Skip to comments.Democrats Dancing to Tunes of Glory?
Posted on 09/26/2003 10:04:07 PM PDT by Congressman Billybob
Last week Secretary Rumsfeld, Administrator Paul Bremer, and several other officials testified before both the Senate and the House about the request for $87 billion to finish the military and civilian tasks in Iraq. The first comments are about the responses of Democrats in Congress to these events.
Robert Byrd: In the Senate, Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) said to Rumsfeld, "Where is the mandate to rebuild Iraq?" Rumsfeld pointed out that the job did not end with the winning of the war. That reconstruction was the necessary end of the process. He did not point out that America has done that with every nation it has ever defeated militarily, including Japan and Germany after WW II. He did not point out that this policy was set by an Act concerning Iraq passed unanimously by the Senate in 1998. And Rumsfeld was far too polite to point out that Senator Byrd was dottering, senile, and past his expiration date.
David Obey: In the House, Rep. David Obey (D-Wis.) challenged Paul Bremer to state how long the occupation of Iraq would last and exactly how much it would cost. When Bremer gave no such specifics, Obey shouted at him, "You're stiffing us." Bremer missed the opportunity to point out that how long and how much were never known at the beginning of ANY occupation of any nation by the US. He also missed the chance, which Rumsfeld took up in his testimony, that the rebuilding of Iraq is far less than the Marshall Plan in Europe, adjusted to current dollars. Bremer was too polite to point out that Obey was either hopelessly ignorant of history, or deliberately dishonest.
Teddy Kennedy: Last week Senator Ted Kennedy made the charges that the Iraq War "was made up in Texas," that it was intended "to be good politically," and that "this whole thing was a fraud." He added that the United States was "bribing other nations" to join in the effort. One of the clearest analyses of this rant by the Senatorial relic from Boston was by Charles Krauthammer in his column of 26 September. He ended with this: "It so flies in the face of the facts that it can only be said to be unhinged from reality. Kennedy's rant reflects the Democrats' blinding Bush-hatred, and marks its passage from partisanship to pathology."
When other Senators came to the floor to denounce Senator Kennedy's outburst, some of his Democrat colleagues (who had not heard his speech) rushed to the floor to condemn his critics for "questioning his patriotism." No such thing was going on. Only Kennedy's sanity and integrity were being questioned, not his patriotism.
The proper answer to a series of criminal charges against this President, or any President, is to tell the accuser to "Put up, or shut up." Kennedy's charges are nearly identical to those of wackos at the beginning of World War II who claimed that "President Roosevelt knew about the attack on Pearl Harbor in advance," and that he "allowed" it to happen "in order to force America into the war."
As for the charge of "bribing" other nations to participate, it has usually been the policy of the United States in war and peace to give foreign aid of all types to nations whose policies favor those of the United States. Would Kennedy prefer that dollars from American taxpayers be given in aid to nations who consistently attack US interests? To North Korea, to Cuba, to Syria, to Iran? This is a matter of common sense.
Ted Kennedy has now descended far below the level of political debate or partisanship. He is now of no more consequence than a rabid dog. He is, in a memorable British phrase, dangerously close to "barking mad."
Wesley Clark: Former General Wesley Clark threw his brass hat in the ring a week ago as a candidate for President, but he's had enough time to present three different positions on the subject of the War in Iraq. First, he said he'd vote for it. Then, he said he'd vote against it. Then on his campaign plane he called his Press Person Mary to come forward and explain to a reporter how his first two positions really did not conflict with one another.
Nothing like having a former general when you want a man who is decisive, right? It's only been eleven months since the Members of Congress in both the House and the Senate stepped up to their constitutional duties and voted on the required Resolution to approve "war powers" for the President. It boggles the mind that a career military man has a harder time making a clear decision on war than career politicians.
As for his professional qualifications, he was dismissed a year early from his vaunted position as Commander of US forces in Kosovo. His superior officer at that time was General Hugh Shelton, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In a college forum in Los Altos, California, General Shelton was asked whether he would support Clark as a candidate for President. He said he would not do that. And he said Clark "came out of Europe early ... [for] integrity and character issues." It seems that Clark is an "empty suit," though admittedly an empty suit with lots of medals on it.
But the news gets even worse. One week in the race and Clark is producing waffles like he had a franchise from the International House of Pancakes, but despite that he is immediately LEADING a poll to be the Democrat nominee for 2004. He put the other nine dwarves who are running for the Democrat nomination in a strange position. They thought they were in the Olympic trials for the 1,500 meters. But here they are at the first turn in the race and the leading runner is an elderly man with a walker.
I won't get into here all of the Machiavellian speculations that Clark is actually a stalking horse for Clinton (him and her) designed to trash the whole Democrat field, guarantee a loss in 2004, and leave the field open for Clinton (her) in 2008, with Clinton (him) lurking in the background this time. It does seem appropriate, however, to modify a few of America's best-known military slogans to fit the style of this curious general who is a would-be President.
From the American commander at the Battle of Bunker Hill: "Don't fire til you see the whites of their whatevers."
