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December 11, 2005

Defeatist Democrats, Always "Taken Out of Context"

Howard Dean is claiming his statement about the war in Iraq being unwinnable was "taken out of context."

Brit Hume offered the full context on Thursday. It doesn't seem to help him much:

"I supported President Bush, the first President Bush's war in Iraq. I supported this president Bush's war in Afghanistan. But I do not believe in making the same mistake twice. And America appears to have made the same mistake twice. I wish the president had paid more attention to the history of Iraq before we'd gotten in there. The idea that we're going to win this war is an idea that is unfortunately just plain wrong, and I've seen this before in my life. It cost us 25,000 brave American soldiers in Vietnam, and I don't want to go down that road again."

Nothing there that suggests a different plan would make it winnable, or that caveats his claim that it's not winnable. In fact, he compares it to the most famously unwinnable war in American history, Vietnam. (At least it's so in the conventional liberal wisdom.)

And of course John Murtha is claiming he wasn't accurately quoted, either, regarding his now-radioactive call for "immediate" withdrawal of troops from Iraq. Brit Hume's having none of that, either:

Even before today, Democrats were complaining that Rep. John Murtha's plan to remove troops from Iraq has been "mischaracterized" for political reasons, saying the Pennsylvania Democrat never proposed an immediate withdrawal. In fact, in announcing his plan last month, Murtha said his plan would "immediately redeploy U.S. troops," adding, "It is time to bring them home." He said some troops should be rebased in the region with a Marine force over the horizon. A few days later, he made clear that by that, he meant outside Iraq.

Liberal partisan Democrat Juan Williams is also fond of this silliness. He'll spend ten minutes attacking Bush for being so "inflexible" about withdrawal, supporting the Democrats' calls for such, and then when it's pointed out that the Democrats are supporting, effectively, surrender and defeat, he'll claim that the Democrats aren't really suggesting anything at all different than Bush, and so it's unfair to attack them.

He claims that since Bush says he wants security followed by a withdrawal, and the Democrats want a withdrawal which they hope will lead to security, both positions are in fact essentially the same and it's cheap and demagogic to suggest the Democrats want anything different than Bush.

Of course this is absurd. Bush demands objective goals be met, and then he hopes for a fairly quick withdrawal. While the Democrats demand a fairly quick withdrawal, and hope that objective military goals will be achieved by the Iraqis. That's a pretty big difference in prioritization there, and not even Juan Williams could be so stupid as to not comprehend it.

Well, wait: This is Juan Williams we're talking about. So perhaps I shouldn't suggest he's being dishonest in his partisan hackery. Maybe he really is that stupid. Certainly I don't foresee him unifying the four forces anytime soon.

But Juan makes no sense any way you slice it. If it's true the Democrats aren't suggesting anything different than Bush, why are they all pounding on him? How can you criticize a man when you're also claiming you support the same policies he does?

Juan Williams and other liberal partisans believe in drawing distinctions for their own political advantage, but when their opponents point out those distinctions, they claim there aren't really any meaningful distinctions in the first place.

It's a replay of the Democrats' notorious 2004 campaign "position" on gay marriage: John Kerry has the exact same policy on gay marriage as Bush and Cheney, but Bush and Cheney are terrible homophobes for supporting that policy.

At the risk of being obvious (but apparently some liberals need to read the obvious): You can claim to either have a better policy than Bush, or you can claim your policy is exactly the same as Bush's, but you can't claim your policy is both exactly the same as Bush's and also, somehow, better than Bush's. Either they're different or they're not.

The real "context" which explains this nonsense is that Democrats want it both ways. They want to be viewed as tough and resolute on matters military while simultaneously rejecting military solutions and calling for withdrawals; they want to placate their strenuously antiwar base while reassuring moderates who think that maybe it's a good idea to win wars our country begins.

These competing demands really can't be met simultaneously, so they say one thing one day and the complete opposite another, and then cry foul when someone (accurately) quotes one day's statement.

The real "context," in other words, is that they don't have a policy at all on the War on Terror. At least none they feel comfortable publicly and clearly admitting to.


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posted by Ace at 03:13 AM

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