Daniel Henninger has an important article today in the WSJ aptly titled “Wonder Land”. He writes from a sad, but true premise:
If there really is such a thing as a war on terror–that is, an active, sustained effort to unplug its principal actors–then we know it will happen only if the United States leads it. The statements of resolve this week by the presidents of Russia and Indonesia are welcome. But absent active U.S. leadership, Islamic terrorism will come to be tolerated by other national leaders–as was the Balkans, as is Darfur–as inevitable and unfortunate phenomena, like hurricanes. France, Germany and Spain have proven that.
Then he goes on to explore the presidential election:
I say both candidate and party because one wishes that John Kerry were running on a more settled party policy on terror. Wednesday in Cincinnati Mr. Kerry said, “Two hundred billion for Iraq, but they tell us we can’t afford afterschool programs for our children.” Then: “Two hundred billion dollars for Iraq, but they tell us we can’t afford to keep the hundred thousand police officers we put on the streets during the 1990s.” There may be a focus group somewhere suggesting this logic, but one week after Beslan, it seems quite beside the point.
Sen. Joe Biden on this page yesterday offered a Democratic alternative worth a debate, based on “reinvigorated diplomacy.” Sen. Biden explicitly says the Democrats would run out the negotiations clock longer than Mr. Bush did before launching a military attack. Well, this may be the Clinton foreign policy, but it’s at least a choice. Perhaps most Americans want more talking; perhaps they think the time for talking is over. One wishes Mr. Kerry would break free of his internal polling, drop the bizarre link between Iraq and afterschool programs and put a real choice before the voters. It will be awful for our divided politics if come November, Democrats are blaming their loss on a flawed candidate rather than on what they proposed to do about terror.
A flawed candidate indeed. Perhaps it is too late. But whatever the case, Kerry’s eager partisans in the mainstream media have not helped but hurt him. And I’m not just talking about the buffoon-like Rather. Gail Collins, the New York Times editorial editor and writer, is another, perhaps more important, example. Her rage at Bush is often so undisguised that she has become unreadable. Once the NYT editorials were so “gray” they would put you to sleep. Now they read like screeds on Atrios. A (partially) unreconstructed Freudian could come up with plenty of explanations for this, but they are beside the point. An implosion is taking place before our eyes. It is easy, as a blogger, to feel triumphant. But the situation is far more important than that — and dangerous.
UPDATE: Funny artwork from Wizbang (and Microsoft). Scroll down.