November 30, 2005

Stop The Nonsense !

Yesterday Democratic senator Joe Lieberman wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal which was a brilliant summary of American progress in Iraq. Senator Lieberman's main point being "America cannot abandon 27 million Iraqis to 10,000 terrorists." Thank God for Mr. Lieberman for bringing a degree of clarity to what seems to be a very confusing and confounding issue for most democrats. After watching President Bush's speech today on Iraq I am not sure what the anti-war left is unable to comprehend about America's strategy for victory in Iraq. In fact, as of now any American who is unclear on what the strategy is can download a 35 page PDF file, which details the exact strategy that is being pursued. This file is an unclassified version of the very same strategy that has been pursued for the last three years. There is no clearer way to present what our plan is. Perhaps now Democratic senators such as John Kerry and Ted Kennedy will finally stop claiming things like "The president has no plan for victory in Iraq" or "There is no exit strategy in Iraq". Unfortunately, the carping continues on the left and makes an intellectually honest observer ask: what is it they still don't understand?

Last week or so a democratic congressman and former marine by the name of John Murtha, who had been a proponent of the war, called for the immediate withdrawal of American forces from Iraq. Murtha's proposal dovetailed nicely with a common theme that has been pounded so often lately by the anti-war left. The theme of Bush lied people died/ let's cut and run has been heralded so often lately that the American people have started to believe there is some merit to this position. Recent polling on Iraq has been negative which must excite the anti-war left. And true to form past presidential hopefuls like John Kerry and John Edwards have altered thier idealogy to conform with the latest polling data. Kerry is just as confusing as usual whereas in June of this year he was calling for more troops to be brought into Iraq and now he is calling for less, claiming that our presence there is inciting the terrorists. Which is it Mr. Kerry more troops or less? Here's a novel idea senator why not let conditions on the ground and the the military commanders on the scene decide those questions shall we? Kerry's campaign buddy John Edwards recently wrote and op-ed in The Washington Post in which he plays the game of "if I had known now what I had not known then I would have not supported the war". Not to state the obvious Mr. Edwards but: No one knew then what we know now. President Bush is a powerful man but he does not possess a time machine. In his remarks Edwards echoes other Democrats in congress who have been wanting to re-fight the political battle of going to war in the first place. Let me try to shed some light on this situation: For the record, all of the senators who voted for the war had access to the same intelligence report on the potential threat that Iraq posed to our security that the President had read, yet no more than six senators and a handful of House members read beyond the five-page executive summary. After reviewing some of this material I concur with what the President must have been thinking at the time. The President was told "... if attacked and "if sufficiently desperate" – Saddam might turn to al Qaeda to carry out an attack against the US with chemical or biological weapons. "He might decide that the extreme step of assisting the Islamist terrorist in conducting a CBW attack against the United States would be his last chance to exact vengeance by taking a large number of victims with him," the report stated. The report did assign "low confidence" to this finding, however, it also assigned "high confidence" to the findings that Iraq had active chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs, and "moderate confidence" that Iraq could have a nuclear weapon as early as 2007 to 2009." * This intelligence was available to Congress when the House passed the Iraq resolution on Oct. 10, 2002 by a vote of 296-133. The Senate passed it on Oct. 11, by a vote of 77-23. A total of 81 Democrats in the House and 29 Democrats in the Senate supported the resolution, including some who now are saying Bush misled them. All of this information is a matter of public record and can be verified at Fact Having been presented with this information in a post 9-11 world I, like many senators and congressman at the time, would tend to agree with the President who must have concluded that even a possiblity of of a chemical, biological, or nuclear attack could not be tolerated. This information coupled with all of the other legitimate reasons to go to war, such as violating the the cease fire of 1991 by shooting at our planes, untold human rights abuses, and resistance to weapons inspectors just to name a few, is more than enough justification to go to war with Iraq. These are the, far to often overlooked, facts of the situation which are inconvienient for the anti-war left.

