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Monday, October 25, 2004

Calling all Republican Spokespeople

After the long weekend of waiting for redstate to release the campaign-ending story on Kerry, we were greeted with the typical Republican idea of an October surprise: a damning, devastating indictment on Kerry’s bizarre, fabulist nature that again proves his absolute craven and amoral nature. And, like most Republican ideas of attack:


Because Democrats have absolutely no compunction about lying, there will be forty nine different explanations, rebuttals, and counter-strikes which will all end with “and Bush refuses to admit a mistake.” Eventually, even within the scant media outlets that will bother to report this, everyone will get to confused about who said what to whom and when, and the whole story will die as just another ‘he said, she said’. (Between Republicans and Democrats, that means ‘he said’ with accompanying signed affidavits, corroborating witnesses, and a mountain of documentary evidence, while ‘she said’ is that everyone knows the accusations were found to be completely false and can’t we talk some more about Bush never admitting a mistake.)

But the real cautionary note in this story, is that like all great damning stories about Kerry, our evil opposition simply plays their other card: a bigger story.

We will not hear about Kerry’s—the only way to describe it is frightening—psychosis, because instead we will hear a steady drumbeat of the lost munitions. I just saw on Fox a Republican spokesman asked a direct question about the president’s responsibility for the missing explosives, and instead of answering, he dissembled. UGH! What are we, Democrats?

For what its worth, here is a proper response:

How do you respond to the charges that instead of keeping America safer, we have let 390 tons of high explosives get into the hands of our enemies, and they are killing American soldiers? Why won’t President Bush admit he made a mistake?

Well first of all, I’m not going to respond to the question based on what amounts to a very narrow set-up created by the New York Times slanted view of the world. It’s been clear where the New York Times’ sympathies lie for some time, and it’s clearly not with an American victory in Iraq, or Afghanistan, for that matter.

That said, losing track of these munitions is absolutely a setback. We are extremely troubled by anything that puts our soldiers and the American people at risk. But after 9/11, we have only two choices: are we going to act, seek out and fight the terror cult that seeks the destruction of our way of life, or shrink and hide and wait for them to seek us. In the end, every nuanced suggestion boils down to one of the two choices.

Unfortunately, this administration did not have the luxury of designing the world to its liking before taking office. As much as the Democrats believe that every aspect of every problem can be controlled if only we shove more money, more troops, more allies at it, but I think most Americans understand from their own lives, that ultimately, there is only so much we can do. We take what we’re given, and we do the best we can. We’ve been fighting poverty for forty years, and there are still just as many poor people as ever. Are we to recriminate ourselves because we tried?

In Senator Kerry’s world of hindsight, its easy to be perfect. On the floor of the Senate, you can go on and on for as long as you like, and no one will every stop you from talking. In fact, you don’t even need to show up and you still get paid. When you live in a world of rhetoric and debate, you don’t have to make the tough decisions of a leader. He has said that he would have captured Osama Bin Laden at Tora Bora by using roughly the same techniques that got the Soviets bogged down in Afghanistan for ten years, he would have deposed Saddam using the same diplomacy and sanctions that had failed to do so for twelve years, his administration would even make Christopher Reeve rise from his wheelchair and walk.

President Bush sets the goals, and believes in giving his commanders on the ground the freedom to act in the way they see fit. He won’t micromanage the war, nor should he. And he’ll defend their decisions because he knows that every decision is made in the real world, without the 20/20 reflection that benefits Senator Kerry’s every pronouncement. Unlike the Senator, our commanders on the ground have to live with their decisions, they can’t just change their minds and make every past pronouncement go away.

Should we have protected the Iraqi Museum after the fall of Baghdad? Perhaps, but perhaps shifting the soldiers from other tasks would have caused some other unintended consequence we can’t imagine. And I’m sure the Kerry campaign would be complaining about those right now.

Listen, the effort is Iraq is not an administration effort—it is an American effort. A free Iraq is an antidote spread in a Middle East that is bubbling with poisonous hatred. We can not control every aspect of this war because our enemy is ruthless and devious and clever, and will use any and everything against us. That is why we must not falter, must not waver. Yes, there will be some setbacks, but America did not become great by shrinking from adversity. The war against terror is far from over, and this will not be the only setback, but this is the challenge that our generation must rise up and face. We must marshal our courage and stand shoulder to shoulder, or this great American dream will be lost. Those are the stakes. There is no bill or law or Senate resolution that will change them.

It is fight, or cower.

Win, or surrender.

Unite, or perish.

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