Carol Platt Liebau: Veering Left at Breakneck Speed

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Veering Left at Breakneck Speed

Bill Kristol raises a very under-discussed point about how the Democrats have recently veered left, driven principally by the demands of the earlier-than-ever presidential primary season and President Bush's unwillingness to politely accede to defeat in Iraq.

The fact is that, as Kristol notes, all the Democratic non-binding resolutions do, indeed, allow Republicans validly to point out that the Dems are engaging in conduct that encourages our enemies (that is, if the increasingly gutless Republicans would actually make that obvious observation).

In fact, despite the sense in the left and the MSM (and among some Republicans) that the Democrats are occupying the political catbird seat, it's entirely possible that they will overplay their hand. As Republicans misinterpreted their 1994 win as a mandate for smaller government, the Democrats have misinterpreted their 2006 victory as a call for defeat in Iraq. It isn't. Last November, a frustrated public made it clear to President Bush that more of the same was simply unacceptable.

Frankly, there are real political dangers for the Democrats if it begins to seem that they share a common goal -- bring about American defeat and retreat in Iraq -- with America's enemies. Regular Americans don't like that, no matter how frustrated they are with the war's progress. Just ask Jane Fonda.

What's more, Democrats need to realize that if they are actually successful in engineering setbacks or defeats for the troops in the field -- or engage in conduct that undermines our soldiers' morales and boosts our adversaries' -- they are taking upon themselves a significant portion of the responsibility for losing the Iraq war.

People need to be careful about what they wish for. Almost since the beginning, Dems have striven to identify Iraq with Vietnam. But after their short-term success in forcing our loss there, Vietnam turned into an albatross for the Dems because Americans remembered their anti-military posturing and their weakness. It's entirely possible that the same thing could happen again -- and even worse politically for them, if a newly emboldened Al Qaeda struck again inside the USA in the wake of an America defeat in Iraq.


Blogger Marshall Art said...

I've decided that among the qualities and positions I will be looking for in a candidate for any federal office is the desire by such candidates for victory in Iraq and anywhere else the war on terrorism takes us. It's mandatory. Even if the worst happens, and Hillary or Obama get elected president, and they get us into some worthless and risk free engagement in order to appear strong in their foreign policy, I demand victory. Victory anytime our kids have to go fight overseas.
May be a bit off topic, but the topic made me think of this conclusion I've come to.

9:48 PM  
Blogger The Flomblog said...

Marshall (and Carol) are exactly right. The most humane way to fight a war is to fight it furiously. In the long run, far fewer will die and the enemy will think twice before starting again.

I suggest that the Democrats ar leading us down the rode to becoming a faux-France. We need to go back to being the United States of America!

7:58 AM  

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