Skip to comments.Mark Steyn: Dems irrelevant on Iraq
Posted on 09/29/2002 11:03:37 AM PDT by Pokey78
Remember Al Gore? The first Android American to run for president? The first man to win the popular vote without ever being popular? The Democrats' very own weapon of mass self-destruction?
Well, he's back. Last week, the smart bomb who's so smart and always bombs unveiled the latest model in the continuing series of ''the real Al Gores.'' His speech began promisingly: ''Like all Americans, I have been wrestling.''
Hey, that's terrific, I thought. Put aside the typical Gorian exaggeration at the beginning, it's great to see the former vice president has finally come to terms with his unsuitability for electoral politics and embarked on a rewarding midlife career change. I for one would willingly get premium cable to see Al (The Real Al) Gore grabbing The Rock by his dangling chads and hurling him over the ropes into a sea of baying attorneys.
But, no, alas. Al is not wrestling anybody else, he's just wrestling with himself--or, in Al's case, himselves--over what to do about Iraq. Democrats have been doing this for months now. Swing by the average Democratic senator's pad and you'll find him down in the rec room wrestling with his conscience, hour after hour, day in, day out. The Democrats have spent so much time wrestling with themselves on this issue they must be the most honed fighting force on the planet. Some say the swiftest way to topple Saddam would be to drop this elite team of crack fighting Dems on Baghdad. Others fear it could all go horribly wrong: ''What the hell's that racket?'' ''My apologies, O most excellent tyrannical master, but the infidel Sen. John Kerry has parachuted into the courtyard and is wrestling with himself.''
Tom (The Undertaker) Daschle has ''concerns.'' He has ''grave concerns.'' His concerns have concerns. He's gravely concerned the president isn't concerned about some of his concerns and that concerns him all the more. Plus he's concerned that the Republicans may be politicizing the political process. Also, he has ''questions.'' Thousands of questions: Has the president weighed all the options? Is the president aware of the risks? Could the president weigh all the options a couple more times? Is the president aware there may be some risks he's not aware of? When the president says he's weighing all the options, is that in pounds or kilograms? Does the president know who put the bomp in the bomp-sh-bomp-sh-bomp, who put the ram in the ram-a-lama-ding-dong? Where have all the flowers gone? What kind of fool am I? If happy little bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow, why oh why can't I? In the immortal words of David Cassidy, how can I be sure in a world that's constantly changing?
The only real question was how long Daschle could keep this up, and on Wednesday he finally cracked, choking up on the Senate floor like Bill Clinton at a post-Monica ''prayer breakfast'' and demanding that Bush apologize to every Democratic veteran. What for? The president's position is that the Senate isn't serious about the war on terror, and who can argue with that? They're refusing to give America's head of state the right to fire federal bureaucrats no matter how much they screw up: You accidentally issued Mullah Omar a green card? Hey, relax, we'll move you to the bioterror division. Meanwhile, Robert C. Byrd, the Grand Old Duke of Pork, is refusing to have any truck with a Department of Homeland Security unless it's located in West Virginia and renamed the Robert C. Byrd Institute of Time-Servers and Ass-Coverers.
Now, of course, none of this is meant to impugn the patriotism of the Democratic leadership. Few of us will forget the stirring words last week of Carl (The Pretzel) Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, summing up the current Democratic position:
''If the UN adopts the kind of resolution authorizing force to enforce the kind of inspections that they should have a resolution adopted for, then I believe this resolution should say: In the event the UN adopts a resolution authorizing member states to use force to enforce the inspections, I believe this resolution should say that under those circumstances we should authorize force to enforce that UN resolution.''
Got that? It's available from DNC HQ on a bumper sticker, if you've got a tractor-trailer long enough.
The sight of the Democratic Party wrestling with its conscience is like some old-time carnie freak show: It's strangely compelling, but you can't help feeling it's cruel to put these poor misfits on public display. A week ago, most of the bigshot Dem senators seemed to have wised up: The sooner we stop talking about why we don't want to talk about Iraq, the sooner we can start talking about Iraq. The sooner we do that, the sooner we can neutralize it as a political issue and move on to vital issues like a prescription drug plan plus dinner theater with Robert Goulet for America's seniors. Sure, in the political order of battle we're behind Bush, Blair, the Aussies, Italians, Turks, French, Canadians and even Saudis, but better late than ''Hang on, we've still got a few more questions.''
Then Al rose from his grave. He's decided he's against a war with Iraq because it will distract us from Afghanistan. ''Great nations,'' he intones, ''do not jump from one unfinished task to another.'' Just so. You'll remember that in the Second World War we wisely concentrated on nation-building in the Solomon Islands for five or six years instead of rushing on to liberate Europe. America, says Al, can't fight Iraq and mop up Afghanistan at the same time. We can walk. Or we can chew gum. But we shouldn't try to jump from walking to gum-chewing until we're certain we've completed our walk.
The administration doesn't need to ''politicize'' the war. They're for it. So are the American people. The Democratic Party has had since the liberation of Kabul 10 months ago to work out a viable position on Iraq. If they've been too busy drawing up plans for federal entitlements to bicycling helmets or whatever their ''priorities'' are, tough.
In fairness to Al, the boy genius was one of only a few senior Democrats with a 12-year consistent robust record on Iraq. But, demonstrating his usual political instincts, he chose to discard his pro-war stance just as his party's senators were discarding their anti-war stance. The Dems have pulled off a remarkable double: Not only does the leadership's belated approval for war look opportunistic, but so does Al Gore's belated opposition to it.
Five weeks till Election Day and the Democratic Party's doing a dandy impression of one of those incompetent suicide bombers who accidentally self-detonates before he gets on the bus. As the Vietnam peaceniks used to sing:
What is he good for?
(I quote from memory.)
Steyn puts out an enormous amount of stuff. Good stuff.
I liked his original column, posted earlier, much better than this rework. But, I think one of my favorite paragraphs is this:
Tom (The Undertaker) Daschle has ''concerns.'' He has ''grave concerns.'' His concerns have concerns. He's gravely concerned the president isn't concerned about some of his concerns and that concerns him all the more. Plus he's concerned that the Republicans may be politicizing the political process. Also, he has ''questions.'' Thousands of questions. . . .
The great thing about humor, when it's true, it's even funnier. And this paragraph is hilarious.
Yep, he sure did. Here is some of the new stuff......
As the Vietnam peaceniks used to sing:
What is he good for?
Nope. The name doesn't ring a bell. He must be some really irrelevant figure in history.
That was the Rascals, not David Cassidy, unless he did a version I'm not aware of. The article is great, though.
al baby is not playing well in his home state of Tennessee...the dem guberatorial canidate told him thanks but NO THANKS, few of the State dems want him to campaign for them either. In fact they've drug out the former gov ned ray mcwhorter (who happens to be related to algorbatross) to campaign for the demwit that is running a smidge to the right of center to get elected oily phil bredesen former mayor of Nashville.
I bet the concience looses...
The Democrats are irrelevant.
From what I heard the crowd (the fairly serious Commonwealth Club elite) were baffled. Nobody clapped at the applause lines, and they acted like they couldn't believe somebody who came so close to being president could be such an idiot. Gore was a sweating, incoherent buffoon, in other words himself (one of his selves?).
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