*From fact

In a brilliant move Republican senators proposed to put John Murtha's plan to get out out of Iraq to a vote, forcing Democrats in congress to put there money where there mouth is so to speak. The measure was resoundingly defeated 403 votes to 3. So, Democrats are decrying the war and calling for troop withdrawal yet when asked to vote they act in opposition of what thier rhetoric would tend to suggest. In Murtha's defense, by the way, he later stated that he was merely attempting to start a dialogue on the topic which seems fair enough but where does this leave us? The reality is the anti-war left does not want a strategy for victory in Iraq. The inexcapable truth is that what they really want is America to be defeated in Iraq. As Mort Kondrake, one of my favorite centrist commentators, recently stated, "Senators like Nancy Pelosi are invested in America losing the war." Thier Bush-Bashing and general opposition would be vindicated if America loses the war. This state of affairs is absurd: to have some members of one of the political parties be more interested in being able to say I told you so than they are interested in the very survival of thier own country.

[the following is a sidebar]
The level of rhetoric put forward by the anti-war left would be laughable if it were not regarding such a serious subject. Some of the Democrats in congress have become so blindly partisan now that they seem like caricatures of themselves. Harry Reid is like a cartoon character in some dark politcal comedy. Recently Reid, like other democrats in the past, adopted a rhetorical theme/turn of phrase that he must have noticed was used successfully and effectively on the right. This phenomenon is a political copy-catting of sorts. It is a childish ploy that makes the party doing the copying look very foolish. It happened alot during the last presidential campaign but here's the latest example: In the first volley of counter-attacks, that was long overdue, from the White House regarding this latest struggle over Iraq, Dick Cheney said the following: "The President and I cannot prevent certain politicians from losing their memory or their backbone. But we are not going to let them sit by and rewrite history." The childish Reid must have noticed how effective that rhetoric was when Cheney used it but rather than respond with an original thought that could have possibly advanced the discussion he simply adopted almost the very same charge and simply levied it back at Cheney. In a speech Reid gave a few days later on the senate floor he accused Cheney of making a "spineless" attack. Notice how he tried to disguise his copy-catting by changing "losing their backbone" to "spineless" He wanted to use the same rhetorical and conceptual theme as Cheney did so badly that he didn't even use it effectively. It does't even work rhetorically to charactaize an agressive action such as an attack as "spineless". Using the description "spineless" in this case doesn't even make sense within its own framework as set forth by Reid. Typical of this debate, again it is the adults vs. the children.
[end of sidebar]

While we're on the subject of Iraq let me de-bunk two other favorite talking points often used by the ant-war left. First is what I call the chicken-hawk argument. And I'm being generous by calling it an argument. There is this idea that unless you have served or are currently serving in the armed services you are essentially un-qualified to comment on Iraq. Dick Cheney is a favoritie target of the chicken hawk argument. Dick Cheney is part of the civilain leadership that is leading the war. He has devoted his life to public service and is offering up ideas on how to defeat our enemies. It is absurd to suggest that only a warrior has license to comment on matters of war. I would assert that even the opposite is true. Meaning: civillians are serving the troops by being part of the discussion about what the troops are doing. I reject the notion that only those who have served are allowed to comment. The chicken-hawk argument is not even an argument really. It is simply a personal attack that the anti-war left uses to distract from actually having a factual discussion on the merits of the subject. As we all know, the personal or ad hominem attack, a favorite tactic of the left, is the lowest form of debate. It is used by those who are losing the argument. Therfore, I hope we can all agree that the chicken-hawk argument is for the birds.

Another anti-war talking point is the notion that Iraq is a Vietnam-like quagmire. If democrats want to compare Iraq to Vietnam I wish they would examine the one noticable simialrity that is: As was the case in Vietnam, the oppostion forces have no chance of acheiving a military victory, but if they follow the Vietnam archetype they can hope that the American Left at home undermines support to the war to the point where troops are drawn down prematurely based on some arbitrary political time table which would amount to a kind of victory for the terrorists. That is, however, where the similarities to Vietnam end. The main difference being that the the enemy in Vietnam had a political ideology (namely communism) whereas the Iraqi insurgent's agenda and philosophy boils down to: Kill and Cause Chaos. As Jon Stewart recently quipped "The terrorist's strategy of winning the hearts and minds of the arab people by killing them doesn't seem to be working." (He said this while watching footage of arab students marching in protest of the insurgency leader Zarqawi after a recent Amman, Jordan hotel wedding bombing that killed primarily arabs.)

