I have it on good authority (my own imagination) that the Professor is knocking back Jack Daniels with the Real Dick Cheney (not the android used for public appearences like tonight’s speech), in a secure underground bunker.
Washington Governor Gary Locke delivered the Democratic rebuttle — like a lullaby. Locke seems a competent, affable fellow. Sort of a West Coast John Edwards. And just as light and fluffy.
His speech, next to Bush’s at least, seemed too “read” and too little “spoken.” Although in all fairness, that’s typical for a speech given to a teleprompter as compared to one given before a live audience.
But what of the substance? It all boiled down to, “What Bush said, only less. Unless you want more. Really, we’re flexible.”
Where is the modern Democratic Party’s Harry Truman, John Kennedy, or even a goddamn Woodrow Wilson? (I’m no Wilson fan, but he did at least present a solitary vision, wrong though it was.)
Perhaps that’s unfair. Wilson, Truman, and JFK were all real presidents with real power, and today’s Democrats are out in the wilderness. But no, it isn’t an unfair comparison at all. Kennedy, as only Republicans seem to remember, ran to the right of Nixon on national defense in 1960.
Democrats used to be serious about defending our people and our interests, much more so than the pre-war “America Firsters” in the Republican party, or the throwback Buchanan Brigades of today. What happened?
Well, Vietnam happened. The Marxification of our universities happened. Value-free multiculturalism and knee-jerk anti-war stances have almost completely captured the Democratic party. Those even slightly out of step — like Gary Locke — must still play to the basest base of their party, coddling those who don’t know what this country is, what it should stand for, nor how proudly it should stand.
For a great political party of a great nation, that’s a damn shame.
And, no, I don’t have any solution to offer the Democrats. It seems not even twin electoral defeats could wake them up.
Let me digest what little there was of the Democratic response before I post anything. Call it five minutes.
“War without conquest.”
That’s it, really. We’re going to war to protect our interests, yes — but our interests do not lie in the annexation of other lands, or making permanent protectorated out of them. We didn’t even do that to Germany or Japan; we won’t do it now.
What else was important? As one reader wrote, Bush told the Axis of Weasels to hop on board the train or jump off the tracks — this train is leaving the station.
It looks like Powell got his way and, Nuke’em All people aside, that’s not entirely a bad thing. War last fall, and we wouldn’t have had the rumored 600-800 Tomahawks ready, or the necessary JDAMs, JSOWs, and other smart bombs manufatured. Powell maybe picked up some extra support, maybe lost some. Doesn’t matter. We’re ready to fight now and, baring some miracle in Baghdad, we’re going to be fighting soon.
So it’s war in February, most likely. Powell gets his legalistic niceties fulfilled, the Pentagon has its toys ready — and our soldiers, sailors, and airmen will be deployed, trained, and ready. And after this speech, I think you’ll find them in high spirit, too.
Domestically? You know I have some serious issues with Bush and the Republicans — but those serious issues lack seriousness in these seriously serious times.
What matters in this forsaken age we’re in is taking to our enemies before they bring it to us. My sometimes wavering confidence in Bush on this issue has been restored.
I’m glad it isn’t me who has to give that order sometime after Feb 5.
Last thoughts coming in just a few minutes. Bear with me here a moment. (Or, if you’re young and female and supple, bare with me.)
The brandy must be kicking in.
“We will bring to the Iraqi people food, medicine, supplies, and freedom.”
Now comes the wrap-up. Clocked in right at about an hour.
“We will prevail.”
I don’t know what to add to that, and it ain’t just the brandy clouding my eye.
Oops. Bush said Feb 5, not Feb 15 as I thought I heard. Bump your scehdule accordingly.
Good words to our people in uniform. They’re going to be the ones bleeding to get all this done.
Another UN conferense. February. Call it war on/around March 1 then.
“We will lead a coalition to disarm him,” with or without the UN.
“Your enemy is not surrounding your country, your enemy is ruling your country.”
They know that already. Too many of us don’t.
“The day his regime is removed from power will be the day of your liberation.”
“If this is not evil, then ‘evil’ has no meaning.”
Long wind-up to this pitch.
“Trusting in the sanity [?] and restraint of Saddam is Hussein is not a policy and it is not an option.”
Badda boom. Iraq/al Qaeda link.
Here it comes, at long last.
“He clearly has much to hide. The dictator of Iraq is not disarming.”
Everytime I think he’s hit the right rhetorical note to make a final damning statement/threat/ultimatum/inspiration to the American people, he starts back down the list.
Who wrote this part of the speech?
“It is up to Iraq…” to disarm.
“Nothing like this has happened.”
“We cannot acount for that [anthrax] material.”
“These chemical agents could kill untold thousands.”
“30,000 munitions capable of delivering chemical agents.”
“He’s given no evidence.”
Bush is sounding too much like Blix yesterday and not enough like Powell.
Never thought you’d read that sentence, eh?
Iraq again, promises not to let them become another North Korea.
Smart — why, I’ve been reading that in the blogosphere for weeks now. Good to see the President on board. Sort of.
OK, Bush is reading down the whole list of Iraq’s violations. This can’t be going nowhere, or everyone will fall asleep.
“America and the world will not be blackmailed.”
OK, no real hard language on North Korea, but really, what can be done? Not quite stirring, but there’s nothing there to stir.
“The United States supports their aspiration to live in freedom.”
Whoa. We just called on auto-regime change in Iran. Kinky — and cool.
“The course of this nation does not depend on the decisions of others.”
Finally. There it is, the tagline.
War sometime between one and five weeks. Or I’m calling for impeachment.
“We call on the UN…” “W support the IAEC…”
But they don’t support us.
Here it comes.
“Their ambitions of cruelty and murder have no limit…”
Pause for applause.
“We except this responsibility” to defend our citizens and the hopes of mankind.
Best line yet. “Free people will determine…” the course of our history.
The applause is still going on. That’s your tagline. At least for the moment.
“…develop a terrost threat information integration center.”
It took THIS long after 9/11 to come up with that idea?
Problem is, without a Unified Intelligence Director with a real budget — and real authority over CIA, DIA, FBI, etc, it’s still just a pipe dream.
Homeland defense, yadda yadda yadda.
Is the country safe? Is Tom Ridge smart?
At least Bush is plugging ballistic missile defense. Theater Missile Defense is about to prove its worth, so it’s past time to spend real money on deploying continental defense.
Bush is following the links across Europe and elsewhere to make the case that the secret war is being well fought.
Can he connect those dots all the way to Baghdad?
Finally, red meat. “The war goes on…”
But will he chew?
I think the Democrats have just lost the AIDS issue with the general public.
Oh, sure, the radicals on both sides will keep making the usual noises, but Bush is not his father’s generation on this issue.
Anyone care to place any bets on who Bush has stand up in the Gallery?
NZ Blogger is live, too. Look for the link, I’m typing too quickly to pause.
Also, Item Thirteen was a joke, OK?