Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Days Of Clinton Past

I supported President Clinton during his term. I did not like him or agree much with him, but I supported him. I write this in response to the predictable backlash of liberal bile to my statement Friday that, like it or not, President George W. Bush carries the full authority of his office, and those who refuse to acknowledge his authority are refusing to serve their country. As hard as that may be for Democrats and Liberals to accept now with Bush in office, it was just as true when Clinton held the office. I am not advocating supreme power for the President, and anyone paying attention would have understood that; Richard Nixon in 1974, then Clinton in his time, paid for the excess of their behavior through proper channels and Constitutional process. The thing to understand however, is that even an impeached President Clinton remained President Clinton until and unless he was convicted in the Senate. As it happens, Bill Clinton was never convicted in the Senate, and therefore continued to serve the remainder of his term. In Nixon’s case, of course, he chose to resign his office rather than face Impeachment – it impossible to know whether or not Nixon would have been convicted after being impeached, but it is hardly relevant to the main point here – Richard Nixon resigned his office, and was fully President of the United States right up to the instant that Gerald Ford took the Oath of Office. Like him or not, he was the President.

It’s a difficult thing for some people to accept, that the President should be a man of consequence specifically because he won the office. I read one commenter who actually separated his reverence for the office from the man, which is laughable. The President of the United States is a person, and respect for his authority comes specifically to the man because he holds the office. It is that dishonest attempt to suggest that some Presidents should be respected and others not. How convenient, and how utterly disingenuous. Many of the comments I read in Wizbang! jumped right to the assumption of their choice, with only one reader stopping to consider the context of my statements. Since that task proved to be beyond the ability of some readers, I will walk them through the matter here.

Here is what I said, precisely, in the most volatile statement: “George W. Bush is the President of the United States. Him, no one else. You either back him up or you are not supporting America. Yes, he earned that support, by getting elected. Like it or not, it comes with the job.” Yes, taken emotionally that statement is going to set people off, but if you stop and think it through, a different concept emerges. First off, you have to understand the context. It’s a favorite sport of critics to rip something out of its place in a discussion or essay, and twist it to serve whatever Gumby Rhetoric game they want to play. But in the Friday essay, I took pains to point out the difference between people speaking with the authority of their office and people shooting off their mouth on nothing more than their arrogance. Sure, we all enjoy Free Speech – although the Left did not like the idea of ABC exercising that right last week – but having the right to say something banal and stupid does not give the boor the same authority as the person who knows of what they speak. And the President of the United States holds unique authority, by right of his position and the quality of being elected President. He is by no means absolute, yet he holds clear and valid authority beyond any other individual person in the American government. You do not have the right to treat him like a light switch, granting him his authority or not as you choose. No matter what party, background, or circumstances, so long as he holds the office the President of the United States innately holds authority. No matter whomever else you or I might hope to see in that office, the President of the United States – while serving – holds real and specific authority to speak for the United States. Now, the prickly part of my statement, I think, was my demand that “you either back him up or you are not supporting America”. That was actually a carefully chosen phrase. I did not mean that he could not be criticized, and I never said so if you actually pay attention. I certainly did not mean that he was free to do whatever he wished – the Constitution makes clear the specific powers and limits of the President, as Presidents Clinton and Nixon have discovered. When I said “back him up”, I meant that we are at war, and the President is the leader of the United States at war. “Leader”, as in he sets the course and commits us to certain actions. “Leader” as in, whether or not we are happy about it, we are careful to consider the effects of things like divisiveness and personal attacks which embolden our enemies, be they terrorists, Communists, Nazis, or Redcoats, depending on your frame of reference. As an example, John Adams was not happy at all with many of Jefferson’s actions as President in regards to Europe, but he was very careful in what he said, and to support Jefferson while he was in office. During World War 2, many Republicans took issue with a lot of FDR’s policies and war plans, but they made sure to maintain the public image of solidarity – certainly no one compared Roosevelt to the enemy, or demanded that we quit the fight. Like it or not, whether we are talking about George W. Bush, his dad, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, or any other President, while they held office they were the Commander-In-Chief, a title which means the President if your superior officer, even if you are not in uniform. As it is said and must be repeated, elections matter, and never more than when a President is chosen.

When America goes to war, it must be a decision made clearly and for a specific reason. If for nothing else, this is why all American wars begin with a decision by the President to go to war. And while the Congress may react to it in ways which limit that war in scope, duration, or objective, it is the President who leads that war. This is why Truman was right to sack MacArthur, whether or not one supported MacArthur's plan. This is why that general who went to the press to complain about President Clinton was wrong - the President is the guy in charge. It's a fine line, Free Speech - on the one hand yes, every American enjoys Freedom of Speech, but there are consequences for what and how people use it, and when someone refuses to accept the authority of the President, this gives comfort to America's enemies and weakens American resolve. One need look no further than the War in Vietnam to see how treason can kill our soldiers and allies.

Some people have whined that my statement would deny them their right to criticize the President or hold dissenting opinions. Not at all. The question what someone believes, but what they do about it. As I said, the Congress and the Courts both hold authority to limit the President's power, as well as proper authority to stand against him when they believe he is wrong. And obviously, popular opinion is a factor in how Congress and the Courts work (for all their claims to objectivity, many judges are just as partial and influenced by popular moods as anyone else). But that does not justify personal slander against the man, or fraudulent movies in a blatant attempt to sway elections, or publicly and repeatedly suggesting that the leader of the United States should be arrested or assassinated, simply because some perverted group gets its jollies by such suggestions. Whether or not the law allows it, such conduct is abhorrent to the American nature, and corrodes the national will. This does not matter which political party is so targeted.

Also, as has been repeatedly reminded and just as often ignored by boors and thugs who cannot manage a comprehensive evaluation of international cultural development, the Global War On Terror is a new kind of war, driven not by American designs or provocations, but the cruel and bitter fruit of Mahdi-ism, more commonly referred to as Islamofascism. Whether or not a person agrees with why we went to Iraq, it is imperative, on a scale nearly impossible to exaggerate, that we do not leave without a stable and self-sufficient Iraq. It is imperative that we deal with Iran before their malicious plans can develop. It is imperative that we demonstrate that Terrorism exported will simply come back on its creators. And sorry Bush-haters, that means you have to grow up and accept that Bush is a legitimate President, doing a tough-as-hell job with damn little support. If you can't cut him some slack, you will be sorry for it later.

With that said, I return to the subject of Bill Clinton. As I said earlier, I neither like nor respect him, and I found many of his decisions poor. And when he won the White House in the 1992 election, I was bitter and disappointed, especially since that meant the Presidency, the Congress, and the Courts were all in Liberal hands. So yeah, I understand how Democrats feel, to a degree.

But I got over it. I did not have to like the man, for Clinton to be President. He won the election, even with just 43% of the vote. So I supported him, even where I disagreed with him. I even argued with my Republican friends when some of the nutters went over the top, with Hillary-shot-Vince-Foster conspiracies and Whitewater-sold-secrets-to-China innmuendo, and so on. Make no mistake, Clinton got himself impeached on his own fault, just like Nixon did himself in on Watergate all on his own. But I never, not once, made personal fun of Bill Clinton, I never suggested he should be killed or that he did not the authority for his decisions as President.

