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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Best advice (from a GOP perspective) so far in 2008 for the eventual Democratic nominee

Columnist E.J. Dionne, in today's WaPo, gives us an op-ed entitled "A 'Challenge' Worth Challenging," in which he writes:

[O]ne of John McCain's favorite lines — his declaration that "the transcendent challenge of the 21st century is radical Islamic extremists," or, as he sometimes says, "extremism" — could define the 2008 election.

Whether McCain is right or wrong matters to everything the United States will do in the coming years. It is incumbent upon McCain to explain what he really means by "transcendent challenge."

Presumably, he's saying that Islamic extremism is more important than everything else — the rise of China and India as global powers, growing resistance to American influence in Europe, the weakening of America's global economic position, the disorder and poverty in large parts of Africa, the alienation of significant parts of Latin America from the United States. Is it in our national interest for all these issues to take a back seat to terrorism?

There, in three paragraphs, is abundant proof of the power of time and frantic Bush Derangement Syndrome to absolutely block out both the memory of 9/11/01 and the still-looming dangers that terrorists will obtain weapons of mass destruction.

Let's see here, to which of the following worries should I, as a voter in 2008, give a higher priority: That more of my Dell tech support calls in 2009 will be answered by someone in Bangalore instead of Austin? That the newly separated countries formerly known as Belgium may, in 2010, still fail to reliably back U.S.-preferred positions in every E.U. vote on agricultural tariffs? Or that Manhattan, and millions of Americans who live and work there, will suddenly and literally vanish under a radioactive mushroom cloud in 2011?

Oh yes, please. By all means, be it Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, the Democratic standard-bearer ought to follow this advice from Dionne:

A majority of Americans are now prepared to hear (in a way they weren't in, say, 2003) an argument that allowing terrorists and terrorism to define American foreign policy is neither in our interest nor particularly useful in fighting terrorism itself.

From your pen, Dionne, to the Democratic nominee's lips! Yes, let it be so. Let said nominee define American foreign policy under his/her upcoming administration instead as "make everything not-Bush ASAP!" instead of "keep America safe."

Terrorism as the most important domestic security and foreign policy issue? Wow, just as E.J. tells us, that's, like, so 2002!

Surely the Democratic nominee and his/her followers can persuade America that terrorism and even the prospect of millions of us being annihilated really doesn't matter all that much, can't they? Say it with me now, all good Democrats: "Yes! Yes, we can!"

And anyone who argues that we actually need to be concerned that the terrorists will continue to do what they've been doing (making war on us) — or do it better and more effectively than even on 9/11/01, as they've continuously declared they intend to do — is just engaged in fascist fear-mongering!

Monger-monger-monger! Yes, that Beldar is one! A fear-monger! Say it with me now, all good Democrats: "Yes, yes he is!" He's a what? "A fear-monger!"

So's John McCain! "Yes! Yes, he is!" What is McCain? Say it with me slowly: "A fear ... MON-ger-r-r-r-r-r!" Non-Hispanic folks, go ahead and practice trilling that final "R" sound, because you'll enjoy it so much more if you do that during the responsive reading portion of the Dem nominee's acceptance speech. Every Spanish language class I've ever been in has dissolved into giggles whenever any of us non-Hispanics try to trill our Rs, and that laughter will help the Democratic Party re-bond and rejoin together, and remind the Latinos that the Democratic Party still thinks it owns their votes relies upon and cherishes them! And yes! Laughter is a weapon against terrorism! And certainly we will be able to keep the nuclear mushroom clouds away from Manhattan if we are all united, not Red America or Blue America, but Oblivious America! Hopeful, oblivious Americans ... United for change — change from Day One, change you can believe in, change that gives you hope and real hope that's for a real change, not just words of change, but change just like we had in the 1990s! Change back to ... to the one thing about which all Democrats can all join hands and rejoice in together: Not-Bush!

(Standing ovation line. Cue the balloon drop! Music up and over ....)


Seriously, with this column, I think Dionne has actually gone all the way around the circle from being a mere "useful idiot" for the terrorists to become such an obvious and spectacular idiot that he might actually be more useful for the GOP.

