Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Animal House

General Petraeus' testimony will come off much as that of Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito did in their SCOTUS confirmation hearings a couple of years back. The Donks will try to squash Petrateus and it'll backfire on them, Wile E. Coyote-like. moveon's ad isn't the vanguard of a slick, unstoppable PR offensive, but the raging throes of an anti-war movement that has suffered a sudden and precipitous loss of mojo when it was least expecting it.
-Me, 9/10/07

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that that prediction was pretty much fulfilled:
The congressional critics provided quite a contrast with Petraeus and Crocker. If the general and the ambassador were men at work, the congressmen and senators were - with a few notable exceptions - children at play. They spoke almost entirely in generalizations - often months, sometimes years, out of date. They used selective quotations and cherry-picked facts to play "gotcha." They offered no meaningful proposals of their own. Petraeus and Crocker live and breathe Iraq, dealing with life-and-death problems seven days a week. Congress bloviates Tuesday through Thursday. That's one of the reasons to listen to the general and the ambassador rather than the congressional pontificators.
-Bill Kristol & Fred Kagan
The scariest words for Democrats in Bush's speech involved Petraeus directly. Bush said he's directed the general, along with Ambassador Ryan Crocker, "to deliver another report to Congress in March." The prospect of a return engagement by Petraeus can only fill Democrats with a feeling of dread.
-Fred Barnes

That is, to the extent that any Democrat even realizes how thoroughly they and their nutter base buried themselves last week. It goes to show once again that the Bush Administration almost never loses when it sends top-notch surrogates to the Hill whose integrity and competence leave its enemies looking like the out-classed, low-rent, vulgar, dishonest, disgusting pricks they really are.

Whether the Petraeus tour de force will "define the 2008 election" is another question entirely. Yes, "[t]he Democrats are already committed to a Carter restoration and to accepting defeat in Iraq with all that entails," but they made that commitment at least four years ago, including right through the 2006 mid-term campaign, and it, depending on your point of view, either didn't stop them from finally taking Congress back, or actively propelled them to that victory. The undeniable progress of the "Surge" and General Petreaus' testimony will most likely keep public support for the war from sinking any further, but not rebuild it very much, far less turn the war into a winning issue for the GOP.

In any case, it's not as if the Donks have left themselves much of a choice.

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Q: You disagree with the assessment President Bush and General Petraeus put forth this week. How do you think the course should be changed?
A: All you have to do is look at what they said. Nothing has changed since the surge started. Today, now we learn that 1 million Iraqis have been killed since the war started. A million. That's pretty hard to comprehend: 3,800 Americans, 30,000 wounded. More than 2,000 double amputees.
Bullshit, Senator. You know you've pooped your pants when as reserved and scholarly a figure as Victor Davis Hanson calls you "unhinged".
Only thing I can add is that I really don't think Reid had all that many marbles to lose to begin with.
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The chief lesson that the champions of last spring's "comprehensive" immigration reform failed to learn is that the American public by and large doesn't buy into "comprehensive" legislation of any sort. It takes an awful lot to make it onto the public's conscious radar screen, but once you do your "comprehensive" cause is pretty much toast. Just ask Hillary Clinton, who appears to have learned something from her version of the experience.
That lesson is to take small bites instead of one huge bite and choking on it. Unfortunately, it appears that the "Shamnesty-ites" have picked up that lesson as well.
~ ~ ~
From the "Another Day At The Office" file, the Democrats tried to ram through another piece of blatantly unconstitutional legislation this week - in this case, a bill to give the District of Columbia full congressional representation, which is explicitly precluded by Article I, Sections 2 and 8. It failed to win cloture today, and would have been vetoed by the President in any case.
Libs are crying "racism!", a frequent empty bleat of theirs when they lose, based on D.C.'s three-quarters black population. In truth, they didn't lose by nearly as much as they would have if they had taken the honest route and tried to pass a constitutional amendment. But why would they eschew unconstitutional short-cuts when there is an additional guaranteed House seat and two Senate seats to be had, right? I mean, it's not like they had any honor to lose anyway.
~ ~ ~
After the de facto D.C. statehood was torpedoed, Oregon RINO Gordon Smith, who is probably going down next November no matter how far to the left he tacks, tried to festoon Teddy Kennedy's perennial hate crimes legislation onto the Defense appropriations bill the Donks have been ignoring all summer. Arizona "maverick" John McCain - did you know he's running for president? - said, "Uh-uh-uh" and blocked the apples & carborators amendment, prompting this tired, wheezing, shop-worn piece of phony theatrics from Uncle Teddy:
I have every intention, with Senator Smith, at some time of offering the hate crimes legislation. I know the question comes up why are we offering hate crime legislation on a defense authorization bill? Well, the answer is very simple. the defense authorization bill is dealing with the challenges of terrorism and the hate crimes issue, to try and get a handle on the problems of hate crimes, we're talking about domestic terrorism, domestic terrorism.
Curious, isn't it? According to people like Uncle Teddy, there's no such thing as Islamic terrorism, other than what we bring on ourselves by our "crude, misguided foreign policy". If we would just quit the war, bring all our troops home, and send diplomats to hold summit meetings with bin Laden and Ahmadinejad instead, jihadism would "wither away" like the government in a global communist state. But when the issue is one of theirs, my, but how shamelessly quick they are to bolster their case with ludicrous, purblind equations to "terrorism".
Well, Senator Tyrannosaurus Sex, if the answer to terrorism is peace, not war, shouldn't you withdraw your belligerent "hate crimes" offensive and try to reach a diplomatic understanding with the "homophobes" instead?
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D'ya think Jack "Haw-Haw" Murtha wishes that "Haditha" was a Vulcan term for "Stop peeing in my plomeek soup!"?