I know it's all the rage these days to laugh at Clinton and trash him for decisions he made regarding Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. But we have to remember that in 1996, we had no way of knowing what, precisely, Al Qaeda was up to, or what the consequences of a given action would bring. In his place, yes, I think I would have made different decisions, but I have to stop and accept that only Clinton sat in the seat to make those calls when the time came, and only Clinton had to carry those choices with him. Reagan had Lebanon to regret, so is it really appropriate to expect Bill Clinton to have anticipated 9/11? We Republicans accept that Bush had limited knowledge before the 9/11 attacks came, but even with more time, Clinton was depending on his CIA and FBI people to tell him solid information. It's easy to look back afterwards and point fingers, but I am reluctant to do so. For a fact, I will not give Clinton credit for things he never got right, but I respect the weight of the office, and even half a decade after he left office, William Jefferson Clinton is still a man who was twice elected to the White House. That still counts, even if there is no way I would ever trust him with my vote, or Hillary.

Maybe this is all to difficult to accept for some people. There are people who just cannot cope without having a strawman to hate, some phantom they can heckle in order to make themselves feel good. Some people just cannot grant respect to an opponent, and they would rather be their worst than grant that there is good on the other side.

Friday, September 15, 2006

The War Matters, Katie Couric Does Not

Americans think very highly of themselves, and many of us use that belief in their self-importance to justify all sorts of boorish behavior. Our celebrities travel the globe and act as if their personal opinion is divine and perfect in wisdom, when examination often reveals a poor education and an indoctrination in sophomoric rhetoric. Our “spiritual” leaders are no better, as they not only try to teach us to live more peaceful and fulfilling lives, but feel free to speak about economics and political conditions without even a basic comprehension of the subject matter. And then there are the politicians, those men and women who make snake-oil salesmen and motorcycle gangs look wholesome and trustworthy in comparison. These people are obviously bright, persuasive individuals – who seem for the most part to care nothing for any responsibility or commitment unless and until there is something in it for them to gain.

But the war for America’s fickle attention rages on; everything gets ignored until someone glamorous mentions it. The twice-elected President of the United States talks in detail about what we are doing in Iraq and why, but it’s George “Me-Time” Clooney who gets attention. We have literally dozens of active-duty military writing about the war, but the press follows Cindy “Martyr” Sheehan in her mindless quest. Hundreds of Iraqis and Afghans could tell us about the threat from Islamofasicm, but it’s a bloody-handed terrorist leader who is invited to the National Cathedral, and to speak at Harvard. Not long ago, dozens of terrorists were arrested while trying to put together another plan to kill, quite literally, thousands of innocent people, but a major political party is demanding we return to the complacency of 1993.

I support the troops” does not mean quitting because the fight is tough or long.

Don’t question my patriotism” is nothing but spineless evasion if you cheer for people who want to kill Americans.

Bush lied” is a baseless lie, shouted by people who do not want anyone to look too closely into their own closet.

Here’s the score:

George W. Bush is the President of the United States. Him, no one else. You either back him up or you are not supporting America. Yes, he earned that support, by getting elected. Like it or not, it comes with the job.

We have a military to defend us against our enemies. That means hunting down and killing the bastards, over on their land if we can do so. That’s how you win wars. For those who still do not understand, ask an adult who Patton, Grant, or Washington were.

We are at war. No, we are not at fault. No, running away will not make them like us. No, wishing we could live in some fantasy Utopia will not change reality. It’s time to grow up.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Return of Dr. Ray Fair

Some of you may remember Dr. Ray Fair, the Yale Economist who believed he had a formula to predict the share of the Popular Vote that a certain candidate (or party) would collect in an upcoming Presidential election. Dr. Fair’s model was based on key economic data, and some people found his formula a valid indicator. I am one of those people who find Dr. Fair’s work valid, although I doubt the likelihood of predicting actual shares of the Popular Vote to a fine degree. Dr. Fair’s system appeared to work; his 1978 paper produced results within 1.25% of President Carter’s actual results in the 1980 election.

In 1988 Dr. Fair evaluated the 1984 election, claiming accuracy within 1.7% of the actual result, and made his first forward prediction, promising that (depending on the rate of Inflation and GDP growth), Governor Michael Dukakis would take between 42.7% and 57.4% of the popular vote. Looking at the actual rates of Inflation (4.1%) and GDP growth (4.1%), Fair’s table predicted Dukakis would take 46.1% of the Popular Vote; in reality he took 45.7% of the Popular Vote, so Dr. Fair landed within 0.4% of his predicted target.

In 1990, pleased with his 1988 results, Dr. Fair prepared a paper (but did not publish) which, for 3.0% Inflation and 3.3% Real GDP growth, predicted Bill Clinton would claim 41.6% of the Popular Vote.

Dr. Fair saw those numbers and decided “Bush should have a fairly easy time winning re-election”. Dr. Fair failed to develop a factor for a third-party candidate, so while Clinton’s 43.0% of the Popular Vote made Fair only 1.4% off the target, Bush lost the election.

In June of 1996, Dr. Fair tried again, with an updated formula and a prediction which said that on the available data, President Clinton would claim 49.1% of the Popular Vote, which might mean a close loss. In the actual election, Clinton won, but his 49.2% result showed good results for Fair’s prediction.

In 2000, Dr. Fair released a series of updates, ultimately predicting in October that Vice President Al Gore would take 50.8% of the Popular Vote, but immediately warned that his formula had a 2.15 point margin of error, making the race too close to call. In the actual race, Gore only claimed 48.4% of the Popular Vote, so that Fair’s prediction was off by 2.4 points, outside his own margin of error.

2004 was therefore a natural point of interest for Fair-watchers like myself. Once again Dr. Fair issued a series of releases, with another release in late October 2004, which predicted President Bush would claim 57.7% of the Popular Vote. The actual results gave President Bush 51.6% of the Popular Vote, 6.1 points off Dr. Fair’s prediction, which led to a wry “post-mortem” by the good doctor.

These days Dr. Fair is – I think – retooling his formula yet again, but it seems there are certain lessons we can take from his work. First, obviously an exact predictor of elections is not yet within our grasp, for which I frankly am pleased. Man has a bad habit of fooling around trying to manipulate things, and if we understood what drove elections well enough to make it a pure science, I worry that the people would suffer for it. That said, I agree with Dr. Fair that the adage “people vote their pocketbooks” is true to enough of a degree that we can lay out the terrain for an election by watching the numbers. For a Republican, this is good news at the moment, with Inflation under 4% and Real GDP growth above 3%. It would be difficult indeed for a Democrat to win in 2008, unless the economy collapses, the Republicans nominated McCain or Chafee, or the Democrats nominated a mature, civil candidate who holds a working comprehension of National Security. Perhaps some combination of those possibilities would even be required. While I am thinking about the needs of the nation, let me remind Dr. Rice that as much as she would like to be Commissioner of the NFL, there is a serious need for her services as President of the USA.

But in his latest release, Dr. Fair has noticed something I knew all along, but has added his experience and wizardry to the matter; the fact that Presidential elections in the United States depend on the Electoral College, which in function means that one or a few states in almost every election make the difference in which candidate wins. In 2004 it was Ohio, and in 2000 it was Florida, for example. This is because there is a threshold in each state for a given candidate to win, and the states can be ranked by that demand threshold. Once you know that ranking, you can determine which state(s) will be the pivot point. The Republicans and Democrats have known this for many years, which is why the campaign money gets spent the way it does. What is interesting, is that there are sometimes subtle differences between which states the Democrats think will be pivot, and which states the Republicans think are pivotal. Dr. Fair has written another fascinating paper examining that process, which is well worth your time and effort to read.

