December 10, 2005


Democratic Implosion: Can the party of the people be saved from itself? (Victor Davis Hanson, 12/09/05, National Review)

Howard Dean, John Kerry, and Congressman Murtha represent the Democratic mainstream. And that’s the problem. None of them can be characterized as embracing the Michael Moore/Cindy Sheehan fringe, and none are even prone to the wacky grandstanding of Jimmy Carter or Barbara Boxer.

Yet what we get from the national chairman, the former presidential candidate, and the new popular icon — on the verge of the third and final election in Iraq — is a de facto admission that we are losing and must leave.

In the background, old Vietnam-era themes provide the chorus for the growing antiwar sentiment: apparent disdain for the Iraqis, mirroring the way that liberals pooh-poohed anti-Communist Eastern Europeans, Cubans, and Vietnamese; endemic pessimism that does not match the rapidly evolving events on the ground; and political opportunity that an American embarrassment abroad might reverse a long-term and ongoing unfavorable political realignment at home.

When Saddam was removed in a brilliant three-week campaign, few anticipated that the subsequent effort to craft democracy in his wake would evolve into a conflict for the very heart of the Middle East. Most feared that postbellum Afghanistan would be the harder task — given the wealthier and more secular nature of Iraqi society.

Instead the war, as wars almost always do, has morphed into something quite different than expected — a regional referendum on Lebanon, the future of Syria, reform movements in the Gulf and Egypt, about-faces in Pakistan and Libya, and continued pressure on a soon-to-be-nuclear Iran. And despite the heartbreak of 2,100 deaths, we are not just winning in Iraq, but on the verge of something far larger, and more permanent: not a return to the ancient caliphate or another dictatorship, but the real chance for the birth of a new Middle East that takes its place at last among responsible nations.

All that was impossible to envision without the prior American removal of Saddam Hussein — now reduced to a pathetic deposed tyrant, railing against his victims and in his misery calling those “terrorists” who did not give him clean underwear.

Listening to decent Democrats object that no one in the leadership of the Party actually represents its mainstream suggests why they're headed back to permanent 40% status.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 10, 2005 5:48 PM

Howard Dean is prone to "wacky grandstanding"? Not sure I would agree with that. And though I wouldn't say that John Kerry was wacky, the second part, "grandstanding", fits him well.

Posted by: Jim Miller at December 10, 2005 7:22 PM

If you wouldn't call John Kerry, then how would you describe anyone who was so completely at sea about anything. He has two opinions on just about any subject depending on what day you catch him - and he will back either one at any given time - and then turn around the next minute and back the other one. I think wacky is a compliment to that POS politician.

Posted by: dick at December 10, 2005 8:52 PM

Saw Victor Davis Hanson on BookTV today talking about lessons of the Peloponnessian War. One was that if you choose to fight a war, you must fight to win completely, leaving no doubt who is the victor. As Grant said of his strategy for the Civil War: "I intend to cross the Rappahanock River with the Army of Potomac and engage the Army of Northern Virginia and keep them continuously engaged until they are destroyed or surrender."

Posted by: jd watson [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 10, 2005 9:01 PM

Kerry is so dumb that HE probably doesn't remember what position he took 10 minutes ago. And showing it to him on film isn't going to help his memory at all.

Remember, he thinks he fought like the Spartans at Thermopylae. And that he single-handedly turned Congress against the war.

He will be a laugh a minute against Hillary, Edwards, Warner, and perhaps even Reverend Al.

Posted by: jim hamlen at December 10, 2005 10:08 PM

. . . or even Reverend Ike!

Posted by: obc at December 10, 2005 11:18 PM

Lesson of the Pelop. War:

Don't have your leader die in plague.

Luckily, W. is still with us.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at December 10, 2005 11:44 PM

2nd Lesson of the Pelop. War:

Don't send your troops to Sicily when your enemy is Sparta.

Posted by: Chris Durnell at December 12, 2005 11:45 AM