While you may have still been recovering from New Year’s or belaboring the imminent start of the quarter, the 110th Congress began in earnest. New members were sworn in, the Democratic majority materialized, San Francisco’s Nancy Pelosi became the first female Speaker of the House and Committee leadership was turned over to eager, high-ranking Democrats. Now in power, the Party was quick to unveil a batch of initiatives they intended to pass in the glorious “first 100 hours” of the new Congress. Besides those brilliant pieces of legislation that had been craftily snatched from those proposed by Republicans last year but rejected by the then-minority Democrats, the package was uneventful except in illustrating the ideological inconsistency so typical of Democrats.
Indeed, if Democrats remain so consistently inconsistent as they have been, it is sure to be an interesting couple of years – ones in which the Party’s electoral power should only increase. Often inversely related, those “civil liberties” that constitute the Dems’ favorite catchphrase are sure to face assault. While given little protection by those on the right who have asserted a desire to monitor what you watch on TV and what kind of behaviors you engage in privately, the effort on the left is two-fold: Democratic lawmakers seek means of keeping Americans from harming themselves with over-regulation, and the rule-making bureaucracy grows to accommodate such regulation under a Democratically controlled Congress. The 880 pages of last year’s federal register included the work of these bureaucrats in the forms of regulations on the size of laxative boxes, print size requirements for aerosol cans and about 879.5 more pages of similarly important stipulations.
It would seem inconsistent for the Democrats, who condemn the Patriot Act as a breach of civil liberties and base their support for gay marriage on the importance of such, to take any part in the lynching of civil liberties. That inconsistency doesn’t appear to distress them, or the electorate apparently, so they will continue to hail “civil liberties” while pushing for excessive gun control, call for the promotion and protection of free speech but restrict phrases like “Merry Christmas.” One might even ask: How are freedom of speech and liberty promoted by an ideologically homogeneous faculty?
The inconsistencies are blatant and abundant. Democrats applaud ethics reform but they easily forgive Democratic Rep. William Jefferson for the $90,000 in bribe money found in his freezer by federal agents during an August 2005 investigating regarding suspicious African telecommunication companies. Democrats argue that America should open its arms to illegal immigrants because they are victims of Mexico’s poor economy, but they seem to believe that Iraqis – who suffer from a far worse economy and ethnic conflict – should no longer be able to look to America for help. Democrats also say that college should follow the natural, universal ideal but act like Americans aren’t smart enough to know fast food is unhealthy or that nicotine is addictive.
The modern Democratic Party appears to be without an ideological core. Instead, they play safe, centrist politics, which work efficiently in securing their power but leave their supporters and the nation without elected representatives who are thinking purely in terms of promoting the country’s welfare. The Democratic social agenda does have a cohesive pattern of thought, though. The general thought is one that regards most Americans as ignorant, unable to help themselves and incapable of making intelligent decisions. The Democrats’ political game is deliberate and carefully crafted. If they are forced to articulate a position, Democrats make choices not on principle, but on mass appeal. While on face value this may seem just and consistent with the majority rule conception of democracy, it is actually a dangerous experiment and one that undermines our republic and the functioning of the two-party system.
Ideally, we, as citizens, do not elect representatives to succeed in getting themselves re-elected or elevating the popularity of their party, but rather to make educated, informed decisions with consideration to the wealth of information that they are exposed to. These decisions are not necessarily the most popular, nor are they necessarily the ones that look or sound the most benevolent.
Daily Nexus columnist Courtney Stevens knows that leaving bribe money in the refrigerator devalues our currency via freezer burn.