From Nathan Hale, before the British hanged him as a spy: "I regret that ... that ... that I got caught."
From Captain John Paul Jones aboard the Bonne Homme Richard: "I have not begun to fight, and I never intend to."
From Commodore Dewey at Manila Bay: "Damn the torpedoes; drop anchor now."
From Lt. Colonel Teddy Roosevelt at San Juan Hill: "Charge, as soon as we form a committee to see whether we should charge.
From Brigadier General Mcauliffe, surrounded at Bastogne in the Battle of the Bulge and asked to surrender: "D*mn we're in a tight spot."
From Todd Beamer aboard Flight 93 in Pennsylvania: "Let's stay in our seats until we reach the airport, and decide what to do then."
This is just too easy. You readers can extend it as far you chose. The short of it is, Wesley Clark is no Dwight Eisenhower. Instead, he is Jubilation T. Cornpone. For those who have forgotten this gem from the musical and the movie, L'il Abner here are a few bars from Wesley Clark's unwitting but accurate campaign song:
When we fought the Yankees and annihilation was near,
Who was there to lead the charge that took us safe to the rear?
Why it was Jubilation T. Cornpone; Old "Toot your own horn - pone."
Jubilation T. Cornpone, a man who knew no fear!
When we almost had 'em but the issue still was in doubt,
Who suggested the retreat that turned it into a rout?
Why it was Jubilation T. Cornpone; Old "Tattered and torn - pone."
Jubilation T. Cornpone, he kept us hidin' out!
With our ammunition gone and faced with utter defeat,
Who was it that burned the crops and left us nothing to eat?
Why it was Jubilation T. Cornpone; Old "September Morn - pone."
Jubilation T. Cornpone, the pants blown off his seat!
Who became so famous with a reputation so great,
That he ran for president and didn't carry a state?
Why it was Jubilation T. Cornpone; Old "Wouldn't be sworn - pone."
Jubilation T. Cornpone, he made the country wait!
This song fits so well that it was hard to edit the verses to fit. The great Johnny Mercer was one of its writers. It was Stubby Kaye's second best movie moment. (The first was with Nat King Cole in Cat Ballou. For those who want all the lyrics, click here: http://www.thepeaches.com/music/composers/mercer/JubilationTCornpone.txt
And this is the best that the Democrats can come up with? Think McGovern, Dukakis, and Carter (second time around). And to be fair, also think Goldwater and Dole (him). It is wrong to describe the Democrat Party this time around as the "anti-war" party. They are neither that consistent nor that logical.
Instead, they are the "anti-history" party. Some support the war; some oppose the war. But all demonstrate a blazing ignorance of America's history in both winning wars, and reconstructing defeated nations afterwards.
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About the Author: John Armor is an author and columnist on politics and history. He currently has an Exploratory Committee to run for Congress.
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It's 2:15 am here, and yours is the second comment to come in. (The first corrected two errors I'd made -- about the ranks of Dewey and Teddy Roosevelt. LOL.)
John / Billybob
A simple "thank you for saving the free world" would suffice.
It is wrong to describe the Democrat Party this time around as the "anti-war" party. They are neither that consistent nor that logical.
Instead, they are the "anti-history" party. Some support the war; some oppose the war. But all demonstrate a blazing ignorance of America's history..
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I honestly don't know why anyone would want to get into presidential politics unless you are a saint or unless you are a shameless crook. The game of politics basically amounts to how you can tear the other guy down. This is why Bush's most formidible opponent in the polls is unnamed democrat, or none of the above.
You are right, in a few weeks, Clark will be torn to pieces.
The Clintons fall into the shameless crook category. They love politics. They were made for politics (this is an insult). Clark is no saint and not a shameless crook. He does not belong in the race. He should especially not be in the democrat race. They are the experts in the politics of personal destruction. Contrast Bush's mostly positive campaign vs. the democrats campaign to label bush as a dui, silver spoon fed, cocaine smoking, dumb, alcoholic party boy.
I read that column. It was titled "Ted Kennedy, Losing it". I thought the title should have been "Kennedy lost it". He lost it at chappaquiddick when he allowed a young girl to die and failed to take responsiblity for it. He lost it then, because every day, when he looks in the mirror, he can't like what he sees. He lost it when he has to drink daily to forget that day and to kill the pain.
In defense of the wackos, the US had apparently broken the japanese code and had decoded the ambassador's declaration of war that was to be delivered to the US. For some reason, this info was not relayed to the proper people. Also for some reason, the US carriers were not at Pearl. Further, papers show FDR wanted to go to war, but wanted the bad guys to fire the first shot. Maybe he had something smaller than Pearl in mind, like the firing on Ft. Sumter, the gulf of tonkin incident, or maybe the shot heard round the world. But it is documented that he wanted an incident to start a war.
To defend your point, there is a decent amount of circumstantial evidence suggesting that FDR may have known about Pearl in advance, but there is no smoking gun or conclusive evidence. But I do think the word "wacko" is a bit extreme.
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John / Billybob