While it is presumptuous for me to compare my thoughts to those of a Ivy League college professor, deference is not one of my strong suits, and I freely present my thoughts with the caveat to the reader that I am as yet unready to support my thesis with hard numbers, I would nonetheless suggest that while I agree with the demand ranking suggested by Dr. Fair, I have observed a certain set of tension points which restrict movement in party preference. For instance, while neither the Republicans or the Democrats have even begun their campaigns for the 2008 White House race, it would be safe to say that the Democrat will carry Massachusetts, and the Republican will carry Texas. The same can be said for an array of other states. Other states can be swayed, but begin in clear camps, like West Virginia or Michigan. Still others are very much in the middle, with no clear preference at this time, like Florida or Pennsylvania; they lean a bit and have history, but they are not at all locked into a position. I would compare these states, then, to balls on a number of adjoining pool tables; they can move about freely and appear to be headed for another table, but their impetus is not enough to change the table on which they sit – something genuinely unique would have to happen to move them to another table. This has happened before, of course – LBJ ran the table, basically, on Goldwater in 1964, Nixon did it to McGovern in 1972, and of course Reagan did it to Mondale in 1984. So I find it worth considering to ask, which states are on which tables, and what would it take to move them? I may post my conclusions on those questions if I can find evidence to back them up, but for now I submit them for consideration and discussion.

Me Good Learning Am Getting: My MBA Saga Continues

A lot of folks may not care for my spouting off about my return to school, but there are some folks who seem to have an interest, and it’s been a little while, so here again is an update in my search to claim my MBA at the University of Houston-Victoria.

First, the numbers: By my count, the semester began with 32 students in my Business & Society class, 35 in my Accounting class, and 33 in my Economics class. One member of the Business & Society class was kicked out for poor behavior, two students seem to have left our Accounting Class, and two students never took the first Economics test, which suggests they quit. So, 5 out of 100 students dropped out right away. Interesting.

Also interesting were early grades. I have not yet received a grade in Business & Society, though the professor’s comments on my participation on the Discussion Board (25% of the total grade) and my own careful participation in every discussion in a meaningful and source-citing way give me reason to think I am in good shape so far. For that class, the Midterm and Final each count for 30% of the grade, with the DB taking 25% as I said, leaving 15% for an “individual case” assignment (which will be posted September 18, and is due October 30 at 8 AM). It’s interesting to see how some people pay a lot of attention to the discussions, and how some do very little.

In Accounting, I have received two quiz grades for an average of 95%, and one assignment completed for 100%. I got a nice e-mail from the professor, which noted ”Excellent. I like your summary and references in particular”. It’s a good sign, I think, to hear that from your professor. Can’t get a big head, through. In Accounting, 30% of the grade comes from the Midterm, 20% from a Group Project – my group is studying and will report on Blockbuster, Inc. – 10% on Discussion Boards, 20% on the quizzes (so each quiz is 2% of the total grade), and 20% on individual case assignments (there are six of those, so each is worth 3.33% of the total grade). So, three grades in things are going well, but only 7.33% of my grade is complete at this time. I have no real idea how the class is doing as a whole, although Dr. Lee said he was generally pleased with our first assignments, and he chose eight submissions to “publish” as examples to the class (including mine), which seems to set those apart.

The most interesting so far in confirmed results, is my Economics class. I should expect, maybe, that my Economics professor would be keenly interested in displaying the statistical results. First, the grade breakdown; 30% each for the Midterm and Final exams, 15% for the “Industry Analysis” paper we have to do, 10% for Discussion Board participation, which I have paid careful attention to, 5% for homework and 10% for the four quizzes. So far we have been discussing the text and a variety of exercises, and last Saturday we took out first quiz. I got 90% on the thing, mostly because I paid poor attention to the exact wording on two questions – I gave the correct answer for a question about GDP, when I should have noticed they wanted the answer for per-capita GDP. I also misread another question and my assumption cost me. The Economics professor was less than pleased with our class as a whole. I did OK, all things considered, but the class broke down as follows:

100% [] 2 students
90-99% [] 6 students (including me)
80-89% [] 12 students
70-79% [] 7 students
Less than 70% [] 4 students

So, 4 students are already failing, and since an MBA student must keep a ‘B’ average and – if I remember right – is allowed no more than two ‘C’ grades during their course of study, fully 11 out of 31 students are not doing well at all.

What does it all mean? Pretty much what I expected going in. Some people take a challenge seriously, and some blow it off until it comes back and hits them. To be honest, I was in that second group while I got my Bachelor’s, so I have every intention of making the best of my opportunity this time. After all, it’s not just about getting the degree; I want to get every bit of knowledge and skill improvement that I can from my studies. I hope my classmates who are having a hard go of it now, can find what they need to pull their grades up, but I have to say, I am feeling very glad that I made the commitment to read and study hard, to do all my homework and exercises, in order to know the material. No, I don’t plan on getting cocky – if I get stupid the Midterms will blow me away, and this is still my first semester, after all. But there is something very true about making a good first impression and in getting a good start, and I am very thankful for how things are going so far. Now, if this was boring to you, just remember I warned you at the first I was going to talk about my school work, and if someone gets out of line I can always type out an essay on the distinctions between historical and current asset valuation. I know you all would love that story!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Why I Did Not Participate In Project 2,996

Now that the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 abomination has passed, I want to point out one tremendous effort; the 2,996 Project, where volunteer bloggers each remembered one particular person on 9/11/06 who passed away on 9/11/01.

This was a great gesture, and exactly what the day needed. Thank you, good people.

I did not participate in that effort, because my heart was not so molded. Certainly these people deserved their honor, and thank God for the bloggers who stepped forward and took up that challenge. Certainly this was a very good thing, at a time where we see so little of true goodness on that scale. But I remember King David of Israel, who wanted to build a temple for God. God told him ‘no’, because David was a bloody man.

I am not worthy to claim any comparison to David, whose heart was right with God. But I see my place as different than to stand with choirs or poets. I will speak my share of praise and doggerel, no worry of that, and you might even find my Irish wit worth a look and a laugh. But my focus is on the fight, and if I am not in condition to carry a gun, nor will my present circumstances allow me to take a government post (for which Liberals, always quick with jibes and taunts these days, will doubtless mock me if they pay any attention at all) , then I will use my mind and reason to sway the opinions of reasoning persons, and define the enemy wherever and whomever he may be. Whenever I think about 9/11, I am filled with rage and determined to not let it slip into platitudes and apathy.

My anger prevented me from being able to do justice to these victim’s memories, but I will apply it to prevent, as best I can, some fool in Washington letting it happen again.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Liberal Corporate Suicide

I made a statement yesterday, which I almost thought I would have to retract; that it is impossible to have a civil, productive debate with Liberals on the subject of National Security. One of the comments in the article I put up yesterday in Wizbang Politics seemed, just for a little while, to show that some Liberals were willing to explore the matter with a clear head and calm attitude. The reader posting under the name “Gadfly” wrote:

Very well written. Many good points. And it's surprisingly non-fanatical for wizbang. But...
Can you, or any other posters, please explain/provide the evidence for...