In the end, Democratic critics of the war and the Cindy Sheehan anti-war far left are just going to have to reconcile the fact that America will see this cause through to it's conclusion. No amount of dredging up or re-writing the past will change the course laid out by President Bush and it kills them. The fact that we may be successful in Iraq terrrifies them. The anti-war left is livid because they realize that, as the President said in his speech today, "... America will not run in the face of car bombers and assassins so long as I am your Commander-in-Chief." and it kills them that history will view the war in Iraq as a worthwhile enterprise.

November 13, 2005

Triangulation Revisited

The Governor-Elect of Virginia, Tim Kaine, is part of a new breed of Democrats. Even in a "red state" a Democratic Candidate, who posseses the optimum blend of centrism and common sense practicality, can be elected. Add in a healthy sprinkling of religious references and expression and the candidate becomes very palatable indeed to the average American voter.

This observation is either alarming or refreshing's hard to know which. I believe that the man is genuinely religious. He is religious without be a zealot. Also, importantly, he got elected by moving to the center, AKA moving to the right (in his case). As an optimist, I choose to believe that Governor-Elect Kaine representend himself genuinely as religious man who is opposed to abortion. A cynic would say that he simply adopted some conservative principles that which he strategised would get him elected. Whatever the case may be, it would seem prudent if some of the more far-left Democrats were to adopt the Tim Kaine playbook of moving to the center if they want to get elected. I believe that we will start to see more and more Democrats abandoning the far-left Michael Moore conspiracy theory brand of rhetoric in lieu of a much more practical and agreeable brand of centrism.

If my prediction comes true a new paradigm of political positioning will emerge onto the American political landscape. It is Clinton-era triangulation* re-invented. The ingredients of this new type of triangulation seems to be: Tough, centrist, Democrats claiming the political territory of religion, and hawk-ishness usually reserved for Republicans. What will be the next ingredient? Democrats getting elected by promising to cut taxes? It's almost a "if ya can't beat 'em join 'em" mentality or perhaps more cynically a "if ya can't beat 'em then simply adopt their policies and platforms".

*The main principle behind the political strategy of triangulation is that if a candidiate assumes the same or similar positions of thier opponent then the line that differenciates the two candidates is blurred thus increasing the chance of success for the chameleon-like candidate.

My prediction is that we will see a new wave of centrist Democrats attaining success by adopting this latest incarnation of Triangulation... Did someone say Hilary?

We shall see.

July 17, 2005

In Defense of the Religious

The following has been transcribed from a friend's blog on which I made a lengthy comment which decontructs a "joke" forwarded by a M.I.T. professor: (to see the original post click here.)

Forwarded from a Professor at M.I.T.

Dear President Bush:

Congratulations on your victory over all us non-evangelicals. Actually, we're a bit ticked off here in California, so we're leaving. California will now be its own country, and we're taking all the Blue States with us. In case you are not aware, that includes Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, and all of the Northeast. We spoke to God, and God agrees that this split will be beneficial to almost everybody, and especially to us in the new country of California. In fact, he's so excited, God is going to shift the whole country at 4:30 pm EST this Friday. Therefore, please let everyone know they need to be back in their states by then.

So you get Texas and all the former slave states. We get the Governator, stem cell research and the best beaches. We get Elliot Spitzer. You get Ken Lay. We get the Statue of Liberty. You get OpryLand. We get Intel and Microsoft. You get WorldCom. We get Harvard. You get Ole' Miss. We get 85% of America's venture capital and entrepreneurs. You get all the technological innovation in Alabama. We get about two-thirds of the tax revenue, and you get to make the red states pay their fair share. Since our divorce rate is 22% lower than the Christian Coalition's, we get a bunch of happy families. You get a bunch of single moms to support, and we know how much you like that. Did I mention we produce about 70% of the nation's veggies? But heck, the only greens the Bible-thumpers eat are the pickles on their Big Macs. Oh yeah, another thing, don't plan on serving California wine at your state dinners. From now on it's imported French wine for you. (Ouch, bet that hurts!)

