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Democrats = Traitors?

Hugh Hewitt: “Any vote for any Democrat is a vote against victory and a vote for vulnerability.”

Steven Taylor: “[T]he last time I checked, the Democrats may be the partisan opponents of Republicans, but they aren’t the enemies of the state.”

Discuss.

I’ve touched on the topic numerous times before and will refrain from it in this post to avoid biasing the discussion. Those wishing for a clue, however, can consult my feeds of the “best written right-of-center blogs” with whom “Even if if you disagree with their worldview, you’ll learn something from them without being insulted in the process.”

UPDATE: Hewitt updates his post arguing that there is a “difference between incompetence/negligence and intentional harm” and that he’s merely criticizing the Democrats’ plans, not their patriotism nor intent. That’s a fair enough point, although Hewitt’s framing of it with the provocative title takes one down that path.

He concludes:

Hysterical overreaction to legitimate criticism of the “plans” of the Democrats on how to fight the war or collect intelligence always signals the accuracy of the criticism. Victory or vulnerability is indeed the choice in November, and that defenders of Democrats resent the framing and attempt to distort it underscores just how crucial the clarity is.

I should note that Taylor, like myself, is a lifelong Republican voter. We all prefer the Republican plan, such as it is, to the Democrat plan, at least as exemplified by Kerry, Pelosi, Murtha, and company.

That said, even though I agree with Hewitt about the unseriousness of the argument made by Judge Taylor (no relation, so far as I know, to my former Troy colleague Steven) against the serious national security arguments advanced by the Bush administration on the NSA wiretapping program, I disagree that one has to support the program, as implemented, to be on a path to victory.

Taylor, for example, has argued that respect for checks and balances overrides many of the Bush security arguments. I’ve disagreed with that, at least on the margins. Regardless, however, we agree that we must simultaneously go after terrorists and abide by the Constitution.

My problem with Hewitt’s argument, mostly, is one of tone and emphasis. Framing is not unimportant, after all. It is one thing to argue that Republican policies will more effectively enhance the national security interests of the nation than Democratic policies and another to argue that voting for Democrats will lead to “defeat.” It tends to stifle debate rather than advance it.

Furthermore, the labels “Republican” and “Democrat” apply to politicians holding a variety of positions. Numerous Republicans disagree with the president and side with Murtha and company and many (or, at least, some) Democrats are with us. We alienate those predisposed to our position when we take such a hardline stance.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Bill k says:

    I find it silly to even post something like this. There isn’t a discussion to be had. Steven Taylor states it perfectly.

    This isn’t a conversation where there are two sides to the story.

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  2. Steven Plunk says:

    I don’t see Hewitt using the word “traitor”. I see him saying it’s a vote against victory (premature withdrawal from Iraq before victory) and a vote for vulnerability (weakened surveillance programs and extended rights for captured terrorists). These seem to be accurate observations.

    It’s not much different than saying a vote for any Republican is a vote for tax cuts for the rich. It’s true but the reasoning behind cutting taxes for the rich is a belief that tax cuts will help all of us by releasing capital for investment.

    Democrats may want to weaken surveillance programs not to help terrorists but to protect out civil liberties.

    It’s politics but within the boundaries of serious public discourse.

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  3. Len says:

    I’ll stop reading as soon as I read something like Hewitt wrote because I know that the writer has nothing constructive to say.

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  4. Adam Graham says:

    I think saying, “any democrat” takes things a tad too far. But many Democrats, I’ll even say most on some level would really like us to lose in Iraq, so that they can be “right” on the issue. Their interests and the national interests are at complete odds. They only triumph and gain if America loses. Their general policies of coddling terrorism and failing to defend our country will lead defeat and vulnerability.

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  5. Yo says:

    I’ll second Adam’s statement. This is absolutely correct:

    “They only triumph and gain if America loses.”

    … and the question I have is: Where would that leave us?

    So, no. Not traitors …, but, their frothing desire to be back in power (coupled with their incredible resiliancy to hold a grudge over ANY lost election [which leads one to question their dedication to the democratic process]) has left them dangerously short-sighted and completely ignorant of the ramifications of their tactics.

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  6. Cernig says:

    Their interests and the national interests are at complete odds.

    In a democracy where something like 70% of the populace agree the nation should withdraw from Iraq soon – including many old-style conservatives and libertarians – in what way can the “national interest” ever be at odds with the wishes of the majority?

    Surely in such a case the “national interest” can be misplaced, outright wrong even – but cannot be different from the will of the majority, for that will defines the term.

    Or is this a different kind of democracy now?

    Taylor is correct – and Hewitt is just another minor neocon luminary lashing out in a peeve at their triple strike-out: Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon. In so doing, he is alienating a huge proportion of the political Right who actually agree with Democrats on these issues, here and abroad.

    Max Hastings, veteran journailist and onetime de facto press officer for Margaret Thatcher, put the core issue of that triple failure plainly in his latest column: “He who has a thousand friends has not a friend to spare, and he who has one enemy will meet him everywhere.”

    Regards, Cernig

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  7. Len says:

    Adam, I hope you’ll excuse me for saying this, but what you are saying is nothing short of silly. It’s pure RNC spin. How could any American benefit if America loses?

    I have to tell you, I’m getting kind of tired of it. I think a lot of folks are. This whole “American only wins if the Republicans win” and “Democrats want America to lose” deal. It’s all rather junior high playground, don’t you think?

