Before resigning from the CIA in late 2004, I had a chat about politics with a good friend who encapsulated his view of the difference between the two parties, saying the Democrats are liars and the Republicans are stupid. I have thought about that since and decided I would amend his conclusion by adjusting the characterization of Republicans to say that some senior Republicans are incompetent and most treat their supporters as stupid. To be honest, I will admit that I have voted the straight Republican ticket in each election since reaching voting age thirty-plus years ago. I vote Republican because I am a nationalist, anti-abortion and a strict constructionist.
Since resigning, I have had reason to believe my friend’s definitions with my adjustments are accurate. The Democrats quickly proved true to form. One of Sen. Harry Reid’s first acts after becoming his party’s Senate leader was to electronically re-lynch Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and then Howard Dean, the gadfly screecher who chairs the party, damned the Republicans for being “white and Christian.” In a few hundred words, Mr. Reid and Mr. Dean reminded Americans that Democrats remain what American history shows they always have been, the party of the “four S’s”: Slavery, Secession, Segregation, and Socialism. Justice Thomas is not the Democrats’ “kind” of African American, so segregate him. Public service and white Christians are anathema to a party that has no God and whose support comes from the slaves they keep segregated in the empire of single-issue interest groups they hold in thrall. This reality should be kept in view by anyone who thinks Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has “Democratic centrists” to appeal to.
That said, the Republicans have reached new lows in treating their supporters as a herd of stupid, unthinking cattle who are content to sit quietly as their rulers undermine national security and allow America’s defeat by Islamic extremists. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s recent performance on Jim Lehrer’s Newshour can only be explained by concluding either that Miss Rice is stupid, or that she and the Bush administration are confident Republicans are addled and will swallow any executive-branch bilge.
Now, Miss Rice is a brilliant, not a stupid woman. Her career is one of uninterrupted excellence, dedicated public service and steady professional advancement — a record, it must be noted, that no African American woman has achieved under Democratic auspices. Like Justice Thomas, Miss Rice is not the Democrats’ “kind” of African American.
Yet Miss Rice knowingly says stupid things and expects the party faithful like me to believe them. On Iraq, she told Mr. Lehrer “we must maintain political momentum” toward late-2005 elections, implying the electoral process itself will ensure “the insurgency loses any hope of holding a political base for their brutal and violent activities.”
This is nonsense. The Iraq insurgency is intensifying, meaning it already has a political base and that the base is growing; history proves insurgencies do not exist in hostile political environments. It also is absurd Western-think to suggest, as Miss Rice did, that successfully holding an election will discourage the insurgents and cause them to fold their tents and shelve their Kalashnikovs. In this regard, Miss Rice should review the situationdevelopingin Afghanistan.
Topping this nonsense, Miss Rice advised the Newshour’s audience on the coming Iraqi constitution. “And I would caution,” Miss Rice said, “against reading drafts” of the constitution. Like the Wizard telling Dorothy and friends to ignore the man behind the curtain pulling levers, Miss Rice says the drafts are meaningless works-in-progress. Miss Rice and the administration, of course, count on Republicans following this stupid advice and not noticing until too late that the Iraqi constitution is creating an Islamic and anti-American state that will be a breeding-and-staging ground for extremists and a destabilizing force in the Middle East.
So there’s the dilemma, fellow Republicans. Do we buy the pap Miss Rice dispensed and ignore the incompetence that sees Michael Chertoff taking the Department of Homeland Security back to the drawing board, and FBI Director Robert Mueller unable to buy a workable computer system and proud of the FBI’s dearth of expertise about Islamic militancy? Or do we gag, say enough, and demand that President Bush and Miss Rice begin telling Americans bluntly that their country is in a heck of a fix in the Islamic world made much worse by the Iraq war and fire the incompetents who have made it less safe since September 11.
Fortunately for America, the Reid-and-Dean-led Democrats are irrelevant to our decision. They are too busy describing U.S. soldiers as Nazis and keeping the shackles on their slave empire of one-issue groups long enough to lose the presidency in 2008.
Michael Scheuer, a 22-year veteran with the CIA, created and served as the chief of the agency’s Osama bin Laden unit at the Counterterrorist Center. He is also the author of “Imperial Hubris.”