September 17, 2007

She Almost Gets It

Former Dukakis Campaign Manager Susan Estrich has an opinion piece at FoxNews.com this morning warning Democrats of the perils in attacking General David Petraeus. At first look, it seems like Estrich - a partisan Democrat - is able to see the forest for the trees (although she can't resist a couple of ad hominem knocks on the President):

Itís one thing to attack the president as a fool and a bumbler, as misguided in his policy and incompetent in its execution. Thatís easy: almost everyone outside Bushís family will agree with you, even the Republican candidates, who are generally the ones forced into an elaborate two-step as they try to defend the war and distance themselves from the Commander-in-Chief who has been in charge of it.

But attacking the General who oozes courage, fortitude and decency?

Thatís a bit trickier, to say the least. Barack Obama, commenting/questioning the general about the options in Iraq, noted that there arenít any good ones, only bad and worse ones. He might also have been describing his own situation, not to mention his friend Hillaryís.

But here Estrich begins to move away from practical advice to a rationalization of MoveOn.Org's tactics.
Thereís no question what the Left wants. Why donít these guys (and girls) have any courage, a very left leaning friend demanded of me recently. Why arenít they angry? Why donít they start screaming bloody murder? Why donít they demand that the troops start coming home NOW?

That is, figuratively speaking, not only what MoveOn is doing, but what it is demanding. In his new book, ďThe Argument,Ē Matt Bai, after carefully researching MoveOn and other new generation Democratic activists and bloggers, concludes that what they are offering is not so much a new vision as a new strategy; that they are seeking to match the ďright wing conspiracy,Ē which spews out faxes and statements every day, blogs on Drudge and speaks through Rush and Hannity, with a left-wing version, which spews just as much ink, blogs on Huffington, and speaks through Olberman.

You control fires by building new ones, or at least you meet fire with fire, and if we all end up in the rubble, you certainly canít blame the people who fought back second rather the ones who started it first. The Left has, in a word, adopted the tactics of the right. Whatís good for the goose is good for the gander.

In other words, "nyeh, nyeh, nyeh. they started it." Once again, someone on the Left hurls the lame argument that the kooks on their side are simply "fighting back" against the evil Republican noise machine. And if modern politics has become toxic, well, blame Karl Rove and his thugs, right? Lame.

Certainly Estrich is still smarting from having her client "unfairly" stomped in the 1988 Presidential Election by George W. Bush's father. I can still see Jon Lovitz as Dukakis in a debate parody from that campaign season on Saturday Night Live "I can't believe I'm losing to this guy".

It's really as if she's saying, "I can't believe we're losing this debate on the war." Of course, it doesn't dawn on her that their position is unacceptable to the majority of Americans. In her mind the average American is just too stoooopid to grasp their sophisticated nuance. We're so bombarded by the right-wing media (as opposed to the more pervasive left-wing media) that the Democrats just can't make us understand. This arrogance blinds them from any objectivity.

When her "left leaning friend" asks "Why arenít they angry? Why donít they start screaming bloody murder? Why donít they demand that the troops start coming home NOW?", the answer is simple: because they aren't so heavily invested in the failure of a Presidency. They might not like the war but they aren't suffering from Bush-Derangement Syndrome. The American people want this war to be over. We all do. But the majority of them understand the consequences of quitting for the sake of quitting. They're smart enough to trust in the men and women who giving their all to bring Iraq to a stable and workable resolution.

They don't care which political party is going to get the credit or the blame for what happens. They just want the best possible outcome for the county and for our military.

Cautioning against attacking General Petraeus is good advice from an experienced political pundit. But I don't believe that Estrich really sees MoveOn.org's latest for what it is. She says this strategy is "trickier" than attacking the President. Tricky but not irresponsible or reprehensible. Or even ill-advised for that matter. She writes: "The risk for Democrats is that those who take him on will be seen as naÔve or weak or beholden to the Cindy Sheehans, which is not a direct route to the Oval Office."

Actually, the risk for Democrats is that general election voters will figure out that their party cares more scoring political points against a lame-duck President than they do about the men and women who where the uniform.

Posted by Gary at September 17, 2007 10:11 AM | TrackBack
Comments

They might not like the war but they aren't suffering from Bush-Derangement Syndrome. The American people want this war to be over. We all do. But the majority of them understand the consequences of quitting for the sake of quitting. They're smart enough to trust in the men and women who giving their all to bring Iraq to a stable and workable resolution.

Except a large majority of people want the troops home ASAP regardless of supposed concequences. One might begin to suspect the will of the people is not being recognized, but a more elite clientele's needs are being met.