    Do you really believe that Democrats coddle terrorism?

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  8. Mark says:

    Did any of you who are criticizing Hewitt’s quote take the time to read the quote in context? His quote has nothing to do with Iraq. It has to do with the response (or lack thereof) of ALL prominent national Democratic politicians to the Taylor decision (which states that the NSA program is unconstitional).

    Read Hewitt’s post and then criticize his quote in context. His conclusion isn’t that Dems are traitors or that they want to hurt the U.S., it is that they are seeking and receiving their support from groups that will insist on policies that will weaken our ability to find and track terrorists.
    I happen to agree with his conclusion.

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  9. Adam Graham says:

    Just because a poll says that’s what the Majority wants and that’s what some misguided Republicans want (i.e. US Withdrawal from Iraq and the US return home in disgrace, as Iraq degenerates into Anarchy and hundreds of thousands die,) what is best for the nation is not determined by a poll.

    We live in a Republic where we elect leaders to make decisions, if we despise their decisions, we can throw them out, but that doesn’t mean our decision to do so is in the best interest of the nation as a whole.

    I would remind you that 65% of Americans supported the invasion at the time. I was, myself undecided on the war, but I know enough to know this: Having committed to an action, we must see it through to completion. To do otherwise, is to allow terrorism to cease control of Iraq and gain a greater foothold in the Middle East. It is to invite national dishonor and disgrace that will last long beyond the time that people’s attentions will have turned to the latest celebrity murder.

    As to Afghanistan, I scoff at the idea of it being some neocon plot. All but one member of Congress voted to approve that war and as in Iraq, we must finish the job.

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  10. McGehee says:

    How could any American benefit if America loses?

    It’s worth bearing in mind that people can delude themselves into believing that there is no threat, and therefore undermining the nation’s response to said threat does not constitute “causing America to lose.”

    It’s also worth bearing in mind that what one believes really doesn’t have any impact whatsoever on reality. Only on the future of the person whose beliefs are at odds with reality.

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  11. Mark says:

    While Adam’s last post is a bit off topic. I do concur. Many prominent Dems compare Iraq to Vietnam. But Vietnam was lost, not because of military losses on the battlefield, but solely because we (the U.S.) decided it was not worth it. But the worse transgression committed by the U.S. was not leaving Vietnam, it was not honoring our commitment to fund the South Vietnamese (basically, after Watergate, the Dems washed their hands of all things Nixon, including our agreement to fund the South’s military). We left the South with no abliity to defend itself. The North literally masacred millions of people. The stain of that dishonor has hurt the U.S. diplomatically for 30 years. If we pull out of Iraq before it’s goverment can function on its own, then, yes indeed, the Dems will have their 2nd Vietnam
    Actually, it will be even “better” for the Dems because Iraq was a war started by the evil Bush, not one started by the Democratic saint named Kennedy (who’s foreign policy was much closer to Bush’s then the Dems would like to admit).

    Militarily, it is impossible for us to lose in Iraq, all we have to due is persevere and continue to work towards a stable Iraq government. I’m not saying it will be easy, I’m saying its what we must do.

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  12. anjin-san says:

    Where does this “democrats think there is no threat” nonsense come from?

    I can see why Bush’s supporters would want to float this crap. Given Bush’s failure to finish the job in Afghanistan, his horribly conducted war over phantom WMD in Iraq, his failure to bring Bin Laden to justice for the murder of thousands of Americans on his watch, the dismal failure of Homeland Security, the fact that airport security has actually declined since 9-11 (witness the near-panic after recent terror plot).

    News flash for Bush supporters. Everyone in the Democratic party knows Al Qaeda is a serious threat to our national security. We just wish Bush would have focused on it, instead of chasing windmills in Iraq.

    America defeated the Nazis and won the cold war, for the most part without giving up our ideals, our humanity, or the constitution. I think we can do the same with Al Qaeda.

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  13. Cernig says:

    Adam,

    As to Afghanistan, I scoff at the idea of it being some neocon plot. All but one member of Congress voted to approve that war and as in Iraq, we must finish the job.

    I didn’t say it was a neocon “plot” – however I will say that the mission in Afghanistan is failing just like those in Lebanon, Iraq and the broader “war on Some terror” – and for the same reasons. All rely on a neocon strategy for the application of force which relies on useless tactics and eschews “hearts and minds” operations as being too wimpish to be the main thrust of the mission. If Fukayama and Buckley’s retractions, combined with the successes of “maverick” commanders on the ground bucking the neocon model in places like Tal Afar, didn’t convince you that the strategy is a mistake then I don’t know what will.

    The neocon dinosaur is dead. The brains (Fukuyama, Buckley and others)have stopped working for it but like all dinosaurs the message is taking time to get through to the hindquarters. Townhall.com is like the anal sphincter, still spasming and giving a semblance of life.

    80% of Iraqis and 60%+ of Americans want the US out of Iraq. In what version of democracy does that give the right to the remainder to refuse their wishes because it would be a “defeat?”

    James, I think you missed the key part of Hewitt’s update:

    Trusting the national security to Democrats is like trusting a moving car to a four year old, or the management of a vast company to the junior high school business club. Neither the child nor the preteens want to wreck the car or ruin the corporation, but both results are near inevitable.

    I’ve a question for Hewitt and his supporters.

