Home The Democratic Party's Brain Damage
Home The Democratic Party's Brain Damage

The Democratic Party's Brain Damage

In 2008, Democrats insisted that Senator John McCain was too old to be president. At a rally introducing Hillary Clinton, Congressman John Murtha criticized him for even running. "It's no old man's job," he said.

Obama and Kerry used language suggesting that McCain was senile. Left-wing activists claimed that could die of skin cancer at any moment. Late night comedians turned McCain's age into a target.

McClatchy headlined a story, "Some wonder if McCain's too old and wrinkly to be president."

There are no stories in which reporters ask passerby if Hillary is too old and wrinkly to take 3 AM phone calls.
In Newsweek, Anna Quindlen, a fanatical Hillary supporter, wrote that, "The senator's pursuit of the presidency reminds me a bit of those women who decide to have a baby in their late 50s." If she has any objection to Hillary's pursuit of the presidency while pushing 70, she hasn't written about it.

By October, spurred by repeated media attacks on his age, 34 percent of Americans said that McCain was too old to be president. The sharp spike in the poll numbers over one month showed how effective the Democratic age smear was.

Had McCain been elected, he would have taken office at 72. If Hillary Clinton wins, she'll be 69. And age is suddenly no longer an issue. Neither is health.

Quindlen emphasized that McCain couldn't lift his arms over his head. No one is going to ask how flexible Hillary Clinton is in body (the political flexibility of the woman who opposed and supported nearly everything at one time or another is already renowned).

The problem as it turned out was not that McCain was old. It was that he was a Republican.

Slate ran an article claiming that McCain's brain would go bad over the next eight years, but discussing the state of Hillary's brain is out of bounds. Late night comedians won't be making jokes about how old Hillary is or how confused she gets in the morning.

Those jokes could only be made about a man who was three years older than she is now.

It's outrageous to question the medical consequences of Hillary's "traumatic brain injury" which took her six months to recover from after passing out and falling down while boarding a plane. But ridiculing Bob Dole's dead arm, an injury he suffered while dragging one of his men into a foxhole out of enemy fire during WW2, or McCain's inability to lift his arms or perform certain tasks after they were broken by his torturers, was part of the game.

We can question the health of war veterans, but not of a career politician.

There will be no stories about how wrinkled Hillary's skin is. No one will ask her if she can tie her shoes. Or if she can use Twitter without an assistant. Or whether she forgets things sometimes.

But if a Republican in his late sixties or early seventies becomes a candidate, then the switch will flip and suddenly asking those questions will become fair game.


The issue isn't Hillary's brain. It's that Democrats don't consider themselves accountable in the same way that they expect Republicans to be. It's that they consider attacks on Republicans fair game that they are too thin-skinned to accept when they rebound on them.

If McCain was too old and his brain too infirm to serve in the White House, the same people making that argument should have to explain why those same questions can't even be asked about Hillary. Does three years make a world of difference? Has medical science been so dramatically revolutionized over the last eight years that they no longer matter?

If Hillary isn't too old and if her health is off limits, then Democrats should admit that they engaged in cynical ageist attacks to win the White House. But that too would be accountability.

And we have a crisis of accountability.

The Democrat in the White House and his associates refuse to accept responsibility for anything or to display even a smidgen of intellectual consistency. Every press conference and press release is a torrent of lies that isn't even tangentially related to the truth. Any call for accountability results in an explosion of outrage as if the very act of holding the ruling party accountable is a crime.

The huffing and puffing over the suggestion that a woman who took six months to recover from a serious health episode may have health problems that will affect her performance is typical of the way that the Democratic Party behaves.

And of the way that its media auxiliaries echo its agenda.

When Murtha accused McCain of being too old, the media took the attack seriously. When Karl Rove mentioned Hillary's health problem, the majority of the stories focused on it as a cynical attack. This partisan coverage gap is not an anomaly. It's the new normal.

The problem isn't Hillary's brain damage. It's the Democratic Party's brain damage. 

The Democratic Party, which has been around since the early 19th century, is just too old. The parts of its brain that relate to accountability and integrity have been burned out. The political party suffered a traumatic brain episode in the sixties and it hasn't recovered from it since. The left side of its political brain is dominant while the right side has completely withered away.

The Democrats keep insisting that they're moving forward, when they're actually wandering off to the left without even being able to recognize it. They insist that they're centrist when they've completely drifted off the road.

It doesn't matter how young or old its candidates are as long as they base their worldview around discredited 19th century ideas about economics and equally discredited 20th century ideas about the virtues of central planning. A youthful body with a decayed brain rotting with ideas that were old when Nixon and LBJ were toddlers isn't progressive.

It's hopelessly reactionary.

Obama may have been in his late forties when elected, but his ideas were around one hundred and forty years old. No matter what age Hillary is, her ideas are equally old and unworkable. It's not the state of her brain that's the problem, it's the things she's been putting in there since a very young age. 

The Democratic Party has become a brain damaged party of old radicals in youthful bodies. Its radicalism leaves it incapable of performing such basic mental functions as practicing intellectual consistency. It no longer believes in universal truths or codes of behavior. It insists with senile petulance that it should be allowed to do and say anything it wants while its opponents should not be allowed to say or do anything at all.

Eight years of this partisan totalitarianism has divided the country as never before and Democrats, with predictable hypocrisy,  refuse to take any responsibility for this state of divisiveness or its outcome. They also refuse to take responsibility for the setbacks in the War on Terror or the economy.

