Dick Pollman’s column in the Philadelphia Inquirer talks about how hard it is to imagine that the Democrats won’t win the White House. My question for him is why he hasn’t noticed that Democrats have a habit of blowing opportunities.

Here’s an old saying about the Arafat-led Palestinian Authority that’s almost as applicable to the Democrats as it is to the Palestinians: The Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. In 2004, Democrats like Susan Estrich and Bob Beckel appeared on TV saying that it was John Kerry’s race to lose, that President Bush would be a one term wonder just like his dad.

There’s a reason why Democrats frequently blow opportunities. They often equate resumes with qualifications. They picked John Kerry because he had military experience, which they considered important because we’re at war. What they didn’t take into account was that Sen. Kerry was an elitist snob that couldn’t connect with a blue collar worker if his life depended on it. They also didn’t take into consideration that he’d been wrong on the major foreign policy issues of his generation.

This year, they’ve settled on Barack Obama as their candidate. He’s considerably more likeable than Sen. Kerry but his associations with Jerremiah Wright, William Ayers and Tony Rezko have raised questions about how much he shares the American people’s values. When Michelle Obama told Wisconsin voters that she was finally proud to call herself an American because people were supporting her husband, people scratched their heads. Here’s Ed Koch’s reaction to Michelle Obama’s statement:

This is a woman who has had a good life, with opportunities few whites or blacks have been given. When she entered Princeton and Harvard and later became a partner in a prestigious law firm, didn’t she feel proud to be an American? When she and the Senator bought their new home, was there no feeling of accomplishment and pride in being a U.S. citizen? When her husband was elected to the state legislature and subsequently to the United States Senate, didn’t she feel proud of her country?

Couple Michelle Obama’s anti-American perspective with Barack Obama’s fundraising comments and his associations with William Ayers and Jeremiah Wright. It isn’t surprising that people are left wondering if the Obamas aren’t out of touch with their values. In fact, I’d flip that on its head. Why should the American people think that Sen. Obama shares their perspective of America?

Pollman’s column deserves closer scrutiny, partially because of this paragraph:

Presumably, once the Democrats are training their fire at McCain rather than at each other, they can drive down his poll numbers by reminding swing voters that he’s not just a war hero, that, in fact, he has supported the privatization of Social Security (a Bush fiasco that was scrapped in 2005); that he’s a free-trader with little concern for protecting domestic workers; that he now wants to make permanent the Bush tax cuts for the affluent, the same tax cuts he once voted against; that he opposes universal health care; that he wants to cut corporate taxes, a move that would cost the U.S. Treasury an estimated $100 billion a year; that he has been wearing rose-colored glasses on Iraq ever since 2002, when the Bush team started beating the drums for war.

The American people are free traders by nature. The Democrats’ pushing of a protectionist agenda isn’t appealing. I’d further suggest that Pollman’s characterization of McCain wearing rose-colored glasses on the Iraq War is, politely stated, hogwash. he’s frequently criticized former SecDef Donald Rumsfeld about troop levels needed to put down the various trouble spots. Suggesting that Sen. McCain drank the Bush administration Kool-Aid might be a DNC talking point but people know better than to think that a McCain administration will have the same policies as the Bush administration has.

I’d further suggest that the American people don’t care as much about universal health care as they care about simply fixing the health insurance system. It’s arrogance for Democrats to assume that the American people trust government with something as important as their health. Despite what some skewed polls say, there simply isn’t any proof that universal health care is popular.

The bottom line is that Democrats are perfectly capable of blowing this otherwise golden opportunity because their solutions aren’t appealing to a majority of Americans.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

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