Thursday, June 22, 2006


Slogans and Inconvenient Truth

I earlier noted Peggy Noonan’s fine critique in a nutshell; I should have paired it with a companion piece for James Lileks’ latest Pig-in-a-Screedblog.

Lileks describes the acute desperation of Democrats in finding a slogan that won’t blow up in their faces. He notes how “The Dem’s manifesto goes on. My, it does go on.”

Without, of course, any attempt at seriousness, traveling over-trod ground with such perennial losers such as minimum wage, college costs, fiscal responsibility, while assiduously avoiding anything that might require a bold stand, really any stand at all.

A New Direction, indeed. Lileks:

The minimum wage was indeed a New Direction – last century, anyway. Compared to the unofficial GOP slogan – “Fight and win the War on Terror by blowing up more bad guys real good” – it’s like running against FDR in ’42 with a pledge to reduce postal rates.

I like Lilek’s slogan for the GOP: “Fight and win the War on Terror by blowing up more bad guys real good.” The Republican Candidate for President in 2008 would do well to have it put on party worker T-shirts.

Not the Democrats. They don’t want to fight today’s wars. They lost in 2004 by fighting the Vietnam war redux. They don’t object to wars per se, but they have to be small, tidy, sound-bite compatible and not at all involving anything that requires a political price of admission, as noted by their disgraceful clamoring for retreat, then voting in large numbers against the cut and run they say we need.

Lileks thinks he’s found where they’ll find their mettle:

Anything on the war? No. the Dems slam Bush for not adjusting Pell Grants for inflation, but the manifesto says nothing about Terror, the War On. We’re supposed to intuit that they’d redeploy to Camp Murtha, from which we can strike Iraq with only a fortnight’s delay. Let no one mistake their position: they have risen to the challenge of these perilous times, and come out against excess CEO compensation. No doubt this means they’ll be hard on Iran.

Those mullahs are pulling down millions.

Sooner or later the Democrats will acknowledge that we’re in a war, a global war, fought by radical Islamic terrorists, aided and abetted by sworn enemies of the US under all manner of proxy arrangements.

They won’t do it under any scenario that requires them to admit that President Bush, and the Republicans, had it largely right, and they had it largely wrong: Saddam’s links to terror, the threat he posed, the threat in general, the failure of diplomacy and other fancy forms of appeasement, the urgency for military action, and how muscular that response needed to be.

So not now. Certainly not before many regional decisions in 2006. Perhaps not before a critical national decision in 2008. But eventually, Democrats will find their voice.

It would have been better if they had found it in concert with a serious minded GOP in 2002 and 2003. Better still if they got it in the difficult days of 2004 and 2005 or even now. Think about how different public perceptions would be about the war and our progress if they had.

I’m afraid they won’t find that voice, that ability to clearly denounce the methods and aims of the whole of our enemies, not just corporate ones, until two certain events take place.

The first event? George W. Bush leaves office. Presidents come and go. Not many incur the amount of hysteria or deranged fury that this one has. That’s a great misfortune, moreso for America than for him. Because it was grand distraction to the storm, more than imminent, already raging around us.

Some BDS sufferers will wake up soon after, and resume logical thinking and discourse about matters of urgent National Security.

The second event? When terrorists achieve their greatest hope of all, and detonate a nuclear weapon as an act on terrorist Jihad.

We will all be warmongers then. And I doubt many of us will have the heart, or time, or patience to even bother with the “I Told You So.” Because in that moment, the possibly avoidable deaths of millions of people and the necessarily militarization that follows, will make political point-making far more offensive than the partisan posturing we see today.

And there will be much weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Linked at Milblogs.

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