Wesley Pruden admires the consternation of the democrats at the turning of the tide in Iraq.
It’s not easy to pimp surrender, but some of our congressional and media worthies are giving it their best shot.
It won’t be easy. Nobody but the loons think quitters, fakers, surrender monkeys and pessimists of various stripes are good custodians of the national interests, and the men and women who read the newspapers and magazines and watch the television newscasts are smarter than the men and women who write and preen for them. Americans are fed up with the Iraq war not because they think resisting jihad is wrong, but because they think the leaders at the top may not necessarily be serious about winning without apology. Anthony McAuliffe, who answered the German demand for surrender at Bastogne with “nuts” (if not something a little saltier), is the kind of general Americans admire most.
The risks for Democratic doom-criers are becoming evident. The accumulating evidence of progress, little by little, is changing public opinion. Media opinion will follow, slowly as always, and the sluggard notabilities of press and screen will be tugged â€” “kicking and screaming,” as the liberals once said of conservatives â€” into reality. The Democrats in Congress, like the embittered losers on the left, will be left behind on the other side of the famous bridge to the 21st century.
Cautious optimism is reflected in curious places. “The new U.S. military strategy in Iraq, unveiled six months ago to little acclaim, is working,” the Associated Press â€” no particular friend of George W. Bush â€” reports. The usual caveats follow: “It’s a phase with fresh promise yet the same old worry: Iraq may be too fractured to make whole.” And this: the U.S. military “cannot guarantee victory.” And this: “… it is far from certain that [the Iraqis] are capable of putting this shattered country together again.” American commanders are “clinging to a hope.” And “there is no magic formula for success.” Duh.
Nevertheless and grudging or not, things are reported to be better than they used to be, and seem to be getting a little better every day. It’s enough to make a partisan Democrat weep. Some are. Nancy Boyda of Kansas, a freshman in the House, was so unnerved by good news from the front that she stalked out of a committee hearing when a retired general described developments in Iraq as encouraging. Good news like that, she said, only “further divides the country.” Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, the Democratic majority House whip, was even more revealing: If things improve in Iraq, that would be “a real problem for us.”
Fear began to creep into the Democratic consciousness a fortnight or so ago, replacing the happy confidence that America was taking the licking that would doom Republicans next year.
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