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Flirting With Disaster, The vile spectacle of Democrats rooting for bad news
Slate ^ | Sep 27, 2004 | Christopher Hitchens

Posted on 09/27/2004 2:04:04 PM PDT by Mike Fieschko

There it was at the tail end of Brian Faler's "Politics" roundup column in last Saturday's Washington Post. It was headed, simply, "Quotable":

"I wouldn't be surprised if he appeared in the next month." Teresa Heinz Kerry to the Phoenix Business Journal, referring to a possible capture of Osama bin Laden before Election Day.

As well as being "quotable" (and I wish it had been more widely reported, and I hope that someone will ask the Kerry campaign or the nominee himself to disown it), this is also many other words ending in "-able." Deplorable, detestable, unforgivable. …

The plain implication is that the Bush administration is stashing Bin Laden somewhere, or somehow keeping his arrest in reserve, for an "October surprise." This innuendo would appear, on the face of it, to go a little further than "impugning the patriotism" of the president. It argues, after all, for something like collusion on his part with a man who has murdered thousands of Americans as well as hundreds of Muslim civilians in other countries.

I am not one of those who likes to tease Mrs. Kerry for her "loose cannon" style. This is only the second time I have ever mentioned her in print. But I happen to know that this is not an instance of loose lips. She has heard that very remark being made by senior Democrats, and—which is worse—she has not heard anyone in her circle respond to it by saying, "Don't be so bloody stupid." I first heard this "October surprise" theory mentioned seriously, by a prominent foreign-policy Democrat, at an open dinner table in Washington about six months ago. Since then, I've heard it said seriously or semiseriously, by responsible and liberal people who ought to know better, all over the place. It got even worse when the Democratic establishment decided on an arm's-length or closer relationship with Michael Moore and his supposedly vote-getting piece of mendacity and paranoia, Fahrenheit 9/11. (The DNC's boss, Terence McAuliffe, asked outside the Uptown cinema on Connecticut Avenue whether he honestly believed that the administration had invaded Afghanistan for the sake of an oil or perhaps gas pipeline, breezily responded, "I do now.")

What will it take to convince these people that this is not a year, or a time, to be dicking around? Americans are patrolling a front line in Afghanistan, where it would be impossible with 10 times the troop strength to protect all potential voters on Oct. 9 from Taliban/al-Qaida murder and sabotage. We are invited to believe that these hard-pressed soldiers of ours take time off to keep Osama Bin Laden in a secret cave, ready to uncork him when they get a call from Karl Rove? For shame.

Ever since The New Yorker published a near-obituary piece for the Kerry campaign, in the form of an autopsy for the Robert Shrum style, there has been a salad of articles prematurely analyzing "what went wrong." This must be nasty for Democratic activists to read, and I say "nasty" because I hear the way they respond to it. A few pin a vague hope on the so-called "debates"—which are actually joint press conferences allowing no direct exchange between the candidates—but most are much more cynical. Some really bad news from Iraq, or perhaps Afghanistan, and/or a sudden collapse or crisis in the stock market, and Kerry might yet "turn things around." You have heard it, all right, and perhaps even said it. But you may not have appreciated how depraved are its implications. If you calculate that only a disaster of some kind can save your candidate, then you are in danger of harboring a subliminal need for bad news. And it will show. What else explains the amazingly crude and philistine remarks of that campaign genius Joe Lockhart, commenting on the visit of the new Iraqi prime minister and calling him a "puppet"? Here is the only regional leader who is even trying to hold an election, and he is greeted with an ungenerous sneer.

The unfortunately necessary corollary of this—that bad news for the American cause in wartime would be good for Kerry—is that good news would be bad for him. Thus, in Mrs. Kerry's brainless and witless offhand yet pregnant remark, we hear the sick thud of the other shoe dropping. How can the Democrats possibly have gotten themselves into a position where they even suspect that a victory for the Zarqawi or Bin Laden forces would in some way be welcome to them? Or that the capture or killing of Bin Laden would not be something to celebrate with a whole heart?