    Suppose those who wish to see a different strategy for fighting the “long war” and wish not to give up liberties to fight that war are broadly victorious at the polls in November and ’08, what then?

    Will they follow the will of the people (while still arguing their case as is their right) or will they follow through on the rhetoric of incipient “defeat” and “traitors” in charge to the next logical step and demand that democracy be sacrificed?

    It is a sad thing that the question has to be asked, but their rhetoric begs it and there it is. Hweitt’s update doesn’t really answer it. Would any of the other “hardcore” proponents of that position care to venture an answer?

    I’m honestly interested. I also feel that a lot of the anti-Hawk unease in U.S. politics right now stems from this unanswered question and Republicans would do well to stake out a sensible position on it sooner rather than later. Too much fear-mongering has led to a fear of the mongers themselves.

    Regards, Cernig

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  14. Mark says:

    America defeated the Nazis and won the cold war, for the most part without giving up our ideals, our humanity, or the constitution. I think we can do the same with Al Qaeda.

    Excuse me. Do you remember the U.S. internment of Japanese Americans? The fire-bombings of Tokyo and Dresden. The dropping of nuclear bombs. If Bush tried to do any of these today, he would be crucified.

    The best thing that could happen right now in the war on terrorism would be for Israel to flatten south Lebanon. Yes, thousands (maybe even tens of thousands) of civilians would be killed. But they are culpable for they allow Hezbollah to conduct military operations against Israel from within their mists. The only thing that is stopping Israel is the U.S. If we were fighting using WWII mentality, we would help our ally and flatten every building in south Lebanon that *might* have Hezbollah and then go door to door and capture/kill any leftover resistence. Next we would do the same with Bierut. Next we would establish military rule and keep it in place until a new democratic government was estbalished and functioning (a la Japan and Germany). Yes, I am all for fighting like we did in WWII.

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  15. For the democrats to claim that their path is a path to victory, they would need to build a convincing argument that leaving Iraq before the country is stable would not embolden the terrorists by letting them be able to claim a victory against the US and secondly that it would not alienate the Muslim allies who would question whether the US will bear any burden, endure any hardship to win the war. Or they need to show that the harm done on these two fronts would be out weighed by the benefits of the alternative plan.

    They would also need to show that we can gather the dots to connect the dots to foil the ongoing attacks without programs like the NSA intercept or SWIFT financial tracking, or that any democratic proposed alternative would be at least as effective as the current proposals.

    In an ideal world, there would be no doubt that both parties consider winning the war more important than domestic politics. Absent that, I have to go with the party that’s rhetoric is for winning the war even if not every action has been perfect.

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  16. [...] Considering the degree to which conservatives see any dissent as treasonous, I’m sure that many more right wingers will jump on this band wagon. In the utopia of an alarming number of conservative bloggers, there is no dissent, no freedom of speech, and no separation of church and state (which is essential to preserve freedom of religion). In other words, the conservative utopia is alarmingly like Iraq under Saddam. There is no better way to allow the terrorists to win than to allow the fear of terrorism to destroy the principles this nation was founded upon as conservatives fight a perpetual war. Written by Ron ChusidLast 5 posts by Ron ChusidCredibilty and the Media – August 18th, 2006Thomas Franks Explains the K Street Project – August 18th, 2006″Honor” Killing in Italy – August 18th, 2006The Influence of the Smaller Blogs – August 18th, 2006How Right Wingers See The New York Times – August 18th, 2006 [...]

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  17. Mark says:

    Suppose those who wish to see a different strategy for fighting the “long war” and wish not to give up liberties to fight that war are broadly victorious at the polls in November and ‘08, what then?

    First, please specify a “strategy for fighting the long war” that has been proposed a Dem. Second, please name any liberties that I have given up (or has been taken from me). Oh, I lost the right to have private phone conversations with suspected terrorist who are overseas? I don’t think I ever had such a right. Note that we have lost more civil liberties in the “war against drugs” then any we have lost in the war against terror. Case in point, if someone, unbeknownst to me uses my property to produce or distibute drugs, my property can be confiscated without any recourse. The government doesn’t have to prove squat. Now that would infringe on my civil liberties.

    Now that I have dispensed with your rhetoric. I will now answer your question of what would happen if the current set of Dems gained control of both Congress and the White House. Iraq will then be another Vietnam–for the power base that is the monetary support for the Dems will demand that we pull out of Iraq. The world press will proclaim it as a Bush defeat and all chaos will breakout in Iraq. How the dust settles is unknown, but it is not something I’m looking for to. Any chance for democracy breaking out in the Middle East would be doomed because no one over their will ever trust the U.S. again. Note also that we will lose any military leverage in negotiating with Iran (for we will not have a military presense in Iraq or Afganistan, nor will we have a president with the balls to use military ground forces). This will probably lead to an Iran with nuclear weapons.

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  18. Anderson says:

    there is a “difference between incompetence/negligence and intentional harm”

    Yes, a distinction I find strained by the manner in which Bush & Cheney got us into this war, and by the manner in which they’ve pursued it.

    What’d Friedman say a few days ago? Don’t go into war with just enough troops to lose, and then attack others for insufficient commitment?

    The stab-in-the-back stuff suits Hewitt to a T. The truth is—anyone up for the truth, guys?—Bush and Cheney have had full discretion how to fight this war. Congress hasn’t said boo. And look where it’s gotten us.

