Today marks the fifth anniversary of the birth of the wing of the Democratic Party which now controls the party apparatus. And while the leaders of that wing do not speak all Democrats, they have become the face (and voice) of the Democratic Party in President George W. Bush’s second term.The Democrat Party began its veer to the hard left in 1968, with Eugene McCarthy's anti-war candidacy. McCarthy didn't win the party's nomination that year, but his strong showing made reflexive anti-war rhetoric a respectable staple of Democrat discourse.
The Democrats proceeded in 1972 to nominate George McGovern, who seems moderate only by contrast with Ramsey Clark and Michael Moore. Since McGovern's ascendancy, the left-wing nuts generally have dominated the party -- in voice if not in numbers. Nominees since McGovern: Carter (a latter-day Tokyo Rose), Mondale (Carter's one-term accomplice), Dukakis, Clinton, Gore, and Kerry -- all well to the left of the mainstream (to borrow some Democrat rhetoric). Bill Clinton (of the failed plan to socialize health care) became a moderate only because he faced Republican majorities in Congress. Clinton lately has been showing his true colors.
* The U.S. Supreme Court decided Bush v. Gore on December 12, 2000, thus setting off five years of Bush-hatred on the left.