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You realize, of course, that this means war...

I have some liberal friends in the blogosphere. One of them wrote me the other day with a rather fascinating thought in regards to the Foley mess. I probably should obtain permission before quoting that e-mail, but since I won't attribute it, I think it's OK.

I want to see the Democrats exploit the Foley scandal to the fullest extent they are able.

We've got two parties here that might set a direction in the war on terror and in Iraq. Within our political system, the two parties are consistently set against each other.

Now, if a political party is unwilling to take advantage of the other's tactical blunder, then how can that party be trusted to wage the war on terror?

Based on my past discussions with this person, I feel pretty comfortable that that is not a sincere and honest opinion, but solely designed to provoke thought and discussion. (My friend is good at that.) And it's a fascinating point -- just how determined, just how forceful, just how resolved should a political party be?

The point that I suspect is behind this is that, to the Democrats, the political war for our nation is at least as important and significant to them as the war on terror. They need to demonstrate their willingness to fight, to win, in that war if they are to be trusted with the other.

The problem with that is it utterly abandons the quaint notion that "politics stop at the water's edge." Domestic politicking should be passionate, should be fierce, should be even brutally competitive, but there must be lines drawn. The problem I have is that, as many have noted, the strongest voices among the Democrats are slamming the Republicans for not using the same level of tactics, of scrutiny, of investigation against former Congressman Foley (R-scumbag) as the Republicans want to use against terrorists -- which the Democrats routinely denounce.

It's routine for the charge of "fear-mongering" to be tossed around, but let's face it: both sides do it, and for the same reason. The reason they do it is because it works, and it works because it's true. The major difference is in who is cast as the boogeyman.

Rob Port, Guest Wizbanger Emeritus, pointed out a fascinating piece by Jane Galt, who took a hard look at just who most people fear. The key paragraph that Rob also chose to highlight:


As I said at the debate I was in last night: who does the average American fear more--the FBI or the IRS? The local zoning board, or the NSA? What does he fear more: the ten commandments on the wall of his child's school, or having the new addition to the house disallowed by the zoning board, the EPA, or the Americans with Disabilities act? On what does he spend more time: preparing his taxes, earning the money to pay for them, and arguing with the various tax authorities about what he owes . . . or checking for roving wiretaps?

Let me take the FBI as my example. The two things I think of when I consider the FBI:

1) It was founded and run for almost half a century by a paranoid, Machiavellian drag queen who blackmailed his way into wielding and maintaining grotesque power.

2) The Boston office allowed itself to become a wholly owned an operated subsidiary of the local mobsters, to the point of actually framing the mob boss's enemies for crimes and looking away while they ran rampant, holding an almost unholy sway over the state.

Yet when I meet an FBI agent (which has happened twice), my first instinct is to be polite, helpful, and respectful. I simply don't see FBI agents -- or the FBI -- as a personal threat. I see them as likely protectors, as those who are going after the bad guys. They aren't a danger to me, they're a danger to those who would threaten me.

The problem is that the Democrats are trying to paint the wrong guys as bad guys. They waffle and prevaricate and make excuses for those who praise and support the terrorists, the bombers, the head-choppers, while at the same time hold those charged with defending us to a far higher standard. They save their harshest venom and strongest attacks not against our foreign foes, but their domestic rivals. To use their own language, they are more focused on dividing Americans into good guys and bad guys than in actually facing the real bad guys out there. It's somewhat reminiscent of the Judean People's Front/People's Front of Judea bit from Monty Python's Life of Brian.

I'm no Republican. I have no interest in joining either political party. But come November, I will most likely vote for my sitting Republican representative than his Democratic challenger, simply because I think that we should save our fiercest fighting for our real enemies, and not each other.


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Comments (29)

"just how determin... (Below threshold)
hdw:
"just how determined, just how forceful, just how resolved should a political party be?"

The key to this discussion, is the circumstances. A rabid pitbull fits that description, but you don't want one as a guard dog. You want a guard dog that's determined, forceful, and resolved when necessary. If all you needed in a politician was for them to be determined, forceful, and resolved then the Democrats should nominate Howard Dean for President.

Your friend's point is simi... (Below threshold)

Your friend's point is similar to one I've made: when you're in a fight, you ought to fight to win, you don't fight to impress the bystanders, you don't fight by tying one hand behind your back. And for many liberals, who truly feel Bush and friends are more of a threat than are the terrorists, it would stand to reason that they would and ought to pull out all the stops to defeat Bush and the GOP. So, just as I have argued against taking torture off the table in fighting against terrorists, your friend is arguing that the Democrats should use every weapon at their disposal to defeat their enemy.

