It is said, and truly, that a wise man never dissents with a wise woman. I fear I am about to prove I am not a wise man, but I must.
In her article Saturday, The Anchoress said the following:
“I am more convinced than ever that I don’t want to see another president named Clinton or Bush for a very long time. I’ve had enough of this whole Hatfield/McCoy scene. I don’t think the wide rift that exists between parties can possibly be healed - for the better of our nation - while these two families are in power.”
I am sorry to differ, milady, but you are wrong. And the error must be challenged*.
I am not anti-Clinton, per se. Recently I wrote an article defending President Clinton somewhat, with regard to his efforts on National Security. While I agree with criticism in some specific instances, I agree with The Anchoress that people who use only hindsight demand an unreasonable perfection, and hold officials to an impossible standard.
I also wrote recently about a disturbing article in the off-mainline press which tried to cast Clinton as a madman, and if true in its specifics it admitted to a deliberate attempt to weaken National Security rather than allow the President to do his job.
But that said, the attempts to equivocate between elected officials named Clinton and elected officials named Bush are disingenuous and more, dangerous in their falsity. While I do not blame pre-9/11 officials for not being able to foresee and therefore prevent that monstrous wrong, I stop short of suggesting that such a viewpoint is appropriate or tolerable in a national official now. To show what I mean, just consider that Tom Harkin, Democrat, claimed that immediately after the 9/11 attacks, that every nation on earth, including (and Harkin emphasized this part) Islamic governments. Harkin charged that President Bush “squandered” that “good will”. (ht Powerline)
Think about that. First off, we’ve heard a lot things like that from Democrats for the last five years, so Harkin can fairly be said to represent the Democrats’ voice. And I challenge his claim. We all knew within days that the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and Osama bin Laden were all directly responsible for the attacks. Did Afghanistan offer to turn them over for trial? Did Saddam Hussein offer to help round them up? Did any Islamic government step up and offer to catch the monsters?
Obviously, no, not one of them made any such offer. They made public gestures of sympathy, but in action they were silent, or worse. I do not know whether the threat attributed to Mr. Armitage is true or not, but if so it raises my estimate of the man; that was precisely what needed to be said at that place and time.
I am old enough to know the evils of war. But I am also old enough to have learned that such evils show up many times when someone believes that cowardice will be safer, that the expedient will somehow cost less; the butcher’s bill is always paid, and always by those with the resolve to say “This ends here” to men like bin Laden, Hussein … and men like Ahmahdinejad, Assad, and Jintao.
And so I look forward to 2008. Uneasily, because the Democrats have abandoned almost all pretense of a fair fight, and they will use pretty much any device or method to gain control of the White House. The Republican candidate therefore must win in 2008, of the nation will suffer for it, because – and it is sad to have to say this about a major political party – there is no chance at all that the Democrats’ nominee will be competent or resolute in the charge to defend the nation. Thus the GOP nominee must be attractive to the public in a way the Left cannot easily pervert, and I believe this is what The Anchoress means. That said, this nation cannot stand a Republican in the White House either, if that Republican lacks the vision, resolve, or backbone to face down the enemy, whether in Teheran or across the aisle in Washington. Therefore, this nation cannot afford to see someone named McCain, Frist, Hagel or Tancredo. We need another George “Dubya” Bush.
No, I am not saying find a way for the man to run again, nor do I mean that it’s time for Jeb. But whomever plans to represent the party had better be planning to learn from our current President and apply his doctrine. They can make their own name on a host of domestic issues and pressing concerns, but where defending the nation is concerned, there must be a strong Crawford flavor to the next President’s policies and directives.
(*UPDATE The Anchoress has kindly reminded me that my statements ought to be logical, and so I have corrected this one at her suggestion. Thank you, lady. )