Thursday, February 03, 2005

A manifesto for irresponsibility

Click here for AmazonThere are many times in a politician's career that they feel they must take a stand against popular opinion for reasons of principle: Ford's pardon of Nixon, for instance.

Today's OJ editorial asks: what if one party takes a stand that has neither popular support nor any fundamental principles?

That is where some of the Democratic thought-leaders find themselves today. They are not hoping for victory for their country. Instead, they are hoping for some sort of vindication for themselves. It will be a long time coming.

...Mr. Kerry: "No one in the United States should try to overhype this election.... It's hard to say that something is legitimate when a whole portion of the country can't and doesn't vote."

Mr. Kennedy: "While the elections are a step forward, they are not a cure for the growing violence and resentment of the perception of American occupation. . . . The best way to demonstrate to the Iraqi people that we have no long-term designs on their country is for the Administration to withdraw some troops now . . ."

Minority Leader Reid: "We need an exit strategy so that we know what victory is and how we can get there. . . . Iraq is clearly important, but there are so many bigger threats to our national security . . ."

So what is the Democratic Party's message on this inspiring exercise in Iraqi self-determination? First, that the election's legitimacy is questionable. Second, that its effects will be minor. Third, that America's presence in Iraq is doing more harm than good by generating terrorism and anti-Americanism where none previously existed. Fourth, that the U.S. has better things to do. Fifth, that American sacrifices in Iraq are best redeemed not by victory, but by the earliest feasible departure.

As a matter of policy, this is a manifesto for irresponsibility...

OpinionJournal: A manifesto for irresponsibility

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