We are, by nature, an optimistic people. That optimism may be much in evidence at the polls across America [today/tomorrow].
Ironically, the current optimism arises from a pessimistic attitude many of our countrymen have about the status quo, particularly in Iraq. They seem poised to support Democratic politicians (and a few Republican ones, too) who promise “change.” Our inveterate optimism tells us that doing things differently will surely result in better outcomes.
As Gershwin rhapsodized, “It ain’t necessarily so.” Before we cast our votes, each of us who wants change had better be sure we know the answer to the $64 billion question: Change to what?
Some of the changes on offer are easy to discern. Votes for candidates who are critical of President Bush’s handling of “the Global War on Terror” can bring tectonic shifts in majority control of the House of Representatives, and possibly the Senate. The result could be turning over the Speaker’s gavel to Rep. Nancy Pelossi, a caricature of what Jeanne Kirkpatrick was talking about when she coined the term “San Francisco Democrat” to describe Blame-America-First, anti-military partisans of our political left.
A Democratic majority would also entrust the chairmanship of the Ways and Means Committee to Rep. Charles Rangel, who promises to cut off funding for military operations in Iraq, and that of the House Judiciary Committee to Rep. John Conyers, who has reportedly drawn up a 300-page resolution of impeachment for Mr. Bush. And too many politicians to count have pledged to drive Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld ignominiously from office.
Such agendas will effectively bring the executive branch to a screeching halt for the next two years. They will produce change in Iraq, alright. But is unlikely to be an improvement.
To be sure, there are those – like Democratic Senate and House campaign committee chairmen, Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Rahm Emanuel, respectively – who maintain that funding cut-offs for military operations in Iraq and impeachment proceedings are, in Sen. Schumer’s words, “off the table.” And the election of a significant bloc of Blue Party freshman who have run in heretofore GOP districts sounding more like “Scoop” Jackson Democrats than San Francisco ones may ensure that working majorities in, and effective control, of the two chambers remain in adult hands.
Frank Gaffney Jr. is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World .
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