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A Nightmare Scenario for Conservatives
by Dennis Campbell
23 September 2003Wesley Clark

General Wesley Clark has that characteristic more important than any other in today's politics: the guy looks and sounds terrific on television.

Add General Wesley Clark to the nine who want to represent the Democrats in the next presidential election. The addition of General Clark has stirred considerable analysis and opinion -- from the conservative side, most of it negative. He has been called a liar and goofy and an egomaniac.

But does that not make him the perfect Democrat candidate? Liberal politicians lie so frequently and so glibly that "liberal" and "liar" ought to be one word -- libliar, perhaps.

Goofy? Liberal ideas are terminally goofy -- just look at what happened to California once the socialists, um, Democrats gained control. Liberals are so bizarre that "goofy" and "liberal" also ought to be one word. Now we have goofylibliar.

And his ego? One of the defining characteristics of liberals is the notion that they are so much more intelligent than everyone else (particularly blacks and Hispanics) that if we will just give them enough money and power, all of the problems of the world will be solved -- just as in California.

So, again, is not egomaniac goofylibliar General Wesley Clark the perfect candidate for the Democrats?

But there are two very big problems with Clark from a conservative perspective, and they have nothing to do with his character or policies or criticism of the prosecution of the war in Iraq. They are his looks and his military background.

General Wesley Clark very simply has that characteristic more important than any other in today's politics: the guy looks and sounds terrific on television. This is known as being "telegenic," and it can overcome almost any handicap, other than being pro-life.

Folks over 50 will remember that John F. Kennedy's telegenicity won him the election in 1960. Those who heard his debate with Richard Nixon on the radio generally agreed that Nixon was the better man. Those who watched the debate on television were shocked at Nixon's appearance and scored the debate for Kennedy. If things have changed today, it is only that looks matter more.
The second problem for those loath to see a Democrat back in the White House is the potential national defense credibility he brings with him.

It is commonly understood that Democrats are perceived, and rightly so, as being weak on defense. Now, General Clark has received much criticism for his high-altitude bombing campaign in Kosovo, but he was a four-star who graduated first in his class at West Point. To many people, that makes him enormously credible. He already has been established as a military expert through his CNN commentary.

All that being said, is it likely that General Clark will win his party's nomination? No. He is in too late and does not have enough money.

The real nightmare scenario is this: As the nine ninnies currently performing their political dog-and-pony show continue to bruise and batter one another, it will become obvious to the party apparatchiks that the Democrat chances for the presidency are virtually nil, and Al Gore will step forward to save the party. Yes, Gore -- many Democrats are urging him to run at this very moment, and he still has considerable support and clout.

But, of course, there is someone who cannot permit that to happen. Hillary Rodham Clinton will not let Al Gore have an opportunity to be President until the year 2012 -- she will not put her own aspirations on hold for that long. And Hillary's comrade-in-arms as she prepares to do battle with evil Republicans will be General Wesley Clark.

If that is not enough to keep you awake at night, you are living in Neverland.

No one can energize Democrats like Hillary. With the General by her side and the nation's mass media carrying her armor, she will be a nightmare opponent for George W. Bush.

And as long as the economy is tanking and things are going horribly in Iraq and Afghanistan -- and we know they are, because the New York Times, Dan Rather, Peter Jennings, Tom Brokaw and their fellow myth-makers tell the American public that every day and every night -- Bush will be very vulnerable.

That should make every Constitution-loving, freedom-embracing conservative very frightened.

To think otherwise is to deny reality.

Dennis Campbell is a freelance writer who regularly contributes to Internet and print publications

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