truthfully reveal themselves for what they are has long been lost down that abyss of fraud and deceit, where such basic precepts as the definition of "is" and "sex" have been distorted beyond recognition.

Yet, in Webb's defense, at least his thinly veiled pandering to those on the right contains a mite of historical basis. When it comes to shameless posturing, Webb's efforts pale in comparison to that being perpetrated by someone who must be classed as a "rising star" among Democrat con artists, Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal.

Webb was indeed a high-ranking Reagan appointee during that Administration. But during those years that Reagan was confronting the Evil Empire and drastically lowering income tax rates, Freudenthal, who now appears to be angling for acceptance by Wyoming's conservative voters as another "Reagan Democrat," was an ardent member of the opposition. And he has remained so ever since.

Unlike Webb, Freudenthal campaigned vigorously for Reagan's opponents in the presidential races of 1980 and '84. And his liberal pedigree runs long and unswerving from there.

When the newly elected President Clinton summarily fired every sitting U.S. attorney in early 1993, in order to replace them with appointees who would be more sympathetic to his interests, Dave Freudenthal was among those replacements.

Among Freudenthal's crowning achievements during that period was his successful fight to introduce Canadian wolves into Wyoming, despite the extreme hardship such overt pandering to environmental extremists caused state residents. During his nearly four years as Governor, he did nothing to address the situation.

But in only the last few months, he has embarked on a campaign that, on its surface, appears aimed at correcting the wolf situation. Yet critical components of his "effort" render the entire exercise deliberately futile. Among those who have followed this political "bait and switch," it is grimly joked that Freudenthal, as a "Kerry Democrat" was "for the wolves before he was against them."

Having supported the idea of property tax increases early in his administration, he has exhibited an inclination towards "addressing problems" by growing and enriching government during his entire tenure. Yet, in only the last few days he suddenly floated the idea of a "property tax holiday."

Clearly, the timing and nature of this ploy are intended to sufficiently mimic the basic, less burdensome government philosophy of Reaganomics as to fool Wyoming voters, at least for the next few weeks. But even a cursory examination of his actual strategy reveals the devices of quite another Presidency.

It was none other than Bill Clinton who, in the waning days before the 1992 election, offered the possibility of a "middle class tax cut." However, once in office, he ostensibly went over the books and suddenly "realized" that such a tax cut would be impossible. In its place, America got the largest tax increase in history.

No one observing the Wyoming legislature over the past four years can honestly contend that the "tax holiday" will ever occur under a Freudenthal Administration.

Some things never change. Liberals who engage in such sordid "situational politics," believe that Reagan Conservatism is just another posture by which to impress voters. Thus they show themselves inarguably to be "Clinton Democrats." ESR

Christopher G. Adamo is a freelance writer and staff writer for the New Media Alliance. He lives in southeastern Wyoming with his wife and sons. He has been active in local and state politics for many years.

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