1. We now know that there were, in fact, caches and stockpiles of WMD...
2. ...turns out that President Bush’s “Axis of Evil” was just as he claimed. (Assuming "axis" denotes and connotes "connection", linear or otherwise.)
3. How is Iraq under Saddam (i.e. secular) related to ISLAMO-fascism? Why do conservatives link them? Other than the conservative proclivity to both create and conflate enemies. Or because, to conservatives, they're all "towel-heads".
4. And in what ways do conservatives distinguish Islamo-fascism from Islam? I think they fail to utterly. (Particularly on this website). And, in doing so, escallate conflict, rather than "defeating" it

All things considered, these were reasonable requests, which I thought and still think deserve answer. That answer will be presented further on. But I am familiar enough with the matter, and frankly dissatisfied with the evasion from the core question, that I pressed Gadfly to answer a few things himself:

”1. Petty name-calling is the mark of petulance. What, specifically, would you suggest as an effective policy for addressing Islamofascism, as practiced by Al Qaeda and like-minded groups?

2. Please answer why you feel compelled to ignore clear factual evidence of WMD programs, with specifics as to how not invading Iraq would have prevented the development and use of known extant programs under Saddam Hussein.

3. The WMD threat was only one of numerous causes for the invasion of Iraq. Please respond to the other causes, including the attempted assassination of a former U.S. President, the use of WMD on civilians, and sponsorship of multiple terrorist groups.

4. Please explain the Liberal policy for containing/addressing fanatics like Ahmadinejad.

I will work on my response, and look forward to yours. It would also be illuminating to learn why Joe Lieberman was good enough for you to be Vice-President in 2000, but not Senator in 2007

That, unfortunately, was the high-point of our discussion. Gadfly’s next response was distinctly disappointing

Petty name-calling is the mark of petulance.
If you're referring to my assertion that wizbangers (though not you) are usually "fanatical", I stand by it. In fact, I think "fanatical" is an understatement. That's why I found your piece so refreshing in its lack of demogoguery.”

[ Gadfly ignores the fact, or is trying to duck it, that during the past six years, the Liberals have poisoned the well of discourse with the majority of invective, and the worst slanders being repeated at the highest levels of the Democratic Party. George W. Bush had no insults to spew at Democrats, yet Howard Dean, while the front-runner for the 2004 party nomination, mentioned that the lie that President Bush knew about the 9/11 attacks in advance was ” the most interesting theory that I've heard so far
. Ted Kennedy accused Buch of cooking up the war for political points, and nancy Pelosi claimed President Bush deliberately misled Americans about Iraq. The same Democrats who clearly supported the war against Saddam in 2002 when it was time to vote their conscience, are the ones who lied about their votes later when they saw a chance to play politics. The largest and most popular Liberal blogs – Daily Kos and Democratic Underground – censor their comments to deny participation at all by Conservatives, and regularly allow comments which are defamatory of Conservatives, and in some cases incendiary examples of slander and incitement of violence against Republicans ]

“What, specifically, would you suggest as an effective policy for addressing Islamofascism, as practiced by Al Qaeda and like-minded groups?
First, it would be akin to Bush's in taking the threat seriously, but 1) I wouldn't project the fear that he projects and 2) I would hold a very high standard for acting within the bounds of the law (for example the 1996 War Crimes Act) the constitution, and the Geneva convention as much as humanly and humanEly possible. Recognizing that many people in the world will lend their support (which we need for intelligence) to the more morally responsible party. We're not doing well on that front.”

[ It is an untrue allegation that the President is ‘projecting fear’. Sorry, but that projection is nothing more than the Liberal “projecting” his fear of the facts getting out. Terrorists want to kill Americans, and saying so is simply setting the necessary focus. I also find it interesting that Gadfly confirms my observation that Liberals want a legal prosecution of Terrorism, not an effective war. Terrorists need killing, not lawyers. I would strongly suggest that Gadfly and other Liberals read the specific terms of the 1996 War Crimes Act, the United States Constitution, and the Geneva Convention. The plain fact is, terrorists do not enjoy protection under any of those treaties. The Geneva Convention, for example, specifically limits its protection to civilian non-combatants and military combatants of sovereign nations. NGO’s like Al Qaeda and the Taliban do not have the standing of soldiers or non-combatants ]

“Also, language. Good point Red Baron!!!! Don't bind our enemies together! But to add to his point - what you call islamo-fascism, I might call fundamentalist-terrorism. Because it avoids the disgracefully inaccurate implication that Islam is primarily or significantly fascist. Or that the world's Muslims are at war with the west. (Though I recognize that SUBSETS of Islam ARE certainly marked by a propensity for violence. A violence that may be comparable to Christianity when it, Christianity, was about 1,300 years old.) But also because it clarifies to a democracy-loving Muslim (whose support we need) that, in our eyes, they are NOT a more serious threat to the U.S. than, say, Timothy McVeigh.”

[ This is a perversion of my phrase. I do not expect Gadfly to be especially familiar with my writings – for anyone interested, just visit my homepage and click on the ‘Significant Posts’ links, which begin with the Islamic condition in Iraq, or simply do a blogsearch matching “Drummond” with “Islam”, and see how often I have separated the faith from men wishing to usurp it. In point of fact, however, I do not know of many Conservatives at all trying to pretend that Islamofascism is the same as Islam as a whole. Certainly President Bush has repeatedly emphasized that Islam is not the enemy. I will write more about the nature, source, and remedy to Islamofascism in my conclusion. ]

“Please answer why you feel compelled to ignore clear factual evidence of WMD programs...
I don't feel compelled to ignore them. I do think, though, that 1) the evidence obtained post-invasion, for most Americans, does not sufficiently match the pre-war evidence provided by Bush. Thus the perception that he "lied". Though I'd call it "misrepresentation" and/or "exaggeration". Which, when justifying war, is still profoundly immoral.”

[ There you go again, projecting your own assumptions. The “pre-war evidence” was significant and effective, after all, since it demonstrated how the Bush Administration reached its decision, and that same information was available and seen by all leading members of the Republicans and Democrats. And frankly, there has been quite a bit of “post-invasion” evidence found. The problem has been the way that evidence has been portrayed by the MSM. Frankly, most Americans, according to the polls, do not think Bush lied at all. They may or may not support his decision, but the consensus is that he made his decision honestly. That’s actually a very great mistake the Left makes: You could actually sway some people if you admitted that President Bush was and is honest, but that you simply disagreed with the decision and the present policy. That you take such an opportunity and try to make it into something which is simply not true, is yet another example of the problem the Left has in dealing with its compulsion to attack Bush, even when such attacks cost you support of reasonable people. ]

“2) evidence continues to surface which suggests that a DESIRE for war with Iraq affected the Administrations objectivity in assessing the level of the Iraqi threat. (For example the Downing Street memo suggests this).”

[ Sorry, there is no such “evidence”. That the Bush Administration paid attention to all of the regional threats is accurate, but it is false to pretend that Bush influenced, or even tried to influence, the intelligence-gathering or the recommendations. Once again, this demonstrates the Left’s habit of deciding what they want to believe, then trying to shoehorn the facts to make things fit. Kind of like saying Bush “rushed to war” against Iraq, when in fact he took his time with diplomatic efforts, consultations with allies and the United Nations, and dealing with Afghanistan long before anyone began to consider acting against Saddam. ]

“3) Had Bush & co. employed a higher, i.e. more truthful, standard of accuracy for the intelligence, the case for war would probably not have persuaded Americans to support a pre-emptive war.
If you have a problem with that, you have a problem with democracy.”

