Thursday, January 18, 2007

"A Terrible Beauty is Born"

Here's a few clips from an article in the Washington Post by David Ignatius, (the opening two paragraphs) :

Rep. Rahm Emanuel, the architect of the Democratic victory in November's congressional elections, watched President Bush's Iraq speech Wednesday night like the coach of an opposing debate team: "Tired," he said. "Too wooden." "Doesn't fill the screen."

The military consequences of Bush's new policy in Baghdad aren't knowable. But politically in Washington, it appeared to be dead on arrival. Emanuel's reaction was typical of leading Democrats, but many Republicans in Congress and on TV talk shows were lukewarm in their praise and a few were outright critical. Looking at Bush's grim demeanor, you sensed a presidency in eclipse: He has lost the House and Senate; he has lost the public on the war; and he has attached his presidency to a riderless horse. (Italics, Smoothingplane)

And the last two paragraphs:

And here's what Emanuel doesn't want to do: fall into the political trap of chasing overambitious or potentially unpopular measures. Ask about universal health care, and he shakes his head. Four smart presidents -- Truman, Johnson, Nixon and Clinton -- tried and failed. That one can wait. Reform of Social Security and other entitlements? Too big, too woolly, too risky. If the president wants to propose big changes to entitlements, he can lead the charge.

The secret for the Democrats, says Emanuel, is to remain the party of reform and change. The country is angry, and it will only get more so as the problems in Iraq deepen. Don't look to Emanuel's Democrats for solutions on Iraq. It's Bush's war, and as it splinters the structure of GOP power, the Democrats are waiting to pick up the pieces.

This is appalling indifference. These people just do not see the life and death struggle for western civilization staring at them from the removed heads of the innocent. It's just more domestic, political gamesmenship. Where decent people see serious strategic threats, they see opportunities for political power. This is repulsive ambulance chasing.

At Human Events Online, Tony Blankley says this about the same article:

But Rahm Emanuel's Democratic Party is so bereft of a sense of national responsibility that he apparently feels comfortable brazenly telling the Washington Post that his plans for his Democratic Party is to not even try to stop things from getting worse in Iraq -- so they can pick up the political pieces afterward. Mr. Emanuel is a "smart" politician. He thinks the more dire America's place in the world is in 2008, the more likely the voters are to vote Democratic. The more of our troops are left in more pieces the better for Rahm Emanuel's Democrats.

Maybe he is right -- electorally. In pre-revolutionary Russia, Vladimir Lenin wrote a famous pamphlet in which he referred favorably to Nikolai Chernyshevsky's appallingly cynical phrase: "The worse, the better" -- the political view that the worse the social conditions for the poor, the more willing they would be to support a revolution."

Let me be careful, I am not accusing Mr. Emanuel of being a Leninist (that would at least require convictions -- albeit perverted convictions). Emanuel has merely bought in to the cynical view that party interests are more important than national interests. (Emphasis, Smoothingplane)

Party interests are more important than national interests.

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