Jonah Goldberg
 Please, don't talk to me about the issues.

Oh, not you. And maybe not you, either. But you - that's right, you: the average Democratic voter who, having barely or never heard of Wesley Clark, has decided he's your man.

And you the Democratic activist who's been denouncing President Bush as a war monger for "fighting a war of choice" that was "not in the national interest" and was without U.N. approval but who has no problem flocking to a general in charge of the consummate war of choice, which lacked U.N. backing and could never, ever, be seen as an effort to deal with an "imminent" threat - or any other kind of threat.

Or don't you remember Kosovo? That's the place where American troops are still holed up, four years later, risking their lives for the betterment of another people. If you think that's good - like I do - you might want to explain why it's not good for us to be in Iraq for even one year.

And you the loyal party man. Why are you flocking to Wesley Clark's banner? Why are you so quick to forgive a candidate who "probably" voted for Nixon, Reagan and Bush and who just this week exclaimed that he'd be a Republican if only Karl Rove had returned his phone calls?

Oh, and what about you liberal pundits? You know who you are. The ones who fawned over Bill Clinton and Al Gore because they'd supposedly mastered the details of governing. Why is Wesley Clark suddenly your guy, too? Why is it now so forgivable that Wesley Clark needs to "study the issues" before giving detailed answers. I thought the reason then-Governor George Bush wasn't qualified to be president was that the Oval Office is "no place for on-the-job training."

And, by the way, why are the folks who said this election should be about the economy and domestic issues suddenly so hot for a guy whose resume includes almost no experience in this regard? Sure, General Clark can brag about running a military base, which had schools and a hospital. But his constituents and employees could be thrown in the stockade if they didn't follow his orders.

I think we all know the answer to these and many other similar questions. People think Clark's a winner. But that's just half of it.

One of my favorite New Yorker cartoons shows two dogs in business suits sitting at a martini bar. One dog says to the other, "You know it's really not enough that dogs succeed. Cats must also fail."


Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the forthcoming book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
 
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