Or for anything at all.

If Hillary and her Democratic Party really want to demonstrate their mental fitness, they can start by naming one single new economic idea that they've brought to the table in the last seventy years. And if they can't, working Americans will ask themselves whether they can afford another eight years of 19th century economics from a political party whose last new idea is even older than Hillary.


  1. More essential reading. Thank you, Mr. Greenfield.

    Bastiat refuted and demolished the economic arguments of the Statists back in the 1840s, and they have come up with nothing new since.

  2. Dirty White Boy19/5/14

    They have no ideas at all. They have fear and self-loathing, driven by envy and greed, leading to blood-lust and revenge. A very old story.

  3. DenisO19/5/14

    Hillary conveniently ducked responsibility for the embarrassingl and bloody Benghazi blunder, by getting too sick to answer reporters questions. When she finally did respond to Congressional questions, her "What difference does it make?" comment showed how nervous she was over her responsibility.
    Was she really mentally impaired? Carl Rowe has the fighter's instinct the Repub Party lacks, and rightly brings up her mental capacity to be POTUS.
    The Left doesn't like it when their tactics are turned on them, and are shocked that the Republicrats are playing their game.
    It won't go away, but maybe she will.

  4. Anonymous19/5/14

    The 'Hillary Movement' is mostly being generated by a disgraced media, if they pull this one off, we are in even more trouble than we know.
    This reminds me of the time that George Wallace foisted his cancer ridden wife upon the voters of Alabama, once he was no longer able to run..
    I do question though, how long will she be able to do interviews on stage from an armchair, and what happens if she has to stand up ?
    If she weren't so vile, I would feel sorry for her, however, let's hope she is simply a stalking horse with a book to sell, just trying to stuff the family coffers while she can. Her entire posture and demeanor tells me that she either won't, or can't run.
    Things will get interesting when a few less than reverential Dems figure this out. Stay tuned.


  5. Anonymous19/5/14

    LOL! Sophie, what will happen when she has to pee while standing there so long?
    (Sorry, Daniel...)
    - BarbaCat

  6. Anonymous19/5/14

    sticking up for McCain is not a wise starting place for an article...you have erred in your angle on Clinton...there are many other problems with her and age is one of them but using McCain as an example of Democratic hypocrisy should not be one of them...McCain has become an embarrassment...a loose cannon...

  7. I'm not sticking up for McCain. Democratic hypocrisy in regard to the 2008 election exists regardless of McCain's political tendencies.

  8. Anonymous19/5/14

    As McCain is a doddering old fool Hitlery is a corrupt old one and incapable of command or leadership of anything.

    Anon. in TX

  9. I live in CT which means that the vast majority of voters will pull the lever for Hillary without even a millisecond of reflection

  10. Anonymous19/5/14

    Progressive Democrats: The party of reaction. Well done, Greenfield.

  11. PatriotGalNC20/5/14

    Thank you Daniel for another brilliant article.
    I despise Hillary, and always have. I sincerely believe that it isn't SHE who will be tossing her hat into the ring if she announces she is running... She will actually be standing in as president, with BILL as de facto. Bill wants to run the show again, and they are propping Hillary up as the candidate. I honestly believe this. She is a vile, evil, lying, traitorous B****. But then, my Mama always said, "Birds of a feather, flock together". This is so true today, that it scares the daylights out of me.

  12. Anonymous20/5/14

    I hate to say it but I think Mr Greenfield is letting the Democrats off too easily. First their criticisms about McCain's age and his arms were phony as they spoke it as they well know. Similarly for their taunts of Dole.

    In both cases there were no impairments and they knew it. And this fact - that there were no impairments and they knew it - was true not only of the Democratic political operatives that ran the campaigns and the media that reported on it, But the same extends to the Democratic die hard voters as well.

    But with Hillary's run for 2016 this is a real issue which needs to be assessed in truth. This is no innuendo on my part. This is no smear. This is real. What makes the situation so dangerous is that Hillary's supporters don't care.

    In a way if there is an iimpairment it is completely understandable that Hillary wouldn't care. That would be courageous on her part and in any case ambition is ambition.

    I suspect that if someone in the Democratic media brings it up they will be harshly condemned by her supports inside and outside of government and the media. So there will be some questions bt not too many.

    Also if she does run, this is no issue to base a campaign on - neither her's nor ours.Time will tell.

  13. Anonymous20/5/14

    It's telling by what kind of people both parties try to foist on the American people. I've never been able to understand how McCain could be such a traitor to the conservative, i.e., right, principles of government and must conclude that his time as a POW really affected his ability to think straight. Hitlery, however, was, prior to Obama, the left's darling because she represents and is everything they stand for-hypocrisy, power-lust and doing anything however immoral, unethical, crass, and inhumane to gain it, almost a transgender by her ruthless, un-femininity, a practiced liar, having the politically correct number of children (one), and an ugly and demonic soul.


  14. Anonymous20/5/14

    I wrote the comment saying sticking up for McCain was a mistake...yes, there is hypocrisy on the age matter but the article reads pro McCain whether you wanted this or not...and pro McCain these days is untenable...just wanted you to know how it read to me... I'm a big fan of yours and have recommended you to many so I'm somewhat on the line here and McCain is an embarrassment and never really had the ability that went along with his high profile...someone reading you for the first time will come away less than impressed with the subject matter no matter how well it was thought out


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