Ross Mackenzie

So, you're a Democrat-watcher?

Yes - from a seat deep in the bleachers, far beyond the Beltway. It's part of the job. It's also a compulsive lifelong fascination, sort of like watching the Cubs.

And how are they doing?

The Democrats? They just can't seem to get their game together.

That's not what the polls are saying. The polls have Bush in the pits and the Republicans right down there with him. The midterm congressional elections could be a Republican bloodbath.

They could, and they still may be. But don't forget that maxim about trying to beat something with nothing. The Democrats delayed their fall platform seven months, until this month. And even now it doesn't amount to much. They fought endlessly over their 2006 motto - a revival of John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign slogan, "Together, America Can Do Better." As noted in a Washington Post story:

"It was the last line of Virginia Gov. Timothy Kaine's response to President Bush's State of the Union address, and (Senator Harry) Reid, (Congressman Nancy) Pelosi, and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean have used it in speeches. But there is an effort afoot to drop the word 'together.' It tests well in focus groups and audiences, Democratic sources said, but it makes the syntax incorrect."

Speaking of mainline newspapers . . .

Yes, let's do that. The way The Post and The New York Times, etc. - particularly The Times - are undermining the success of the American enterprise against jihadist terror is unconscionable, notably news stories on the monitoring of international telephone traffic and the tracking of international financial dealings. Now the enemy knows -

But what about individual rights?

Hey, we're at war. Our enemies exploit our open system in their efforts to destroy us. Sometimes in war short-term exceptions have to be made - just as Lincoln suspended habeas corpus. In these cases key members of Congress evidently were informed, and the courts evidently had provided authorization.

Don't you see a public interest in these stories?

Of course. Yet I also see the determined interest of the left in crushing the Bush administration before the Iraqi enterprise succeeds. We know from captured al-Qaida documents that the longer we persist, the better the prospects for the survival of freedom in Iraq. E.g. - from a captured document: "Time is now beginning to be of service to the American forces and harmful to the resistance."

Leftist dissent doesn't necessarily translate into hatred of the Bush administration or a preference for pulling the plug in Iraq, does it?

Ross Mackenzie

Ross Mackenzie lives with his wife and Labrador retriever in the woods west of Richmond, Virginia. They have two grown sons, both Naval officers.

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