[ That statement is a baseless cheap shot, and a lie. No further comment is warranted. ]

“with specifics as to how not invading Iraq would have prevented the development and use of known extant programs under Saddam Hussein.
Containment. It worked well against the Soviet Union.”

[ The Cold War took decades, ate tens of trillions of dollars, killed more than a million people in proxy conflicts and incidents, destroyed the economies and infrastructure of those countries absorbed by the Communist Empire, and still poisons the future of more than a quarter of the planet. Only a great fool would suggest it was a model for confronting groups which developed during the Cold War, and which have created their tactics and supply lines to take advantage of that especially bureaucratic mode of conditions. Further, it is a fact that the French and other allies of Saddam were already moving to lift sanctions, after which time Saddam’s protected WMD programs would soon have renewed their pace and development. ]

“Also, in consultation with military experts, I would build a case for war which turned out to be more true than not true. I would hold a high standard for evidence. More akin to Powell's standards than Cheney-Bush's (i.e. 1%). I would not fabricate arguments, especially those that appeal to vengeance - i.e. that Iraq was connected with 9/11. (Spin it all you want, that conflation was a clear case of irresponsible misrepresentation).
Second - I would place enormous, perhaps equal importance, on the "rebuilding" phase of the occupation. In order not to INCREASE TERRORISM. If my Secretary of D demonstrated a disdain for "rebuilding" I would fire him. That's not only imcompetent - that morally disgraceful.”

[ Here again you demonstrate the elitist arrogance of the purely hypothetical thinker – as if war could be so quickly and cleanly removed from the matter. In the first place, the military developed the war plan used: The best minds with experience and insight planned the war. Narcissist generals like Wesley Clark have no clue as to the best and necessary way to prosecute the war in Iraq, even if they had the inclination. If you cannot understand the huge difference between social interaction with NATO allies in Bonn and Verona, and street warfare in Baghdad and Fallujah, you need to go back to remedial tactics. And as for the “rebuilding” phase, you pretend that Iran and Syria are not fomenting violence through the insertion of terrorists over the border, and seem to believe that we had, say, a swell plan for making the boo-boo better after World Wars I or II? Again, to pretend so only shows how little you know of History. ]

“Third - In addressing the Iraq problem (i.e. possible, indirect threat), I would make sure that it did not diminish my pursuit of Al Qaeda (i.e. KNOWN, DIRECT THREAT).”

[ What a strange statement! Do you even know how many Al Qaeda have been killed or captured, have you not read the desperation in their intercepted communications, or the fact that they have fled to Sudan for their Headquarters because no other place, literally, exists for them? And I am sure I don’t need to remind you, that despite Liberal pretense, Al Qaeda has hardly been sitting around in one location, like a bad movie. The US military has done a spectacular job in hunting down these vermin, and your statement, while surely unintentional, demonstrates again how the Left does not in fact support the troops, since you are so unaware of even their most obvious accomplishments. ]

“Please respond to the other causes, including the attempted assassination of a former U.S. President...
Horrible as that was, we have no moral grounds to use that as justification - Cuba, Chile, Congo and (if you count coup attempts) Iran (Mossadeh) and Venezuela and many others.”

[ You are wrong. Assassinations and attempts on heads of state are accepted as valid causes for declaring war. Your attempts – whether factual or just spiteful – to link the United States to Saddam’s Iraq on this behavior, once again demonstrate to any reasonable person your contempt for America. We are the good guys, and that’s how most of us see it – if Liberals ever want to hold the trust of the public, they’re just going to have to change this kind of bile spewing. ]

“4. Please explain the Liberal policy for containing/addressing fanatics like Ahmadinejad.
Similar to an earlier question:
1) Take it seriously like Bush. But-
2) Don't be quite so idiotic and incompetent in the execution.”

[ The jury will observe that Gadfly made no attempt whatsoever to respond in substance, but chose to revert to a baseless insult. ]

“It would also be illuminating to learn why Joe Lieberman was good enough for you to be Vice-President in 2000, but not Senator in 2007.
For me, it was his explicit encouragement that the public NOT question the president in the vague and nebulous arena of "war on terror". Which, from my pov, for an Senator, borders on constitutionally lazy, if not structurally (governmentally) dangerous.”

[ Curiouser and curiouser. Lieberman never soft-pedaled the issue. In fact, he is still a critic of President Bush in many respects. You are simply lying about him, why? Because he finds the war in Iraq necessary. That speaks volumes. ]

(all Gadfly’s comments quoted from above are here)

Sad, really. While the Gadfly was still attempting to be civil, he had already begun to turn away from the substance.

Once in moral decline, Gadfly continued a slow but unfortunate descent. His next comment, in response to anecdotal evidence reminding him of the connection between Saddam and Terrorism, was this:

Sorry, not buying it. I'll try to find the piece you reference. But maybe Bush should as well. He has on at least two occasions, finally acknowledged Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.
If conservatives want to have any credibility on this point, they ought to acknowledge that the Iraq-9/11 connection as presented by Bush & Co was, at best, incorrect.
But, to spare your sensitive feelings, I won't say he "lied

Other Liberal comments were present, but they made no attempt at all to address the issue, but instead resorted front to back to boorish insults and petty vitriol. Beyond noting that they unintentionally proved my point, they are worth no response.

The blog Sweetness & Light put up a compelling reminder yesterday of just how delusional and bitter the Left has become, to the point that even the most obviously non-biased sources were attacked simply for not buying their lies. James B. Meigs of “Popular Mechanics” writes today about the acid-laced delusion which led Liberals and 9/11 Conspiracists to defame his magazine, for proving that the conspiracy theories simply cannot be true (ht Betsy’s Page).

In conclusion, then. Sorry, but the end is as long as everything up to it. In as brief as possible then, Liberals have demonstrated a delusion which makes it impossible to trust them in any post of responsibility. This is actually unfortunate, as Conservatives need a balancing force in debate and ideals to challenge their own assumptions and priorities. But the absolute hatred which drives the Left, makes their perspective irrational and a threat to the nation itself.

Now, to Gadfly’s initial questions and points:

[] Liberals focus on only one aspect of one point of the decision to invade Iraq and depose Saddam Hussein; his nuclear weapons program and material. This misses a great deal about why the 2003 Coalition existed, why the U.S. Military was and remains strongly motivated, and why the effort has been a success on the merits of its clear objectives. Ed Morrisey eloquently explains the context.

[] The “Axis of Evil” must be understood in the context of the threat, not some artificial construct to be made into a strawman. Bill Clinton discussed abstract concerns, yet Liberals left him unchallenged, and Liberals have always supported “wars” on Poverty and Social Ills, but perhaps I must leave those for another time. There are, to be clear, to be blunt, nations which seek the destruction of the United States as it exists, and there is a cowardly unity to nations which hate us enough to make it their policy to find whatever weapons, however foul, they can use against the best nation on earth. Liberals who mock President Bush for trying to illuminate the danger, would do well to listen to the echoes from other Presidents calling out the clarion before him. There are nations which want you dead. It is not only right, but duty, to point that out.

[] Saddam Hussein deserved to die. Beyond that I do not see a speck of injustice in what he has lost, or why. I would be happy to discuss the specifics of how and why it was necessary and right to invade Iraq, but only after my Liberal counterpart acknowledges that removing him was right. No, you don’t have to praise the war or any political position, but anyone who cannot agree to the basic fact that Saddam Hussein was an evil dictator who needed removal, which was in fact made the official policy of the United States in 1998 – that’s uh, a while before Bush became President, by the way – is effectively so dispatched from reality that discussion is impossible.