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  19. Herb says:

    The Democrats are indeed naive when it comes to national security and defense. Jimmy Carter demolished the US Armed Forces with his policies of “Peace at any Cost” and Clinton was not much better.

    The problem with the Democrats is that they have never learned to take a political defeat with any degree of civility. Gore, with his buddy Daley tried to steal an election like Daley’s father did for so many years in Chicago and it didn’t work. Kerry was just a bad loser. The end result was and is that the Democrats embarked on a campaign of “Hate” that is running rampant to this day. The Democrats spread this “Hate” everywhere and by every Democrat like Dean, Gore, Kerry, Durbin, Palosi, Reid, and every other Democrat with very few exceptions. This “Hate Campaign” does nothing but weaken our country and make us vulnerable to anyone who wants to see America fall. The democrats have been successful so far and their hate program has created a noticeable division among Americans. Don’t think for one minute that Americas enemies have not taken notice of this division and taken every advantage of it. Iran knows full well that America is divided and is rattling its sabres at us at every turn. The various terrorist groups know also that America is divided and like Iran is kicking our butts in the propaganda war. And it is the Democrats that are responsible for this division of America with its “Hate campaign”.

    To prove the point. just look around and listen, “Bush is the Cause for everything’. He is even being blamed for the recent conflict in Lebanon even though it was Hezbollah who started it.

    If the division in America will be the downfall of America, then then the Democrats must accept responsibility for that downfall.

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  20. The Democrats leave themselves open to these sorts of attacks by being completely and utterly unserious about fighting the War on Terror.

    Where are the Democratic ideas, plans and policies that will ensure victory?

    Hmm?

    What we get instead is knee-jerk, unblinking opposition to each and every single program and idea of the Bush administration. We get a lot of posturing and claims to do things ‘smarter’ without ever getting and details on what exactly the Dems would do smarter.

    And we get cheering for horrid and unreasoned judicial opinions for no reason other than it humiliates the Bush administration.

    It isn’t treachery, but it IS completely weightless.

    If the Dems win, we will lose the War on Terror not by design, but by neglect, and that is the point I think Hewitt is making.

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  21. Linda says:

    NEWSFLASH FOR anjin-san: Contrary to “Democratic Talking Points” Al Queda is not the ONLY enemy, Islamofacists are the enemy. How can you ignore what they say? Iran, Hezbollah, or any one of those babblers, do not mind telling you as soon as they have committed genocide against Israel, WE are next. You also seem to be ignoring the homegrown Islamofacists that hate us because we don’t fall down and worship their false god. They are serious YOU are not.

    Also, Contrary to “Democratic Talking Points,” Checks and Balances doesn’t mean political parties. It means separation of power, between executive, legislative and judicial branches of government no matter what party holds the majority. If the whiners in congress really mean what they say, them let them cut off the money. If we ruled by polls, it would mean the press would govern, just by what they choose to tell us or with hold from us or by their photoshopped and staged pictures.

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  22. ATS says:

    “most [democrats] on some level would really like us to lose in Iraq, so that they can be “right” on the issue. ”

    On what basis do you say this? What little hypothetical truth that can be extracted from such as assertion is that some democrats fear— reasonably, as it happens— that an easy victory in Iraq might well have led to further, more dire adventures.

    That is not the same as wishing the US would lose.

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  23. Branedy says:

    I was noticing that Adam Graham is , what 25, I don’t believe that he has seen a world where democratic values were taught. I doubt that distinguishing GOP rhetoric from the truth for most of the under 30 crowd is something that the mass media incorporates in the news in the U.S. these days.

    Just a note, Bush declared victory in Iraq, we should take his word, We won, and now exit the occupation. The government is that of Iraq now. If it fails, it is their problem (failure) not that of the U.S.

    If there is another motivation for remaining, like oil, wouldn’t that be another indication of the real GOP motivations on Iraq? Personal Profit?

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  24. Cernig says:

    Mark,

    please specify a “strategy for fighting the long war” that has been proposed [by]a Dem

    There is indeed a strategy endorsed by many Dems – and non-Dems too (like me. I’m a Bernie Sanders style independent). It was discussed on this blog just two weeks ago. Shame on you for not noticing in your haste to fall over your own talking points.

    For those who may actually care about a debate, rather than a partisan mudslinging match, here’s a bunch of links to start with.

    And still no-one wants to say what seems obvious from a wealth of hardcore rightwing/neocon writings – they would rather Republican martial law than a Dem win and democracy.

    That fits with the movement’s origins though – a bunch of Trotskyites who, dismayed that the Left was universally turning its back on totalitarianism, decamped for the ultra-right.

    Regards, Cernig

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  25. anjin-san says:

    Mark,

    I guess you missed the “for the most part” in my remarks.

    Japan attacked us, Germany declared war on us. Iraq did neither. If you think bleeding in Iraq while Bin Laden remains at large to plot against us makes America safer, well, all I can say is Bush’s spinners have earned their paychecks.

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  26. Cernig, that book describes changing tactics for counterinsurgency, not fighting the War on Terror. Counterinsurgency is only one small part of that puzzle, and that book was authored by two academics, not some luminary in the Democratic party.

    And still no-one wants to say what seems obvious from a wealth of hardcore rightwing/neocon writings – they would rather Republican martial law than a Dem win and democracy.

