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Archive for Thursday, June 29, 2006

Democrats not presidential

June 29, 2006

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The Senate votes on pulling out of Iraq revealed a damning fact: Of the many Democrats running for president, there is not yet a commander in chief among them. No one who imagines personally shouldering the terrible burdens of wartime leadership could possibly vote for either of those awful resolutions.

Yet the five Dem Senators aiming for the Oval Office - Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Joe Biden, Christopher Dodd and Russ Feingold - raised their hands to demand troops begin leaving Iraq this year and that President Bush submit a plan for total withdrawal. Kerry and Feingold went a sorry step further by sponsoring a resolution calling for a complete withdrawal in a year.

The efforts got only a single GOP vote and not even all the Democratic ones, a sign of Dem disarray and GOP decisions not to run from the war. One result is that the momentum is changing. Less than five months before midterm elections, a Democratic sweep looks less likely. Once again, Bush's flaws, which are huge, seem less dangerous than unprincipled ambition and fecklessness.

Dems hate to be accused of "cutting and running," but what else to call those deplorable war votes? Kerry, the instigator, tried a sleight-of-hand, saying his measure envisioned a "redeployment" within a year. C'mon - redeployment is another word for retreat. And surrender. And defeat.

Yes, Iraq is a horrible hellhole where nothing has gone as planned or promised. The Pentagon still does not have a clear view of the enemy. The cost has been too high and victory is not assured, which is why the American public wishes it had never happened. Some Dems conceded they tried to tap into that disgust with their pullback votes.

But it's bad policy and worse politics. On a gut level, our choices remain starkly simple: Either we finish the mission, which is to nurture a stable Iraqi democracy, or we give up and get out. There is no in-between, almost-pregnant choice. Arguing that we have to finish by any date means we're leaving then, regardless of the situation. If we're leaving on a schedule, why not leave now and cut our losses?

We stay or we go. Even most of those voters who hate the war realize as much, which is why I believe Dems hurt themselves with the pullback baloney. No matter how it is sliced and packaged, setting a departure date is planning for defeat.

Oddly, in a dig at Sen. Clinton, Kerry said pols "can't have it both ways" on Iraq. Yet he and the other Dems want just that. They want to surrender - later. Or they want to fight - a little while longer. Kerry is the worst. His resolution to leave within a year was his second choice. He first proposed we leave this year, then he extended it by six months. Mr. Flip, meet Mr. Flop.

If any of those Democrats had been at our nation's helm in history, we would not have gotten to D-Day or to Appomattox. Whether it is difficult is not the test of war. Those who would be president must have a steadier, more long-range view of our national interest.

Bush has that gene, often to a fault. He is stubborn and arrogant and wrong more than right. But he believes in the war on terror and has staked his presidency on winning in Iraq. In war and peace, but especially in war, the job requires such resolution. Those who don't have it shouldn't apply.

Michael Goodwin is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the New York Daily News.

Comments

staff04 8 years, 5 months ago

Was it last week or the week before that Bush announced that they would start pulling troops out in September?

What day did that poll come out that changed the Administration's policy again???

staff04 8 years, 5 months ago

Neither of you have anything to say about Bush's announcement that HE, not democrats, is planning to start pulling troops out? Hypocritical idiots, just like the author...

Do you really think he cares about winning a war in Iraq? All he cares about, as demonstrated by his actions on this issue, is winning a war against Democrats. Seriously effed up priorities, and he just keeps making them clearer and clearer.

staff04 8 years, 5 months ago

Oh, and I agree that the Democratic hopefuls in the Senate are not presidential.

There are a couple of governors out there that are, however.

staff04 8 years, 5 months ago

You are a real class-act, you know that? I am going to laugh you all the way back into your hole this fall, and again in the fall of 2006.

I can't honestly remember the last time you posted anything substantive that related to one of my posts. Can you?

staff04 8 years, 5 months ago

You're right. He is definitely a deciderer.

Unfortunately, that's not what this article is about. This article is about how Democrats who called for bringing the troops home are wrong. I simply want to know, why is it only right or acceptable if the deciderer does it, but somehow Democrats who have advocated for EXACTLY THIS POLICY are not presidential?

Do you have anything substantive to say here, or do you just come to call names?

rhd99 8 years, 5 months ago

Democrats not presidential? GIVE ME A BREAK. The definition unpresidential is someone who occupies the Oval Office now who has NO COMPASSION for the veterans when he allows his INCOMPETENT VA secretary to be let off the hook during ID theft investigations. GET A CLUE, BUSH!

staff04 8 years, 5 months ago

Arminius- Actually, I would. I asked a substantive question that deserves an answer. You can't answer it, so you call me a liar?

Just because you keep saying it doesn't make it true.

Oh, and what happened? Got your butt whupped on the other board, so you have to chase me around to call me names? Pretty weak, dude.

staff04 8 years, 5 months ago

Oh, and I'm actually kind of a big guy. I run about 6'2", 230.

You called me little man...liar.

conservative 8 years, 5 months ago

Two things,

Staff04, The announcement that there will be less troops there is not the same thing as saying we are leaving completely and setting an arbitrary timetable. It only shows that as the Iraqi government becomes more and more able to take care of their country, we will continue to pull out and let them.

2nd. Fecklessness? Wow, had to look that one up.

staff04 8 years, 5 months ago

rightthinker- "Published on Thursday, September 15, 2005 by WorkingForChange"

Today is June 29, 2006. Are you really going to claim that this article is even remotely relevant today?

staff04 8 years, 5 months ago

I hate using the word ignorant/ignorance, so I just won't.

