Many times I have criticized our administration. When I do not agree with something they do or say I have no problem saying so.
With that said, I have often criticized Democrats for turning a blind eye at their own shortcomings and never being able to admit when their party has screwed up royally. Most often we see excuses or explanations of why this or that has been said, but very very rarely do they flat out say "that is wrong" about a member or members of their own party.
With that said, Frank Lutz, over at Huffington Post has done just that. Kudo's Frank.
The Republicans are a party in peril, but all is not milk and cookies in Democrat land. The Democrats - flush with majority status - have a crucial choice right now. They can use their newly-won mandate to settle some old scores...or they can get responsibly and move ahead. They would be wise to opt for the latter.
Democracy is at its best when its practioners use language to unite and explain rather than divide and attack. The blogs from the Left and the Right be damned, the real center of America is upset but not bitter, anxious but not fearful, restless but not unforgiving.
For two years the Republican Party was adrift in meaningless messaging to support meaningless reform - and have communicated absolutely nothing for the past three months. By comparison, the Democrat majority that took Congress in November was remarkably disciplined and effective in promoting change, reform, and accountability in the weeks following their historic election.
But alas, power does strange things to Democrats: put a gavel in their hands and a camera in their face and they revert to the name-calling that kept them from the majority for a dozen long years. Sure, it's easy to land rhetorical jabs on a staggering opponent - but that doesn't make it effective. The message from the electorate in November was 'work together and compromise.' You need only look at the incumbent governor of California who won a lopsided landslide in an otherwise Democratic sweep. Cooperation works. Compromise wins. But over-heated rhetoric says to the world that you are no different - and no better - than what you replaced.
Senator Barbara Boxer can't really believe that a single woman without children is totally incapable of feeling emotional loss just because she hasn't had any children in combat, can she? Yet that's exactly what she said to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Boxer could have been a constructive opponent. Instead, she chose to poke Rice straight in the eye with a stick sharpened by a crude personal attack. It was a cheap shot that made even the most hardened Washington insiders cringe.
Similarly, Senator Barack Obama's assertion that "We're not going to babysit a civil war" is itself a childish sound-bite that ignores widespread American concern that a civil war today could spin into a regional war with worldwide consequences tomorrow. The image of "babysitting" lacks the seriousness befitting a conflict in which we've lost 3,000 American men and women, and shows a lack of gravitas in a presidential aspirant.
The list goes on. Speaker Pelosi callously suggesting that President Bush is moving quickly to "put troops in harms way" is a short jump away from suggesting that the President is deliberately trying to get our soldiers killed. Likewise, Senator Kennedy saying that U.S. troops are like "police officers in a shooting gallery" smacks of sound-bite flippancy and expediency of the worst kind. We need an intelligent debate, not a sound-bite contest.
If Democrats believe so passionately that President Bush has made it wrong - and you can't really blame them - why don't they tell us how to make it right? It's as simple as that. And getting it right might actually save some lives and political careers in the effort.
THAT has been something I have said multiple times, if you do not agree or think the Presidents plan can work, then come up with an alternative plan for success. If not, sit down, shut up and get out of the way because despite the rhetoric that a "surge" has been done before, refusing to acknowledge the other MAJOR differences in the plan, including but not limited to counterinsurgency, simply makes those that are spewing such nonsense look like they cannot read or understand the keys facts of the new plan.
I would really like to see quite a few people answer the question:
Do you want to succeed in Iraq?
No qualifiers to the answers, just a simple yes or no.