The Democrat Party has just entered the McGovern Zone. The nation is at war against deadly enemies and the Democrats are going into an election committed to capitulation. They are gambling everything on failure in Iraq. If, in six months, successful elections have been held in Iraq and we have begun reducing our troop levels there, only a few hardcore nutjobs will still cling to the idea that Iraq is a hopeless quagmire. That idea is all the Democrats have to offer and when it dies the Democrat Party itself will be teetering on the edge of extinction.
and recommends statesmanship:
After entering the McGovern Zone in 1972, however, the Democrats had a field day courtesy of Watergate in 1974. The recurring CIA leaks, pseudo-scandals and media hostility undermining the Bush administration are also reminiscent of the forces with which Nixon contended following his landslide reelection. Under the circumstances, it seems to me that the statesmanship of President Bush’s Naval Academy speech represents the best course for him to take and to persist in.
We disagree. In political contests, as in war, either you are on the offensive, or you are on the defensive. If President Bush is going to avoid repeating the history of Nixon’s second term, if he is going to avoid being reduced to impotence, and possibly even destroyed, by an endless series of leaks, opportunistic charges, and trumped-up prosecutions, fanned by the opposition media sooner or later successfully into a major scandal, what he needs to do is to pursue not the way of the statesman, but –as we previously suggested– the Chicago Way. What he needs to do is to take to heart the advice provided by Sean Connery’s Jim Malone to Kevin Costner’s Elliot Ness in Brian de Palma’s The Untouchables (1987):
Connery: lf you open the ball on these people, you must be prepared to go all the way. Because they won’t give up the fight until one of you is dead.
Costner: l want to get Capone. l don’t know how.
Connery: Here’s how you get Capone: he pulls a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to hospital, you send one of his to the morgue! That’s the Chicago way! And that’s how you get Capone. Now, do you want to do that? Are you ready to do that?
The way to avoid being destroyed by leaks and pseudo-scandals in endless succession is to prosecute the leakers, to identify the organized campaign against the administration by disaffected active and retired government employees as the scandal and criminal conspiracy it is, to fight it in the public debate arena, and to identify laws which have been broken and prosecute the guilty parties.