    You too are adding to the weightlessness of the leftist debate I see. You are the first and only person, right, left or center, I have seen since 9/11 who has even suggested some kind of martial law as a solution for the War on Terror.

    If you want to avoid a partisan mudslinging match as you claim you might want to start with yourself.

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  27. Mark says:

    Cernig,

    I’m sorry, but when I said “Dem”, I meant a Dem politician in and/or running for office. I scanned both of your links and saw NOTHING that specified a “strategy for winning the long war” that was/is endosed by such a Dem. So as a voter, I must assume that they don’t hold such a position. So what *you* might endorse will not take affect if we vote for Dems and they win.

    Now for the first link, it was not a discussion on how to win the “long war” against terrorism. It was a discussion of how to fight a counterinsurgency. The money behind the Dems are endorsing a “pull out of Iraq now” strategy, not a “change tatics and win” strategy.

    The second link can be essentially boiled down to “we have to figure out a way make people like us.” How do you propose to make people like you who believe that you are scum if you do not accept Allah? Your post provides NO strategy on how to do it, it just says we must do it. That is a goal (however unrealistic), not a strategy.

    So, I’m still looking for a strategy endorsed by a Dem (and/or you) on how to win the “long war” (just to be clear, I take that the “long war” means the war against Islamofacist).

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  28. Mark says:

    I guess you missed the “for the most part” in my remarks.

    anjin-san

    No, I did not. Your point is that Bush is fighting a inhumane war and then compared it to how the U.S. fought in WWII, wishing only that Bush could be so humane. My point is that Bush has been fighting the war MUCH more humanely than our forefathers did in WWII. The barbarians in this war have been the enemy, period.

    I will not comment on whether it was the right decision to go into Iraq in the first place because Congress overwhemingly voted for it and then we (the voters) showed support for the decision by re-electing Bush and keeping those in Congess who support finishing the job. Wishing that we didn’t go to war is a fools errand.

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  29. Hugh Hewitt Responds (Kinda)…

    I see that because James Joyner noted my post from this morning that Hugh Hewitt responds to me (after a fashion) in an update to his original post that I criticized below.
    Wrote Hewitt:
    UPDATE 2: OutsideTheBeltway notes that somebody named Steven T…

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  30. [...] I see that because James Joyner noted my post from this morning that Hugh Hewitt responds to me (after a fashion) in an update to his original post that I criticized below. [...]

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  31. gnatman says:

    I think you’re all getting off the subject. The fact is that all of our passions are getting the best of us and both sides, left and right sound like ideological idiots instead of intelligent human beings capable of making informed decisions.

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  32. No, Democrats Are Traitors…

    I’ve gone back and forth with this in my own mind and reached the conclusion months ago that it makes more sense to acknowledge it, than to sweep it under the bed. Hugh Hewitt posted basically a harmless bit today:Thus…

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  33. Bithead says:

    What Mr. Taylor doesn’t seem to reckon with is, the seriousness with which the current question of our war on terror should be addressed. As I said this morning elsewhere, I suppose the discussion about how to handle the Jihadists to be the most important of our time.

    More than anything else, this is a war of ideas… between the Islamo-facists, along with those who would have us eventually bowing to them, and those who would lay everything on the line to fight them…. ; run away from the situation and hide in defeat, with the whole of the world under the weight of Islam, with large numbers of people dying as a result, (to say nothing of our way of life) or else fighting them and having large numbers of people die as a result of that fight.

    Says James:

    It is one thing to argue that Republican policies will more effectively enhance the national security interests of the nation than Democratic policies and another to argue that voting for Democrats will lead to “defeat.” It tends to stifle debate rather than advance it.

    Thing is, those ARE the issues… these are the things at stake, here.

    This is not some college classroom discussion centering on whether or not we have a God- given right to governmental largess as regards health care, food, what have you. Under those circumstances I would almost be able to see Mr. Taylor’s point. As it is, we are faced with choices of a far more grievous and far reaching nature. We are dealing, rather, with a question that reaches into whether or not we as a people, a country, a culture will survive. It has been clearly demonstrated over the years that mere negotiation with Islamic radicals doesn’t accomplish holding back this monster. Thereby are we left with just those two choices just enumerated.

    And therein, comes the question about whether are not Democrats have become ‘enemies of the state….’ Depending, of course, on how exactly define the word ‘enemy’, I supppose.

    For the last 40 years, the left in this country has led us in exactly the wrong direction that every turn, in our deals with those who would destroy us given the chance. Vietnam (and communism in general). The middle east.We were fortunate that, thus far, it hasn’t come down to our survival being based on incorrect path, or misstepping. But now, in my view, it has in fact, come down to that, this time.

    I don’t see Hewitt using the word “traitor”. I see him saying it’s a vote against victory (premature withdrawal from Iraq before victory) and a vote for vulnerability (weakened surveillance programs and extended rights for captured terrorists). These seem to be accurate observations.

    Quite correct. There is a very thin line between “enemy of the state”, and “useful idiot”. On this issue that line is so thin is to be considered invisible.

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  34. Len says:

    Excuse me. Do you remember the U.S. internment of Japanese Americans? The fire-bombings of Tokyo and Dresden. The dropping of nuclear bombs. If Bush tried to do any of these today, he would be crucified.

    And that would be a loss because? (Kidding!) (I think.)