But what genuinely terrifies me is that in a Democratic administration, particularly an Obama one, this sort of dreck, or similar dreck from the likes of Glenn Greenwald, would pass for intellectual leadership on foreign policy matters.


UPDATE (Wed Feb 20 @ wee-small-hours): Captain Ed and Patterico had very comparable reactions to mine — Ed's very thorough, Patterico's very succinct.

Posted by Beldar at 05:00 AM in 2008 Election, Global War on Terror, Politics (2008) | Permalink


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(1) capitano made the following comment | Feb 19, 2008 8:42:25 AM | Permalink

Maybe Obama's foreign policy guru, Zbigniew Brzezinski, tipped Dionne to the subject matter of Brzezinski's recent delegation to Syria. Obama's campaign has been very closed-mouth about it (even denying involvement), but it's not much of a stretch to expect that there was some discussion with Assad about what terror-sponsoring states like Syria and Iran could expect from an Obama State Department.

I get all tingly just thinking about what the U.S. could trade away for a promise of a couple of Presidential terms worth of terror cell hibernation.

(2) 50centsaday made the following comment | Feb 19, 2008 12:46:02 PM | Permalink

This country and its people have lived through a civil war, and we have remain united. We've endured world wars that have tried our spirit, our economy, and our way of life; we've remained united. We fought and scraped through the depths of the Depression, and our spirit remained strong and united. We realized the mistakes of slavery, oppression, and discrimination and thus did we strengthen our spirit and our unity. We suffered world wide castigation throughout Vietnam and Watergate, and came back strong, respected, and united.

Are we now in a similar situation? Is there a fear that as a country we are facing historical times that threaten to rip our country apart and threaten our spirit and our unity?

As we listen to Barack Obama on the campaign trail, he would have us believe that this is true. That unless we elect an ideaolog, we are bound to turn back the progress of the last 250 years.

Barack Obama would like us to believe that our spirit is gone, that our unity is weak. Barack Obama would like you to believe that he can build an ideal version of America from our soon to be national ashes.

I would like you to look at recent history and ask yourself if America is a dying spirit. Think back to 9/11, are there tears in your eyes from the spirit, pride, and unity that America showcased during that time? Picture the news stories of soldiers returning from Iraq, the dead and the living; how strong was the outpouring of pride, love, and compassion for our fellow Americans? Think back to the political turmoil of 2000, did we riot in the streets, demand constitutional changes, and fight the rule of law and order?

To be sure, there are many things wrong with America. Far too many children go to sleep hungry, lonely, and/or homeless. Far too many people are working far too hard and making far too little.

We will never have utopia; times bring changes, changes bring new and more difficult issues that affect some more than others. Yet, somehow, we have always faced these new changes, these new challenges, these new problems and eased the burden while strengthening the spirit; we always have.

Do not let Barack Obama insult you, tell you that your American spirit, pride, and unity is weak and dying. Do not let Barack Obama tell you that our country is weak, despised, and on the brink of disaster. Do not let Barack Obama tell you that he can bring about utopia, solve all your problems, and make your life worth living again.

Do not let Barack Obama tell you that he, and only he, is the agent of change and of hope. Change and hope lies in each one of us. Change and hope lies in our historical spirit and ability to unite when things appear to be at their worst.

Barack Obama is the new version of the fear mongerer. Tell Barack Obama that we fear nothing, we fear no man! For we are Americans!

(3) Adam (The Son) made the following comment | Feb 19, 2008 5:59:45 PM | Permalink

Wow. Man, I forget how good a writer you are :X

(4) Timothy H. Willis made the following comment | Feb 22, 2008 9:37:08 PM | Permalink

Finally. Well, at least I don't feel so much that I am a lone voice in the wilderness. This - The Long War - will make or break Western Civilization and freedom of the individual... no matter which side wins this war. The longer it takes for the non-Islamic world to take the war seriously the uglier, bloodier, and nastier the whole thing will be.

Also, the idea that terrorism (not to mention the root of most of it in this day and age; Islam) can and should be portrayed as a joke is one I agree with. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend Dean Ing's "Soft Targets". I believe it may still be in print.

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