Saturday, July 16, 2005

More Democratic Brilliance

Howard Dean had better watch his back. Dean is often criticized for saying things that are, shall we say, less than tactful. Ex-Clinton aide Paul Begala is trying to do Dean one better.

Begala's presence on the panel created a stir when he declared that Republicans had "done a p***-poor job of defending" the U.S.

Republicans, he said, "want to kill us.

As someone who recieves the GOP talking points, I can confirm that killing democrats was nowhere on the list. At this point in the article I'm th
inking to myself, "I wonder if he's going to explain what the Democrats would do better in the war on terror." This was immediatley followed by, "of course not." Let's see if I was right, shall we?

"They want to kill me and my children if they can. But if they just kill me and not my children, they want my children to be comforted -- that while they didn't protect me because they cut my taxes, my children won't have to pay any money on the money they inherit," Begala said. "That is bulls*** national defense, and we should say that."

Actually I would say it's "bulls***" economics, but then again I'm probably inventing a bogus correlation between between economic policy and, well, economics. Oh, and for the record, while the Republicans have cut taxes, they have continued to pay for national defense. Actually, now that I read through it a third time, it seems even more cryptic than before. I think, though, that Mr. Begala has not had a political conversion since his Clinton days.

The Clinton administration's national security efforts involved the right blend of "experience" and "strength," Begala said, an assertion with which the 9/11 Commission apparently disagreed.

In other words, your boy Bill wasn't too hot on national defense either. I'm still waiting for the Democratic plan in all this. Unless that plan is to invade Kosovo. I think the neo-cons would hop on board with that.

Begala also included Republican domestic policies in his sweeping criticism. The GOP, he said, "ain't had a new idea since they opposed Social Security, and guess what, they still do. ... They are beginning to figure out that there is no Soviet Union, but they still want Star Wars to stop it," Begala said.

As a member of the party that is slightly lacking in ideas in the "new" department, Begala is more than qualified to speak. After all, what do school choice, welfare reform, flat taxes, and a missile defense system have in common? They are all relatively new ideas opposed by democrats. The new ideas coming out of the Democratic party in recent years: Bush is dumb, Dick Cheney is evil, and well, I think that about covers it. Let me know if I missed something Mr. Begala.

"Franklin Roosevelt got us in World War II. They dragged the Republicans kicking and screaming. They didn't want to get in that war. They didn't have any problem with Hitler. I won't go so far as to say they thought Hitler rocked. But there were people in America who did, and they didn't want us to get in that war. Democrats have always been just as tough as Republicans once they're in office," Frank said.

Here I must offer my heartfelt congratualtions to Mr. Begala for making a coherent and correct statement. Well done. Don't worry, this is short-lived.

Frank defended his point, however, claiming that Republicans didn't see Hitler as a threat to America until Pearl Harbor.

He repeated the Democratic criticism of America's invasion of Iraq. Saddam Hussein "was a horrible (sic), a dictator, a butcher, a tyrant, a mass murderer -- as evil as they come," Frank said, but he added: "I don't think he was a threat to the U.S. at the time."

I find it ironic however, that FDR was good for getting us involved in WWII, but Bush is bad for getting us involved in Iraq. Isolationism then, bad, isolationism now, good. Now obviously there is a huge difference between WWII and operation Iraqi Freedom. That being said, Hitler was not a threat to America either before or after Pearl Harbor. That makes him similar to Saddam--though the scale is largely different. Thus, I think a reasonable case can be made that we should not have fought in WWII.

Consider: we freed Eastern Europe from Nazism to allow them to suffer under Stalinism. It is true that Hitler killed 6 million Jews, but estimates run as high as 20 million on the casualties of Stalin's regime. Back then, a "gulag" was a gulag and in them people died.

My point is not to come down either way on WWII, merely to show that the war in Iraq is similar in some respects. Is pre-emtive war ever necessary? Begala, like the democratic party, is sending mixed messages on this one. This is not surprising, but it is still disappointing. It is also further proof that until the democrats come up with a coherent foreign policy, the fate of elections will depend on whether or not Americans like what the neo-cons are putting forth.

There are times when ignorant red-necks make me slightly embarrased to be a conservative. Now is not one of those times. Thank you Begala for showing me how brilliant the educated democrats can really be. I'm telling you, you almost sold me on voting for Hillary in '08. Almost.

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