Lots of people, after learning things, change their views. One place to start is to not base your opinions on yesterday's news. I actually have a higher opinion of Bush today than I did a year ago. You know why? Because I didn't decide that I knew everything I needed to know about him a year ago. I kept learning. Something everyone could benefit from.

Jamesaust 8 years, 5 months ago

I agree with the core point.

While the present state of the ruling GOP (in contrast to the rank and file) gives the Democrats the best election opportunities at every level they've had in years, its not just going to fall into their lap.

To gain power, the Democrats are going to have to shake up, find a leader who can impose rational, responsible, voter-attractive policies and enforce punishment against wayward Party dissenters. (Hint: muzzle Kerry - proven loser.) So far, I haven't seen any signs of this. We're about 4 months from Election Day. What is the Democrat platform again? Hmmm...something about corruption, competence, and Bush. I don't think you can sell fizzy sugar water without sharpening that up a bit.

Our system strongly enforces a two party system. Nothing says that those two parties have to be Democrats and Republicans. Or that the partisan division between them has to be drawn on the issues as it is done now. Either party capable of evolving into an emphasis on fiscal prudence and social freedom could sweep the field. Or, I suppose, a Democrat - maybe Lieberman - and a Republican - maybe McCain, or Giuliani - could just form a new majority party (and we'll see which of the two leftovers collapses).

staff04 8 years, 5 months ago

Arminius- Did we get that whole stinger missile thing sorted out? I don't have time to run circles around you all day.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 5 months ago

You don't have to have viable policies to get elected-- BushCo have proven that. All you need to do is run a good lying, divisive and fear-mongering campaign, screw with the elections just enough to prevent a significant percentage of any votes that might go against you from being counted, and voila, you've got a governing majority in the Congress and the presidency.

I guess the Democrats need to find another Clinton who can successfully adopt Republican tactics as well as he did in order to regain power.

bunnyhawk 8 years, 5 months ago

Democrats, Republicans, liberals, neocons.........it all makes absolutely NO DIFFERENCE! Y'all have handed your electoral process, your freedom, and your children's futures over to a corporate oligarchy...........the very same time of rampant profiteering that brought this country to the brink of collapse in 1929. I guess y'all are too busy playing video games to study history!

bankboy119 8 years, 5 months ago

Wow this has gotten pretty bad. I didn't even bother to read the last 1/2 of the posts.

I would say the Democrats don't have a presidential candidate yet. Their only strategy is that they will bring troops home immediately and cause chaos in Iraq and that they aren't Bush. Hopefully the American people are smarter than that. If the Democrats could form a good strategy there is no reason that they should not be able to sweep the elections come November. Fortunately, I don't believe that they can because they have not yet.

scott3460 8 years, 5 months ago

The article is a nice bit of wishful thinking, but as it stands today, 70% of the public has seen Bush and does not approve. His continued bumbling through the summer is not going to help things. The Democrats are virtually assured of picking up seats in the House, and may even pick up a few in the Senate (Missouri, for example) during the mid-terms. That sets up two years of a whole lot of partisan bickering and not much of the conservative agenda getting accomplished. It is very likely that a demoralized right is going to be facing off against a still pissed off left. And fingers are pointed at the Democrat candidates, but who are the Repubs going to run? McCain? Frist? Jeb? Not much of an attractive candidate on that side of the ledger either at this point. All I know is the more people see of conservatives in power the less they like it & the worse it is for them. And no matter what, I think the people will vote overwhelmingly for competence in the Oval Office, which will be, perhaps, the final telling rebuke of the current cast of idiots.

Godot 8 years, 5 months ago

So, therefore, we should all give up and die; prostate ourselves before the Mullahs and ask our heads to be removed for the indiscretions of our elected and ineffectual government employees and officials. We should all die because government sucks. We should not defend ourselves. Our children deserve to be slaves. Our women should hide behind the hajib; our daughters should not be educated; we should all reject democracy because of the mistakes of democratically elected officials, and those made by corrupt and entrenched civil servants.

We owe it to our children to sacrifice them for the failures of their forebears. At least, in their slavery, they will not bear the guilt we bear for our success.

Godot 8 years, 5 months ago

HGA, I am honored that you devote such energy to misrepresent what I say.

Godot 8 years, 5 months ago

HGA does not appreciate satire; HGA has no sense of irony or humor; HGA obsesses; HGA has serious problems relating to others.

xenophonschild 8 years, 5 months ago

Godot:

Not necessary to adapt to the litany of Muslim quackery you outlined; just become a fundamentalist Christian conservative Republican . . . in Kansas . . . and you'll wind up in essentially the same mind-set.

The liar Ariminianus: You boy Ronald Raygun funneled military supplies to the mujahadeen in Afghanistan, ostensibly to fight the Russians. You demonstrate a remarkable inability to assimilate the truth, but this one is really very simple. Even the publisher of two under-subscribed Kaw Valley rags should be able to understand the basic truth that Ronnie Raygun and his merry band of neocons hurried up and supplied weapons, primarily to hasten Russia's demise in Afghanistan.

And William the Great had absolutely nothing to do with it, so there's no way to gratify your psycho-sexual affliction inre this subject. Sorry.

xenophonschild 8 years, 5 months ago

HGA:

Very cogent. Am interested in seeing how the liar Arminianus tries to wiggle out of this one.

Five years, you say? Terrible. Just terrible. Perhaps the troops now stationed in Iraq could have scoured Afghanistan for OBL; but then, who would have corrected the mistake GWB's daddy made in the First Gulf War?

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