Sunday, May 18, 2008

How to Enrage a Democrat

How to Enrage a Democrat
May 17, 2008 Wall St Journal

If nothing else, we now know what it takes to make a Democrat go nuts. One word: "appeasement."

Notwithstanding that President Bush named no names in his speech to Israel's Knesset on Thursday, Barack Obama instantly called it a "false political attack." On him, of course.

To House Speaker Nancy Pelosi it was "beneath the dignity of the office of the President."

"Offensive and outrageous," thundered Hillary Clinton from somewhere in South Dakota, followed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid: "reckless and irresponsible."

When the party's top four Democrats come roaring out of the blocks in unison, something has hit a nerve.

Forget the complaint that Mr. Bush used a Hitler analogy. It's the here and now that has these Democrats upset. The fuse that set them off is any suggestion inside the context of a live presidential campaign that the Democrats are soft on national security.

This has been a particular Democratic vulnerability since at least the George McGovern campaign in 1972. The most famous and destructive image from a Democratic presidential campaign the past 25 years was the helmeted Governor Michael Dukakis in a tank. In 2004, John Kerry tried to run on his biography as a Vietnam vet. Didn't work.

If Barack Obama has an Achilles' heel, this is it. He first exposed it last July in a Democratic debate when he replied, "I would," to a question of whether he'd meet as President with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "without precondition." Even Mrs. Clinton took a shot at that one, calling the Senator's comment "irresponsible and frankly naive."

Speaker Pelosi's own April 2007 sojourn to Syria is remembered mainly for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert feeling obliged to correct Ms. Pelosi's announcement that Mr. Olmert had told her he was ready to start peace talks with Syria. Untrue.

Meanwhile, Speaker Pelosi announced in Damascus: "We came in friendship, hope, and determined that the road to Damascus is a road to peace." There must be a word for this somewhere. Just last month, former President Jimmy Carter met with leaders of Hamas to promote, among other things, "human rights."

But Barack Obama is the party's presumptive standard-bearer for 2008. Thus, let's try to bring this dispute into sharper focus.

Mr. Obama asserted again yesterday that he will not meet with terrorists. He is, however, willing to meet with Iran or Syria. Virtually no serious person disputes that Iran has shipped weaponry to terrorists in Iraq and that Syria has provided safe haven to these terrorists and let them cross from Syria into Iraq. In turn, these jihadists have killed U.S. soldiers. At a minimum, one might expect that ceasing this lethal activity would be a "precondition" before committing the office of the presidency to meet with either.

These columns have regularly criticized the current President and Secretary of State for failing to execute any discernible policy to stop the participation of these two state sponsors of terror in causing U.S. casualties in Iraq. This is the real mismatch between Mr. Bush's rhetoric and record, and where Senator Obama, if he chose, could hit hard. We doubt he will.

The Bush Administration has finessed the Iran nuclear problem by handing it to the E3/EU "process" – taken nowhere by the world's top diplomatic talkers from France, Germany and the U.K. For two years, Condoleezza Rice's State Department has played footsie with whomever speaks for Iran, to no effect. For either Barack Obama or Nancy Pelosi to suggest that they know better how to talk Iran's mullahs into an acceptable deal is, to put it gently, grandstanding.

Leaving no argument unturned, Democrats have reached back to Richard Nixon's trip to China and Ronald Reagan's negotiations with the Soviet Union as evidence that Republican Presidents "talk to the enemy." Put it this way: The day Iran brings forth a Chou Enlai and Syria a Mikhail Gorbachev, sure, give them a call.

Mr. Bush is right about one thing: At bottom this dispute is about understanding the nature of the enemy in Iran, Syria and other sponsors and practitioners of Islamic terror. If the tempest over his indelicate words causes the Democratic presidential nominee to think twice about the political cost of trafficking with Tehran or Damascus, uttering "appeasement" will have been worth it.

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At 7:44 AM, Anonymous Joe said...

The biggest problem with these Democrats is facing the truth, and no matter how they dance around the issues and try to deny it, their actions alone prove them to be the hypocrites that they truly are. Just calling them appeasers is too light for them. I call them yellow spineless cowards who don't even stick up for their own country. If the truth hurts, that's tough. It's a shame that some of these "dyed in the wool" Democrats in my city are too blind to see this. Could it be because they know more about "Dancing with the stars" and "American Idol" than they know about the putrid political hacks that they keep voting for?


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