Just so we're clear, the country of California will be pro-choice and anti-war. Speaking of war, we're going to want all Blue States' citizens back from Iraq. If you need people to fight, just ask your evangelicals. They have tons of kids they're willing to send to their deaths for absolutely no purpose. And they don't care if you don't show pictures of their kids' caskets coming home. Anyway, we wish you all the best in the next four years and we hope, really hope, you find those missing weapons of mass destruction. Seriously. Soon.

With the Blue States in hand, the Democrats have firm control of 80% of the country's fresh water, over 90% of our pineapple and lettuce, 92% of all fresh fruit production, 93% of the artichoke production, 95% of America's export quality wines, 90% of all cheese production, 90% of the high tech industry, most of the US low-sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and condors, all the Ivy and Seven Sister schools, plus Amherst, Stanford, Berkeley, CalTech and MIT. We can live simply but well.

The Red States, on the other hand, now have to cope with 88% of all obese Americans (and their projected health care cost spike), 92% of all US mosquitoes, nearly 100% of all tornadoes, 90% of all hurricanes, 99% of all Southern Baptists, 100% of all Televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, Bob Jones University, Clemson and the University of Georgia...a high price to pay for controlling the presidency. Additionally, 38% of those in the Red states believe Jonah was actually eaten by a whale, 62% believe life is sacred unless we're discussing the death penalty or gun laws, 44% believe that evolution is just a theory, 53% that Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11 and - most hard to grasp - 61% that Bush is a person of moral conviction.


Who knows if any of the stats are accurate. I love the facetious delivery, though...
posted by fhold @ 12:18:00 PM

At 7:53 PM, JMars said...
Rather than facetious I would use fallacious to describe this bitter rant disguised as humor. Allow me to deconstruct this affront to reason being passed off as some kind of argument.

The first paragraph starts out innocently enough and in good humor except for the advancement of the fallacious idea that all bush voters are “evangelicals”. The Left loves to pit all religious people against those of us who are not exceedingly religious. Lefties love to point out how “divided” the country is as if to say that it is Bush’s fault. Now if pitting religious people against non-religious (a.k.a. secular) people is not divisive rhetoric I don’t know what is. So, it is fallacious to presume that all Bush voters are heavily religious. The thinking man’s leftie should not advance this idea as the backbone of their argument. Also I do find it offensive that the supposedly tolerant, non-judgmental Left constantly levies judgments on religious people as being somehow idiotic and void of rational thought. I’m not religious at all and in fact find religion a bit silly at times but I would never presume to know better and/or make a judgment on those of us who practice religion. This is an example of how the left preaches tolerance but will only tolerate you if you agree with them.

The second paragraph is a seemingly arbitrary and rather childish listing of good things in America and how they all occur in blue states and bad things in America and how they occur in red states. Perhaps the most egregious fallacy is that he supposes that the democrats are the party of “America’s venture capital and entrepreneurs”. Wait a minute I thought that the big bad Republicans are the party of corporate America, wall street and venture capitalist businessmen. Every small business owner I know is a republican because they prefer a more hands off government and a decrease in the scope and influence of government. The fact is that Wall Street, Corporate America, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and small businessmen are not in favor of expanding government and increasing taxes for social programs like the Left is. Democrats so often try to run away from what they actually are. So much so that they don’t even call themselves liberals any more. They use the euphemism of “progressives” now. The word liberal itself has become a pejorative term. Why don’t lefties revel in what they are rather than run away from the fact that they are for raising taxes and expanding government? They should be proud socialists rather than pretending to be pro-business and pro-growth. Later in the second paragraph the true liberal venom and vitriol comes out when he advances the idea that only “bible thumpers” eat at McDonalds. In this case his anger overwhelms any concerns he may have had to be accurate. You’re telling me that none of the stoners in California nor at Northeast college campuses eat at McDonalds. Comments like this betray the liberal's elitism, as if to say “only us non-religious enlightened people should have a say about public policy because we at the New York Times editorial room and Ivy league College campuses know what is right for America. Again, as long as you agree with the elites they will allow endless discussion. They react with cartoon-like anger to any one who dares to call in to question their progressive secular agenda.

