Horace Cooper highlights what the mainstream press ignores in the hope that we won’t remember: that John Kerry and John Edwards are leftists. Recall, the "l-word" (liberal) was all but taboo at the Democratic convention. More importantly, Cooper charts the ill-fated candidacies of other leftists, and argues that in todays political climate, true leftists don’t win at the national level. Worth quoting at length:
The National Journal rated Kerry as the most liberal senator of 2003 and his running mate John Edwards was No. 4. Keep in mind that this Senate includes arch-liberals Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton.
Consider: Nearly nine in 10 people in the United States support requiring welfare recipients to work in order to maintain eligibility. Kerry has voted consistently to oppose this measure.
Three quarters of Americans say that religious organizations should be allowed to participate in taxpayer anti-poverty programs. Kerry disagrees.
Even though a staggering 85 percent of voters say that a criminal should be punished for killing both a pregnant woman and her unborn child, Kerry refuses to budge from the NARAL-Pro Choice America view. And while 91 percent of Americans see no problem with keeping the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, Kerry sides with the ACLU in opposition.
And even on seemingly well settled issues, this ticket is out of step with the political mainstream. Take capital punishment. If there is a capital punishment reform afoot in the United States it is more likely to expand its application to states like Massachusetts and New York rather than to restrict it.
After a lifetime career of opposing the death penalty, Kerry can only muster belated support for the death penalty for terrorists like Osama bin Laden.
Being saddled with this record is more than even a battle-tested war hero can overcome. With a lifetime Americans for Democratic Action rating of 92, his record is more liberal than either Mondale, Dukakis or McGovern. And while many Americans may disagree with specific Bush administration policies, the differences in many instances can be transcended. This just isn’t so with the Democrat ticket of 2004.