I’m not sure I’ve seen it before. Members of the Democratic Party decided to take a more active part in determining the outcome of the Iowa Republican caucus. While it has long been an open secret that the candidate the Obama administration most fears is Mitt Romney, this was an unexpected wrinkle. Now an attempt was being made to derail the Romney campaign before it could get rolling.
What happened was that the Democrats brought in an employee of a company that Romney’s investment group had shut down over twenty years ago. This man was provided the financing to travel around the state to provide an example of Romney’s heartlessness. He was to be a living example of someone who had been laid off as a result of capitalistic callousness.
Of course, Romney himself had previously addressed this question. He tried to explain that in business some ideas work and some don’t. If you invest in companies, not every one of them will succeed. Nonetheless, some do, and this illustrates the creative destruction of which the economist Joseph Schumpeter wrote.
But liberals do not understand this. They do not realize that when cell phones proliferate, those who build phones booths must seek new employment. As a result, they paint those who promote commercial progress as inherently cruel. According to them, no one should ever lose a job for any reason.
Liberals, however, are not above some sorts of innovation. A prime example is overtly campaigning against a potential rival during the other party’s primary. While it had long been the case that, in state’s where it is possible, voters of one party can cross over to vote in the primary of the other so as to put a finger on scales in favor of the weakest candidate, this was serendipity, not a preplanned strategy.
It is also true that campaigns have long used dirty tricks and fraud to undermine potential opponents. They have likewise employed political advertising to promote their own virtues long before the other side decided on its nominee. Thus, this latter was the case when Clinton extolled his accomplishments in television ads even before Dole was selected to run against him.
But seeking to undermine a prospective foe by actively campaigning against him before the caucuses is a new low. Once more, it proves that Democrats are not literally democratic. The last thing they want is for the voters to have an unhampered choice of candidates—that is, if the decision might go against them.
If we needed additional evidence of this attitude, Democratic opposition to laws requiring photo-identification for voters has provided it. These rules were designed to prevent fraud, but Democrats insist that they are intended to undermine the rights of the poor. Apparently fraud does not both them as much as the possibility of their not getting elected.
I hope exposure of these machinations will outrage the electorate, but I am not convinced that they will. The public tolerance for dishonesty has grown so great, that most people only shrug their shoulders at what they perceive to be as business as usual. Too bad.