- The Washington Times - Friday, February 4, 2005

No rejoicing

“Iraq’s dancing-in-the-streets election gave President Bush a surge of momentum, and [Wednesday] night he made clear that he means to make the most of it,” the New York Post’s Deborah Orin writes.

“Iraq’s election shifted the political dynamic in America because of its amazing success, which validated Bush’s belief that freedom can trump terror — thus making it easier for him to tackle other big things like Social Security,” Miss Orin said.

“So Bush could say in [Wednesday] night’s State of the Union speech: ‘We will succeed because the Iraqi people value their own liberty — as they showed the world last Sunday.’

“Also telling was what Iraqi courage showed about the Democratic Party in America — it’s so angry and so bankrupt of ideas that its leaders couldn’t even rejoice in the Iraqi vote.

” ‘The Democrats are acting out of frustration — what they stand for and what their strategy is, I can’t say. Why would they vigorously oppose the first black woman to be secretary of state and the first Latino to be attorney general?’ says presidential scholar Stephen Hess.”

Tone-deaf Democrats

“Every so often, an American politician takes an unpopular stand for the sake of what’s right: Think of Gerald Ford’s pardon of Richard Nixon,” the Wall Street Journal says.

“Frequently, he takes an unprincipled stand for the sake of what’s popular: Take Richard Nixon’s price controls. Sometimes, even, he does what’s right, which also happens to be popular: Ronald Reagan’s bombing of Libya.

“Only in the rarest of instances, however, do politicians take positions that are both unpopular and unprincipled. That is where the Democratic Party leadership finds itself today on Iraq,” the newspaper said in an editorial.

“On Sunday, some eight million Iraqi citizens risked their lives to participate in parliamentary elections — as vivid and moving a demonstration of democratic ideals in action as we’ve seen in our lifetimes. Whereupon Senate Democrats Harry Reid, Ted Kennedy and John Kerry took to the airwaves to explain that it was no big deal and that it was time to start casting about for an ‘exit strategy.’ …

“As a matter of policy, this is a manifesto for irresponsibility. Just as the postponement of elections would have been a gift to the insurgents, a timetable for withdrawal now would amount to a concession of defeat.”

Media panic

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