    Those things were done in a legally declared war. If Congress ever gets around to declaring war on Iraq, I say nuke the hell out of ‘em.

    Then crucify Bush. (Kidding!) (I think.)

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  35. Old War Dogs says:

    Coming out and saying it: The Democrats are traitors…

    It’s past time someone came right out and said it: No, Democrats Are TraitorsDan Riehl I’ve gone back and forth with this in my own mind and reached the conclusion months ago that it makes more sense to acknowledge it,…

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  36. Bithead says:

    Is there something about drawing a line between removing Saddam from power, and declaring war on the people of Iraq that you find distasteful, Len?

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  37. [...] Other conservatives have taken slight issue with that statement, see here. My readers know my take which is simply if Democrats win back power in November, then our safety from terrorism will be at a distinct disadvantage. [...]

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  38. Tano says:

    Why oh why do so many people forget the cardinal rule of political commentary. Your words are going to be taken as an insight into your own character to a far greater extent than they will be taken as an interesting insight into your subject matter.

    Hewitt never impressed me as being very insightful, now I know for sure that he isnt worth any of my time at all.

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  39. Mark says:

    Tano,

    What a great post. You said absolutely nothing. You didn’t further the discussion. You only refused to enter the debate and impugned Hewitt while doing do.

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  40. Len says:

    Bithead:

    Is there something about drawing a line between removing Saddam from power, and declaring war on the people of Iraq that you find distasteful, Len?

    Say what?

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  41. Adam Graham says:

    I was noticing that Adam Graham is , what 25, I don’t believe that he has seen a world where democratic values were taught. I doubt that distinguishing GOP rhetoric from the truth for most of the under 30 crowd is something that the mass media incorporates in the news in the U.S. these days.

    Ah, agism from the left. Nice. If I were making the arguments I liked, that wouldn’t be issue. For your information, I know there’s much to be done in Iraq and I was not part of the 65% that favored this war. The only war I’ve favored from the beginning of the conflict was Afghanistan. I was against the Gulf War, Haiti, Bosnia, and Kosovo, and undecided on Iraq.

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  42. Mark Jaquith says:

    The Democrats have much to gain by attacking Bush and his programs, but that doesn’t mean that this is their sole motivation. I voted for Bush, yet I criticize the instances where his anti-terror mission has gone off track and started compromising American privacy and freedom. Whether or not this is patriotic or unpatriotic depends on your sense of priority. If you value safety, namely safety from terrorist attack, as a patriotic ideal, then you might be inclined to label such Democrats (or Libertarians such as myself) as unpatriotic when they criticize programs that attempt to make American citizens safer. If, however, you value freedom, privacy, and the Constitution, you’ll likely be inclined to praise as patriotic attempts to defend these things.

    Do you care more about the citizens of this country, or the ideals of this country? Your answer to that question will likely determine your view of how patriotic or unpatriotic criticism of these programs is.

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  43. cernig, don’t look now but, you don’t live in a democracy
    you live in a federal republic, there are some differences and they matter.

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  44. davod says:

    “useful idiots” seems as appropriate as ever.

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  45. djneylon says:

    The real issue seems, to me, that much of the Democratic party and its followers find President Bush to be evil incarnate. In their eyes, he can do no right and is responsible for everything that goes wrong. I hear this constantly where I work. All conversations on things politic begin with the premise that Bush is evil and everything he does is wrong. It started with their claims he stole the election and has never stopped. Therefore, I have, as much as possible, withdrawn from conversations on the issues with them. I read less and less of what passes for news coverage with out shaking my head, and find “the agenda” to be painfully obvious. CNN is worse (much worse). The foreign policy seems to consist of run away and the domestic policy seems to be more government, more taxes and less real freedom (my morals and values are wrong and evil because they don’t toe the party line).

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  46. pagar says:

    John F. Kerry’s testimony before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on April 22, 1971.
    “”””” I have been to Paris. I have talked with both delegations at the peace talks, that is to say the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the Provisional Revolutionary Government and of all eight of Madam Binh’s points it has been stated time and time again,””””””””
    Both the DRV and PRG were the same side of the
    war in Vietnam-the enemy America was fighting.
    “””””””” we have an obligation to offer sanctuary to the perhaps 2,000, 3,000 people who might face, and obviously they would, we understand that, might face political assassination or something else. “”””””
    The numbers that actually ended up getting killed by the Communists in the area is usually estimated to be in the millions. These are people that American soldiers (in the effort to win friends)told America will support you. John Kerry,
    and his supporters, condemmed these people to certain death.
    In Lebanon, just days ago, A Lebanon general was arrested.”” Lebanese General Arrested For Conversing With Israelis.””
    John F. Kerry, was nominated by the Democrats to be their candidate for US President in 2004.

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  47. Anderson says:

    Tano: Why oh why do so many people forget the cardinal rule of political commentary. Your words are going to be taken as an insight into your own character to a far greater extent than they will be taken as an interesting insight into your subject matter

    Mark: What a great post. You said absolutely nothing. You didn’t further the discussion. You only refused to enter the debate and impugned Hewitt while doing do.

    Way to prove Tano’s point, Mark!

    More generally, the delusional architecture on this thread is (alas) far from unique … Try to follow these 3 points, folks:

    (1) The Republicans have fought the war in Iraq as they chose, without any hindrance from the Dems.

    (2) They have screwed it up royally.