[] Islamofascism is one of those insidious disorders, which takes a culture and does its damndest to pervert its ideals and strengths. I have said before that given the thousands of terrorist acts committed by self-proclaimed Muslims, and matching them against the billion or so Muslims in the world, is prima facia evidence that most of Islam is not aligned with these monsters.
But there is a serious, grave problem for Islam. The leaders of Islam are not speaking out against the evils done by fanatics, and whole governments have dictated “Jihad” against non-Muslims, simply because they exist. It is also a dark and undeniable fact, that the overwhelming majority of terrorist violence planned and committed is by groups which declare themselves to be Muslim, and who declare that their religion is the principal motivation for their crimes.
And no, Conservatives are not “escalating” the violence. They simply refuse to hide from it, or to let innocents be tyrannized and murdered in the hope that the evil ones will not notice us across the water. 9/11 proved that was a false hope, anyway. The planning for 9/11 started long before Bush was President, just as Americans were taken hostage at the U.S. Embassy in Teheran on motives which never concerned themselves with anything we actually did. We either hunt down these bastards, wherever and whoever they are, or we let them come and murder Americans.

I vote to take them out.

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Last Old Day

The businessman leaned back in the taxi heading for Boston and his afternoon meetings. The morning meeting had gone well on this Monday, and getting to see Pettitte pitch the Yankees past the Red Sox on Sunday had been pretty sweet, almost enough to make the over-the-weekend trip worth its cost in time and effort. Of course, better not to mention it to his Boston clients, they would have been cheering for the Red Sox. He thought about his family back home; good luck he caught a foul ball from the game to give Tommy, unless he gave it to Amanda; his daughter pitched better, anyway, so maybe he’d need to buy something for whoever didn’t get the ball from the Yankees game. At least his wife should enjoy the gift he got her from Tiffany's. Still, he’d still need to balance things a bit more; he had those comp tickets to the preview of something called “Monsters, Inc.” by Pixar, and if it was as good as “Toy Story” had been, the kids would love it. But that meant he’d have to find one more thing for Miranda. Well, maybe Boston would show something worth his money.

The weather was great, clear and warm for the early fall. That was good, thought the man. After a long trip, he wanted a nice easy ride back home, and the weather promised no worries. As the taxi turned onto Church Street, he looked, as everyone did in passing, at the World Trade Center when the cab came up to Vesey Street. He had to admit, it was an impressive sight, the sort of permanence that reassured folks about the future of New York, and the greatness of America. You just didn’t see hundred-plus story towers in many places.

The man mentally shrugged, and turned his attention to the newspaper. Giuliani was on the stump again, promising – again – to improve schools in his town, which seemed to be what every mayor promised these days. Bloomberg and Badillo were saying stupid things about each other in a primary showdown; the Democrats were smart enough to let the Republicans tear each other down. There was an article about another Arab in Israel blowing himself up in order to kill another seven people – thank God that sort of thing didn’t happen here, the man thought to himself. Barry Bonds had hit three home runs in Denver yesterday, putting him just seven short of McGwire’s record – that guy was simply not human. There was a story about Air Tansat pilot Robert Piche landing his jet in the Azores with both engines out to save the lives of over three hundred people, but followed with allegations of maintenance negligence and error by the pilots. The man found himself sympathetic to the pilot – it’s hard enough to face a crisis, without having every decision challenged, but then again, if he’d been a passenger on that plane, he’d probably still be upset and looking to blame someone. The businessman sat back in his seat again as the taxi left New York City by way of the Brooklyn Expressway.

Turning his attention back to the paper, the man read an editorial lambasting the Bush Administration for its “National Energy Strategy”; the President seemed to think that America depended too much on foreign oil, and he wanted to depend on domestic resources. Of course, that would mean drilling close to home, in Alaska and maybe the Gulf. Maybe, maybe not, the man mused. In the long term it made some sense to get away from depending on foreign sources, but the Arabs had not caused trouble for a long time, and as Clinton had shown, they needed America, too. They wouldn’t provoke us, so we should be careful not to provoke them.

He put down the paper and worked on his laptop during the rest of the drive, thinking only of his business for a time. Four hours later, the cab turned right off of Exit 18 to Soldiers Field Road, and he began to close up his papers and mentally prepare for his afternoon appointments.

Later that evening, the man thought about his family from his hotel room. He was too tired to call home tonight; maybe he’d just call from his flight tomorrow. He’d have to find out; would they let you use your cell phone from the plane? He checked his ticket; American Airlines, Flight 11 out of Logan Airport. Well, that should be easy to remember – Flight eleven, leaving on September 11. That seemed a sign things would go well.

The Liberal Disconnect About 9/11

It has quite literally become impossible to have a sustained conversation with Liberal Americans on the issue of National Security. And that bothers me. So I took some time to think about when and how this all came about, and I have isolated a few of the factors which are causing this disorder. And make no mistake, whatever one wants to call this situation, it is not healthy for America to go on this way.

Let me start with what should be obvious to any reasonable person; there is a place, indeed a need, for both Conservative and Liberal points of view, opinions, and ideals in the United States of America. And eventually we will, I believe, restore a balance of sorts. The problem, however, has not come because the Conservatives – for the most part, anyway – caused it to be, but because the Liberals in the United States have refused to accept Reality.

OK, I know how that sounds, especially how convenient it is for a Conservative to start throwing rhetorical darts at the other side of the aisle. But in my own lifetime, I have seen the Conservative Movement find its identity reborn in the rise and success of Ronald Reagan, while the Liberals have abandoned every value which brought them support and victory in the past. Even as a Conservative, I can salute aspects of the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations, and I can admire the character and courage of men like Harry Truman and Grover Cleveland. I can even observe elements worth praise in Franklin Roosevelt, though the man was plain wrong in many of his policies, and I can even say that Jimmy Carter meant well for most of his efforts while President. But the modern Liberal has abandoned most of what Liberalism used to mean. Where the old Liberal wanted all people to be treated as equals, the modern Progressive (to use the word they stole from Teddy Roosevelt to pretend to respectable intention) demands preferential treatment and advantages for a select minority. Where the old Liberal fought against Racism and Sexism, the modern Progressive is happy to take up those very causes, in order to advance their agenda. Even where the Conservative outrage about CBS’s “The Reagans” is matched in the media with Liberal anger about “The Path to 9/11”, methods differ sharply, as Democrats have even threatened to attack ABC’s very broadcast license if they do not get what they demand. The Progressive Method is Hypocrisy in action, and eschews the Constitution by design.

Before going further, I would explain the basic difference between Liberals and Democrats also, in the manner of how Democrats and Republicans have become accustomed to power. In the United States, our Constitution makes clear that the authority for all political power resides, originally and ultimately, in the hands of the people, the consent of the governed being necessary for any government to function effectively. That said, it must be noted just how fantastically powerful the United States has become. Quite literally, there is no nation to match it. No single military force exists which could hope to defeat the United States militarily, and that has been proven over and over again for more than a century. To be sure, some fool will likely bring up Vietnam, oblivious to the fact that the U.S. military never lost battle in that war, and indeed accomplished every mission set up for it by the government. It was, in fact, the government decision to give up and abandon South Vietnam, which of itself caused the forces fighting Communism there to be overwhelmed. It speaks clearly of the darkness of men’s souls, that some who claim to be Americans can celebrate the cowardice and betrayal of Southeast Asia by the Democrat-led government in 1975. Returning to the point, though, no military force can hope to defeat an American military, especially the sort we have today.

