Thursday, September 27, 2007

Jim VandeHei and John F. Harris: Dems could do far more to end Iraq war

From a very true column on Democrat's failure to speak and act truthfully about Iraq,
Galling as it may be to Democrats, Bush still can claim to be acting with more clarity and courage than the congressional majority.

He believes the Iraq war is right and has thrown away things most politicians crave — approval ratings, and potentially his reputation in history — to get what he wants.

Democratic leaders believe the war is wrong but have pursued their beliefs with a series of ginger calculations that so far have achieved no substantive changes in policy.

They are acting with the same defensive-mindedness that led many Democrats to swallow deep misgivings and vote five years ago to authorize the war in the first place.

Many Democrats on Capitol Hill are in no mood just now to be lectured by MoveOn, the group whose ad denouncing “General Betray Us” was widely perceived to have backfired badly.

Whatever one’s view on the merits of the war, however, MoveOn Executive Director Eli Pariser is right that his ostensible Democratic allies have defined themselves by caution.
I think Bush right, and history will find him right too. But there is no certainty to this. Only that Bush and the GOP have given up those approval ratings to do right for the country and world as they see it.

What is certain though is Democrats failure to confront with the same courage Bush has shown. Their failure corrodes our politics with Bush bamboozled the Dems into voting for war. No, it's the Democrats lack of courage and conviction at work. We can judge them now without waiting for History's verdict.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

TNR's Scott Thomas Beauchamp stories and Elspeth Reeve: goodbye to a fact checker

Sinking fast with a one time great Magazine.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

David Brooks: The Center Holds

More on Brooks tomorrow but I want to flag this excellant column,
The fact is, many Democratic politicians privately detest the netroots’ self-righteousness and bullying. They also know their party has a historic opportunity to pick up disaffected Republicans and moderates, so long as they don’t blow it by drifting into cuckoo land. They also know that a Democratic president is going to face challenges from Iran and elsewhere that are going to require hard-line, hawkish responses.

Finally, these Democrats understand their victory formula is not brain surgery. You have to be moderate on social issues, activist but not statist on domestic issues and hawkish on foreign policy. This time they’re not going to self-destructively deviate from that.

WaPo page 15: Civil war has been averted in Iraq and Iranian intervention there has "ceased to exist"

I don't know if I'd be so optiomistic but it seems like news more worthy than page 15. via Confederate Yankee
Civil war has been averted in Iraq and Iranian intervention there has "ceased to exist," Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said yesterday.

"I can't say there is a picture of roses and flowers in Iraq," Maliki told the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. "However, I can say that the greatest victory, of which I am proud . . . is stopping the explosion of a sectarian war." That possibility, he said, "is now far away."

While political reconciliation is not yet complete, he said, progress is being made. "Reconciliation is not a decision that can be made, but a process that takes continuous efforts and also needs strategic patience," Maliki said.

He said cabinet ministers who have left his government in protest will be replaced, and he expressed confidence that the Iraqi parliament will pass legislation that he, the Bush administration and Congress have demanded.

Kos: Who would you rather have lead, Bush or Ahmadinejad?

More odd Ahmadinejad posts over at Kos. At least Bush is winning now but did they really need to poll their readers on it?

via LGF

Monday, September 24, 2007

Roger Kimball: The poverty of liberalism

Kimball's last paragraph from an essay on Ahmadinejad's invite to Columbia,
The spectacle of these left-wing academics repudiating men like Larry Summers and Donald Rumsfeld even as they abase themselves scrambling to find excuses for welcoming a fanatic like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the halls of a great American University is disgusting. I think again of Bagehot's observation that "History is strewn with the wrecks of nations which have gained a little progressiveness at the cost of a great deal of hard manliness, and have thus prepared themselves for destruction as soon as the movements of the world gave a chance for it." Are we really willing to let ourselves--our ideals, our way of life--be carelessly traduced by a rancid leftism so enfeebled that it can no longer distinguish between free speech and suicide? We are even now in the process of answer that question. How we answer it will determine a lot more than the issue of who gets to speak on American college campuses.

A Kossack on Ahmadinejad

Hard stuff to read. via PJMedia
I know I'm a Jewish lesbian and he'd probably have me killed. But still, the guy speaks some blunt truths about the Bush Administration that make me swoon...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Liberalism's great failure


A picture of Gay Teens executed in Iran. Columbia refuses ROTC on campus over Don't Ask Don't Tell but invites Ahmadinejad to speak. Talk about losing the moral compass.

Picture via Direland.

Columbia, Ahmadinejad, and Dr. Kian Tajbakhsh

Have to wonder if Columbia is letting Ahmadinejad speak in return for Columbia Alum and George Soro's associate Dr. Kian Tajbahsh's release yesterday from Tehran's Evin prison.

