Can you imagine what would happen if President Bush truly had delivered a partisan speech on the evening of September 11? We would never hear the end of it.
Other than honoring the victims of 9/11 and their families, the most important message the president could have sent on that solemn anniversary was that he remains committed to ensuring the victims did not die in vain.
The only way the United States will lose this protracted war is if its citizenry loses the resolve to fight it. And the American left and the Democratic Party are engaged in a rhetorical war either aimed at or having the inevitable consequence of demoralizing America's will to win. President Bush, as commander in chief, has a duty to answer their destructive rhetoric and refute their misinformation so that the public does not lose its will.
The president's Democratic war critics have been up in arms over his speech because he mentioned the war on terror and Iraq and defended his policies to the American people. Is it too much to ask that as fellow Americans they applaud his efforts rather than viewing them only as damaging to their interests?
It must be, because they have reacted hysterically to his speech, suggesting that just by virtue of outlining his policies President Bush was being unacceptably political -- even partisan.
Nonsense. A partisan speech would have been crafted and delivered quite differently. President Bush would not only have outlined the necessary steps he has undertaken to prosecute this global war on terror, such as the NSA terrorist surveillance program, the Patriot Act, the SWIFT financial tracking program, the data mining program to track terrorists' phone records and the multitude of other intelligence initiatives currently underway.
But he wouldn't have stopped there. He would have added, indignantly, "We are implementing a multi-pronged strategy to fight this war, but I'm sad to inform you that every step of the way, the once great Democratic Party is obstructing our efforts. This is mystifying to me, and I hate to point fingers, but unless I do our chances of succeeding will be greatly reduced because the only way we can lose is if you, the American people, decide we must terminate the mission before its successful completion.
"Let me outline the specific ways the Democrats have been obstructing our prosecution of the war. They have not only opposed every single terrorist tracking tool I referenced before, but they have persisted in wrongfully accusing me -- before the entire world community, whose favorable opinion of America they profess to value above all else -- of lying about Iraqi WMD, about a relationship between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden, about conducting a unilateral foreign policy and about describing Iraq as an 'imminent threat.' They have misled the American people into believing we 'outsourced' the capture of Osama to Afghan warlords, all so that we could divert our military resources toward dethroning the unthreatening, benign regime of Saddam Hussein.
"They have also been inexplicably sympathetic to murderous terrorists held in our prisons in Guantanamo Bay, fraudulently alleging that we have authorized and conducted their systematic torture. They want to provide full constitutional rights and Geneva protections to our enemies. And they have the audacity to lecture us about harming America's image in the world, and causing Muslims to hate us and join the global jihad against us?
"I've tried not to respond in kind, but, folks, it is becoming increasingly difficult to prosecute this war with the barrage of self-serving distortions emanating from Democrats. So please do the responsible thing, honor the victims of September 11, help me to protect America, and throw these bums out in November."
As you know, President Bush didn't come close to such rhetoric. He merely defended his prosecution of the war. But the Democrats' response was little different than if he had delivered such a speech.
The Democrats' position, in essence, is that President Bush should not defend his war policy to the American people -- even though such defense is critical to the national interest -- if in any way it could be construed as criticizing Democrats. No, President Bush must not make his case to the American people because it might work to the Democrats' political detriment.
In short, President Bush should -- like the Democrats -- put the Democrats' partisan interests above the nation's best interests. He should let them continue to slander him, undermine the war effort, damage the national interest, regain control of congress and virtually surrender in the war.
Not gonna do it. Wouldn't be prudent.