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John Adams Blog

The blog of The Antient and Honourable John Adams Society, Minnesota's Conservative Debating Society www.johnadamssociety.org

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Republicans and the WOT

Real Clear Politics posts a hit piece by Stuart Rothenberg of Roll Call. In the hit piece Rothenberg argues that Democrats have “new found credibility on the Iraq war.”

Of course, the war on terrorism includes more than the Iraq War; it involves uncovering plots, apprehending potential terrorists, stopping the flow of money to terrorist groups and more. On some of those fronts, the administration has clearly been successful, and some Americans give the president credit for those successes. But in Iraq, and increasingly in the other military theater, Afghanistan, U.S. policy certainly appears flawed. For Republicans, the virtual elimination of the war on terror as an effective political issue is a disaster, since it has been the party's ace in the hole.

This is pretty much all the article says about the war on terror. The rest of the article attacks Republicans for being simple minded.

The problem with Rothenbergs thesis that “Democrats have newfound credibility on National Security,” is that the thesis is a complete joke. The Democratic approach to National Security has recently been highlighted by the failure of Jimmy Carter to appease Kim Jong Il, and President Clinton’s tirade over being blamed for 9-11. The last time Democrats had credibility over national security is when Kennedy said we would pay any price and Lyndon Johnson was willing to use derogatory terms when referring to the enemy. Since Vietnam, Democrats have lost all credibility.

Another recent line of attack is highlighted by Rothenberg:

I'm not suggesting that Republican consultants deserve most of the blame for the lack of issues to use against Democrats this cycle. Rather, the fault rests with the White House and with some Republicans on Capitol Hill, who fumbled Social Security, immigration, ethics and lobbying reform and, most importantly, the Iraq War.

Rothenberg cites these items as if the Democrats would do better. Should conservatives and independents now vote for Democrats because Bush’s attempt to privatize social security failed. Or because republicans were only able to build a 700 mile fence rather than a 1400 mile fence? And what does it mean to “fumble ethics?” No, in fact Democrats will move to make social security a larger government program and will move to keep the fence from being built. Why should republicans vote in a democratic majortity to get 0% of what they want.

Rothenberg's article also implies that Democrats have a better plan for the war on terror. What plan is that? Do they have a plan to make us safer from attack? How can we have been any safer in the last 5 years? The problem with Democrats is that the few things they do stand for are complete contradictions. They say they would be tougher, but then they oppose the patriot act and aggressive interrogations. They say they want to investigate all crates that enter US Ports, but then they don’t think we should listen to any of the incoming phone calls. They say we are caught in a quagmire in Iraq, and then propose to send more troops to Afghanistan.

Democrats and some conservatives are so invested in believing Iraq to be a mistake that they are unable to examine the conflict in any sort of logical manner or even put the conflict into context with other events in history. I have heard some Democrats repeat lines such as "the greatest foreign policy disaster in American history" or the greatest military blunder since Augustus lost three legions in the Tuetonburg Forest. These ranters forget that America lost 100,000 men in less than a year of fighting in France in 1918. Only to have to lose another 200,000 20 years later. Doesn't that seem like a foreign policy disaster? Sometimes the logic is completely disjointed - One JAS member at a recent debate, after a tirade over Bush suppressing our rights with the denial of habeaus corpus to terrorists, argued that he understood why we interned 100,000 Japanese during World War II and that it might have prevented infiltration.

Some conservatives argue that the Iraq war is so far from conservatism that it boggles the mind. Pat Bucananan and George Will are such conservatives (along with the Federal Farmer) I remember one speech given by such a "conservative" at JAS (not the Farmer) who also relished in the conservatism of the Confederacy - "the southerners were true conservatives... fighting for their land against the Northern aggressors." Except, the speaker failed to remember that it was the "conservative" southern leaders of the confederacy who were for the conquest of Cuba and Mexico before the war (and also for slavery). Conservatism has little to do with whether war is offensive or defensive, it is whether or not the purpose of the war is to conserve traditional America. Traditional America includes an America free from terrorism and free from fear. This is why Bush invaded Iraq and it is why we must stay in Iraq forever if required.

The war against Islamic fundamentalism is the battle of our time. It is infecting the middle east, Europe, Asia, and Africa. It is the Communism of the 21st century. America is the strongest, and we need to stay in the middle of the fight - we need to stay in Iraq and give the people who want to fight the Islamists a fighting chance.

This election season there has been a lot of spin about Republicans only being able to run on National Security. Liberal pundits complain that republicans don’t stand for anything else. That is a lie. However, national security is the most important issue in federal elections. If your opponent is worthless on that issue, why run on anything else.

Blogger LessIsMore said...

It seems to me that we (Americans) are stuck with in-the-box thinking: Republicans vs Democrats. The current Bush administration makes clear that power corrupts, even Consevatives. We need to think out of the box and diminish the power of the Federal Government. In the short term this means that we should assure congressional gridlock by making sure that the minority party in one house becomes the majority in one house.

11:56 AM, October 24, 2006  

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