Update: Columbia President Lee C. Bollinger’s Statement About the Release of Dr. Kian Tajbakhsh,
On behalf of the entire Columbia community, I want to say how relieved we are to hear of Dr. Kian Tajbakhsh's release from prison in Teheran. Months ago, I joined the chorus of voices calling for the government of Iran to free Dr. Tajbakhsh – an alumnus of Columbia's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation working with the Open Society Institute. In recent discussions with the Iranian Mission, I communicated that I would raise his case, among many other issues, directly and publicly if President Ahmadinejad came to speak on our campus. Dr. Tajbakhsh’s belated release on bail should not change our determination to challenge the regime’s record of unjust imprisonment and repression of such scholars, journalists and advocates working for a freer society in Iran – among them one of Columbia’s graduation speakers last year, Nobel Prize-winning human rights advocate Shirin Ebadi.
It was blackmail that got Ahmadinejad a forum at Columbia.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Senate condems Moveon.org's ad on Petraeus 72 to 25

Durbin couldn't bring himself to support it, and Obama dodged the vote.
To express the sense of the Senate that General David H. Petraeus, Commanding General, Multi-National Force-Iraq, deserves the full support of the Senate and strongly condemn personal attacks on the honor and integrity of General Petraeus and all members of the United States Armed Forces
Check out TPM, and again here, also World Wide Standard.com

Friday, September 14, 2007

Steve Huntley connects the social conservative dots on Giuliani

Huntly in today's Sun Times,
Giuliani promises to appoint strict-constructionist jurists to the U.S. Supreme Court. Even more than the tax cuts, the high court appointments of John Roberts and Samuel Alito are the crowning domestic achievements of the George W. Bush presidency. The next president surely will get to make one or more high court nominations, and conservatives would like a GOP president to consolidate Bush's transformation of the court.

Social conservatives probably figure a man who won't renounce his positions on abortion, gun control and gay rights to appease them can be counted on to keep his judicial promise. And Giuliani must know that, should he reach the White House, his keeping this pledge would be as crucial to his winning a second term as George H.W. Bush's violation of his "read my lips, no tax increase" promise was to costing him re-election.

Next year looks to be miserable for Republicans. Because poll after poll shows Giuliani matching up against the Democratic contenders in the general election better than any other GOP candidate, social conservatives likely see in Giuliani the best chance to protect traditional values from arbitrary liberal judicial activism.

They know more about what's in their best interest than the Beltway beacons of enlightenment.
Also read Eric Johnson: Anti-Roe and Pro-Rudy

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Giuliani on the willing suspension of belief

It's the no BS talk like what's bolded below that may will get Giuliani elected. ABC via Drudge,
When Army Gen. David Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker came before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, Clinton said that their claims of progress in Iraq require a "willing suspension of disbelief."

"Despite what I view is your rather extraordinary efforts in your testimony both yesterday and today," said Clinton, "I think that the reports that you provide to us really require a willing suspension of disbelief."

Giuliani accused Clinton of "playing into" a MoveOn.org ad that ran in the New York Times Monday that read: "General Petraeus or General Betray Us?"

After co-host Spiff Carner said, "She's trying to tell us that she knows more about the whole situation than he does,” Giuliani shot back by saying, “Doesn’t it also sound like she’s also saying that he isn’t telling the truth?”

"I really do think to accuse a general of the ‘willing suspension of disbelief,’ particular in the atmosphere that Moveon.org has created with these terrible attacks, I don’t know, I mean I think that’s not the way in a responsible way to go about , you know, forging the foreign policy of the United States and the military policy of the United States," said Giuliani. "I think this name calling, you know, saying to people, ‘willing suspension of disbelief,’ and then saying the horrible thing they said about betrayal -- that is the last thing we need right now."

John McCain's Press Release on Moveon.org's ad on Gen Petraeus

I wrote and asked Sen Obama about this. Via McCain's website,
"I remain deeply disappointed by the failure of leading Democrat presidential candidates to personally and publicly denounce the smear tactics used against General Petraeus by MoveOn.org. There is no greater slander to a soldier than an accusation of betrayal to his nation. I do not understand why those seeking to be commander-in-chief have yet to forcefully denounce, in their own words, this McCarthyite attack on our commander. I hope they would reconsider their silence and not let this slander of an exceptional American stand."

Mass Gov Deval Patrick on failures to learn to love

A quote from Mass Gov Deval Patrick commerating 911 (watch him here)
Among many other things, 9/11 was a failure of human understanding,” Patrick said. “It was a mean and nasty and bitter attack on the United States. But it was also a failure of human beings to understand each other, to learn to love each other.
Who in the world does Patrick think failed to teach love and understanding?

General Petreaeus response to Moveon.Org

General Petraeus at the National Press Club showing class in response to the Moveon.Org ad. Takes all kind of skills to be a General Officer in today's Army. Via RCP Blog

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Monday, September 10, 2007

Windsock Democrats

A letter in the Northwest Herald says it all,
To the Editor:

First Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid asserted unequivocally that the “war is lost” when it fit conveniently with his view of the pop culture mindset. Now, sensing something less than a cakewalk in his 2008 re-election campaign, Sen. Dick Durbin quietly admits that the “troop surge is working.”

So which is it?

Undoubtedly, Gallup poll data continues to mold the chameleon-like souls of these pathetic elected officials, forever extending moistened digits into the meanderings of a highly fickle political wind. In the most revealing revelation, a U.S. House Democrat caucus leader begrudgingly conceded that American military success in the Middle East would prove to be “troublesome” for his party in the 2008 General Election.

Are these self-proclaimed Democrat “patriots” so deeply embedded in their visceral hatred of President Bush and abject lust for personal power that nothing short of an American defeat in Iraq and Afghanistan will serve to sustain their vacuous political careers?

By politicizing the troops with their self-absorbed rhetoric, they not only undermine the mission and deeply endanger those already in harm’s way, but most certainly expose themselves as pitiful empty suits and cheap imitations of that which constitutes real leadership.

William G. Parrot

McHenry

Senate Democrats: let the outside groups call Gen Petraeus a liar

Wonder if it was a Senator from Illinois. What a cowardly thing to say on condition of anonymity. From Politico: Between Iraq report and a hard place
“No one wants to call [Petraeus] a liar on national TV,” noted one Democratic senator, who spoke on the condition on anonymity. “The expectation is that the outside groups will do this for us.”