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Monday, December 19, 2005

Great Minds Think Alike

In Best of the Web Today on, James Taranto also suggests that the debate on terrorism and Iraq are becoming not entirely unlike a game of political rope-a-dope, with the President (ironically) playing the role of the guy named Muhammed.

Dopes Get Roped
Watching President Bush's political recovery on Iraq, one is tempted to think that this has all been part of a rope-a-dope strategy. In recent weeks Democrats have taken a host of outrageous positions on Iraq: John Kerry* accuses our troops of "terrorizing kids and children." Howard Dean says victory is "just plain wrong." On Friday the House voted 279-109 in favor of a resolution "expressing the commitment of the House of Representatives to achieving victory in Iraq," which means that 108 Democrats and socialist Bernie Sanders are now on record opposing victory. (Fifty-nine Dems voted for victory, and 32 of them, along with two Republicans, voted "present.")

Most of the pro-surrender Dems--including last month's media darling, Jack Murtha--also voted against Murtha's proposal for immediate withdrawal, so it seems they want to turn tail and run, but not before taking some more casualties--a position they seem to have calibrated carefully with an eye toward completely discrediting themselves.

Meanwhile, Iraq held a successful election (or a "surprisingly successful election," as a New York Times news article calls it), and London's Daily Telegraph reports from Tal Afar, a Sunni area that was until recently a center of the terrorist insurgency, that "the approach of an American military convoy brings people out to wave and even clap."

The president last night addressed the nation, and he crystallized the issue:

We will continue to listen to honest criticism, and make every change that will help us complete the mission. Yet there is a difference between honest critics who recognize what is wrong, and defeatists who refuse to see that anything is right.

Defeatism may have its partisan uses, but it is not justified by the facts. . . .

I also want to speak to those of you who did not support my decision to send troops to Iraq: I have heard your disagreement, and I know how deeply it is felt. Yet now there are only two options before our country--victory or defeat. And the need for victory is larger than any president or political party, because the security of our people is in the balance.

All of which places Democrats in an untenable position. Do they continue insisting on defeat, or do they flip-flop and embrace victory? Either way they look silly, though less so in the latter case.

Was this the result of a brilliant administration strategy? Given the administration's genuine stumbles of late--the Harriet Miers nomination, abdicating control of the Valerie Plame kerfuffle--we're inclined to be a little stingy with the credit. But the Democrats are such extreme dopes, they can't help but get roped.

But they support the troops!

* Did we mention he's French-looking?

My earlier post is here.

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