What’s happening now in the Democratic party is that the ideological liberals (Dean, MoveOn, Kos, et al) have succeeded in wresting control from the institutional liberals (Hillary, Lieberman, et al). Where the Republicans have largely been successful at shearing off and marginalizing the influence in their own party of people like David Duke, Pat Buchanan, and less conservative but equally nutty types like Ross Perot, the Democrats have not. They have gone from Mondale, to Dukakis, to Clinton, to Gore, to Kerry, to Obama – a nearly unbroken linear progression from garden-variety liberal to wackadoo liberal.
I think this is a very good point. As I wrote before, the truly disturbing thing about the Obama-Ayers relationship is that nobody in the leftist community of Chicago seemed to find Ayers an unacceptable person. Ayers did not stand out as a whack job that people of good standing on the Left could refuse to deal with.
When a fluke of the Louisiana primary system allowed David Duke to win the nomination for governor, state and national Republicans openly disavowed him. State Republicans openly endorsed his Democrat rival who was then under indictment for colossal corruption. They issued bumper stickers that said, “Vote for the Crook, it’s important”. No such incident has occurred on the American Left since ’68.
The truth of the matter is that leftists simply do not have any standards for leftist behavior. No leftist position is beyond the pale. The majority of the anti-Iraq-Liberation, anti-Iraqi-democracy rallies were organized by ANSWER, a Stalinist group. Nobody on the Left said anything. The Left welcomes any and all extremists into their tent. As long as you hate the Right, anything else you do is okay.
The ugly truth is that radical extremism is far more common and far more accepted on the Left than on the Right. Radical leftists with views alien to the vast majority of Americans hold great sway over the Left compared to their counterparts on the Right. You won’t find Republicans who started their careers in the homes of terrorists or who belonged to organizations that voted to assassinate congressmen.
Every major election, the Democrats suffer when these nut jobs crawl out the woodwork, yet they can never work up the will power or courage to give them the boot.