The United States is also an unmatched economic master of the world. Other nations may enjoy an advantage in one respect or another, but when taken in total, no nation has the resources, the effective system, and the innovative mind of the American businessman. More business patents and copyrights are created in the United States than anywhere else, a fact acknowledged by the many nations which pirate American products rather than develop their own. Added to the military might of the U.S., the economic dimension takes on even greater significance. But I am not done.

Despite the many claims to the contrary, usually by communists, fascists, and other enemies of America, the United States has a well-established credibility as a fair dealer, relative to other nations. That is not to say that we do not have some problems and blunders in the past, but that we are understood to be a nation which makes its deals and treaties in good faith, and which keeps them once ratified. America backs its agreements in force, whether that force is economic, diplomatic, military, or some other means.

I could go on for a length of time about the wonderful qualities and authority of America, and yes I admit it is tempting to preach it loud and long, in this age of doubt and cynicism. But for this essay, the point I make from all of America’s power and might, is that those elected leaders, be they President or Justice or Senator, wield might and power and influence far beyond anything known anywhere else. A leader in one of the national political parties of America, and especially a leader in the House or Senate, holds more power than most heads of state. And they know it. No matter the party, the old adage about power corrupting should be reminded to everyone, loud and clear.

But if I am warning about the general corruptibility of Man, why then should I be discussing Liberals? Because the Liberals, these present day Progressives, are unhinged – as Michelle Malkin aptly phrased it – because of what they have lost: Near-absolute control of the most powerful nation on earth, in fact the most powerful nation in history.

In 1929, a long series of poor decisions, negligence, and personal malfeasance finally brought about the collapse of the New York Stock Exchange. The subsequent effects included the collapse of the banking system and massive layoffs from businesses, ushering in what has become known as the Great Depression. Without elaborating over-much on the events between 1929 and 1932, confidence in the Republican Party effectively collapsed completely by 1932, and the Democrats became the governing party of the United States for the next generation and more. Indeed, even though Eisenhower, then Nixon won election as Republican candidates for President, the Congress stayed in Democrat hands in what seemed like a permanent basis, and the Supreme Court justices put in place by FDR not only issued rulings of a clearly Liberal persuasion, they influenced the expectations of later Justices. For almost half a century, while the Republicans were allowed some participation in Congress, even a majority once in a while, along with the White House every so often, the clear context was that America was as much Democrat as it was democratic. The Liberals held the reins of power, and everyone knew it. It was hardly coincidence that academics of significance were Liberals, as were the media moguls and giants like Cronkite, then Rather. Power was Liberal in flavor and allegiance.

Then came Reagan.

To understand the shock of the Reagan Revolution, one has to look at the 1964 campaign of Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater. President Johnson absolutely crushed Goldwater in the voting, both Electorally and in the Popular Vote, which Liberals took for a resounding rejection of Goldwater’s unflinching Conservatism. Liberals believed that the way of things to come was the Great Society, the acceptance of an America which considered itself no better than other nations, and the increasing control of everyday life by Big Brother in Washington. They were wrong, more than they ever knew, or could ever bring themselves to accept.

When Ronald Reagan, the former Governor of California, ran for President in the 1976 campaign, the Liberals did not pay him much heed. Too much like Goldwater, they believed, a man so lacking in imagination that all he could do was dredge up a lost cause from the previous decade, pressing abstract virtues because he could not answer real-world challenges. They never considered the soul of Conservatism, nor believed for a moment that it might hold the soul of America in its ideals. The election of Jimmy Carter over Gerald Ford only seemed to confirm their beliefs, that the Liberal cause was not only the best and wisest course, but the chosen virtue of the American people.

Many Liberals still, to this day, refuse to accept the reasons for Reagan’s landslide victory in 1980. They saw it as an aberration, a one-time glitch. And even if he won the White House, well, Nixon had done as much and the Liberals had cleared him out in good order. Thus, even after Reagan trounced Mondale in 1984, Liberals counted on their control of Congress and the Courts and the Media, and launched a campaign of slander and innuendo, trying vainly to tie Reagan to outrages in Iran, in El Salvador, and about Star Wars. It never occurred to Liberals, that one important reason that the American people never seemed to share their outrage, was that the American people more often than not found themselves on Reagan’s side in these issues. Ronald Reagan spoke with an eloquence far beyond natural ability or practiced experience. He spoke in the key of America, touching those things which all of us share who love our country, and calling to the front our best ideals and character. And in those speeches and comments, even down to off-hand quips, it did not matter that the Democrats controlled Congress; Reagan led America, and was clearly its spokesman. And every time the Liberals tried to tear down Reagan, it worked to tear away just a bit more of their own credentials, which slowly moved America in spirit towards the Republican Party.

It is a claim accepted by most Liberals and Conservatives both, that George H.W. Bush rode to the White House in 1988 largely because he was Reagan’s Vice-President. And the Liberals made it a special mission to bring him down. They did so in 1992, but in a way which planted seeds that have now borne bitter, bitter fruit. Bush was not like Reagan in many ways, lacking his eloquence and charisma for example, but Bush knew Defense in the same way Reagan did, and when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, Bush wasted no time in deploying his forces to stunning effect. So effective was the American victory in the first Gulf War that in a Politburo meeting shortly afterwards, a stone-faced Gorbachev advised his government that the Soviet Union had no chance at all in any conceivable conflict against the United States. Liberals have worked hard to try to erase memories of the events which quickly followed that U.S. victory, including the sudden flowering of negotiations between representatives of Arab governments and Israel, including the long-stagnant question of the Palestinians; the peaceful yet swift dismemberment of the Warsaw Pact, and the acknowledgment of American world leadership in the aftermath of the Coalition victory in Kuwait. Even as Liberals call up memory of Bush’s “New World Order” promise, they hasten to silence reminders that President Bush was speaking about a world where democracies and open republics spoke with the trust of their people, rather than despots and autocracies; the perversion of Bush’s phrase to twist its meaning was a forerunner of lies to come, all because the truth was inconvenient to the Liberal political plan.

The chosen figurehead for the Democrats in 1992 was Bill Clinton. Liberals like to match Clinton against Reagan, but the comparison fails on many levels. Where Reagan achieved his legacy with a grace which was apparently effortless, Clinton’s most earnest efforts to matter fell to earth with a dismal futility. Clinton has long claimed credit for the robust economy during his term, but has been unable to point to any specific action which is supposed to have created it; the closest might be Al Gore’s suggestion that he was a force in the creation of the Internet, which in turn might be credited for the short-lived but amusing dot-com bubble. Of course, Enron became a big player during the Clinton years, but Liberals would much rather blame the current President Bush for Enron, rather than have anyone look too close at Enron’s dealings during the Days of Bubba. Clinton, moving on, was well-known for his efforts to fix healthcare. Well, to have his wife install a socialist plan which would have created a government monster program with vastly increased cost and bureaucracy, with no consideration for the specific needs of patients, doctors, taxpayers, insurance companies, facilities, medical suppliers, or – you get the idea. “Fixed” for the Clintons meant rather the same way one “fixes” a wayward pooch.

