Loose Canons

The Blizzard of ‘04

The parade of the military’s lifelong enemies, each pretending to be Scoop Jackson, seemed endless.

By 8.2.04

Send to Kindle

The skies have cleared, but the four-day snow job the Dems put on in Boston may not be shoveled out before the November election. It was a masterful exercise in false advertising. For the entirety of last week's convention (with only the briefest interruption by Barney "you go, girl" Frank) every Dem who took the podium embraced the common soldier with a fervor unseen since French troops entered Paris in August 1944. They went on and on about how devoted they were to our brave warriors, hoping against hope to ensure that our warriors have the best training, equipment, pay and benefits imaginable. This quadrennial assembly of the Blame America First party was the most elaborate deception since Dustin Hoffman put on high heels in Tootsie.

What a difference a war makes. The parade of the military's lifelong enemies, each pretending to be Scoop Jackson, seemed endless. When Babs Boxer got up to talk about her devotion to our brave men and women in uniform, I was laughing so hard my wife thought I'd need a Heimlich to start breathing again. And it wasn't only Babs, it was Hillary, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi and the whole sorry lot who -- until this week -- wouldn't have tossed a quarter into the tin cup of a crippled soldier begging on a street corner. This carefully created mirage will evaporate the instant the voting booths close. But you have to hand it to them. Brazenness comes naturally to them, and they retired the shamelessness trophy on the day Lil' Billy was inaugurated the second time.

What the snow drifts hid were their most deeply-held beliefs, their strongest allegiances and their core values. There was no talk of third-term abortions, global warming, gay marriage, and the other issues the Dems care about above all others. This time, there were no demonstrations by the pressure groups they answer to. Remember four years ago when Algore's people invited a group of Eagle Scouts to stand up and be bashed by the homosexual contingent? According to contemporary reports, "…a half-dozen Eagle Scouts and an adult leader had been sent to the event at the specific request of Democratic organizers." When they got to the stage, the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender/whateverthehellelse Dems whipped out their "We support gay boy scouts" signs, and had a grand old time spewing insults at the kids. That was when they weren't hiding.

You saw none of this because the Democrats' bizzaros weren't permitted to display themselves in Boston. When Barney Frank had his five minutes talking about how gays should serve in the military, it was more like a pitch for Donald Rumsfeld's job than a policy statement. (Note to all conservatives angry with Mr. Bush: think about SECDEF Frank, Madeleine the Short and the rest of a Kerry cabinet when you consider staying home on November 2.)

So what -- if anything -- were the Dems saying? They're desperate to convince us that they aren't who they are: the party of George McGovern, the doubters, defeatists, the folks whose greatest achievement is still symbolized by the last helo lifting off from the besieged embassy in Saigon. It was all there for those who cared to listen to more than the future campaign commercial sound bites. We begin with Lil' Billy.

His Monday night speech was masterful. He enjoyed himself, and radiated charm at an adoring crowd. They ate it up while he set the theme for the week. Clinton said, "…we live in an interdependent world in which we cannot possibly kill, jail or occupy all our potential adversaries. So we have to both fight terror and build a world with more partners and fewer terrorists." (Just how many fewer comprise a tolerable level of terrorists he didn't say). Clinton, as he always has, doubts that America can -- or should -- do anything on its own, without the UN and Old Europe babysitting us.

It fell to our worst ex-president, Jimmy C., to explain the details to the peasantry. He demanded we return to Carterism, which premised every policy on "human rights" concerns. He said, "The United States has alienated its allies, dismayed its friends, and inadvertently gratified its enemies by proclaiming a confused and disturbing strategy of preemptive war. With our allies disunited, the world resenting us, and the Middle East ablaze, we need John Kerry to restore life to the global war against terrorism." As Jimmy explained to us poor errant souls, if only we were faithful to Carterism, the world would be at peace. I guess the Shah would still be ruling Iran, Iraq would be peaceful and Yassir Arafat would be satisfied with the offer he got of 97% of the so-called "occupied" territories. Oh, but wait a minute: Wasn't it Carter's naïveté that got us into this mess?

Carl Levin continued the march, saying that Kerry would never send troops into action to preempt terrorism unless there was sufficient proof of an imminent threat. Levin -- who spent most of the last twenty years blocking missile defense -- knows damned well that now and for the foreseeable future, no president will have the kind of irrefragable proof to satisfy Judge Carl. He, and his ilk, don't want proof. They want peace by inaction and with Kerry they'll get inaction, but not peace. Kweisi Mfuming ranted that Kerry would never send troops into action without telling them the truth about why they were being sent. It all set the tone that Kerry wanted: talk tough, but lay the groundwork for a giving the world what it most wants: the leverage to stop America from acting in its own interests, when and where it decides to.

Kerry went to extraordinary lengths to avoid saying what even the New York Times said he must: how to win in Iraq and in the greater war. All he said was that, "I know what we have to do in Iraq. We need a President who has the credibility to bring our allies to our side and share the burden, reduce the cost to American taxpayers, and reduce the risk to American soldiers. That's the right way to get the job done and bring our troops home." He wants to bring the troops home. Nothing about defeating terrorists and the nations that support them. Bring the troops home.

This is the central fiction of the Kerry campaign: the belief that anyone but Dubya, Dick, and Don can -- just for the asking -- get the U.N. and Old Europe to wake up and smell the coffee. It's such an obvious lie, it may fool just enough people to get him elected.

Kerry said, "Now I know there are those who criticize me for seeing complexities -- and I do -- because some issues just aren't that simple." Count me among them, Mr. Kerry. There are complexities in the world, and we need to deal with them all based on fundamental principles: winning wars, protecting American lives, and doing so wherever and whenever our interests demand. Finding "complexities" in problems is why liberals dither when they should be acting, and wait for advice and help from those who don't share our interests and values. We had eight years of that with Clinton, and the result is that Islamist terrorism grew into a force that threatens our way of life. Can we afford four years of John Kerry in time of war? In short, no.

TAS Contributing Editor Jed Babbin is the author of, Inside the Asylum: Why the U.N. and Old Europe Are Worse Than You Think (Regnery Publishing).

Like this Article

Print this Article

Print Article
About the Author
Jed Babbin served as a Deputy Undersecretary of Defense under George H.W. Bush. He is the author of several bestselling books including Inside the Asylum and In the Words of Our Enemies. You can follow him on Twitter @jedbabbin.