Ross Mackenzie

The latte lefties in Congress really are pieces of work — intent, as they seem to be, on crippling the nation’s economy and judiciary, as well as its energy independence. Oh, and declaring defeat in the war on terror.

On the economy, their cry — and the insistence of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton — is to raise taxes or to let the Bush tax cuts expire. Obama, for starters, also wants to double the capital gains tax, from 15 to 28 percent.

On the judiciary, they seek to stymie nearly every administration nominee to the appellate courts. Currently 11 nominees are awaiting congressional action, seven of them for vacancies deemed emergencies because of heavy docket load. Congressional leftists are determined to maintain as many vacancies as possible until after the presidential election, when they hope to pack the courts with their ideological own.

On energy, they prevent drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, restrict offshore drilling, and pile on regulations for the burning of coal and the extraction of oil from shale. No new oil refinery has been built since 1976, no new nuclear generation plant authorized in nearly as long. Now all the talk from the congressional left is for “excess profits” taxes on the oil companies, and for the green hot-air agenda of solar and wind.

Yet on Iraq in particular, and the war on terror more broadly, congressional liberals are as shamelessly apologetic as they are shamelessly defeatist. They say Iraq is, as Vietnam was, a quagmire: Bring home the boys and girls, and spend the money on infrastructure and welfarism here at home. We must stop antagonizing the Islamic world (they say), and let it sort out its own problems — those few we haven’t caused.

With House Speaker Nancy Pelosi now effectively running the appropriations process, the Democrats are loading an administration $178 billion supplemental measure for the troops in Iraq with $70 billion in domestic pork-barrel spending. Having tried and failed on dozens of votes during the past year to limit funding for Iraq, now the leftists’ goal is to force President Bush to accept their wacko domestic spending agenda — or, because of their add-ons, to veto his own Iraq supplemental funding bill.

In the process, of course, they cheapen the deaths of 4,000 American troops (islamofascism, they say, poses a threat vastly less than Nazism or Communism did) — and implicitly declare that the long war on global terror pales in importance against, for instance, the war on global warming. And never mind that doubts about the human role in global warming are markedly greater than — given the surge — doubts about the success of the American enterprise in Iraq.

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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