    (3) So if you’re going to accuse some political party of leading us into defeat, wouldn’t it make a tad more sense to point your fingers at the Republicans?

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  48. george says:

    Is there much difference between Democrat’s opinion of Bush and Republican’s opinion on Clinton when he was in power (other than each side thinking their criticism is justified while the other’s isn’t)?

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  49. Bithead says:

    Say what?

    Yes, I thought you’d answer that way, Len.
    Since you seem to be happening some problem with that, let’s try something little simpler, so you’ll understand.

    Do you see a difference between Israel trying to respond to the threat represented by Hezbollah, by directly attacking Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, and attacking Lebanon itself?

    How would Israel, in your view, declare war against Hezbollah?

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  50. Bithead says:

    Speaking of delusional architecture:

    (1) The Republicans have fought the war in Iraq as they chose, without any hindrance from the Dems.

    (2) They have screwed it up royally.

    (3) So if you’re going to accuse some political party of leading us into defeat, wouldn’t it make a tad more sense to point your fingers at the Republicans?

    If you’re going to point out instances of delusional architecture perhaps what you’ve written here would be a start… No interference? Where in the world have you been for the last three years?

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  51. Anderson says:

    No interference? Where in the world have you been for the last three years?

    Please cite examples of Bush’s wishing to do x, y, or z in the Iraq war, but being prevented from doing so by Democratic opposition.

    Where have you been for the last 3 years?

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  52. Bithead says:

    So, you’re going to tell me, that the democrats have not been fighting Mr. Bush at every turn?

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  53. Anderson says:

    So, you’re going to tell me, that the democrats have not been fighting Mr. Bush at every turn?

    Well, you would expect that from an opposition party, wouldn’t you? But their opposition has been famously lukewarm, as is perhaps indicated by your non-citation of any example.

    We’ve had a Republican Congress rubber-stamping the President’s conduct of the war, with very few Dems even trying to raise a stink. To repeat myself: Bush and Cheney have waged this war as they wished. And look at the results.

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  54. Len says:

    Bithead, I will admit that I am having a bit of difficulty following your logic. I don’t know how to answer your questions, and I don’t see how they relate to anything I have said in this thread. You seem to want to start an argument with me for some reason, so you’re pulling stuff out of thin air in your attempt to do so.

    If you want to discuss a comment I have left in this thread, we may do so. Otherwise, you can go on rambling without me (since that appears to be your goal anyway).

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  55. Bithead says:

    Well, you would expect that from an opposition party, wouldn’t you?

    No.
    Not to the degree we’ve witnessed.
    Tell me, as an example, where the opposition was in WWII to the actions of the Democrats, at every movement of the war? Or was tehre in fact SUPPORT for our actions?

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  56. Bithead says:

    Bithead, I will admit that I am having a bit of difficulty following your logic.

    Nice of you.

    I don’t know how to answer your questions, and I don’t see how they relate to anything I have said in this thread.

    Oh, I think you do. I suspect you’re just not very happy about the conclusions that you would be forced to draw, were you to acknowledge the implications of my questions.

    But let’s try it this way;

    The situation that Israel finds itself in, in southern Lebanon is fairly but not totally unique in terms of history. They find themselves trying to control a “state within a state”. Strictly speaking, this cannot be considered a war against Lebanon, unless you are going to stipulate that Lebanon is Hezbollah. Somehow I doubt many people are willing to so stipulate, yourself included.

    The connection is rather simple, though I’m not surprised you haven’t seen it. You have on several occasions, this one being the most recent, late an awful lot of weight by their being “no official declaration of war by Congress”, in your anti-Iraq war arguemnts . But, clearly, not unlike like Israel’s actions in Southern Lebenon, our military action was not against the Iraqi people, per se’ but rather the renegade claiming to run the place.

    Apparently that’s a line that you’re having trouble drawing.

    So, I ask again: Tell us; Whom would we have declared war against?

    And, of course, all of this ignores the fact that the president’s actions have in fact been authorized by Congress.

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  57. Anderson says:

    Bithead, I’ve asked you for examples where Democratic opposition interfered with the White House’s wishes for the prosecution of the Iraq war.

    Rather than supply any, you now want *me* to provide examples of Republican opposition to the conduct of WW2. Which IIRC certainly existed, but if you can’t come up with any examples on the matter actually at hand, you’ll forgive me if I don’t spend my time researching a 60-year-old war.

    Bush’s invasion of Iraq was indeed supported by a majority of Congressional Democrats (largely on the strength of bad intel touted by the White House, but that is another story). What have those Dems done since then that has hindered the President? What would the White House like to have done that it’s been kept from doing by Democratic opposition?

    This has been Bush’s war from the get-go. Period.

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  58. Herb says:

    In my previous comment, I said that the Democrats are responsible for keeping this country divided. This divide has emboldened our enemies to the point of them increasing their attacks on our troops in Iraq as well as here at home. This has caused our troops to be killed and the war to be dragged out. It has also caused the citizens of our country to put in harms way more than ever before.

    What it boils down to is:

    By spewing their hate, the Democrats have caused a division in our country that is contrary to that of being a loyal American. If the Democrats dis-loyalty is traitorous, then as the old saying goes, “If the shoe fits” ?

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  59. Bithead says:

    Bithead, I’ve asked you for examples where Democratic opposition interfered with the White House’s wishes for the prosecution of the Iraq war.