I think that this detail is very important because the Kerry camp often strives to give the impression that its difference with the president is one of degree but not of kind. Of course we all welcome the end of Taliban rule and even the departure of Saddam Hussein, but we can't remain silent about the way policy has been messed up and compromised and even lied about. I know what it's like to feel that way because it is the way I actually do feel. But I also know the difference when I see it, and I have known some of the liberal world quite well and for a long time, and there are quite obviously people close to the leadership of today's Democratic Party who do not at all hope that the battle goes well in Afghanistan and Iraq.

I have written before in this space that I think Bin Laden is probably dead, and I certainly think that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is a far more ruthless and dangerous jihadist, who is trying to take a much more important country into the orbit of medieval fanaticism and misery. One might argue about that: I could even maintain that it's important to oppose and defeat both gentlemen and their supporters. But unless he conclusively repudiates the obvious defeatists in his own party (and maybe even his own family), we shall be able to say that John Kerry's campaign is a distraction from the fight against al-Qaida.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Politics/Elections; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: dems; hitchens; kerry; kerrystrategy; obl; wot

1 posted on 09/27/2004 2:04:05 PM PDT by Mike Fieschko
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To: Mike Fieschko

Excellent hitchens column - he nails it.

It is simply absurd to think that bad news means kerry is more fit for office. that doesnt compute and it shows the flaw in their whole anti-Bush campaign.


2 posted on 09/27/2004 2:09:19 PM PDT by WOSG (George W Bush / Dick Cheney - Right for our Times!)
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To: Mike Fieschko

A little light comes on...


3 posted on 09/27/2004 2:10:56 PM PDT by telebob
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To: WOSG
I first heard this "October surprise" theory mentioned seriously, by a prominent foreign-policy Democrat, at an open dinner table in Washington about six months ago.

Madeline Halfbright ...

4 posted on 09/27/2004 2:12:01 PM PDT by CaptainVictory
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To: WOSG

"John Kerry's campaign is a distraction from the fight against al-Qaida."

Exactly right!


5 posted on 09/27/2004 2:14:31 PM PDT by Patrick1
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To: Mike Fieschko

I saw a Kerry ad that trumpeted the fact that two Americans were recently beheaded in Iraq.

The Kerry campaign is publicizing the work of the terrorists in order to get elected. It is as if they and the terrorists are working in a common cause.


6 posted on 09/27/2004 2:15:38 PM PDT by Inyokern
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To: WOSG

It's a good thing for liberals that words aren't knives; after this article, they'd all be dead.


7 posted on 09/27/2004 2:17:00 PM PDT by Howlin (What's the Font Spacing, Kenneth?)
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To: Mike Fieschko

"How can the Democrats possibly have gotten themselves into a position where they even suspect that a victory for the Zarqawi or Bin Laden forces would in some way be welcome to them? Or that the capture or killing of Bin Laden would not be something to celebrate with a whole heart?"

"....John Kerry's campaign is a distraction from the fight against al-Qaida."

That says it.


8 posted on 09/27/2004 2:17:21 PM PDT by nuconvert (Everyone has a photographic memory. Some don't have film.)
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To: Mike Fieschko
Flirting With Disaster, The vile spectacle of Democrats rooting for bad news

This title is too long...This is better:

Flirting With Disaster, The vile spectacle of Democrats

9 posted on 09/27/2004 2:21:44 PM PDT by Onelifetogive (* Sarcasm tag ALWAYS required. For some FReepers, sarcasm can NEVER be obvious enough.)
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To: Inyokern

Christopher Hitchens may be the most "honest" writer out there. He has taken stances on certain issues that have offended me deeply... but his arguments are always well researched and artfully worded. I love watching a talking-head show when some (usually liberal) airhead is pitted against Hitchens. These folks typically are scared to death of him and it shows. I have no doubt that guys like Begala, Carville, et al avoid a head-to-head with Hitchens at all costs. (I could be wrong on that, but just a hunch.)


10 posted on 09/27/2004 2:22:19 PM PDT by SugarLandTexas
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To: Mike Fieschko
What will it take to convince these people that this is not a year, or a time, to be dicking around?

A 2x4 upside the head?

I doubt it would work, but it couldn't hurt to try.

