“Who knew a post about 12daily Pro would lead to a lengthy discussion of Mormon doctrine?” (hat tip: Morgan Habedank) Not me. Some interesting and important questions were raised. Thinking politics were controversial enough, I had tried to avoid writing religious posts.
Historical questions maintain a central position in the development of the debate. Our friend the Raisin has called for a “reasonable” response from the humble dictator of this blog–me. So I will succumb to these populist demands and give the people what they want. Stay tuned for my considered response.
In the meantime, here’s Mark Steyn with what remains of an downright humorous and entertaining treatment of the Democrats ridiculous position on Iraq.
Of hearts and minds, at home and in Iraq
Meanwhile, back on Planet Earth, even the media are occasionally obliged to explain the disconnect between received wisdom on Iraq and the actual physical territory that goes by that name. â€œ85 percent of people in the capital are looking to the future with great enthusiasm,â€ noted Der Spiegel, as impeccably anti-Bush as any publication on the planet, but nonetheless reporting the economic boom, rising incomes, etc., now enjoyed by many Iraqis. The magazine went on: â€œHow does this happily expectant mood fit in with the bloody scenes of bombings and shootings, the reports of kidnappings, curfews, and shortages?â€ How indeed? Over to you, media-ethics professors.
Itâ€™s not difficult: I said a year and a half ago that the way to look at Iraq is that the Sunni Triangle is Northern Ireland, Kurdistan is Scotland, and the Shiite south is England. Donâ€™t let a pub bombing in Ballymena prevent you from investing in that privatized telecom company in London.
Iâ€™m not one of those fellows minded to defer to Jack Murtha because he was a hero in the last war. You could have said the same of Marshal PÃ©tain, and Churchill never listened to him. But I carelessly assumed Murtha did, in fact, have something to say. Instead, as he told Newsweek â€” in one of those â€œBush in the Bubbleâ€ stories â€” heâ€™s piqued because the president didnâ€™t reply to his memo, which, rather than getting hoots of derision, is now regarded as the greatest affront to constitutional propriety since Jim Jeffords failed to land an invite to the White Houseâ€™s Teacher of the Year reception, for which slight he flipped control of the Senate to Tom Daschle. (Remember him?) If Murtha and Newsweek werenâ€™t trapped in their own bubble, they might understand that a â€œprincipled standâ€ has to be more than a guy whining that the president of the United States wonâ€™t return his calls: â€œThe White House has made no attempt to reach out to Murtha since then. â€˜None. None. Zero. Not one call,â€™ a baffled Murtha told Newsweek. â€˜I donâ€™t know who the hell theyâ€™re talking to. If they talked to people, they wouldnâ€™t get these outbursts. If theyâ€™d talked to me, it wouldnâ€™t have happened.â€™â€
I know who the hell theyâ€™re talking to: On Iraq, the White House is talking to rather a lot of people. Theyâ€™re called â€œIraqis.â€ But Murtha is now the lion of the moment, Cindy Sheehan and Joseph Wilson IV merged into the Murtha of all anti-war heroes. So what if thereâ€™s no crushing of his dissent, only a sad man who was crushed by being dissed.
But letâ€™s take it as read that Iâ€™m a neocon hack clinging to my feeble Wolfowitz-Perle script as Kurdistan secedes and Shiite theocrats seize the south and Zarqawi commands overwhelming support from the Sunni people. Assume that John Kerry is right that â€œyoung American soldiersâ€ are â€œgoing into the homes of Iraqis in the dead of night, terrorizing kids and children, you know, womenâ€ and that those rampaging Rumsfeldian torturers have brutalized so many of the Iraqi people that theyâ€™re unified against us.
Even so, even as crude political finessing, will this pitch work for the Democrats? No. Listen to Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi. They didnâ€™t become leaders because some freak accident took out the other contenders. They head the party because they speak for it. Itâ€™s one thing to be defeatist, but the perverse triumphalism of Deanâ€™s defeatism will keep his party mired in the minority through 2006 and 2008. Even if they were right, whatâ€™s the â€œmeta-story,â€ as they say, of Mad Howâ€™s soundbite? Weâ€™re the party that glories in defeatism? â€œVote for us. We told you Americans were losers and weâ€™re right.â€ Even as shameless self-interest, the Defeaticrat position is a flop.
Unlike those depressed Continentals, Americans are not a pessimistic people, especially when theyâ€™ve got nothing to be pessimistic about. The tragedy is that, on so-called â€œliberalâ€ terms, this is a war Democrats ought to be gung-ho for: More Iraqis participate in the democratic process than Americans; Afghanistan has more women in electoral politics than Canada. Meanwhile, in the most powerful nation on the planet, the two-party system is seizing up because one partyâ€™s gone nuts. From Murthaâ€™s â€œWeâ€™re all doomed unless we quit by Tuesdayâ€ to John Kerryâ€™s â€œI was against setting deadlines before I was for them,â€ the Defeaticrats simply have no serious contribution to make to the most pressing issue of the age. Shame on them, trapped in a quagmire of the mind with no exit strategy in sight.
With all the opportunities Republicans are giving Democrats to take the Senate and House this fall, I’m surprised they still insist on being the pessimistic party. With Howard Dean, Hillary Clinton and Co. running the show, I guess I really shouldn’t be all that surprised.
My prediction? Republicans will maintain a majority in both houses–thanks entirely to the ineptness of the Democrats.