Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The President and The King - I just got a snoutfull of President Bush's address to the nation this evening, along with the Democratic response given by Sen. Dick Durbin, all courtesy of C-SPAN. Beyond the specifics of either party's plans for Iraq, it does appear that the tables have turned since the Democrats have taken power in Congress, with the avatars of both parties breaking away from stereotype. Despite liberal caricatures to the contrary, if tonight's remarks are any indication, it is the President who appears to want to engage Iraq as an ally in the war, and Senator Durbin who desires only to scold and dictate terms to Iraq's government.

While the President spoke of his intent to create new opportunities for cooperation between the armies and governments of the U.S. and Iraq, Sen. Durbin spoke to the Left's perception that our efforts to stand with Iraq (and against foreign insurgents) have caused the Iraqi government to fall down on the job of improving the "quality of life" for it's people.

To make matters worse, Sen. Durbin chided the President for proposing to send 20,000 more troops to Iraq, commenting that 20,000 soldiers would be too few to secure Baghdad and too many to risk in pursuit of victory. (This is exactly the type of stunning rhetorical illogic that far exceeds the bounds of political boilerplate and bores straight through the realm of abject and willful lunacy.)

The liberal penchant for monarchical pronouncements at first seems counterintuitive to the point of being wildly aberrant, but it is of a piece with Rep. Barney Frank's proposing a "grand bargain" between business and Congressional Democrats. Rep. Frank has repeatedly conceded the obvious; he and his fellow Democrats do not have veto-proof majorities in either the House or the Senate, and that implementing their agenda will require "bipartisanship" (concealed of course by a heaping dollop of Congressional Hearing-induced vitriol.)

With Democrats coming to the sense that not all mandates are created equal, they are left to bullying those whom better judgement would suggest be negotiated with. (It informs much that in a single speech, Sen Durbin managed to browbeat one of our allies in the Middle East and advocate negotiation with Iraq and Syria, all of this passing as "realism" in foreign policy)

The obvious bottom line to all of this is that the Left wants what it wants, both abroad and at home. Minor details such as bipartisanship (or the "minority rights" conversations of previous vintage), international alliances or simple logical consistency will not serve as obstacles for long. As has often been the case, we are left to place our trust in the often providential wisdom of everyday Americans. Heaven help us if that wisdom fails us now.

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