With this level of competence in mind, we move on to the question of National Defense. I had thought about documenting the many useless and petty deployments of the military ordered by President Clinton, or the military budgets which lavished funds to pet projects that Clinton liked, but which failed to address basic maintenance and supply needs of the men at arms, but really, all I need to do, I think, is to point to the fact that in 2000, the Democrats’ nominee, Al Gore, who was Bill Clinton’s Vice-President, worked hard to minimize the military vote, to such a point that in Florida, Gore lawyers fought to deny the ballots of active-duty military serving overseas.

At this point, I reach the focus of the Liberal mind regarding Terrorism. Liberals were not always happy with Bill Clinton, but he carries their banner, just like Jimmy Carter before him. It is difficult to say whether Hillary Clinton will enjoy the support of Liberals, because they see themselves as holding the aces in choosing the course of the Democratic Party, and Hillary’s attempts to reach mainstream voters has cost her with Liberals – ironically acknowledging that the Liberals in America are not aligned with the mainstream voters. To their credit, Liberals are just as motivated by their ideals as Conservatives are, so just as it was correct to say that Conservatives who held true to Goldwater and Reagan’s values before they became accepted at large, so it is valid to say that those Liberals who refuse to reconsider their ideals are acting out of conviction. Even so, the effects of their ideals must be weighed to determine whether they should hold office along with those ideals. I respect the right of an avowed Communist to believe in his views, though I would not countenance supporting the election of any Communist, anywhere. The same for Nazis; while I would – grudgingly – agree that Nazis have the Constitutional right to exist as a party and speak their bitter, evil minds, there is no possibility at all that I could ever vote for one or support a Nazi candidate. The same perspective is rapidly approaching for Liberal candidates. I stop short, of course, of comparing Liberals directly to Communists or Nazis – Liberals have, for example, done much good in the past, and I do believe that they generally mean well – the present crisis is not the place to trust anyone whose ideals are not functional with winning the war we fight right now.

It has been said before, that Liberals do not comprehend that we are in a war for survival. They act as if we can ignore the terrorists if we choose to do so, that Americans will only die if we provoke the other side in some way, that every act of terrorism is simply a criminal act, which needs policework and strict limits to American influence and aggression. Even terrorists are people, and all people have rights, they insist. And yet they bristle in indignation when their position is fairly compared with Neville Chamberlain. Bill Clinton, lawyer that he is, speaks in public as if he still held some credibility on the matter of counter-terrorism, as if the American people had a responsibility to defy the sitting President and support the disgraced, admitted felon of an ex-President. Somewhere even Lewis Carroll is shaking his head at that scene.

Liberals simply do not comprehend 9/11 in context. They often fall back to playing politics, because the alternative scares the hell out of them. The intelligent Liberal comprehends that after the Pearl Harbor raid, FDR was a leader to be followed no matter what. He could be criticized or challenged, to be sure, but World War II helped cement the Democrats as the governing party. Liberals never thought much about that, because in their mind having Democrats, the more Liberal of the two major parties, govern America was a good thing. Now that a serious conflict may require the nation to support Republican governance, and therefore place the reins more firmly in Conservative hands, Liberals find it necessary to take up any weapon to try to prevent that from happening, unaware that their tactics and disallegiance only prove them unfit to lead in this time. If the Democrats had supported more men like Joe Lieberman, no friend of Conservatism nor even especially fond of Dubya, but a man who saw the threat plainly and voted accordingly, they might have been effective in showing their own competence as leaders. Instead, the Liberals hijacked the Democrat’s leadership positions, and ever since have displayed a petulance and immaturity seldom seen in the United States.

Liberals talk openly about their hatred for President Bush and his Administration. Impeachment is often mentioned, though when pressed for cause the Liberal plaintiff falls back to reciting vague, non-specific charges, or else claims which were long ago disproven. They sometimes mention the impeachment of Bill Clinton, as if leading a nation in wartime were on the same level as perjuring yourself before a Grand Jury. It’s interesting, though, that Clinton is remembered in this way; not for any effective action he ever took which might have addressed Terrorism while he was President, or any standard he established which the Bush Administration has continued in the fight against terrorists, but as a vague icon. Many Liberals parrot the line that Clinton was “effective” against terrorists, while citing not a single specific action taken by President Clinton against a single foreign terrorist threat.

In the interests of full disclosure, I will note a few of Clinton’s successes in that effort. Under President Bill Clinton, the computer security infrastructure and financial instrument infrastructure of the United States received long-overdue scrutiny and improvements. Also, the threat of domestic terrorism was directly addressed for the first time since the Palmer Raids. These initiatives were created and emphasized by Richard Clarke, the Liberals’ darling in the early blame-Bush days when the 9/11 attacks were discussed. It is noteworthy that Clarke looked in, not out – he made no suggestion to improve CIA-FBI information sharing, made no suggestion to improve surveillance of terrorists using NSA and other extant resources, and made no submission of preparing the military for the much-different conditions of fighting a war against NGO’s. Clarke appealed to the Liberal mind, because in his work he thought as a Liberal. To Clarke, to Berger, and to Clinton, terrorism was a crime, nothing else. This is why the sum effect of Clinton’s response to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing was to leave it to the police. This is why when Al Qaeda bombed two embassies, Bill Clinton chose not to retaliate. This is why Osama bin Laden’s “declaration of war” against the United States received no response at all – in Bill Clinton’s mind, only a nation-state could declare war, and so there was no possible response to a non-state group or individual. And so bin Laden and Al Qaeda planned and trained for the 9/11 attacks, to raise the stakes; it never mattered to him who was in office, because Al Qaeda was at war, whether the Liberals ever accepted that fact or not.

The separation between acts against statutory law, and acts of war, has never effectively been addressed by Liberal spokespeople. Liberals are offended by the charge that they have not supported their country, because they see the entire issue as a criminal matter, and so believe – naively, so very wrongly, but fervently – that President Bush has escalated the matter, not the terrorists. This false perception drives Liberals to blame anyone who supports the President or the war, so that they find themselves denouncing people like Lieberman, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and dozens of national leaders of countries which supported the war against Iraq by sending troops, material, or other support. It never occurs to Liberals to observe that even more nations supported the United States when it led the Coalition to remove Saddam Hussein from power, than that Coalition in 1990 which freed Kuwait. Small wonder, because too close a look at either war involving Iraq could reveal facts which undermine every major Liberal charge against the cause of the war.

On the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, it is patently obvious to most people that Al Qaeda represented the vanguard of an Islamofascist movement on that day. They intended to destabilize the American government, wrongly confusing the Bush Administration with the indecisive and preoccupied Clinton Administration. We now know that Al Qaeda and other Islamofascist organizations were and are backed, in some cases out and out created, by the regimes running Iran and Syria; it turns out that President Bush’s “Axis of Evil” was just as he claimed. We now know that there were, in fact, caches and stockpiles of WMD; the Liberals will never accept it, because the WMD found so far were not nuclear – they ignore the evidence that Saddam was violating the cease-fire in his direction of the Nuclear program, but they even more hypocritically ignore that Iraq’s documented use of Chemical Weapons against enemies and against civilians, in addition to the specific prohibition of CW as WMD, makes that specific claim accurate and valid, even though President Bush articulated many other reasons for the war – but then few people would expect a Liberal to pay attention when a Conservative President speaks.

Monday night, President Bush will address the nation on the fifth anniversary of 9/11. Liberals need to listen to that speech. They have a lot of catching up to do on their real-world education.