Events this year have exposed, once and for all, in a way that cannot be denied, elided, or spun, Democratic liberals as the party of abject incompetence and institutionalized corruption.
Eliot Spitzer worked his way to the governorship of New York State as the living embodiment of liberal higher morality, crusading against a series of dubious financial and corporate villains. His downfall as the result of a prostitution scheme too moronic for fiction might be taken as evidence of personal failings and no more were it not for the fact that his replacement, David A. Paterson, confessed to similar activities as the first official act of his administration. (If not even more egregious -- no one, after all, has accused Spitzer of trading jobs for sexual favors).
We need only add James McGreevey, ousted in 2004 from New Jersey's governorship for homosexual escapades with an aide (apppointed to a homeland security job with the state for which he had no qualifications), to conclude that liberalism has subsided to a level of corruption of European dimensions.
It's often overlooked -- thanks in large part to the Clinton "legacy" -- that such misbehavior is almost always accompanied by corruption in other spheres. Insistence by Clinton's defenders that his various lady troubles were "personal matters" succeeded in obscuring the moral connection between Big Bill's follies and the endless bribes, kickbacks, suicides, illegal mass firings, and vanishing files that made the "most ethical administration in history" so entertaining to watch.
So it needs restating as a simple truth that a man who cannot control his sexual impulses is unlikely to succeed in more complex matters. In little over a year, Spitzer threw away the goodwill engendered by his landslide victory through a series of petty conspiracies and dirty tricks, bringing New York state government to a standstill in the process. While McGreevey was a better governor than he's ever likely to get credit for (he solved the longstanding auto-insurance "crisis" that made New Jersey a laughingstock for half a dozen previous administrations), his penchant for putting his muscle boys on the state payroll undercuts any other claims for his record. The same can be said for Paterson. Though, being both blind and black, he may likely survive, revelations concerning his practice of awarding jobs and positions don't bode well for the future.
These men are clearly representative of the post-Clinton Democratic Party. They set out to follow in Bill's footsteps, have ended up much the same as he did, and have dragged their party and political doctrine along with them. (At this point somebody will bring up the names Foley and Craig. But neither stood anywhere near the center of American conservatism in the way that the Northeastern governors do with liberalism as a matter of course. Foley and Craig were rotten apples. With the Democrats, it's the whole barrel.)
In turning to the presidential campaign, we need do no more than mention Madame Hillary. The Ma Barker of Little Rock is in a class by herself when it comes to political iniquity (not to mention dodging snipers). The chief puzzle concerning Hillary is how, being so blatantly what she is, she succeeds in holding onto any support whatsoever. There's a process in quantum mechanics called "renormalization", in which certain quantities with values of infinity are arbitrarily dropped back to a more manageable "zero" for the sake of solving the equation. This encapsulates Hillary's political career: truly mindboggling levels of corruption and ineptitude have been continually renormalized by fellow politicians and the media to enable her to survive. These people made a particular type of bargain when they bent the rules for Hillary. Now the ground is opening up under their feet. It has been a pleasure to watch.
Barack Obama was supposed to be another matter. Obama has ascended on a cloud of pure moral superiority and nothing else. That has now evaporated, thanks to impolitic comments from his wife and the news that he has for two decades belonged to what amounts to a racist cult. Obama has nothing else to offer in the way of experience or achievements. Beyond his current difficulties, there lie his continuing and as yet unexplained entanglement with Tony Rezko (He barely knew the man, he insists. All he did was show Rezko his new house before closing. I always clear major purchases with people I scarcely know, don't you?), along with pending revelations concerning his relationship with Bill Ayers, a former terrorist who began his career as one of the driving forces of the Weather Underground.
Obama's response, his "Kennedyesque" speech on race, was in fact purely Clintonian in that it attempted to transform his failings into virtues while placing the blame on the country as a whole. (Not to mention his innocent typical white grandmother.) In less than two weeks, Obama has succeeded in lowering himself to the same level as Madame Hillary. Quite an achievement. (As for Obama's claims to be a necessary "racial reconciliator", this reconciliation has in fact been going on since the end of segregation, quite successfully too. As is often the case with liberals, Obama is offering a solution to a problem that is solving itself.)
To this gallery we can add Jennifer Granholm, who assured that Michigan's current slide was as drastic and damaging as possible, Ed Rendell, Hillary's consigliere for Pennsylvania, John Murtha, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Kwame Kilpatrick, charged with perjury, obstruction of justice, and malfeasance in office. That's the Democratic Party, the bastion of American liberalism, as it stands. A party whose entire leadership cadre, including presidential candidates, state governors, and Congressional leaders, are corrupt or incompetent or both, a party more suitable to ruling a Balkan or Central African peapatch than the world's reigning superpower.
Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your summary of Obama news and commentary at OBAMA WATCH