Blog Genius Wretchard quoted Ted Koppel on the Belmont Club:
“The Democrats especially their Presidential candidates could be painting themselves into a corner. … What are they going to do if they win the White House and the bulk of American forces are still in Iraq … there is first of all the very real danger that Iraq’s civil war will spill over into the rest of the Persian Gulf, interrupting the flow of oil and natural gas. If anything is going to have a disastrous impact on the US economy, that would. … If the President [Bush] withdraws the bulk or even all of US forces what happens next can be placed directly at his feet.”
Then Wretchard commented:
He then goes on to argue that the Democrats will be faced with same choice. Keep Iraq and validate the Bush policy or withdraw and risk a regional catastrophe. So there you have it, an intelligent man like Koppel knows what’s at the stake and the Democrats do too. But the lure of office may blind them to that danger. Fly now, pay later.
Also last night, Thompson was interviewed by Sean Hannity.
THOMPSON: Let me try to be responsive to your question. As far as the Democrats, they are adhering, to the extent they can, to the most left- wing element of their base. You know, MoveOn.org and those folks are running the Democratic Party. And they’re taking extremist positions and doing extremist things. Harry Reid is doing things that I think the American people are going to reject.
They’re as near to investing in defeat of their own country as anything I’ve ever seen. And I don’t think the American people will forgive them for that.
So they’re going through that exercise. And let’s just let them go. Let’s just give them a little rope and see what they do. Our name-calling and carping on them right now is kind of wasted effort, as far as I’m concerned.
This is a slightly expanded version of my response to Wretchard.
My problem with what Thompson said was that he seemed to think that the Democrats are painting with a palette loaded with all the colors of surrender, that this will diminish them, and this was good enough. I have two problems with this idea.
First, I don’t want the Democrats diminished any more. They are already diminished from what they used to be before the McGovernistas turned them into the peacemonger party and it hasn’t hurt their popularity. Instead, they have just brought down everybody’s popularity by convincing the US populace that war is just too hard for us and that our soldiers in Iraq are endangered and defenseless like so many toddlers on a busy freeway. We don’t need a diminished Democrat party, we need a stronger and more assertive one like the one that JFK or Harry Truman or FDR led.
Second, even if the peacemonger Democrats should become radioactive after advocating surrender without being militarily defeated in even one battle of the war, I don’t know that they will. Republicans have utterly lacked the stones to punish Democrats for any Democrat sins (Dollar Bill Jefferson anyone?). Nor will the Republicans lay claim to Abraham Lincoln, the abolition of slavery, and the racial integration of America that began under Eisenhower, who did more heavy lifting on that front than JFK or any Democrat president. Instead, the Republicans have tried to be kinder, gentler, more centrist, more bipartisan, while the Democrats pay lip-service to the bipartisan spirit and privately work to pick America’s pocket for the good of the tribes in the Democrat alliance. And even if Mendacious Murtha’s vile slow-bleed strategy hurts the Democrats, will it damage them fast enough to keep them from taking all three branches of government in 2008, or will we have to suffer from further cuts in the military and economy-deflating tax hikes, followed by horrifying slaughter in the Middle East and two or three more 9/11s on American and European soil, this time involving Iranian and Pakistani nukes, before a Democrat-led government wakes up?
I fear that the Golden Hour of the 3 Conjectures is running late. If America flees from Iraq, and then inevitably from Afghanistan, we may never get this chance again. Isn’t that worth some bare knuckle political infighting from the Republicans instead of the passive-aggressive above-the-fray moralizing we get from Fred Thompson and Lee Harris, and Ted Koppel’s Democrat riff on the same?