    And I consider the question to be ridiculous for anyone who has not been in a cave for the last five years.

    Are you really expecting us to believe that the long line of Democrats standing up in opposition to every time George W. Bush draws a breath, particularly with regards to the Iraq war, has been totally ineffective in slowing down his prosecution of that war and for that matter his other policies as well? Come on.

    If you really think that the Democrats have been so totally ineffective, one wonders why you continue to support them.

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  60. Bithead says:

    Herb;

    Well put.
    Agreement.

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  61. Anderson says:

    Nice bluster, guys. I understand.

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  62. Charles Vairin says:

    When the democrats decided nearly six years to hate Bush above all, they became traitors. When they abandoned principle and began to do things that were not in the best interest of the country in order to hate Bush, they became traitors. When democrat judges make rulings that are not in the best interest of the country they swore to uphold they are traitors. When democrat lawyers complain that they can’t talk to terrorists and want the government to stop listening in they are traitors. Life is simple, you are either for America or you’re not.

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  63. Bithead says:

    Nice bluster, guys. I understand.

    If you truly understood, you wouldn’t call it bluster. Then again, you wouldn’t be a Democrat, either.

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  64. Michael says:

    For those of you out there who like to employ the word “treason” so often, I would like to remind you that “treason” is a crime, a very serious crime in fact. It is your responsibility, as an American, to report to the appropriate authorities crimes you are aware of taking place. Therefore, if you really do believe that Democrats are traitors, and not just spouting hateful and divisive rhetoric, shouldn’t you be contacting the FBI and reporting all your Democrat friends? If you’re not willing to do that much, don’t be so quick to shout “traitor” either.

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  65. Bithead says:

    Steyn:

    Five years on, the United States seems to be back in the quagmire of perpetual interminable U.N.-brokered EU-led multilateral dithering, on Iran and much else. The administration that turned Musharraf in nothing flat now offers carrots to Ahmadinejad. After the Taliban fell, the region’s autocrats and dictators wondered: Who’s next? Now they figure it’s a pretty safe bet that nobody is.

    What’s the difference between September 2001 and now? It’s not that anyone “liked” America or that, as the Democrats like to suggest, the country had the world’s “sympathy.” Pakistani generals and the Kremlin don’t cave to your demands because they “sympathize.” They go along because you’ve succeeded in impressing upon them that they’ve no choice. Musharraf and Co. weren’t scared by America’s power but by the fact that America, in the rubble of 9/11, had belatedly found the will to use that power. It is notionally at least as powerful today, but in terms of will we’re back to Sept. 10: Nobody thinks America is prepared to use its power. And so Nasrallah and Ahmadinejad and wannabe “strong horses” like Baby Assad cock their snooks with impunity.

    Exactly so. And where would Musharraf have gotten that kind of a message? From Howard Dean. John Murtha. John Kerry. And let’s not forget the nod banks who threw Joe Lieberman out of his seat or tried to, apparently unsuccessfully.

    Clearly Pakistan is among those getting a message that Anderson has not.

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  66. Herb says:

    “Nice bluster guys, I understand”

    It seem that the only thing some understand is that which aids and helps the “Hate” to be spread about so that some can say that “I told you so”.

    Little do they know that this “hate” is deteriorating the fabric of our nation and making us a weaker nation and a vulnerable nation. I wonder if it is just plain stupidity or very intentional. Either way, These people are aiding and abetting our enemies by lifting their morale and making them bolder.

    When the chips are down, will that make them “see the light” or will they continue their “Hate” in an effort to gain control of the country they are doing their level best to “Tear down”.

    It’s almost like they have a “death wish” and want to take everybody down with them because they can not take a defeat at the polls like every American is bound by conscience and patriotism to do.

    When theses “Bush Haters” finally understand what the stakes are, It may be “To Late”.

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  67. The Heretik says:

    Now Hear This…

    Talking Dog listens to George Lakoff: “We also have to get a handle on definitions. You can’t have a “war on terror”. Terror is an emotion– it is not an army who fights to control territory– the definition of a part…

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  68. spencer says:

    If the President were a democrat displaying the same incompetence as Bush is in losing the War on Terrorism you guys would correctly be screaming your heads off about his bad policies.

    I’m opposed to Bush because he is losing the war not because he is a Republican and I also oppose the Democratic proposals to withdraw. But if Bush is just going to continue with “stay the course” that essentially means stretching the losing out over two more years so he can turn the mess over to someone else I’m not sure the democrats proposals are not the better alternative.

    But back to my original point. When is it going
    to be more important to you guys to be American rather than Republicans and start demanding that this Administration improve its performance rather then blaming democrats for the war that the this republican administration seems to be doing a fine job of losing all by itself.

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  69. Pagar says:

    In my opinion, this war would have been over long ago. If the
    enemy hadn’t gotten the message from the American
    left during the Vietnam War; “Just hang in there,
    we’ll make sure America loses.”
    Even before the Mar 2003 start date of this war, American politicians were making speeches saying America can’t win. Rep Murtha has been telling America’s enemies since the Beirut barracks bombings and the US military deaths in Somalia, “do what you want, America can’t win”.
    America’s enemies know, they will win if American’s left helps them enough.

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  70. Anderson says:

    When is it going
    to be more important to you guys to be American rather than Republicans

    No, that would be treason!

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