11 posted on 09/27/2004 2:24:52 PM PDT by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: Mike Fieschko
How can the Democrats possibly have gotten themselves into a position where they even suspect that a victory for the Zarqawi or Bin Laden forces would in some way be welcome to them?

Because the Chomsky/Moore wing of the democrat party would, in fact, welcome it.

12 posted on 09/27/2004 2:26:22 PM PDT by ModelBreaker
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To: Onelifetogive
Heh heh.

I actually had to snip [in Iraq and Afghanistan] to get under 100 characters, which is the maximum thread title length.
13 posted on 09/27/2004 2:28:19 PM PDT by Mike Fieschko ("How dare you question my [^.*$]. Did you know I served in the Clone Wars?")
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To: Mike Fieschko
But I also know the difference when I see it, and I have known some of the liberal world quite well and for a long time, and there are quite obviously people close to the leadership of today's Democratic Party who do not at all hope that the battle goes well in Afghanistan and Iraq.

At first this need for "bad news" seemed subtle. But with Kerry's latest attacks on Iraq and the terms "chaos" being thrown around on a daily basis, it has become transparent that the dems need bad news in order to win the election.

14 posted on 09/27/2004 2:29:12 PM PDT by dawn53
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To: Patrick1

Hit that right on the head...excellent


15 posted on 09/27/2004 2:29:18 PM PDT by omstrat (NJ/NYC republican)
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Comment #16 Removed by Moderator

To: Mike Fieschko

Treasonous, treacherous, little hate-filled rats. That is what most of the democratic party has become. How can people act this way in our great country?


17 posted on 09/27/2004 2:45:06 PM PDT by vpintheak (Our Liberties we prize, and our rights we will maintain!)
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To: dawn53

Exactly - and in a previous day when the news from the front was not as available as today - it may have succeeded. But alas, everyday soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines are able to blog and tell all the good things that they are witnessing while stating matter-of-factly the bad as well.

The problem for Kerry campout is that the good is actually outweighing the bad significantly in these accounts.

I'm convinced that had today's means of communications been available during the Vietnam war that things would have been much different.


18 posted on 09/27/2004 2:48:14 PM PDT by reed13
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To: dead
What will it take to convince these people that this is not a year, or a time, to be dicking around?

A 2x4 upside the head?

Kinda like a dumbo-crat Board of Education, huh?

19 posted on 09/27/2004 2:50:32 PM PDT by woofer
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To: NOTTAHERO
Democrats remind me of a bunch of hogs rooting in the mud and pig crap looking for a grain of corn or acorn.



"With all this horsecrap, I figure there's gotta be a pony in here somewhere!"
20 posted on 09/27/2004 2:52:11 PM PDT by Mike Fieschko ("How dare you question my [^.*$]. Did you know I served in the Clone Wars?")
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To: Mike Fieschko

I doo believe that Bush will point out in the debates that the democrats have harnassed themselves to bad news for America.


21 posted on 09/27/2004 2:54:17 PM PDT by js1138 (Speedy architect of perfect labyrinths.)
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To: woofer
How can the Democrats possibly have gotten themselves into a position where they even suspect that a victory for the Zarqawi or Bin Laden forces would in some way be welcome to them?

They got into this position with practice - kissing each others backside.
22 posted on 09/27/2004 2:55:10 PM PDT by Ginifer
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To: Mike Fieschko

For several months, Rush has been saying that Dems have put themselves in the position that "good news for America is bad news for Dems, and vice-versa".


23 posted on 09/27/2004 3:00:43 PM PDT by DeweyCA
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To: Mike Fieschko

The reason Democrats cynically are expecting a dirty October surprise is THAT'S THE CRAP THEY DO! The drunk driving thing they brought out just before the last presidential election is the sewer politics they practice.


24 posted on 09/27/2004 3:12:42 PM PDT by NoControllingLegalAuthority
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To: DeweyCA
For several months years, Rush has been saying that Dems have put themselves in the position that "good news for America is bad news for Dems, and vice-versa".

Years, Dew.