As for your point about who they're casting as the boogeyman, I don't think they're against the FBI as a matter of policy (remember, it was the right, not the left, that went after the FBI for Ruby Ridge). Nor, as their venom over the Foley matter shows, are they against snooping and invading one's privacy. Nor are they really upset over Congressmen soliciting teenage boys. They attack the FBI and NSA because those groups are viewed as extensions of Bush and the liberals need to attack everything associated with Bush. They don't care about casualties in Iraq...except as a point to attack Bush. They don't care about terrorists getting Korans at Guantanamo... except in order to attack Bush. Take away Bush and GOP control and watch how fast the liberals decide they don't need to be complaining anymore.

Consistent? No. Conducive to winning an election? We'll see in about three weeks.

BTW, my above point cuts bo... (Below threshold)

BTW, my above point cuts both ways. Not that many Republicans were really upset with the idea of bombing a potential terror compound in the Sudan, nor with him bombing Milosevic, nor with him pulling troops out of Somalia... it was simply that if Clinton was doing it, the GOP needed to complain.

Look how quickly the conser... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Look how quickly the conservatives have abandoned their positions and approaches one they fell behind in the polls. Now we see the re-emergence of the "compassionate conservative", pleading "can't we all just get along???

What a joke. Republicans like Jay - who won't even admit that they ARE Republicans, are as phony as a 3 dollar bill.

"can't we all just get alon... (Below threshold)
JB:

"can't we all just get along???"

Lee and his silly strawmen. That's all the lefties have to offer these days.

"abandoned their positions"... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

"abandoned their positions", hmm, you mean like all of a sudden thinking that prying into personal IM's and e-mails is ok Lee? Oh that's right, its ok to pry and spy...as long as its not directed towards the terrorists, or democrats...just your REAL enemies right Lee? F'ing laughable.

No, D-Hoggs - like claiming... (Below threshold)
Lee:

No, D-Hoggs - like claiming to be the party of "Traditional Family Values" and then covering up and ignoring sexual predators because you're afraid you might lose some votes.

When a Congressman is sitti... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

When a Congressman is sittiing around his office jacking off as he engages in e-mail sex then you're goddamn right those e-mails should be pried into.

Lee, you're right This guy Jay is nothing but a shill for the right without the balls to admit it.

Just so you wingnuts don't ... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Just so you wingnuts don't lose your minds (what little you have), when Clinton was sitting around the white house getting bjs from an employee that should have been pried into also.

...if a political party ... (Below threshold)
Peter S:

...if a political party is unwilling to take advantage of the other's tactical blunder, then how can that party be trusted to wage the war on terror?


It may as well say, "If pigs fly, then Paris is in France."

Using the illustration of the history of the FBI versus a personal perception of what is trusted is a good example of how people perceive an organization with questionable roots. Perceptions are based on the evidence of an organization's work. The public's perception of works by the Republican or Democratic parties today is dark and dismal. The proof is what people read and see what each party is doing with their cutthroat tactics to win a political seat in the United States.

Until there is more corroboration that bipartisanship is a key goal from both political parties many voters will continue to remain unaffiliated with both.

"When a congressman is s... (Below threshold)
914:

"When a congressman is sitting around His office jacking off as He engages in e-mail sex then Your goddam right His e-mails should be pried into."

Hugh, Do You know something We dont?

How about sitting in the Ov... (Below threshold)
Jo:

How about sitting in the Oval Office, getting a BJ from an intern while talking troop deployment to a congressman?

Classy. And oh so patriotic!

Hugh,I thought the... (Below threshold)
Thrush:

Hugh,

I thought the argument was that the right wanted to remove those privacies and liberties, and here we have you saying we need to monitor everyone (even the president) for misconduct. So, video surveillance to see when "jacking off" or "bjs" are occurring, and then rip through their emails (I can only assume a physical search of their properties would be in order as well).

I don't agree with what Foley did, but it's amusing to suddenly see people screaming that it should have been "pried into", or we "should have known". The same people who were all up in arms about the NSA "overstepping it's bounds". Do you have a warrant to back that up?

And embezelling $100,000.00... (Below threshold)
comeonsense:

And embezelling $100,000.00 is OK. Keep your seat, keep your leadership roles. Im thankful the Dems don't clean their own house, then they might be equal to the GOP.

DARN IT!Doesn't an... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

DARN IT!

Doesn't anyone have the ear of the GOP?

GEEZ, they should be running an ad reminding voters how Democrats treat REAL pedophiles; committee chairmanship, re-election and standing ovations!

And contrast that to demanding Foley resign upon learning of the IM's.

That would reverse this current in nothing flat.

Thrush:Of course y... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Thrush:

Of course you distort what I said. Or, giving you the benfit of the doubt, when it becomes public that.......

