Losing to Losers?
Mark Steyn suggests the reports of Democrat party success in November is largely overestimated. Why? While there are various good reasons for people of different political persuasions to be angry at Bush--- from tax cuts for the rich to being soft on immigration, too namby-pamby on Iran, Korea and Syria and, of course, the Iraq war---voters still need to choose an option. And the Democrats provide none.
Their fury with Lieberman suggests a corrosion that goes far deeper than mere Bush Derangement Syndrome. The Democrats may be prepared to go along with some Clintonian pseudo-warmongering -- the desultory lobbing of a few cruise missiles at Slobodan or that Sudanese aspirin factory -- but, when it comes to the projection of hard power in the national interest, the left cannot get past Vietnam. Indeed, the reaction to Peter Beinart's ringing call for a reassertion of "liberal internationalism" -- ringing in the sense that nobody's picking up -- suggests that even his quaintly dated Eurocentric Sept. 10 ineffectually respectable multilateralism has few takers among today's left.
In the early '70s, when Kerry was insisting we'd get out of Vietnam at very little cost, he at least could plead ignorance: He didn't know what would come after. In 2006, we all know what followed: boat people, Cambodia's killing fields, globalized dominoes falling from Grenada to Iran. When Murtha, Kerry and Co. effectively demand that America agree to retraumatize itself in the humiliation of an even bigger geopolitical bug-out, one assumes they're failing to consider where the dominoes would fall this time round -- in Afghanistan, in Jordan, in Turkey, and beyond. It would end the American moment: Why would Russia, China or even Belgium take American power seriously ever again?
There is no serious talk from leading Democrats about the US and how it can maintain its status in the world except for innocuous references to economic suicide (Kyoto), the UN and multilateral action. But Americans, after receiving regular tongue-lashings from various Euro heads of state and UN unknowns, consider that group of allies as akin to asking Cameron Diaz, Luci Lu and Drew Barrymore to help you in an alley fight. The 3 girls may play kick-ass Charlie's Angels on TV but in a real fight they'll cower in a corner covering up their faces like Frenchmen.
To repeat Steyn's truism: Even a loser has to have someone to lose to.