~ ~ ~

If they made a movie about "the 300," might it not be appropriate to do the same for "the 250"?

~ ~ ~

The day dawned to this story out of the Washington Post:

Unable to garner enough Republican support, Senate Democratic leaders said yesterday that they are abandoning a bipartisan effort to bring U.S. troops home from Iraq by next spring. Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-NV) said that Democrats had been willing to make the troop withdrawal a "goal" in order to attract GOP support, but it never materialized.

Instead, Reid will again push for a firm deadline, this time June 2008, along with a stronger effort at cutting off war funding. ...

What was the catalyst for this retreat from a feint? Do you have to ask?

In recent weeks, Reid and other Democratic leaders had indicated they were willing to look for compromise with Republicans. Last week, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Army General David H. Petraeus, reported to Congress that he might be able to begin a small withdrawal later this year but that force levels would still be about the same next summer as they had been before President Bush's January order of an increase of 21,500 combat troops.

In other words, they were counting on the "Betray-Us" smear ad against the Iraq theater commander to discredit him outright or bully him into botching his testimony so that the Dems could given him the "Alberto Gonzales" treatment and discredit him that way. In so doing they hoped to spark an Elephant stampede to the RINO tall grass that would open up the floodgates for the pell-mell, "Saigon in April 1975" retreat for which the Left has been obnoxiously agitating for the past four years.

It didn't quite work out that way. And now the Democrats have to, um, "fall back" on their own resources, which haven't exactly been effective thus far in this Congress.

Dirty Harry's latest gambit is simply a rehash en masse: the Biden/Brownback Iraq partition plan that nobody but those two numbnuts believes is either viable or not the most arrogant, imperious load of neocolonialist claptrap since Winston Churcill refused to let India go; the Ben Nelson/Susan Collins directive to return to pre-"Surge" passivity that was SUCH a success in slowing down al Qaeda and the Iranian proxy militias (and legitimately successful in souring the public on the war); plus as many as ten other anti-war "planks" that Reid is determined to make the Republicans walk.

Or, at least, he was:

Reid and the Democrats did their head-counting this afternoon, and thought they finally had a window of opportunity in order to declare rhetorical defeat in Iraq in the Webb troop rotation bill. The Democrats moved up the vote, tried to spring the anti-war trap, had one extra vote going in with the appearance of Tim Johnson, and got fifty-six votes, four short of what he needed.

Reid got beat again. Instead of marching through the Carl Levin defeat bill, or any of the myriad of defeat bills he had hinted was coming earlier in the day, Reid retreated. As Joe Lieberman said to the media outside of the Senate chamber, the Webb amendment was the last chance of victory for the anti-Iraq crowd, and they lost.

I'll ask the question yet again: Just exactly how did Bill Frist and the late, great GOP Senate majority get their asses kicked by this Barney Fife wannabe? And how is it possible that, fourteen months from now, it's gonna happen again?