Let me start off by saying I am a centrist who leans to the right. So it is with the delight of a cat watching two mice fight that I observe the machinations of the Democratic primary. And although I'd never vote for any of the contenders for the Dem nod, lets face it, the GOP race is rather boring. Giuliani and Thompson are basically done for, turning that race into a competition of the milquetoast, with McCain being the only interesting candidate left (and my ideal choice in case you were wondering).
The reason why I don't vote Dem is because I've always felt the meat of the Democrat platform always sounded like so much hot air. Striving to help the poor, or to make health care more readily available to the underprivileged is a very noble and worthwhile goal. However, if this is the mainstay of a presidential platform then the focus just isn't right. There is important business in front of this country on matters as crucial as the economy and security. And no matter what we do, the poor won't be better off if we don't take care of those two very important issues first. Unfortunately when you search the left's platform for how they'd address these two vital issues, talk invariably tends to move into tax increases for the rich, and withdrawing from Iraq.
Not that the GOP doesn't have its own moments of silliness. Who really cares about who is allowed to get married to who, or even to what species for that matter? I mean sure, I can see why some people are emotional over the "soft" issues of gay marriage and abortion, but the GOP's main (successful) platform has always been the economy and security – it's the basis by which they've always gotten elected. Not homophobia, not morals, it's all about the Benjamins.
In recent times, the left has feigned ignorance when it suited them. Remember the whole Iraq and 9/11 connection? I am sure those of the left still SWEAR that Bush connected Saddam to 9/11. I am a speech junky. I actually watch all those press conferences and addresses. I can attest that I have never heard Bush connect Saddam to 9/11. I've seen Bush correctly connect Saddam to terror, as Saddam was a major state sponsor of terror, and he did have links with al Qaeda, Hammas, etc. And while I may not have heard every speech the president has given, were a direct connection to 9/11 really part of the case to go to war, the whole debate about going to Iraq would have been different. Perhaps we would have gotten multilateral support in the UN for invading Iraq, as we did in Afghanistan, had the Bush administration really been able to make a direct connection between Saddam and 9/11. Fact is, they didn't.
Yet, the Dems were very effective at clouding this issue, casually interchanging "al Qaeda" with "9/11," and then disproving the connection to 9/11. And this strategy worked, flummoxing an easily flummoxed Bush administration, and calling into question, for the less intently listening, the purpose behind the War on Terror and Iraq. For approximately a year, I had to hear the left-leaning media constantly chant that Saddam was only ever linked to al Qaeda the organization, and not 9/11, the act (as if that makes it all ok).
Still this kind of misdirection is somewhat acceptable to me. It's not the full on cherry picking of words used entirely out of context (or in some cases an entirely new context). Moreover, this type of behavior should have been kept in check by the other side speaking clearly (something Bush failed to do in this and several other instances). And at least those furthering this misdirection have some plausible deniability that they are actually ignorant, and not just pretending to be ignorant.
Similar situations abound such as the "Attorney General scandal," the firing of the Attorney Generals wasn't even illegal (but someone apparently forgot to tell Alberto Gonzales). Then the Plame leak, the warrantless wiretaps, the SWIFT monitoring. To hear liberals tell it, Bush and Cheney should be facing a lethal injection right now, were it not for their personally owning the industrial-military complex, and also because of an apparently hamstrung Democrat majority in both houses of congress (chuckle). But the truth is that all these manufactured "bushgates" prove that the Bush administration has made some really stupid, and perhaps ethical mistakes, nothing more.