Posted by: LB Buddy at September 17, 2007 09:58 AM

Now, Buddy. The links you included don't support the statement that "a large majority of people want the troops home ASAP regardless of supposed concequences [sic]".

The first - USAToday/Gallup headline is that 63% want the troops home by end of 2008. None of hte questions qualify this as "regardless of supposed consequences".

Big deal. I want them home ASAP too. But I want them to be successful too. And if that means staying past the end of 2008, I accept that. The sample of the poll is 1,006 adults and gives no party affiliation breakdown - it could easily be weighted towards anti-war Democrats. But we'll never know.

The second and third link both refer to the same poll. It's the NY Times. The same paper who featured the MoveOn.org ad (at a discount rate). But the Times has no agenda, right? Please.

The fourth link is hilarious. From "The Hindu", it refers to a BBC poll that was carried out in 22 countries. Oh, guess what 19 of the 22 countries favored withdrawal. Big surprise. Of course, in the poll, America is among the 19. But a poll that includes responses from 21 foreign countries - by the BBC - has no credibility.

The last link, a Harris poll, says 42% want troops home now. Of course when you add the percentages of the other two responses - troops stay whether or not Iraqis want them to and troops stay only if Iraqis want them to adds up to 43%. The same poll also curiously finds 51% believe the current casualty level is unfortunate but acceptable. A mixed bag, eh?

Buddy, you cherry-pick results without looking at the data and see what fits your entrenched belief - that moonbats represent the majority point of view in this country.

Well, where is the outcry? Certainly if a large majority wanted these troops home ASAP regardless of the outcome you'd be hearing them loud and clear (and I'm not talking about the professional protestors or the Code Pink crew).

Let's put the question that relates to Petraeus' testimony and recommendations. Here's a Rasumussen poll (the firm that most closely predicted the last three election cycles) that says 43% of American polled agree with the General's recommendations.
http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/43_support_petraeus_recommendation_38_oppose
And before you go casting accusations of Rasumussen being a cog in the right-wing noise machine read through the whole poll and you'll see lots of favorable things about Democrat Presidential candidates and issues where respondents say they trust democrats over republicans.

Posted by: Gary at September 17, 2007 11:12 AM

The last link, a Harris poll, says 42% want troops home now. Of course when you add the percentages of the other two responses - troops stay whether or not Iraqis want them to and troops stay only if Iraqis want them to adds up to 43%.

Except that polling data in Iraq has shown that the Iraqis have wanted us out since 2003 (for example). So that would put Americans that want us out at 63%.

Well, where is the outcry? Certainly if a large majority wanted these troops home ASAP regardless of the outcome you'd be hearing them loud and clear

This I don't have an answer to. All I can think is that people spend more time concerned with Britney Spears being fat and drunk than the war crime perpetrated in our name. If this is true, our country deserves the collapse it will bring upon itself.
But I suspect everything would change if "the most important war evah" had to resort to a draft to maintain the army.

Posted by: LB Buddy at September 17, 2007 08:03 PM

Estrich is just another squeaky voice from an outlying orbit in the Moonbaticus System (Where there are no planets, but only a central moon, around which there are numerous eccentric orbiting bodies without brains).

The only thing uglier than her face is her voice... OK, I'm trying NOT to think about the body.

Posted by: Hucbald at September 17, 2007 09:05 PM

All I can think is that people spend more time concerned with Britney Spears being fat and drunk than the war crime perpetrated in our name. If this is true, our country deserves the collapse it will bring upon itself.

Right, buddy. It's not that they don't see things the way you do. It's that they're too vapid and stupid.

Arrogance anyone?

Posted by: Gary at September 17, 2007 09:25 PM

No, you missed my point. I am talking about the people that agree with my position, and yet, do nothing.

And the latest post-Petreaus Pew poll says this:

Opinion about whether to withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq has remained stable for most of this year. Currently, 54% support a troop withdrawal, which is virtually unchanged from measures dating back to February. In mid-January, following Bush's speech announcing the surge, there was a modest decline in support for a troop withdrawal; 48% supported bringing the troops home as soon as possible, down five points from a survey conducted earlier in the month (53%). But the proportion favoring a troop withdrawal rebounded to 53% in February. It has remained at about that level since then.
The approval of Petraeus appears to be when he is talking about withdrawal:
Most Americans (57%) who heard at least something about Petraeus' report say they approve of his recommendations for troop withdrawals, which President Bush has endorsed. However, just 16% say Petraeus' statements have made them more optimistic about the war, while 67% say their views were unchanged by the general's report.

And even 20% of Republicans say that the Democrats are not going far enough in challenging Bush's Iraq policy.

Posted by: LB Buddy at September 19, 2007 10:02 AM