- - Wednesday, July 27, 2016


The Democrats had better pack a good lunch on their way to the post-convention campaign. It’s going to be an all-day job. They must persuade voters to avoid looking at Barack Obama’s disaster of “hope and change” while Hillary Clinton pushes the party’s platform of more of the same. The platform, as adopted in Philadelphia this week, is an exercise in the old shell game.

The Founders came together in Philadelphia to fashion the compact upon which the new American nation was built. Democrats make the case that their gathering today in the same city somehow honors and builds on the spirit of 1787. Some spirit, some honor. The drafting of the Constitution was more than “a revolution of ideas and of action that continues to this day,” as the platform rightly contends, but was a recognition of timeless principles crucial to humanity in every age. Only an ass in party regalia could welcome the day when the Constitution becomes only a curiosity under glass at the National Archives.

Rather than shoring up the philosophical ramparts upon which the republic rests, the Democratic platform is a shopping list of freebies to line the shelves of the socialist supermarket that President Obama built. The first item is raising workers’ wages: “We believe that Americans should earn at least $15 an hour and have the right to form or join a union and will work in every way we can — in Congress and the federal government, in states and with the private sector — to reach this goal.”

Democrats say they can create good-paying jobs by building 21st century infrastructure: “If we are serious about reversing the decline of the middle class, we need major federal investments to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and put millions of Americans back to work in decent paying jobs in both the public and private sectors.” Taxpayers remember Mr. Obama’s 2009 “stimulus” plan, which cost them between $540,000 and $4.1 million per job created — no one can be sure which — according to figures of the Congressional Budget Office. Does Mrs. Clinton really intend to walk that platform plank?

Democrats want to fight for what they call economic fairness: “Our country depends on a thriving middle class to drive economic growth, but the middle class is shrinking. Meanwhile, the top one-tenth of one percent of Americans now own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent combined.” The concentration of wealth in the hands of a few has only worsened under Mr. Obama’s crony capitalism, in which the president has made himself the chooser of winners and losers.

Where the platform shifts its focus outward, the only recognition of the nation’s immigration woes is to argue that the borders are not open wide enough and that the government must ensure equal treatment for “all Americans — regardless of immigration status …” The implication is that everyone on American soil — citizen and illegal alien alike — are Americans. Without a strategy for controlling illegal immigration, the “path to citizenship” widens into a superhighway.

The first 61 speakers could not bring themselves to acknowledge ISIS or the threat of radical Islamic terrorism, but the platform abounds in windy promise: “We must defeat ISIS, al Qaeda, and their affiliates, and prevent other groups from emerging in their place … And we will remain a resilient nation, always coming together to stand up to terror.” Perhaps talk is a start. But given her dark and dismal bungling in the Middle East as the secretary of State, Hillary Clinton will need a dramatic do-over, and life, alas, does not award do-overs. Even her party colleagues, addicted to cradle-to-grave socialism, understand that national security failure promises only an early grave. With 72 percent of likely U.S. voters saying the nation is on the wrong track, Hillary is stuck between her role as the party’s new champion and an understandable urge to run from the scene of the crime.

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