25 posted on 09/27/2004 3:16:56 PM PDT by NutCrackerBoy
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To: dead
What will it take to convince these people that this is not a year, or a time, to be dicking around? -Christopher Hitchens

A 2x4 upside the head? I doubt it would work, but it couldn't hurt would feel wonderful to try.

Heh...he said dicking.

26 posted on 09/27/2004 3:20:09 PM PDT by NutCrackerBoy
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To: vpintheak
Hitchens believes in "advancing the cause of civilization." Although the guy is a real leftist and freepers largely reject most of the elements in his cause, he's different from Democrat partisan leftists. The cause of civilization is not advanced by Islamic fanatics. They are far more reactionary than Jerry Falwell and they are violent criminals. No decent man of the Left, much less the Right, can see how even a tactical victory by Islamic fascism against American can serve any just cause. Most Democrats have gone to the dark side.
27 posted on 09/27/2004 3:22:18 PM PDT by namvetcav
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To: Patrick1
My new tagline . . .
28 posted on 09/27/2004 3:24:13 PM PDT by SoCar (John Kerry's campaign is a distraction from the fight against al-Qaida)
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To: Inyokern

"The Kerry campaign is publicizing the work of the terrorists in order to get elected. It is as if they and the terrorists are working in a common cause."

Yep!!

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1228243/posts


29 posted on 09/27/2004 3:26:04 PM PDT by Ursus arctos horribilis ("It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees!" Emiliano Zapata 1879-1919)
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To: WOSG

30 posted on 09/27/2004 3:36:11 PM PDT by SarahW
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To: SugarLandTexas

"These folks typically are scared to death of him and it shows. I have no doubt that guys like Begala, Carville, et al avoid a head-to-head with Hitchens at all costs. (I could be wrong on that, but just a hunch.)"

Hitchens once told that in his early days he went on a TV show with Newt Gingrich, said he was told Newt was some congressman from a rural area of GA, and thought him to be just another redneck, so didn't bone up on the subject.

He said by the end of the show, Newt had kicked him to death with facts and his head was reeling from the abuse. Hichens said he never made that mistake again, especially with Newt.


31 posted on 09/27/2004 3:36:26 PM PDT by Ursus arctos horribilis ("It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees!" Emiliano Zapata 1879-1919)
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To: Mike Fieschko

Hitchens doesn't quite have the guts to use the word "treason", but the inference is clear, and no suprise to anybody.


32 posted on 09/27/2004 3:37:20 PM PDT by ozzymandus
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To: Mike Fieschko
What will it take to convince these people that this is not a year, or a time, to be dicking around?

My Dad had a great "attention" getter...

"Boy, what do I have to do - get the 2x4 out?" It was amazing how much clearer things became after he said that.

Some of these folks can be reasoned with but there are just a whole lot of them that are off in Dan Blather land - they are the dangerous ones.

LVM

33 posted on 09/27/2004 3:45:15 PM PDT by LasVegasMac (John Kerry says he has changed his mind about all those NO votes in the Senate.)
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To: js1138
I know some folks don't care much for him, but El Rushbo has been saying this for quite awhile.

LVM

34 posted on 09/27/2004 3:50:10 PM PDT by LasVegasMac (John Kerry says he has changed his mind about all those NO votes in the Senate.)
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To: Mike Fieschko

I e-mailed this article to my liberal in-laws. Not that it's going to make a dent in their iron-clad conviction that it's conservatives who are evil.


35 posted on 09/27/2004 3:50:11 PM PDT by Trust but Verify (Charter member Broken Glass Republicans (2000))
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To: Mike Fieschko
Kerry's #1 Campaign Promise:
Vote for me and get your own black cloud."


36 posted on 09/27/2004 9:18:51 PM PDT by Veto! (Kerry wears a tutu, TeRAYza wears the pants)
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To: SugarLandTexas
I'm with you in regards to Christopher Hitchens. Most of the liberal left wing press is a merely a collage of regurgitated innuendo and slander. Whereas, like you said, Mr. Hitchens is always worth reading, because his writing is eloquent and well researched
37 posted on 09/28/2004 8:06:05 AM PDT by stylin_geek (Koffi: 0, G.W. Bush: (I lost count))
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