Perhaps I’m getting sentimental in my old age, but I was giving the Democrats until St. Patrick’s Day to royally screw things up.

Now it looks like they won’t make it to St. Nick.

The largely ignored story of the midterm elections is the Democrats mediocre performance at the ballot box. This election should have been the Gamecocks vs. Middle Tennessee: A blowout.

Instead it was Ohio State vs. Michigan, despite Bush’s poll ratings in the toilet, the GOP Congress’s numbers in the septic tank, and the media’s nonstop pro-Democrat barrage “objective” news specials like “Cheney’s Children: He Eats Them Boiled, Not Fried.”

Give the Democrats credit for winning, but don’t overlook the fact that the American people still don’t trust them to govern. As Bill Clinton told a Democratic gathering after the election, “The voters haven’t given us a mandate. They’ve given us a chance.”

He’s right. That’s why post-election polls show that Iraq was the number one issue in this election that handed power to the Democrats, and that 60 percent of Americans don’t believe the Democrats have any idea what to do about Iraq.

This is the challenge facing the Democratic Party, to prove to the American people that they aren’t a bunch of wild-eyed liberals pushing loony big-government programs.

Unfortunately for the former president, two days after his speech his wife announced that “Hillarycare,” — a wild-eyed, loony, big-government takeover of the medical industry — is back.


The Democrats haven’t even taken over yet, and already Hillary wants socialized medicine; Dennis Kucinich wants to immediately cut funding for the military while they’re still in Iraq (you can buy ammo on your Amex, right?); and incoming House Judiciary Chairman Charlie Rangel, one of the most powerful members of the new Congress, can’t decide which discredited 1970s policy to bring back first — high taxes or the draft.

Every group of 200-plus politicians has its kooks, crooks, and fringe activists. That’s just a part of life. What’s needed is a leader who can herd these cats, set high standards for ethics and performance, and pull the party’s center of gravity away from the extremes.

Instead, the Democrats chose Nancy Pelosi.

Nancy Pelosi is to Middle America what Newt Gingrich was to the Blue State coast: political kryptonite. She radiates the kind of San Francisco self-righteousness one would expect from a congresswoman whose city just threw the Junior ROTC out of every public school.

Democrats: We’re For The Draft, But Against The ROTC!

One of my rules to live by is that the problem with people who just don’t get it is that they just don’t get it. Watching Nancy Pelosi fighting to make corrupt and cranky John Murtha (D-Anywhere But Iraq) the new Majority Leader (she lost), I wondered if it was possible for the Democrats to truly be this tone-deaf. Why appease the kooks? They’re not going to jump to the GOP. Does America really need another Stupid Party?

Then word leaked that Pelosi may put a crook in charge of America’s most sensitive intelligence information.

By the time you read this, we should know if Pelosi appointed Alcee Hastings (D-Where’s the Cash?) to head the House Intelligence Committee. Yes, this is the same former Judge Hastings Pelosi voted to impeach for trying to take a $150,000 bribe from a couple of mobsters. (The vote by the Democrat-controlled Congress, by the way, was 413-3 to impeach.)

If Pelosi gives him this job, Congressman Hastings will preside over classified briefings of ongoing counterterrorism efforts and top-secret programs. To choose Hastings, Pelosi will have to skip over a moderate Democrat who’s already in line for the chairmanship.

Oh, and did I mention that Congressman Hastings happens to be black?

Ask the average guy pumping his own gas at the 7-11: “Hey, what’s more important right now: protecting America’s security, or affirmative action?” His immediate answer will be “Security, of course. What are you, stupid?”

But if you ask the average Congressional Democrat that question, it’s: “Uh, can I get back to you on that one?”

Nancy Pelosi is not dumb. She’s not ignorant or uninformed. Neither are Rangel, Clinton, Conyers or any of the other prominent Democrats already tilting their party to the Left. So why are they doing it?

Because it’s who they are. It’s in their nature. The days of the Democrats as the “people’s party” are long gone. They’re the Left Coast’s Party, the Aggrieved Interest Group’s Party, the Internet Activist’s Party.

Pundits asking if Pelosi can pull her party away from the loony Left should start by asking the more fundamental question: Does she want to?