Do Democrats Want to Lose the War on Terror?
Retired fighter Jock Robert “Buzz” Patterson has made a name for himself by churning out books about how Democrats hate America and want us to be weak. His first two efforts, Dereliction of Duty: How Bill Clinton Compromised America’s National Security and Reckless Disregard: How Liberal Democrats Undercut Our Military, Endanger Our Soldiers, and Jeopardize Our Security were New York Times best sellers.
His latest release is entitled War Crimes: The Left’s Campaign to Destroy Our Military and Lose the War on Terror. While seemingly redundant, Glenn Reynolds is intrigued.
I don’t think that the left wants to lose the war on terror, exactly — they just want Bush to lose the war on terror. I suspect, however, that Patterson’s theme is one that we’ll hear more in the future, especially if things go badly in Iraq.
Now, I don’t doubt there there is a lunatic fringe out there who wants us to lose or is willing to see us lose if it’ll vindicate their view of Chimpy McHitler. But, surely, even the most liberal mainstream Democrats want the country to be safe from terrorist attacks, even if it means Bush goes up in the polls?
Pick your favorite liberal bogeyman. Who among them wants Bush to lose at the cost of failing to secure the county against terrorist attacks?
The book’s cover features four elected leaders: Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, and Teddy Kennedy. Certainly, they all stand to gain politically if Bush’s popularity remains historically low. Is there any evidence, though, that any of them actually want the terrorists to win to achieve that?
The fifth person pictured on the cover is polemicist and filmmaker Michael Moore. It’s safe to say, I think, that he is far and away the most extreme among them. He seems to hate Bush and is willing to go to considerable lengths of dishonesty to undermine his foreign policy. (See, for example, Christopher Hitchens‘ dismembering of “Fahrenheit 9/11.”) Yet I’m not sure it could be credibly said even of him that he wants to lose, given the implications of that.
One would hope that Patterson is merely being hyperbolic; arguing only that Democratic policies would lead to defeat, not that they are aimed at defeat. One would be disappointed. From a recent interview with NRO’s Kathryn Jean Lopez:
Kathryn Jean Lopez: Your upcoming book begins with a quote from Cicero about how a nation “cannot survive treason from within.” Surely you’re not calling Democrats traitors. Or are you?
“Buzz” Patterson: I am. They certainly are if their behavior during our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is held up to the light of the U.S. Constitution. Article III, Section 3 defines treason against the United States as “adhering to (our) enemies, giving them aid and comfort. Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Dick Durbin, and John Murtha, amongst others, are guilty of exactly that. […]
It’s not just the Democrats though but many on the Left — its faculties and administrations on college campuses, big media, Hollywood, and left-wing organizations such as the Ford Foundation, Moveon.org, United for Peace and Justice, etc. What is particularly disturbing to me is that these Americans are doing it while their fellow citizens are fighting and dying in combat. The best ally that al Qaeda has these days is the Democrat Party leadership. It’s reprehensible.
But, by that logic, any debate at all during wartime is treason. That view would be absurd if it weren’t so dangerous.
I don’t doubt that Reid, Pelosi, and others are exploiting the unpopularity of the war for political gain and that the recent showdown over funding the Iraq War was motivated more by the next election that actually changing the course of the war. That’s light years, though, from consciously seeking to undermine the war effort.
The overwhelming majority of Democrats opposes the war in Iraq and the way the Bush administration is prosecuting the war on terrorism. A large number have, from the beginning, thought “war” was the wrong construct for building a counter-terrorism policy. A fringe, including Moore, thought Osama bin Laden should have simply been captured and treated like any other accused criminal. None of that, though, constitutes “treason,” let alone a wish to lose.
Kevin Drum, Josh Marshall, and others think these accusations are merely a desperate attempt by some on the right to blame the failure of Bush policies on the left. While I’m sure there’s some of that going on, I fear it’s more sinister than that.
There is a genuine and growing belief, as demonstrated by the continuing boom in sales of books like Patterson’s and Moore’s, that people on the other side of the political aisle are not simply in disagreement or misguided or wrong but genuinely bad people. That notion is more dangerous to the country than all our external enemies combined.