Custom Search

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Defeated Democrats?

An interesting read in The weekly Standard for those of us that has noticed that General Petraeus exuded extreme credibility and the American people saw and many moderates spoke out against the attack ad that MoveOn took out against General Petraeus.

Further complicating things for the Democrats was the fact that MoveOn put them in a horrible position, either stay silent about MoveOn and risk being associated with that ad, or speak out against MoveOn and risk a full frontal assault by MoveOn aimed at them.

We spoke abut this here and here.

From one of the Weekly Standard pieces:

When congressional leaders met with President Bush last week at the White House, the Republicans were upbeat, the Democrats far less buoyant. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a more imposing figure than her Senate colleague, Majority Leader Harry Reid, took the lead in criticizing President Bush's Iraq policy. But to the surprise of Bush and his aides, the Democrats weren't primarily interested in discussing Iraq. They wanted to talk about the budget.

At that point, General David Petraeus had testified on Capitol Hill for one day. And Democrats already exuded an air of defeat. Their assumption had been that opposition to the Iraq war would swell over the August congressional recess, causing wishy-washy Republicans to join them in thwarting Bush's war plans. It hadn't. If anything, opinion polls indicated antiwar fever was easing slightly.

Petraeus capitalized on that. He opened his testimony by knocking down a Democratic canard. He would not be giving a "Bush report" or a "Bush-Petraeus report," as Democrats had alleged. His testimony hadn't been drafted at the White House or the Pentagon. It was his and his alone. In fact, Petraeus didn't hear from Bush last week until he'd finished two days on Capitol Hill and a day of Q&A with the press. And the president called merely to commiserate.


For Democrats, Petraeus Week was a wrenching ordeal. It meant their efforts to change Bush's policy on Iraq fundamentally were dead. Instead, they decided to push various proposals, some symbolic, some designed to make it more difficult for Bush to carry out his military plans in Iraq.

The New York Times ad by trashing Petraeus as a liar backfired badly. Making matters worse, Democrats were afraid to repudiate because the party relies so heavily on it for money and campaign workers. Senator John McCain, among other Republicans, seized the moment. He said if Democratic senator Hillary Clinton isn't tough enough to denounce, she's not tough enough to be president.

Read the whole piece.

Then another piece in Weekly Standard pushes the point home:

The Democrats were scared for a reason. They worried that Petraeus would impress the country as dispassionate and serious--which he did. He called Bush's troop surge no unqualified success, said that much work remains--but that Iraq has turned a corner; has achieved tangible, important results in its fight against terrorism and inter-sect violence since the surge began. It was a Democratic nightmare.

My favorite part was this very inconvenient truth for the Democrats:

The scariest words for Democrats in Bush's speech involved Petraeus directly. Bush said he's directed the general, along with Ambassador Ryan Crocker, "to deliver another report to Congress in March." The prospect of a return engagement by Petraeus can only fill Democrats with a feeling of dread.

YesI imagine the Democrats probably would prefer Petraeus not come near them again. His education in addition to his devoting his life to serving his country, made them look small, narrow minded and unwilling to listen to anything truthful that approached the word "progress" regarding Iraq.

I watched the hearings and the Congressmen and Senators from the left side of the ailse, spent most of their time making speeches on why they disagreed with Petraeus BEFORE they even asked him any questions.

They made it perfectly clear they were not looking for answers, they were looking for the sound bites their own speeches would give them on the next news show.

He made mincemeat out of them and he did so with MUCH more respect than they bothered to even attempt to show him.