He reiterated our objectives and strategy to achieve them, which, by the way, have been consistent since we began this phase of the war: the transition to Iraqi constitutional self-rule. While we've had to adjust our tactics daily in this unconventional, asymmetrical war, we have stayed true to our overall strategy.
Washington Democrats appear visibly nervous about the strength and substance of the president's case, and probably wish they hadn't pushed him so far that he had to come out and answer their bogus charges one by one.
At the end of the day, the Democrats are exposed as having no substantive alternative ideas to supplement their brutal assaults against this wartime president. They've even gone so far as to admit, on occasion, that they don't have a plan, much less a superior one, because, in the damning words of Democrat Party leader Howard Dean, it is not their responsibility to have a plan. You just can't make this stuff up.
The Democrats have done a masterful job, with unflagging assistance from the mainstream media, of undermining the people's trust in the president by calling him a liar every day for the last 10 months and more. But the best-kept secret is that in the meantime, they've done nothing to bolster their own image for trustworthiness or as capable wartime leaders.
That they have no solutions for Iraq and the War on Terror was brought into sharp relief when House Republicans called their bluff and forced them to put up or shut up on a withdrawal-timetable resolution. Only three hapless Democrats had the courage to stand by their party's reckless rhetoric.
The best thing about the president's speech is that it moves the debate forward into the realm of reality. It forces the Democrats to quit squawking about moot issues, such as whether President Bush lied about WMD. They can choose to revisit those fraudulent claims and lose another election over them if they want, but for now, they better realize we're in this war and they must get on board, offer reasonable alternatives, or get out of the way.
Between now and 2006 it will be interesting to see how they scramble and sputter, searching in vain for a coherent war policy. Pay particular attention to the ever-tortured positions John Kerry will adopt and the delightfully painful contortions and fence-straddling Hillary will inevitably engage in between now and 2008.
And all this time you thought Republicans were the ones imploding.
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