The Current Crisis

The Moron Vote

A critical Democratic base rears its empty head.

By 10.16.03

WASHINGTON -- I am wondering. At this point in the Democratic lunge for the presidential nomination, does Dr. Howard Dean have a monopoly on that sector of the Democratic vote that we may classify as the moron vote? Or is the idiotic Senator John Pierre Kerry chipping away at these serried ranks of oafs? And, just as an aside, are there still enough Democrats of the type who nominated Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Adlai Stevenson, John Kennedy, and Hubert Humphrey to give the nomination to Senator Joseph Lieberman, heir to the governing wing of the Democratic Party?

The other day on CNN I heard the mentally-disturbed Mr. Michael Moore dismiss Lieberman as "a Republican." Mr. Moore, naturally, admires Dr. Howard Dean, the moderate governor of Vermont who now insists that he is a Yippie, circa 1968. Mr. Moore is sufficiently mindless to believe that. Senator Lieberman on the other hand has for many years been steady in his commitment to the collectivist domestic policies and vigilant foreign policy that New Dealers, Fair Dealers, and New Frontiersmen used to govern America for roughly three decades, setting the country on a course that defeated world Communism and accomplished some rather good things domestically. To say that Senator Lieberman is a Republican is either stupid or a deception.

Deception plays very well with the Democrats' moron vote, though it is perhaps more accurate to refer to that vote as the indignant moron vote, for it is very indignant and in fact proud of its anger. Anytime I write something discourteous about Dr. Howard Dean I receive a torrent of e-mails from the indignant moron vote. Usually the indignado begins by claiming never to have voted before but now to be attracted by the shirt-sleeved medico's illusory virtues. Now I wonder if Senator John Pierre Kerry has nibbled away at Dr. Howard Dean's vote. The Vietnam veteran who supported the war in Iraq, but did not support the war, who boasts of his war record but does not boast of his war record, is certainly an obvious enough fraud to appeal to the moron vote. Moreover, he is sufficiently angry to give the morons goose pimples.

That he is a splendid phony is abundantly clear. In fact he may be the phoniest of all the Democrats now running. This week in The Hill the indefatigable Sam Dealey, a reporter who has the wit to report not only what a politician says today but what the pol said yesterday, demonstrated what a fraud the Francophile senator from Massachusetts really is. First Dealey reports that Dr. Howard Dean is chiding Kerry for "flip-flopping on the importance of serving in Vietnam in presidential politics." Then Dealey reports Kerry's many boasts about how important a credential his military service is. Then Dealey disinters statements by Kerry in the 1990s denying the importance of a military credential. Kerry was defending Bill Clinton, the draft dodger about to win the Democratic presidential nomination. In defense of Clinton Kerry said things such as this, a rhetorical question to Clinton's opponent, President George H. W. Bush, "if service or non-service in the war is to become a test of qualification for high office, you would not have a vice president." He is referring to the fact that Vice President Dan Quayle only served in the National Guard.

Kerry, the veteran who stresses his military service but does not stress his military service, also disparages service in the National Guard. Though you can be sure he will soon insist that he does not disparage service in the National Guard, especially when a reporter notes the fine service the Guard is now performing in Iraq. That quotation directed against Quayle is ancient history. But then there is this quote from October 6. Asked about reinstating the draft, Kerry gratuitously sneers, "There are some people in high office today who pulled strings to get into the National Guard." That is a canard he and the moron vote fling at the President.

Viewing the charges that the Democrats fling at one another and the charges they fling at the President who it seems to me is almost certain to be reelected, I have come to a conclusion. These candidates have an instinctive aversion to the truth. On matters large and small they are with surprising regularity wrong. Apologists explain that they have to be wrong to appeal to their base, the moron vote. I hate to sound like a moralist, but I just do not think that is a sufficient reason for lying, even about yourself.

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About the Author
R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. is the founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator. He is the author of The Death of Liberalism, published by Thomas Nelson Inc. His previous books include the New York Times bestseller Boy Clinton: the Political Biography; The Impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton; The Liberal Crack-Up; The Conservative Crack-Up; Public Nuisances; The Future that Doesn't Work: Social Democracy's Failure in Britain; Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House; The Clinton Crack-Up; and After the Hangover: The Conservatives' Road to Recovery.