Friday, June 13, 2008

Krauthammer, McCain & Tourette's Syndrome


As I watched McCain in a Town Hall on Fox News last night villify "greedy" big oil as one of the main causes of our high gas prices, my Tourette's kicked in. This is a an issue of incredible importance, and he might as well have been reading a press release from Howard Dean. He really has little grasp of economics. What an utter ass. While I admire McCain for his pricipled stands, he seems to be lacking common sense and the ability to change his stands when the underlying facts change. Four dollar a gallon gas and skyrocketing prices of food are going to crush the lower economic echelons in America, and severely hurt the middle class. These are changed facts.

Having said that, there are still three issues upon which I will absolutely have to show up and pull the lever for McCain in November, even if I must show up to the polling booth with my mouth taped shut so I am not arrested for one long continuous burst of profanity. One issue, thrown into stark relief after the insane judicial activism of the Supreme Court in the 5-4 decision in Boumediene yesterday (blogged here) is the issue of Supreme Court nominations. The second issue, the subject of Charles Krauthammer's article today, is Iraq. The third issue, inextricably tied to Iraq, is Iran. All of these issues are equally of existential importance to our country and a failure in any of three issues could do untold, fundamental harm to our nation. All should be the centerpieces of McCain's effort.
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This today from Charles Krauthammer:

It's time for some straight talk on Democrat defeatism, Sen. McCain.

In his St. Paul victory speech, Barack Obama pledged again to pull out of Iraq. Rather than “continue a policy in Iraq that asks everything of our brave men and women in uniform and nothing of Iraqi politicians. . . . It’s time for Iraqis to take responsibility for their future.”

We know Obama hasn’t been to Iraq in more than two years, but does he not read the papers? Does he not know anything about developments on the ground? . . .

The disconnect between what Democrats are saying about Iraq and what is actually happening there has reached grotesque proportions. Democrats won an exhilarating electoral victory in 2006 pledging withdrawal at a time when conditions in Iraq were dire and we were indeed losing the war. Two years later, when everything is changed, they continue to reflexively repeat their “narrative of defeat and retreat” (as Joe Lieberman so memorably called it) as if nothing has changed.

It is a position so utterly untenable that John McCain must seize the opportunity and, contrary to conventional wisdom, make the Iraq War the central winning plank of his campaign. Yes, Americans are war-weary. Yes, most think we should not have engaged in the first place. Yes, Obama will keep pulling out his 2002 speech opposing the war.

But McCain’s case is simple. Is not Obama’s central mantra that this election is about the future not the past? It is about 2009, not 2002. Obama promises that upon his inauguration, he will order the Joint Chiefs to bring him a plan for withdrawal from Iraq within 16 months. McCain says that upon his inauguration, he’ll ask the Joint Chiefs for a plan for continued and ultimate success.

The choice could not be more clearly drawn. The Democrats’ one objective in Iraq is withdrawal. McCain’s one objective is victory.

McCain’s case is not hard to make. Iraq is a three-front war — against Sunni al-Qaeda, against Shiite militias, and against Iranian hegemony — and we are winning on every front:

— We did not go into Iraq to fight al-Qaeda. The war had other purposes. But al-Qaeda chose to turn it into the central front in its war against America. That choice turned into an al-Qaeda fiasco: al-Qaeda in Iraq is now on the run and in the midst of stunning and humiliating defeat.

— As for the Shiite extremists, the Mahdi Army is isolated and at its weakest point in years.

— Its sponsor, Iran, has suffered major setbacks, not just in Basra, but in Iraqi public opinion, which has rallied to the Maliki government and against Iranian interference through its Sadrist proxy.

Even the most expansive American objective — establishing a representative government that is an ally against jihadists, both Sunni and Shiite — is within sight.

Obama and the Democrats would forfeit every one of these successes to a declared policy of fixed and unconditional withdrawal. If McCain cannot take to the American people the case for the folly of that policy, he will not be president. Nor should he be.

Give the speech, senator. Give it now.

Read the entire article. I've been screaming this one from the rooftops for so long I'm hoarse (see here, here and here). McCain has not done too bad a job in engaging on Iraq, though I agree with Krauthammer that this must be front and center of McCain's campaign. The one thing McCain has done a horrendous job of doing is tying our efforts in Iraq into the effort to stop Iran. Further, McCain has done an equally horrendous job of outlining the nature of the dangers Iran poses. He speaks in generalities - he needs to get specific.

At any rate, it is my sincere hope that McCain spends the rest of the time between now and November focusing like a laser on Iraq, Iran and Supreme Court nominations. Otherwise I will need to spend that time period alone in a cave lest my extreme bouts with tourettes land me in trouble in polite society.

1 comment:

Shirley Vandever said...

Great analysis, and good advice for McCain.

I believe I am getting a touch of the Tourette's myself. I wonder if it is catching.