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Jewish World Review August 14, 2000 / 13 Menachem-Av, 5760

Don Feder

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Consumer Reports

L.A. -- the Dems kinda town -- THE DEMOCRATS have returned to a far different Los Angeles than the one where they nominated John F. Kennedy in 1960. They would barely recognize it, but for the fact that the party and city are on a parallel course of decline.

Democrats, especially under Clinton and Gore, are the party of smoke and mirrors, where righteous rhetoric obscures entrenched corruption and pointless policies. L.A. is a city built on illusion, where murderous reality lurks just below the surface.

America's fantasy capital, is right next door.

Hollywood is reflexively liberal. The entertainment community is clinically committed to big government, paranoid about the police and military, and convinced that every NRA member is a "moody loner with a handgun," polluting corporations are killing us all, and that rich Nazi Republicans are planning to abolish the minimum wage and force schoolchildren to pray and teens to wear chastity belts, as soon as they regain the presidency.

Without the Spielbergs and Streisands, Democratic candidates would be reduced to holding bake sales. In podium speeches, Democrats will decry the fate of the downtrodden (kids without health insurance, seniors without prescription drug coverage) and go home with bags of cash from folks who think roughing it means dining in a four-star restaurant on cook's night off.

On Sunday, Barbra Streisand hosted a brunch for the first president who truly reflects Hollywood's ethos. Each of the 50 couples in attendance paid from $100,000 to $1 million to help build the Clinton Library, Monica exhibit one floor down.

Gore's main fund-raiser comes Thursday evening at the 6,000-seat Shrine Auditorium, with appearances by Whoopi Goldberg and Gladys Knight. While Hollywood is in solidarity with the vice president -- his tree-hugger rhetoric appeals to people who build 50-car garages at their Bel Air estates to accommodate Sierra Club soirees -- they swoon at Clinton's feet.

During the impeachment, they railed at Ken Starr and House Republicans for what they called sexual McCarthyism.

"I'm disgusted with the sordid way Bill Clinton is being treated," stormed Alec Baldwin. "President Clinton is a decent human being and we should treat him as such." Who can doubt the judgment of an actor who once observed that President George Bush was "a CIA mass murderer ... who is owned by oil companies."

Pity Streisand is only raising money and not delivering the keynote address. Her 1995 Harvard debut as a political orator was so promising.

Washington could learn something from Hollywood, Babs declared. (Clinton did.) And she will not rest until "women are treated equally with men, until gays and minorities are not discriminated against, and until children have their full civil rights." From sea to shining sea?

Speaking of minorities, not far from swank Beverly Hills are the slums of South Central and East L.A. Democrats will celebrate their diversity in a city of smoldering racial/ethnic tensions.

L.A. is a magnet for illegal immigrants. The majority of women who give birth at county hospitals, at public expense, are illegals. Stroll a few blocks from S. Figueroa St. and you'd think you were in Tijuana.

Weeks before Bill Clinton accepted his party's nomination in 1992, South Central exploded following the first Rodney King verdict. The riots left 50 dead, more than 2,500 wounded and $2 billion in damage. Although Clinton issued a politically timed reprimand to riot cheerleader Sister Souljah, for decades Democrats have stoked the fires of resentment by blaming the plight of the underclass on institutional racism.

Like its convention city, there is an air of unreality about the Democratic Party. Appearances are everything. Pick a vice-presidential candidate who gives great lip-service to piety, and voters will forget that this is the party of perjury and campaign contributions from the People's Liberation Army.

Democrats really should return to the City of Fallen Angels for their 2004 convention (where they nominate Streisand and Baldwin) and combine it with the Academy Awards ceremony. And the award fo the best-politician-caught-with-his-pants-down-feigning-repentance is ...

JWR contributing columnist Don Feder's latest books are Who is afraid of the Religious Right? ($15.95) and A Jewish conservative looks at pagan America ($9.95). To receive an autographed copy, send a check or money order to: Don Feder, The Boston Herald, 1 Herald Sq., Boston, Mass. 02106. Doing so will help fund JWR, if so noted. He is also available as a guest speaker. To comment on this column please click here.


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© 2000, Creators Syndicate