The third paragraph in this opus (how’s that for facetious?) addresses the war in Iraq. Apparently his position is that the war in Iraq has “absolutely no purpose”. In the post “The Siege Of London” on my blog I attempt to explain to anyone who still doesn’t understand what the war on terror entails. In simple terms: The terrorists are against Human Freedom. The only way to beat the terrorists is to advance the banner of human freedom and democracy into their homelands. For better or worse, the Bush administration chose to clean up the Iraq situation first. Now we have a base of operations in the Middle East in case we need to clean up any other nearby festering cesspools of irrational hatred and/or fascist regimes. I suppose this M.I.T. professor has his own vision on how to conduct a pro-active war on terror. I wonder, does he propose we do nothing and hope the terrorists lose interest and go away? Whatever the case, his position, if you can call it that, is untenable. Either he believes we should not be conducting a pro-active war on terror, which is idiotic, or he has other ideas about how to conduct such a war. Any responsible rhetoritician should have an alternative proposal to an idea that they call into question or shoot down. On this question and many others all we get from the left is negativity and Monday morning quarterbacking. The closest thing that I have heard presented as an alternative vision on the war on terror is the old tired idea that “we need to get other countries involved” or “go after Osama Bin Laden more”. First of all, it is other countries that need to realize that they have to get themselves involved. No amount of sweet-talking or diplomacy can get a country to do something that they themselves don’t believe is a problem for them.

On the matter of going after Osama Bin Laden more I would ask left-leaning rhetoriticians to cease and desist using that argument because they are embarrassing themselves when they betray their lack of understanding of the military situation on the ground as well as implying that if we were to get Osama then the concern of Islamic Fundamentalist terror would no longer be an issue. Bin Laden is a small piece of the puzzle. Anti-Western Islamic terrorism goes much deeper and is broader in scope than Bin Laden or even Al Quaeda. We will be battling terrorism for many generations after Bin Laden dies. Our only hope is to advance democracy in these countries that spawn such hatred of the West. As far as the tactical situation regarding the going after Bin laden in the caves of Afghanistan; I have heard from military strategists that even if we were to put every soldier in the whole United States Army into the mountains we would most likely fail to find him and incur unacceptable casualties. The reality is that the terrain of this trackless mountain landscape is such that when combined with weather situations (which do not allow helicopters in at all) our entire army would be essentially swallowed up. The only other military option vís-a-vís Osama is to nuke the entire area. Just imagine the collateral damage that lefties would point to as evidence of America’s heavy handedness if we were to take such a course of action, not to mention the geo-political fallout that would occur when a massive nuclear cloud floats over India, Iran or China. Getting Bin Laden is too politically and logistically costly as well as being practically irrelevant to solving the overall problem of Islamic terrorism. We’re probably better off letting him die of natural causes anyway due to the fact that killing him would just be a rallying cry to future generations of terrorists pointing to The Martyr, Osama Bin Laden.

The end of this diatribe that I am deconstructing is a little too silly to even comment on. Wow, blue states control 93 percent of artichoke production, how telling.

In conclusion, I hope that the left can come up with some more compelling arguments other than religious people are stupid and that the war in Iraq is bad even though we have yet to hear an alternative approach to conducting a pro-active war on terror. I pray that this M.I.T. professor is not in the political science department, otherwise college campuses have become even more elitist, anti-religion, anti-war, and out of touch with the common man (A.K.A. the average voter) than I had known about.

