Nonetheless, for all their mismanagement of a still vital and noble struggle, the Bush team has better served our cause than has the Democratic Party served its interests in its near unanimous opposition to the war recently. Theirs has been the most blatantly unprincipled war opposition short of treason in living memory -- and the Democratic Party is likely to pay a fearsome price at the polls for a generation.
Their national defense policy, "if such a farrago of myopic expedience and folly can be so described" (a phrase used by Christopher Tyerman on a different issue) amounts to neither supporting the war effort nor admitting that they prefer to live with the consequences of its failure. There is an honorable (if, I believe, foolhardy) case to be made for the proposition that the price to our national interest of defeat is less than the price of persisting in the war effort. The Democrats are too cowardly to make that case.
So they consciously try to fool the public into thinking that the war objectives (of a stable neutral or friendly Iraq that is not a continuing threat to American security) is more likely to be achieved by our promptly giving up than by our staying. They argue with a straight face that the current Iraqi politicians (I hesitate to call them a government) would succeed in gaining order if only they were not supported by 150,000 American troops. No serious person believes that.
From severe war critic Gen. Anthony Zinni to the liberal Brookings Institute -- the danger of defeat and withdrawal is recognized and accepted. Absent American military support, the Iraqi politicians would promptly flee -- not govern. And then regional (if not broader) hell would break out.
The political irony is that for the Democratic Party, their best hope for electoral triumph in 2008 is for things to stay about the same in Iraq. If things should get better -- if the re-enforcements (aka: surge) permit the emergence of a genuine Iraqi government that gains popular confidence that suppresses the worst of the sectarian violence -- the Democrats will be seen as having been needlessly defeatist and will be trounced in the next election.
And if things get much worse in Iraq and the Middle East, their evident zest for defeat and total absence of either an instinct or a policy for American national security is not likely to induce trust in an American voting public then facing a much more dangerous and unraveling world. Democratic Party cynicism may be a good starter -- but it will be a bad finisher.
Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.
In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.
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