Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Politics of Human Frailty

The Gun Toting Liberal extends deep condolences and a wish for a speedy recovery to Democratic Senator Tim Johnson from South Dakota, who fell gravely ill yesterday with a congenital brain illness.

Today's reports are not upbeat. And I want to stress the personal aspect of this before the political. Senator Johnson is not yet sixty and has a family. Our hearts here at the GTL compound do go out to him. Our positive energy and wishes for a swift recovery as well. Were we praying types, we'd do that for him, too.

I know my regular readers are fully aware of what hangs in the political balance today. South Dakota leans Republican and, should Senator Johnson be unable to serve, the Republican governor will choose his replacement until a general election can be held. No doubt, his choice would likely be a member of his own party. Were this to happen, the Senate would not turn to the Democrats next month as expected. We would once again have a fifty-fifty Senate, and Dick “Bang!” Cheney would wield the tiebreaking vote.

Now, there are many, many left-leaning types who are agog with terror at this prospect today. To them I would say, as I've said earlier, that regardless of who controls the Senate (or the House, for that matter), the country has made its judgment known, and the bullying hegemony on the Right is broken, an artifact of the psychotic mind-set of the past.

In short, a Senate with a narrow Republican advantage today is not the same as it was just a few weeks ago. And there is room for a measured emotional response here. So let’s take a deep breath.

Read on.

The other news from D.C. yesterday is that the president is likely to disregard the will of the people and the Iraq Study Group and bowl ahead by sending what I can only interpret as a token number of additional troops to be picked off piecemeal in Iraq. I say this because the twenty to thirty thousand troops he is calling for cannot begin to calm the situation. The time for more troops, as Eric Shinseki said, was in March, 2003, and the numbers he recommended before being summarily dismissed were higher by an order of magnitude. Adding more troops now would be like trying to put out a fire by throwing wood on it in hopes of smothering it. It may work, it may not. I don't think this fire can be smothered, even if we sent a hundred thousand troops. Which, by the way, we do not have.

But rest assured, our presence in Iraq is fuel for their fire.

We have an administration that refuses to call a civil war a civil war; they don’t want bad press, you see. So the terms they use and won’t use do matter a lot. The ultimate problem is that they didn’t send an invasion force to Iraq, they sent a campaign commercial. It does not diminish their disastrous judgment and exceptionally poor character that they believed their own public-relations spin.

And because this is a war that will last forever – against the Liberals, I mean – our benighted leaders will never learn from the myriad mistakes their lack of character will not allow them to admit, nor will they ever admit defeat. And genuine change is out of the question.

Does anyone truly imagine that they will be able to keep fifty senators in line, fifty men and women who will be seeking re-election long before the Iraq debacle is over? Unlike the president, who was installed by his daddy in the oval office as he was in every job, every cockpit, and every student body he was ever in, these people are generally smart and can read the writing on the wall, and their daddies cannot win their re-election campaigns for them. Supporting the fool's errand in Iraq is political suicide, and they know it.

It is clear: we are going to run this beast into the ground, oiled by the blood of our children and the stolen wealth of our families, and let it die under its own weight. Like Vietnam, only worse. There was at least a government to surrender to there. Our war was lost to total anarchy and the reality of a nightmare not even Hobbes himself could comprehend.

As far as the president goes, he needs only his dog and his wife behind him and he’ll stay the course forever.

Actually, I think he’d be content with just the dog.


exgrad said...

Many good, points, however your statement about the continual "war against liberals" only holds true if you define "liberal" as "progressive," if we look at this through an analysis of psycho-historical evolution.

If we understand history is a force of older "less-evolved" generations fighting against the new evolutionary form, then the more progressive (maybe "liberal") approach will always be under attack. However using the same framework, we must realize that by sheer attrition, the younger ("liberal," or "progressive") generation will always inevitably win in the long run.

The problem is that the leaders almost always come from the "older" generations, so the ideas that get most play in the mainstream are those of the more regressive/conservative part of the population. This, in itself will always keep psychosocial evolution at a relatively slow level, and often has the effect of retarding the growth of humanity.

ellie said...

You two are great. As "quiet" as this blog might seem sometimes, it's nice to know we don't have to deal with juvenile wars.