The Left’s “Wars”

Commentary by Pete du Pont

Source: The Wall Street Journal

The midterm elections are just over seven months away and the left has unleashed its usual rhetoric about the Republican "war on women." It's baseless political pandering of the worst kind, but not something the Republicans can ignore, as it will no doubt be furthered by a mainstream media that is biased, gullible or both.

While Republicans are debunking this trope, they would do well to highlight some of the left's "wars."

First is the war on children, waged by Democrats and their allies in the teachers unions. The tools of the school choice movement—vouchers, scholarships and charter schools—are simply about giving a reprieve to low-income children sentenced to failing schools. Many public schools provide excellent environments for learning, but not all do.

Giving all families the ability to pursue a better education for their children—the same ability the president, members of Congress, and wealthy liberals have—is American to the core. A "good for thee but not for me" approach, evidenced in administration attacks on choice programs in the District of Columbia and Louisiana, seems the ultimate in hypocrisy.

The Democrats' loyalty to the teachers unions is understandable since the union money, votes and volunteers are so important to their electoral prospects. But that does not make the damage any less significant for the children stuck in failed schools.

Republicans should also stress the Democratic Party's war on young adults. ObamaCare penalizes young adults by coercing them to purchase and pay more than they should for health insurance at levels they often don't need. Republicans can point to the unemployment rate among young adults, which is higher than that for other age groups, and is at least partially caused by the left's economy-shrinking policies—not just Obamacare, but also excessive regulation and government control or meddling in all parts of the economy.

While they are at it, Republicans could point to the almost reflexive demagoguery of Democrats to any attempt to fix the long-term finances of the Social Security program, making it less likely today's young adults will be able to count on Social Security when they are older.

Perhaps more frightening, we see the insidious war being waged by the left on principles that have made our nation a beacon of hope and opportunity for over two centuries. From this administration's view that it is free to enforce only the laws with which it agrees, to its attempts to avoid political fallout by unilaterally altering provisions of the ObamaCare law, we see a disregard for the principle of the rule of law.

Likewise the principle of state control, particularly with the Justice Department attacks on voter ID laws passed by states and its ludicrous claim that asking =a voter to show ID qualifies as intimidation. This, from the same Justice Department that did all it could to avoid prosecuting actual voter intimidation in 2008 by members of the New Black Panther Party in Philadelphia.

We see the Internal Revenue Service used as a political tool to stifle the free-speech rights of Americans who disagree with the President. President Obama initially, and rightly, labeled such actions outrageous, but his administration has since been stonewalling Congress and setting up what appears to be a whitewash, a Justice Department investigation headed by one of Mr. Obama's political contributors. Religious freedom is another right the left treats as nothing more than an inconvenience, most starkly in its overriding of conscience objections by the ObamaCare birth-control mandates.

Even our nation's bedrock principle of "E pluribus unum" is diminished by the left's electoral strategy of divide and conquer—of splintering Americans along lines of race, sex, class and income level and stoking resentments for political gain. Not for decades have we seen anything like the level of demonization of individuals we've seen in Washington recently, from the president's disrespect of business owners, to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's attacks on private citizens as "un-American."

It's all so wrong, and the Democrats know it's wrong (or they should). But they won't stop, and it's up to the Republicans to make their case to the American people.