Monday, December 15, 2003

It's not an easy time to be a Democratic strategist. Every time they seem to gather some steam with their criticisms of the Bush administration, a funny thing happens: The very plans and strategies (or lack thereof) that they use as the foundation for their arguments actually end up working. The capture of Saddam Hussein is yet another blow to the quagmire crowd, who have seen most of their 2004 election issues vaporize before their eyes. The two front running democratic contenders, Howard Dean and John Kerry, have had their criticism of Bush's Iraq strategy whittled down to whimpering that we need to get more international involvement in the Iraq effort. Here's part of Dean's response to the capture of Hussein:

"This development provides an enormous opportunity to set a new course and take the American label off the war. We must do everything possible to bring the UN, NATO, and other members of the international community back into this effort."

This highlights one of the great hypocrisies of the left's worldview: that an unjust action (or inaction, as is usually the case) becomes just if sanctioned by the UN. Dean, who was and is in full opposition to the liberation of Iraq, seems to imply here that the Iraq operation can somehow be given legitimacy by inviting the UN and NATO to help out. Please. If you're against the liberation, you're against the liberation, and it should not matter what the Europeans or anyone else thinks. Of course, Dean knows that denouncing the Iraq liberation now would be politically suicidal, so his goal is to put a pretty international face on an operation that he has opposed from the outset (apparently Dean doesn't consider a 60 nation coalition to be international enough.) I can just see President Dean on hold with the UN waiting for approval to act after the attacks of 9/11...

The one Democrat that comes out of this smelling like a rose is Joe Lieberman. After getting back stabbed by Al Gore, suddenly he's on the right side of the issue of the day while the front running candidates are all running their spin cycles overtime. This of course is fine with me, as I am not among those who are praying for a Dean vs Bush election for the simple fact that however unlikely it may be, Dean could win. I've got plenty of problems with Joe Lieberman, but he's nowhere near the nightmare that Dean or Kerry would be, and seems to have some common sense about national security. Here's to hoping that he figures out how to campaign before it's too late.

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