August 14, 2007


LIBERALS ON THE WARPATH: The Democrats Get Hawkish: The American people may want to get rid of Bush, but they in no way want to risk losing the war on terror. The consequences: America's Democrats are seeking to position themselves as being more hawkish than the Republicans and Congress has just approved the biggest military budget ever. (Gabor Steingart, 8/14/07, der Spiegel)
Newt Gingrich was more than satisfied. The archbishop of America's conservatives was purring like a cat when he appeared at a luncheon with foreign journalists. Better yet, a cat that had just devoured a couple of mice.

Gingrich's mice are Democrats who have recently begun challenging wartime President George W. Bush by trying to beat him at his own game. Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama had just raised the issue of terrorist cells in Pakistan and suggested the idea of a US military attack on the nuclear state. "If Musharraf won't act, we will," he told an audience at Washington's Wilson Center. With that kind of rhetoric, the Democrats' new shining hope might as well be called Barack Bush-Obama.

A man like Gingrich, who has conveniently replaced the now-defunct image of the Soviet communists as his public enemy No. 1 with that of the Islamic fanatic, should feel vindicated. In fact, he even praised -- patronizingly, of course -- the young senator, saying that what Obama had to say about Pakistan was spot on. Gingrich is pleased to see a political adversary calling for a new military campaign when everyone else these days is talking about withdrawal. Pakistan, said Gingrich, "is enormously dangerous ... we need to have a strategy for Pakistan." Of course, when someone like Gingrich talks strategy he really means the use of missiles, mortars and flamethrowers.

The wind has shifted in Washington. America, not just its president, is at war. The Democrats are still critical of the failed Iraq campaign, but they are no longer opposed to the "War on Terror" in general. It has been accepted, and not just as a metaphor.
It's been pretty funny to read in the post-mortems for Karl Rove that he "failed in his ambition to move the country permanently to the Right." The democratic nominee will be more conservative, at least rhetorically, than any of Reagan's primary opponents were in 1980.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 14, 2007 8:22 AM

The Democrats are still opposed to the "War on Terror" - they just can't bring themselves to vote against it. John Edwards thinks it is a slogan, Bennie Thompson tried to sneak out the John Doe lawsuit protection from a Homeland Security bill, Nancy Pelosi thinks Syria is an ally, Patty Murray thinks Osama bin Laden is a civic developer, and most of them think like John Kerry and Harry Reid about the military.

Posted by: jim hamlen at August 15, 2007 7:37 AM