I know the Bush trip to Baghdad was political.
Everything the President does is political. If he sits in Crawford and does nothing, the decision to do nothing is highly political because he isn’t taking any chances. If he goes to visit Ft. Sill for Thanksgiving, it’s highly political because he is hanging out with troops and getting a good photo op. If he clears brush it’s highly political, because he’s doing an activity that could project macho strength. So going to Baghdad was in that sense political. You can get on his ass for it if you live on the left side of the political spectrum – but it’s no different than any other legitimate, good presidential act into which you can read political motives.
The trip to Baghdad, however, shines a spotlight on the left’s descent into a long dark night of the soul. They are alternately imputing cowardice because major security precautions were taken, or to insisting it never really happened at all. For examples of both, check out the comments to this post over at Atrios.
Much to his credit, and much to my surprise, Atrios takes a pretty reasonable stand on it – the press and some right wing bloggers are treating it like it’s a bigger thing than it is. I agree. It was a nice presidential act, more could have been done, but on the balance, it’s a good thing. (I think it’s more good than he does, but nevermind). If you happen to stop by here Atrios, good on ya; you showed me something I didn’t think you had in you; cutting against the political grain of your readers is a tough and honest thing to do.
But the comments on that blog… well, let’s just say that there’s an Oliver Stone movie or three lurking in the comments. There’s the usual sort of stuff – too bad he couldn’t have been killed; why didn’t he walk through a crowded market in Tikrit handing out campaign literature (not really, but close); and so on.
There’s a whole array of comments, explaining how it never happened,
it was probably just staged at Ft. Hood – because the Chimperor has no clothes, he’s too gutless to do it, and there’s no way a 747 could fly that far in 12 hours without being noticed; the meeting with Iraqi governing council members never happened ‘cuz Bush wasn’t there or wasn’t there long enough; and even if it happened it was a fraudulent waste of taxpayer money. Not all the posters are insane – some are just extremely, frantically angry and hateful.
I’m not sure what the craziest part was – I think the folks insisting it was faked was probably the nuttiest bit. That puts the commenters into territory only tread upon by a few vaporous Freepers, a number of DU-ers, and a whole bunch of subscribers at http://www.big.ol.zionist.conspiracy.com. Yep, padded room country, basically. Yeah, I know, JFK was killed by at least three gunmen, a Cuban, a CIA guy and a fellow from Rand Corp.; there were lotsa aliens at Roswel and the government made a secret deal with them; and there’s a cure for cancer but the gas companies won’t let you buy it… The truth is out there, etc.
So go ahead. Go read the comments to that post.
If there is any question in your mind about whether you ought to get politically active, help try to re-elect Bush (or at least help defeat the Dems’ 7 dwarves) those comments should clear things up. These folks are the left part of the Dems’ base, the people that the candidates have to answer to – and they are stark raving mad. Until legit Dems divorce themselves from the lunatic fringe, they can’t be allowed at the controls of the national defense mechanism. The current crop of fringey leftists are like little 6 year-olds having a temper tantrum – they’d do anything at all, if they thought it would irritate daddy and mommy. This could lead to some really dangerous situations, if they are allowed into power.
We can disagree about a lot of policy questions, but the one thing we ought to be able to agree on – we can’t leave the country in the hands of folks who cater to a bunch of rabid conspiracy theorists. It doesn’t matter if the loonies are leftists, like those commenters; or right wing white power militia members. Sorry, nope, nein, nichts, can’t do it.
The thing is, Bush gave the f***off to the right wing conspiracy theorists by including a lot of minority politicians and leaders in his campaign and cabinet, and with his talk of compassionate conservatism. He gives the f***off to a lot of folks in his base, by compromising and buying into liberal things like national level education reform and the prescription drug benefit. He’s not moored to the far right wing.
Nobody on the Dem side this year has proven they can do the same thing to their base. In fact, in running on sheer hatred and rage, they’ve increased the size of the angry base, and riled it up, and made an unnecessarily large chunk of their base, well, insanely mad. They’ve taken the core of the nutty Dems, and in the way they’ve stirred up the more moderate liberal Dems by asserting the truth of the loony Dem theories, they’ve essentially recruited a bunch of footsoldiers for the loons.
I know that pleasing them and pacifying them is what it will take for a Dem to win the nomination this year; it’s how the Deanie Babies and the Kucinich Kids, and the Sharpton Shtabbers (sorry, do you know how hard this is?) wanted it, and the other candidates were mostly too dumb to see what was happening.
I feel bad for a couple of the Dems, like the basically honorable Joe Lieberman, the old school union & (sometimes) traditional values liberal Gephardt, and Hillary Clinton, a woman who knows that there comes a time when it’s necessary to kick ass.
The rest of the power-mad midgets – naah, I don’t feel sorry for them at all. They’re going to have to lie in a bed that they’ve spent a year preparing. I hope they find it real comfortable.
It’s a free country; the Atri-ites, the Kos-tic people, and the DU-mbasses can be as nasty and nutty as they wanna be, but we need to make them put down the sharp pencil, and step away from the ballots; or at least heavily outvote them at the polls. There’s more at stake this election year than their right to act out their paranoid fantasies.
Full disclosure: I live in one of the cities that will get flattened if it all goes pear shaped. So maybe I have some self interest here and I can’t be trusted. On the other side of the coin, I didn’t fake this post, the way the moon landings and the Bush visit to Baghdad were faked…