July 09, 2005

The Siege Of London

Since England was hit 3 days ago other European nations have stepped up security and anti-terrorist efforts. Today it was reported that Italy arrested 142 people in a major anti-terrorist sweep just in the city of Milan alone. I believe that (Western) Europe is beginning to realize that they have a big fat target on their forehead regardless as to if they help us with the war on terror or not. Granted, An attack on England might as well be an attack on America in terms of long time allies and all that. However, an attack in England is also an attack on Europe. Frankly, I'd be terrified if 10 percent of the population I was residing in was Muslim (such as France). Some of these countries should take a long hard look at their liberal immigration policies that allow whole neighborhoods of terrorist petty thugs to crop up. Also, I don't buy that these barbarians are strictly against America because of some imagined "American Imperialism". That argument is simply a convenient excuse to mask their true hatred (whether used by them or someone attempting to minimize their impact). Truly, Simply, the terrorists are against Freedom. Human Freedom is the antithesis of what the Islamic fundamentalist terrorists stand for. Any trappings of western culture, with all of its free marketplace and un-paralleled individual freedom make their skin crawl. For my part I can say that the feeling is mutual. Our only hope is to advance the banner of human freedom into their wasteland. Reactive, law-enforcement type measures will not cut it. Furthermore, this problem was not caused only by America nor is it only America's problem to deal with. Conceivably, any freedom loving democracy is the enemy of these thugs and killers. Perhaps, the rest of Europe will begin to realize they're not going to get a pass just by being anti-American!

January 30, 2005


I am watching live coverage of the Iraqi election right now. It started at 11 pm (Eastern standard time) earlier tonight and is now into its fourth hour or so. As Usual with big news events I switch from the two major cable news channels. The one with ratings and the other one. It's time's like this I am reminded why I don't watch CNN too much (like many others apparently). I just saw a series of reports meant to focus on the negative. I could tell that the anchors (who had been hyping up the violence factor) were stunned and dissapointed to hear a rather candid Christiane Amanpour delivering a downright positive and upbeat report implying that the overall story is not the moderate violence but the elation and excitement of the Iraqi people. After getting shot down by a very professorial Iraqi cabinet advisor, whose intensity dwarfed the foolish desire to focus on the violence, the two obviously agenda driven, news anchors finnally found what they wanted; a sort of exaggerated and alarmist reporter practically trying to terrorize voters himself with his report of, considering the importance of this day, minor incidents thus far. That same reporter right now is interviewing a random passer-by Iraqi voter and asking; "Aren't you scared that you'll be killed because someone will see the ink on your index finger signifying that you voted?". I could tell that he was dissapointed when he was met with yet another excuberant and defiant Iraqi saying that he is not scared and saying several times passionately "We want to get rid of every sign of the Saddam Government!" And for those who might imagine that Fox News does not somehow tell the whole story I can tell you categorically that every piece of newsworthy information is presented there. Everyone knows that there will be viloence, but CNN's rather obvoious desire to focus in on that as the main story is disgusting and reminds me why CNN SUX.

January 29, 2005

The Eve Of Elections

American forces are digging in. Sniper teams are in place. Surveillance cameras are monitoring and recording. A night time curfew and a ban all driving has been enacted. Elite Iraqi Forces are digging in. Many of their brethren have already been gunned down in a most cowardly manner and they're making this thier fight, equipped with the latest armaments, tactics, and body armor that America has to offer. Polling places have become veritable fortresses. Three Top Enemy Lieutenants have been quietly captured. Refugee and immigrated Iraqi's have already voted across the World.

I Can't imagine the mentality of someone willing to give thier life to vote. There are many Iraqi's who feel that way. I also can't imagine the mentality of someone who would wish that these elections do not go well. I Know that there are those here in this country, forget foriegn terrorists, who secretly hope that these elections do not go well. I Suppose, the reasoning being (if you can call it reasoning): "I dislike this administration/Bush so much that I hope the violence continues and that the elections in Iraq don't go well". Ted Kennedy, for example, secretly hopes the elections go horribly and, in which case, his argument that Iraq "Is a quagmire" and "Is George Bush's Vietnam" will be vindicated. This mentality is unacceptable. Just look at the lead story on (the left leaning) New York "Shi'ite Faction Ready to Shun Sunday's Elections In Iraq" Wow, what a surprise, more doom and gloom from the left. Focus on and accentuate the negative. I find this, as their lead story, deeply offensive. It's this sort of rank partisanship that turns centrists like me off to the Democratic party, and it's the reason they lost the race for the oval office. Not Iraq, not 9/11, not the Swift-boat vets, but this transparent and self-serving mentality of hoping things don't go well for America because their guy is not in office. Their obstructionism in congress and a demonstrable paucity of ideas to replace the ones they shoot down are not becoming.

