It’s im­por­tant to ‘keep hate alive’

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

De­stroy­ing a pres­i­dent is not much of a strat­egy to win a war, but it’s all the Democrats have. The churls of the left don’t seem to care whether their coun­try wins the war, the im­por­tant thing is to “keep hate alive.” If hate worked in ‘06, maybe it will work again in ‘08, when the stakes will be con­sid­er­ably higher.

Some­times it’s not only hate, but a bit of schaden­freude, too, tak­ing plea­sure in the woes of the en­emy. “Par­ti­san plea­sure in Ge­orge Bush’s pain dates to the an­guish of the con­tested 2000 elec­tion loss,” ob­serves Daniel Hen­ninger in the Wall Street Jour­nal. “The Democrats have run against some­thing called ‘Bush’ for so long this sen­ti­ment is now bound up in any act or pol­icy re­motely at­tached to the pres­i­dent. Iraq’s trou­bles, or Iran or North Korea, are merely an ar­ti­fact of crush­ing this one guy.”

The pres­i­dent’s tor­men­tors in Congress, some old and some new, in­sist they don’t have any­thing against the fine young Amer­i­cans with their lives on the line in Iraq, but the troops are dis­pens­able to the larger par­ti­san goal of de­stroy­ing Ge­orge W. and ab­di­cat­ing the re­spon­si­bil­ity that comes with be­ing the world’s only su­per­power. If the troops are hurt, too, well, that’s just a risk the crit­ics will have to en­dure.

Sen­a­tors are lead­ing the rush to judg­ment. Hil­lary Clin­ton, buoyed by the early polls that show her blow­ing Barack Obama out of the race, scoffs that the war she voted for is “a dead end.” Susan Collins of Maine, a Repub­li­can, asks whether “the clock has al­ready run out.” The very point of her ques­tion is the smug as­ser­tion that of course it has. Chuck Hagel of Ne­braska, who has all but given up his am­bi­tion to be John McCain when he grows up, says the ob­vi­ous: “We have an­ar­chy in Iraq. It’s get­ting worse.” You can hear the glee in his voice. John Warner of Vir­ginia, ea­ger to demon­strate that he’s no son of the hard, de­ter­mined men who wrote the book on stand­ing firm against all odds as a fa­bled army of north­ern Vir­ginia, rushes to join par­ti­sans across the aisle to forge a res­o­lu­tion of re­gret, re­treat and ruin. “Non­bind­ing,” of course. Sen­a­tors never bind them­selves to any­thing but their egos and per­sonal in­ter­ests (which is why we haven’t elected a sen­a­tor as pres­i­dent in nearly half a cen­tury).

Some­times a sen­a­tor, oily and eva­sive as only sen­a­tors can be, lets slip a re- mark that re­veals all. David Gre­gory of NBC News pro­voked Chuck Schumer, the Demo­cratic sen­a­tor from New York, into such a re­veal­ing re­mark the other day. He re­minded him of Vice Pres­i­dent Cheney’s de­scrip­tion of the Se­nate res­o­lu­tion as some­thing (a) the pres­i­dent wouldn’t pay any at­ten­tion to be­cause (b) it would “be detri­men­tal to the troops on the ground.”

The sen­a­tor thought he was only beg­ging to dif­fer when he replied: “Ab­so­lutely not, and I think it’s go­ing to be shown, when this res­o­lu­tion comes up, and it is non­bind­ing, that not only are we go­ing to get a vast ma­jor­ity of Democrats to vote for it in one form or an­other, but close to the a ma­jor­ity of the Repub­li­cans.”

The re­porter pressed him to an­swer the ques­tion: “But how can the pub­lic re­ally buy the Democrats’ sup­port of the troops but don’t sup­port the mis­sion? How can you do both?”

How, in­deed. How do you tell the troops that “we re­solve, to para­phrase John Kerry, you’re prob­a­bly not much bet­ter than war crim­i­nals, but hey, guys, we sup­port you.” Mr. Schumer squirmed, and his face re­flected just for an in­stant the look of a man cor­nered. “Well,” he fi­nally replied, “that’s the dif­fi­culty. A res­o­lu­tion that says we’re against this es­ca­la­tion, that’s easy. The next step will be how do you put fur­ther pres­sure on the ad­min­is­tra­tion but still sup­port the troops who are there? And that’s what we’re try­ing to fig­ure out.”

The fiercest crit­ics of the com­man­der in chief (the one the crit­ics de­spise) and his troops (the ones the crit­ics sup­port) con­cede they don’t have a clue about what the pres­i­dent should do in Iraq. “I can’t tell you what the path to suc­cess is,” says Norm Cole­man, a Repub­li­can of Min­nesota. Joe Bi­den, pla­gia­riz­ing ev­ery other weak sis­ter in town, says the “pri­mary” strat­egy is to make the Iraqis “com­pro­mise” and “end the vi­o­lence.” Hil­lary says the pres­i­dent should “talk to bad peo­ple” to see what they want (the “bad peo­ple” have al­ready said ex­actly what they want, loud and clear). John Ed­wards says he would get tough as pres­i­dent, and if talk doesn’t work he’ll talk some more.

But of course. Isn’t that what sen­a­tors do?

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