And please don't give me it was a Geroge Soros conspiracy horsesh**

Jo: You're absolutely right.

Just so you wingnuts don... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

Just so you wingnuts don't lose your minds (what little you have), when Clinton was sitting around the white house getting bjs from an employee that should have been pried into also.

And he got to stay in office!

Embezzle 100 grand?

Stay in office!

Real statutory rape?

Stay in office!

It doesn't get any more contrasty than that.

I'm on your side with all t... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

I'm on your side with all that stuff Dr John except the Clinton remaining in office part...he got lots of punishment. Should have been censured by Congress instead of that absurd impeachment sh**, lost his law license etc.

Isn't it sad that this is a... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

Isn't it sad that this is all Democrats ever have to offer at election time?

Dirty tricks?

Republicans took the Congress on the strength of an idea in 1994, on merit.

You can argue about what they did with it, but it was an idea, a positive idea.

All anyone in the Democratic party has is criticism and dirtbag legerdemain.

They have no plan other than "not-Bush."

What a platform.

They are strategically vacuous.

Eavesdrop on terrorist plot... (Below threshold)
914:

Eavesdrop on terrorist plots without a warrant??Hell no never cant do that! call in Ramsey Dark right away because Al Quaeda have rights y'know.

EAVESDROP ON A u.s. citizens e-mails anywhere anytime with no warrant and jump to monumental conclusions about intentions and the great harm it does to our national security..OK, sounds great.

Yes.Isn't it curio... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

Yes.

Isn't it curious that they forgot all about that privacy thing?

What about Foley's privacy?

Who did he actually touch?

What crime did he commit?

Lee, the Human Non Sequitur... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Lee, the Human Non Sequitur.

In the immortal words of Reagan:

"Heh, well . . .there he goes again."

DrJohn,The problem... (Below threshold)
BrandonInBatonRouge:

DrJohn,

The problem is that most Dems KNOW that their plans won't be accepted by the country, so they cloud the issue instead.

Raise taxes? That strategy worked out well for Walter Mondale in the '84 election.

Socialized health care? That issue, combined with tax increases, is one of the two big reasons the country was prepared to listen to the Republican candidates in 1994.

Abortion? A winner in the short-term, but it's cost them votes in many conservative areas and, worse for them, deprived them of warm bodies they need for the Census in order to keep a high number of electoral votes in their stronghold states like Michigan, New York, and Massachussets.

National defense? Cut and run tends to work only with voters on the Left Coast and New England. That won't win you a lot of votes in Texas, North Carolina, Georgia, and other large Southern states where a national-level Dem politician is becoming scarce.

Environmental issues? That takes a serious backseat to national defense and the economy to many people. They agree with certain things in principle on it, but not to the extent that the PETA and Sierra Club crowds would push things.

(I'd like to hear the response when Congress blocks building some necessary property because of a rare, endangered species of termites.)


What does that leave for them to build a platform on besides "We're not Republicans" and "Bush Lied, People Died"?

So, just to recap, accordin... (Below threshold)
scsiwuzzy:

So, just to recap, according to Hugh and Lee
Sending emails and "jacking off to them" (their fantasy, not mine) to a 17-18 yo page, bad and worthy of a full investigation and the expulsion of all involved, from the janitor to the President.
Actual sex with an intern, purjury and obstruction of justice... A OK. Stay in office.
Actual sex with a 16 year old campaign worker, and trying to angle that into a 3 some with a 15 year old... A OK, stay in office
Actual sodomy with an underage page... A OK. Stay in Office
Fixing parking tickets for the man running a brothel out of your home: A OK, stay in office.

Just so we have a score card to follow the game.

Ok, so we wait until it goe... (Below threshold)
Thrush:

Ok, so we wait until it goes public before we react. It came public. Foley resigned.

Upon further examination, it appears no laws were broken. His behavior was just morally and ethically corrupt. But he's already resigned and apologized. What more do you want him to do?

Is Foley's punishment worse than Clintons? Foley had sexual conversations. Clinton got bjs (oh and perjured himself in a court of law, which is against the law).

If I were Foleys defense at... (Below threshold)
914:

If I were Foleys defense attorney ( which thank God Im not) I would recommend He pull a Jim Jeffords! Then He would be home free..

On second thought forget it... (Below threshold)
914:

On second thought forget it. Then You would be called a liberal and that has to be worse then going to a country club state house.

Foley can salvage his polit... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

Foley can salvage his political future.

If he switches to the Democratic party he's no longer radioactive.

And would likely get a standing ovation!

I'm convinced that the post... (Below threshold)
Mike:

I'm convinced that the post credited to "Lee" are nothing more than a script that randomly picks some inane phrases and combines them (ala Mad Libs - pun intended). No human is that mindless.




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