Monday, January 24, 2005

Democrats Need Geritol

Forty-five years ago, a Democratic saint committed America to "pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty." Kennedy's hapless successors wouldn't cross the street for freedom, as Mark Steyn details:
That was what Bush accomplished so superbly in his speech: the idealistic position -- spreading liberty -- is now also the realist one: If you don't spread it, in the end your own liberty will be jeopardized. "It is the policy of the United States," said the president, "to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world." By the end of his second term? Well, not necessarily. But what matters is that the president has repudiated the failed "realism" that showers billions on a friendly dictator like Egypt's Mubarak and is then surprised when one of his subjects flies a passenger jet into the World Trade Center.

You'd think the Democratic Party would welcome this: They spent the days after Sept. 11 yakking endlessly about the need to address "root causes." But, as the pitiful displays in the Senate hearing made clear, they still don't comprehend the new world -- abroad or at home. . . .

There's a big lesson for the Democrats there that goes way beyond the merits of abortion or gay marriage. On Sept. 11, the world came unspun: There's no shame in acknowledging, as Condi Rice did last week, that previous policy -- Republican and Democrat -- toward the Middle East is wrong. But there's something silly and immature about a party that, from Kerry to Boxer to Byrd, can't get beyond spin, grandstanding and debater's points . . . If the president's speech yoked idealism and realism, that doesn't leave much for dissenting Dems except their own peculiar combination of cynicism and delusion.
Whether it's "iron poor blood," silent radios, or post-modern confusion, the Democrats are the party that "just says 'no!'"

(via LGF)

1 comment:

Alex Mulroney said...

In some ways Democrats have been resistant to change - but for the most part, they simply disagree with the specific ways in which the Bush administration has sought to bring about change. 95% of Democrats supported military intervention in Afghanistan, as there was a direct link between the Taliban and Bin Laden. To America and the world, Bush could do no wrong before Iraq. However, most Democrats (myself included) and most citizens of the world stopped supporting Bush because we disagreed with his method of spreading freedom by military intervention of a country with scant evidence of a direct link to 9/11. Personally, I was in favor of more selected, targeted assaults on actual terrorist organizations than on nations - 9/11 was carried out by a non-state organization, not a country.

I am not going to condemn the recent successes in Iraq as many on the left have done simply because they want to see Bush fail - indeed, the slow but steady progress of Iraq's nation-rebuilding has eased my initial skepticism about the war. However, don't think that Democrats are averse to change simply because they don't agree with specific changes proposed by Republicans. Democrats simply have different ideas for change, and are more likely to focus on issues such as fighting poverty and improving education within our borders while maintaining a tightly focused foreign policy, than they are to go with plans to remake a historically unstable region in our own exemplary image. It may work in the end, but a) it's far too early to tell; and b) there may well have been a better way that would have resulted in greater global unity and far less cost to U.S. taxpayers.

Nobody wants a status quo in which we're left open to another 9/11. But you need to accept that different people support different recipes for change.