the same time Joe Biden was selling New Yorker reporter Jeffrey
Greenberg on the idea that the only hope for the Democratic
Party was to abandon all social programming and invade the
planet, some interesting polls were taken in the three countries
most involved in the Iraq invasion.
the United States, a Washington Post/ABC News poll
released on March 16 showed that 53 percent of Americans think
the Iraq war was a mistake, 56 percent disagreed with President
Bush's handling of the Iraq war, and 70 percent said that
the number of U.S. casualties incurred in the war was unacceptable.
Australia, one of the U.S.'s last stalwart partners on the
war, the government's approval rating fell below 50 percent
for the first time in ages, with a new poll showing Labor
with a 52-48 advantage. Prime Minister John Howard conceded
that the drop was due to public dissatisfaction with the continued
presence of Australian troops in Iraq.
Britain, meanwhile, a spate of polls were conducted in anticipation
of May 5 elections. Because of the huge majority owned by
Tony Blair's labor party in House of Commons - 408 seats to
162 for the Conservative party - Blair is almost certain to
be re-elected to a third term. But the Labor advantage is
dropping fast, losing about a percentage point a month in
recent months, with Iraq being the main cause. In February,
the Labor advantage was 38 percent to 32, with the remainder
going to the Liberal-Democrat party. This month, it's 37-34.
Conventional wisdom anticipates that Labor will retain its
advantage but lose about two dozen seats. Blair's personal
approval rating, meanwhile, has plummeted to around 35 percent,
mirroring a slide enjoyed recently by George Bush, who has
been in the mid-forties since the New Year.
is also facing a major scandal over Iraq that is inspiring
demonstrations all over the country. In a documentary aired
on the show Panorama this weekend, MI6 chief Richard
Dearlove said that he had briefed Blair well before the war
that America's Iraq intelligence was "fixed" to
meet the administration's goal of invading Iraq at all costs.
Dearlove said that nine months before the invasion, he attended
a meeting in Washington at which he concluded that war in
Iraq was "inevitable"- a conclusion he shared with
facts and intelligence" were being "fixed round
the policy" by US President George Bush's administration,
Dearlove said. The documentary claims that Blair had signed
on to support the war as early as April 2002. Robin Cook,
the former foreign secretary who resigned over Iraq, echoed
was propelling the prime minister was a determination that
he would be the closest ally to George Bush and they would
prove to the United States administration that Britain was
their closest ally," Cook told the program. "His
problem is that George Bush's motivation was regime change.
It was not disarmament. Tony Blair knew perfectly well what
he was doing."
the midst of all of this the Democratic Party is preparing
its shiny new 2008 position on Iraq and terror. Described
in Greenberg's New Yorker article, the political plan
is centered around a new faction that calls itself the "National
Security Democrats" (a term coined by that famous liberal,
Richard Holbrooke) and is led by revolting hair-plug survivor
Joe Biden. The position of the "national security democrats"
is that the party should be "more open to the idea of
military action, and even preemption" and that the Democrats
should "try to distance themselves from the Party's Post-Vietnam
ambivalence about the projection of American power."
Additionally, the Democrats ought to reconsider their traditional
stance as an opposition party, and learn to embrace Republican
heroes like Ronald Reagan.
knew 'Reagan is dangerous,' remember?" Biden says. "He
talked about freedom, and what do we do? We say it's bad speech,
dangerous speech." Democrats, he says, "are making
the same mistakes again."
would be easy to dismiss the Biden revival as a cheap stunt
by a discredited party hack with all the national appeal of
the streptococcus virus, except for one thing. Biden's
"National Security" camp includes all four of the
expected main contenders for the Democratic nomination- Biden
himself, Hillary Clinton, Indiana senator Evan Bayh, and John
Edwards. New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, another outside
contender, is also a member of this camp. We are going to
be hearing a lot about "National Security Democrats"
in the next three years.
Democratic party leadership's persistent and bizarre campaign
of self-condemnation and Republican bootlicking is one of
those things that, on its face, makes very little logical
sense at all. It makes cultural sense; we have come
to expect that the cultural figures we call the Democrats
will respond to electoral failure first by sniveling and finger-pointing,
and then by puffing up their chests and telling their dates
they know how to handle themselves in a bar fight. From the
Republicans we expect just the opposite; beaten at the polls,
they immediately start cozying up to snake-handlers and gun
freaks and denouncing school lunches as socialism. It is impossible
to imagine a Newt Gingrich responding, say, to LBJ's Great
Society by concocting its own expensive plan to feed the poor
black man - but we fully expect that a Democrat who loses
an election will suddenly start to reconsider his opposition
to preemptive invasion and Reaganomics.
expect these things, so they strike us as logical when we
see them happen. But actually they make no sense. A merely
cynical opposition party would be emboldened by poll numbers
showing majority opposition to the war to court those votes.
And a moral one would seize upon news of the sort coming out
of Britain to argue to not only to their own voters (who would
unanimously support them in this aim), but to the country
at large, that the invasion of Iraq was based upon a fallacy,
illegal, and impeachable.
the Democratic leaders do neither. Instead, they tell 53 percent
of the country that they are mistaken, and throw their chips
in with the other 47 percent, who incidentally support the
other party and are not likely to ever budge. They then go
farther and try to argue that fighting the war on terror requires
abandoning health care, education, and Social Security, an
idea that, let's face it, makes no fucking sense at all.
Roosevelt never argued anything like that, and he fought a
global world war against two mighty industrial powers. But
now 4000 retards in caves are going to close down the entire
American school system. If that is the Democratic idea of
looking "strong," one hates to imagine what weakness
would look like.