Wednesday, December 12, 2007

By All Means, Give Us the Democrat Changes

On Tuesday night former Representative Harold Ford, now chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council, said that Democrats would win in 2008 “because the country needs a change”. That got me wondering just what changes the Democrats would have in mind for us if they won.

Since the Bush policies led us out of the Clinton recession of 2000 and also the post 9/11 crash, and resulted in seven years of growth, prosperity and record-breaking, continuous low unemployment, would the Democrat changes reverse this record? Or how about the trillion dollar tax increase that the Chairman of the Democrat-controlled Ways and Means Committee is talking about? Does the change Ford means include reversing the Bush tax cuts – including the new lower rates on capital gains and the elimination of taxes on smaller estates?

Perhaps Ford is talking about going back to the days before 9/11, when Democrats treated Islamic terrorism as a nuisance - a law-enforcement problem, and American interests, American properties and American people, including sailors on the USS Cole and airmen in the Khobar Towers were routinely being attacked and massacred. Since 9/11, due to President Bush’s policies, there have been no new terrorist attacks against American personnel or interests.

Another possibility is that our CIA will be retasked to concentrate on combating man-made global warming, instead of stopping terrorists from getting their hands on a nuclear weapon or a mass-murdering biological agent. This is what Speaker Nancy Pelosi seems to have in mind.

Amongst all the caterwauling we have heard for seven years, certain things stand out: we have been free from terror attacks, we are defeating the Al Qaeda effort to establish an Islamic caliphate in the west and we have had prosperity at home. This is not a record that needs changing. Even David Broder, not a fan of Republicans and considered by most to be a centrist, had this to say:

A foreign policy window opens

David Broder, December 7, 2007, Washington Post

The shape of the world has changed again, signaling the possibility of a new American foreign policy and national security strategy. The portents are hopeful if U.S. leaders have the imagination and courage to seize some of the opportunities.

Just consider the major international headlines of the past few weeks. A Middle East conference including almost all the major players in that troubled region produced an agreement by leaders of Israel and the Palestinians to negotiate toward a peace agreement within the next year.

In Iraq, the level of violence has subsided and the first troop withdrawals are planned, while tribal leaders -- without waiting for the central government -- are negotiating among themselves and forming anti-al-Qaida militias.

In Iran, U.S. intelligence reported this week that work on a nuclear weapons program was suspended in 2003, apparently in response to U.S.-led and U.N.-sanctioned pressure. President Bush says this is no guarantee that the Iranian regime can be trusted to stay disarmed. But to others, at the very least, it opens a window for negotiations.

And in our own hemisphere, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, the most anti-American of all the elected leaders in Latin America, was given his comeuppance this week by his own people. A referendum he sponsored for constitutional changes, which would have strengthened his control of the government and permitted him to serve indefinitely, was rejected. Chavez said he took it as a signal of dissatisfaction.

Now, it was not all good news. In Russia, Vladimir Putin engineered a parliamentary election that solidified his control and moved that country, with its growing oil-fueled wealth, further away from a genuine democracy.

In Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf shed his uniform but kept his hold on the presidency, and his emergency controls have made it questionable whether the opposition will have a real opportunity in the coming elections.

And in Afghanistan, the Taliban, exploiting the security they now enjoy in the border area with Pakistan, have become more aggressive against U.S. and NATO forces.

All this suggests that this is a world full of challenges -- but fortunately not facing a crisis or the likelihood of another major war.

Judging by his news conference remarks Tuesday, Bush intends to keep marching straight ahead. His view is that the improvement in Iraq results from his decision to raise the level of troops committed to that battle, and that Iran's abandonment of nuclear ambitions would not have occurred without the pressure the U.S. and its allies applied.

Bush Critics Run for Cover
Democrats in Congress have spent the last few weeks ignoring the progress in Iraq or changing their position. The fact that President Bush is emerging as a far-sighted leader who may well go down in history as the man who saved western civilization has begun to dawn on them and on such former critics as Mr. Broder.


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At 10:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no change for the better with these Democrats. Their low approval ratings have shown that the American People are getting sick and tired of them. If They aren't stabbing the troops and our President in the back, they're whining about stupid things like he said she said with radio talk show hosts. They have done absolutely nothing in Congress and we're almost at the end of the year. So meanwhile, Hillary is all upset because she's falling behind Obama. I hear that they're all hollering at each other in the Hillary camp. Hey, Obama has Oprah stumping for him, so why don't she get Babs Streisand, or maybe Sean Penn to help her? Hey, you know something? Who gives a *#&$ about her and the horse that she rode in on? The Democrats have made a change all right; a change for the worse!


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