I really don’t like insulting liberals. It’s a dirty job, but, as they say, somebody has to do it. The truth is, I have friends and relatives who are of that political persuasion, although, lately, some of them have started calling themselves progressives. Which is interesting because, back in 1948, when Henry Wallace, with the fervent backing of the American Communists, ran for president, he was the Progressive Party candidate.

Still, most of the liberals I know are reasonably decent people. They try to raise their kids the right way, although they often send their tots off to private schools while denying vouchers to parents poorer than themselves. As a rule, though, I’d say they mean well.

But, sometimes, I swear, you could easily get the idea that they’re from Mars, and are just down here for a visit. For openers, look at the cast of characters they rally around. I mean, imagine attending a party – let alone belonging to a party – that included the likes of John Kerry, Charles Schumer, Hillary Clinton, Michael Moore, Jimmy Carter, Patrick Leahy, Nancy Pelosi, Al Franken, Robert Byrd, Harry Reid, and Barbara Boxer. Unless you had an unnatural affinity for humorless blowhards and hypocrites, you’d run screaming out of the house even before the soup was served.

One of the troubles with those on the left is that they don’t react to crimes, even crimes of terrorism, the way normal people do. For instance, most of those who devote their careers to defending murderers, rapists and pedophiles, are of the leftist bent, as are the dues-paying members of the criminal-coddling American Civil Liberties Union. Furthermore, most of those deranged people who congregate outside prisons, holding candlelight vigils for serial killers about to meet their maker, are likewise liberals.

And the way they carry on over public displays of religion at Christmas and Easter, you’d think they were as terrified of crosses as Count Dracula.

While conservatives declare war on terrorism, liberals declare quagmires, and demand the announcement of deadlines for withdrawal that would merely serve to encourage Islamic fascists to bide their time.

Liberals claim they are for the rights of women, but they don’t celebrate the defeat of the Taliban because to do so would reflect well on President Bush and his ambition to be the Johnny Appleseed of democracy. Liberals claim that they are against tyrants, but they wring their hands over our losses in Iraq, although even after these many months of armed conflict, the number is far less than we suffered on 9-11. And although, in words, the libs champion liberty and freedom, they would turn their collective backs on Iraq’s fledgling democracy in a nanosecond.

Liberals claim that they support our troops even as they insist the young men and women are fighting an unnecessary and illegal war, being waged strictly for oil, although we haven’t claimed a single derrick, and it was those who opposed invasion – the French, the Germans, the Russians, and other assorted grafters connected to the United Nations – who had the profitable oil deals with Saddam Hussein. Even as the leftists claim to support our troops, they take every opportunity to defile thousands of soldiers for the minor misdeeds of a few.

The same liberals who’d have a conniption fit if the government insisted that every felon in America be provided with a New or Old Testament carries on as if every Muslim terrorist incarcerated at Guantanamo is entitled to a pristine copy of the Quran under the terms of the Geneva Convention.

Liberals are convinced that the Three-strikes law is cruel and unusual punishment. They quail at the idea that a career criminal could go to jail for life for swiping a pizza or walking off with a six-pack of beer. The way they carry on, you’d think they were all criminal-defense attorneys or even criminals. For one thing, only a small number of crimes are ever solved. For another, of those few, a sizeable number are plea-bargained down to misdemeanors.

Taking all that into consideration, isn’t it logical to assume that before anybody is convicted of two felonies, he has probably committed 10 felonies or 20 or, more likely, 50? And knowing that a third conviction might send him back to the cooler for life, wouldn’t you think he’d make every effort to keep his nose clean? And if he lacks even that modicum of common sense, shouldn’t we assume that he suffers from terminal stupidity, and shouldn’t we lock him up not only for our own safety, but for his?

Sometimes, when I look around at liberals, and listen to the pro-U.N., one-world-under-Kofi-Annan blather they spout, I feel a little like Dorothy in an updated version of “The Wizard of Oz”: “Toto, forget Kansas. I don’t think we’re even in America.”

And this time around, when the little mutt pulled the curtain aside, my guess is that the “great and powerful Oz,” feverishly working the levers and the smoke machine, would turn out to be a red-nosed grifter who looked an awful lot like Ted Kennedy and sounded an awful lot like Howard Dean.

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