Anyone reading this better hope that the Iraqi elections go well. Do not do so would be Un-American. You can join the ranks of the blame-America first crowd. And perhaps worse, you are allowing vanity or pride to get in the way of what is the best for America, Iraq, and The World.

January 25, 2005


In the latest Featured Survey offered up by the Pew Research Center(A left-leaning organization, if anything) It is revealed that only 17 percent of Kerry voters believe that "Military Force is the best way to defeat terrorism". I'm not sure what measures the majority of Kerry voters would recommend (or at least approve of) for dealing with the bullies, thugs, and murderers that comprise the enemy. On the question of: Should America "be active in world affairs" or should "we concentrate on problems at home" the results of Bush voters vs. Kerry voters are inversly proportional. Most Bush voters want to be active in world affairs as opposed to concentrating on problems at home. And for Kerry voters, the reverse is true. This brings to mind, what has almost become almost a cliche by now, "Having a pre-9/11 mentality". No wonder Liberals have had such adverse reactions to The President's ambitious and bold vision of the world presented in the Inaugural Address. Most people wish we could "concentrate on problems at home", but guess what. We tried that. In the Clinton 90's we tried to leave the world to their own devices and ignored certain festering problems and looming international crises. After 9/11, I thought at least, We all had realized America needed to adopt a more pro-active role on the International scene, but if you believe this Pew Survey (Which I do) an alarming amount of us still believe we can go on sticking our heads in the proverbial sand.

January 19, 2005

January 13, 2005

A Strategy for Howard Dean

Howard Dean has officially thrown his hat into the ring in the race for Chairman Of the Democratic Party. News Link This is an important position, especially now. I admire Dean's passion and gusto. So far he seems like the most interesting choice for DNC chair. Now he needs a strategy. Not only a strategy to win this particular position, but a strategy for the Democratic Party as a whole. The strategy he should use is called "Triangulation". Triangulation is a brilliant, perhaps ethically challenged political strategy designed to appeal to the maximum amount of voters. I believe this strategy was first observed in action/invented by former Clinton Advisor now turned right wing pundit, the brilliant Dick Morris. Clinton used the strategy of triangulation to great effect. In simple terms: Triangulation is simply adopting some if not all of your opponent’s platforms and positions, thereby taking away glaring differences and, in turn appealing to the maximum possible number of voters. It is, essentially, being all things to all voters. But there are problems with this. Democrats and Republicans represent values at either end of the political spectrum. One party feels that their policies would benefit the country and that the other party's ideas would be detrimental and vice versa. Triangulation, I suppose, relies on the "grey area" between strict party lines. This strategy was a big part of the reason Clinton served for eight years.

There is another president that won eight years in the white house due to his team's use of Triangulation. His name is George W. Bush. Karl Rove Brilliantly used triangulation to get Bush re-elected in what seemed to be an impossible situation (for them). As a result of this "being all things to all voters" approach what we have is a supposedly conservative administration that has increased the size of government and spent its way into a deficit. We are prosecuting a war while spending mucho cash on social programs. We are ramping up homeland security efforts while at the same time allowing mass unchecked immigration. Triangulation begets contradictions. But it also begets results. And it's results that Howard Dean needs. As governor of Vermont he was a reasonably conservative democrat. Then, in his presidential bid he became very liberal. If he could possibly tone down some of his liberal/Bush-bashing rhetoric he might be able to slowly morph into a more viable candidate by using Triangulation (or at least a form of it). If, on the other hand, he and his party remain on the far left (ideologically) or continue focusing on demonizing the other party and its candidates as a primary strategy they will continue to lose elections I'm afraid.