May 2, 2003
THE PRESIDENT: "The battle of Iraq is one victory
in a war on terror that began on September the 11, 2001 -- and
still goes on."- President
Bush on the USS Abraham Lincoln.
sentence, more than anything else, is why President Bush will
not suffer his father's fate in next year's election. At some
point during the President's speech last night it occurred to
me there is NO WAY this President will not win re-election.
or hate him, the man is a leader. In the first Presidential election
post-9/11 the American people, above all else, want a President
who is a leader.
In many ways
I am beginning to wonder whether the conventional wisdom regarding
the economy and the President's political fortunes is at all accurate.
With the constant backdrop of the War on Terror, if the economy
continues to weaken the public's angst and concern will grow along
with their desire to have a President who will LEAD.
trying to say is the worse the economy gets the more the electorate
will demand a President who is a real leader, exactly President
Bush's strong suit. Whether it is the cold reality of 9/11 or
the ridiculousness of the late 90's with a self-indulgent President
and a stock market gone mad, the American people do not seem to
blame President Bush for our current economic situation.
do you explain last year's election where the President defied
all historical trends and picked up seats in both the House and
the Senate? Obviously I know there is a chance President Bush
can lose the election next year. But if you're a betting person
and anytime between now and next November you can get even odds
or better on the President - I'd take em. Because I'm starting
to think a good economy the President wins, a bad economy the
vulnerability is a foreign policy debacle that would throw into
question his status as leader and not the unemployment numbers
being released this morning. It's NOT the economy stupid.
9/11 AND THE LIBERAL ELITES: I was flipping around the channels
after the President spoke and on NBC not more than 30 seconds
after Bush finished Tom Brokaw was telling the American people
that there was no connection between 9/11 and Iraq. This was a
deliberate effort on his part to rebut the President's statement:
"The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that
began on September the 11, 2001 -- and still goes on."
Brokaw and the liberal elites know that the more Bush's actions
are seen as response to what happened on 9/11 the more the American
people will like him. And they don't want the American people
to like the President.
IS NOT OVER:
war against terror is proceeding according to principles that
I have made clear to all: Any person involved in committing
or planning terrorist attacks against the American people becomes
an enemy of this country, and a target of American justice.
Any person, organization, or government that supports, protects,
or harbors terrorists is complicit in the murder of the innocent,
and equally guilty of terrorist crimes. Any outlaw regime that
has ties to terrorist groups and seeks or possesses weapons
of mass destruction is a grave danger to the civilized world
-- and will be confronted."
be confronted." I think that says it all. Iraq was one battle
in the War on Terror and this President appears intent on leading
the U.S. and the free world to victory in that war. Enemies of
the United States should beware, this war is not over and this
President is deadly serious. J.
McIntyre 8:14 am
May 1 2003
MAY DAY: Welcome to another excuse for radical Marxists, anarchists
and miscellaneous others on the left to burn,
break, and loot (Thank goodness they've decided not to have
a May Day celebration here).
be fooled into thinking, as the antiwar groups would have you
believe, that these demonstration represent massive public unrest
over Iraq or anything else. Check out this
line from Reuters:
groups behind the May Day events included animal rights activists,
students protesting against university fees and anti-pollution
campaigners planning a mass cycle ride to block traffic in central
but public demonstrations these days aren't much more than play-dates
for lefty malcontents. They're what liberal activists do while
the rest of us are out working.
MESSAGE: I want to briefly revisit the
point John made yesterday about judicial confirmations. It's
an interesting question: all things being equal, would Democrats
be filibustering Estrada if he were a white male?
is most likely not - Estrada would probably get about the same
treatment Jeffrey Sutton received. Which is to say he would have
gotten roughed up a bit in committee, but confirmed by a full
So the broader
question becomes: will moderate and independent voters recognize
- and perhaps be turned off by - the fact that Dems are using
the most powerful weapon in their political arsenal to prevent
a extraordinarily well-qualified Hispanic from further high achievement?
- T. Bevan 7:54
April 30 2003
JUDICIAL HARDBALL: Senate Democrats continue to play hardball
with President Bush's judicial nominees, as Priscilla
Owen became the second target to be hit by Democratic filibuster
On the surface
it appears that the Democrats may be winning this war of judicial
nominations in the Senate. I wonder whether they will win in the
long run. There are only so many high profile nominations the
Democrats can detonate with a filibuster nuclear bomb. For every
Priscilla Owen who gets stopped two or three Jeffrey
Sutton's get through.
House may be employing a sound strategy given their opponent.
Both sides are playing hardball, but the Democrats are the ones
who are being forced to pay a political price for their tactics.
Denying well qualified conservative women and Hispanics even a
vote on the Senate floor will start to extract a political cost
for a party that portrays itself as the 'defenders' of women and
minorities. While these tactics may seem just fine to Ralph
Neas and Eleanor Smeal they will smack of extremism to Joe
Q. public while providing cover for the White House to continue
to flood the nomination process with blue chip conservatives.
war in Iraq dying down and after the President gets some type
of tax relief package through the Congress, the White House can
then ratchet up the pressure in regard to the Estrada and Owen
nominations. The only way to break the Democratic filibuster is
to cause political pain to the Democratic Party, Democratic Senators
in particular. The way to cause that pain is to publicly portray
the Democratic obstructionism as extreme and utterly unprecedented.
Iraq situation clearly on the front burner for the last several
months it made no sense for the President to put on the full court
press on behalf of the Estrada nomination. But as these other
news stories die down the White House can make Estrada (and Owen
to a lesser degree) a Page 1 issue at a time and place of their
At that time
Senate Democrats may begin to second guess their scorched earth
tactics when a very popular President publicly exposes Miquel
Estrada to be a victim of left wing extremism in the United States
As long as
Bush fights hard in public for Estrada it becomes a win win situation
for the White House. Either, the Dems cave, the filibuster breaks
and Estrada gets confirmed (Owen is less important here in the
big picture) or the Democrats take down in a very public way an
extremely well-qualifed young man, for one reason and one reason
only - he is Hispanic. (For those of you who think that is a little
harsh, explain to me why Democrats let white nominees with the
exact same qualifications and circumstances move through without
a filibuster. What scares Democrats is not that Estrada is conservative,
they understand Bush is going to nominate conservatives, the danger
to the left is he is an Hispanic conservative.)
Election 2004 do you think this will bother Karl Rove? J.
McIntyre 8:13 am
April 29 2003
HOWARD DEAN, SHAMELESS BASE MONGER: He made himself a darling
of the Democratic base and a plausible threat to win the nomination
by opposing the war. But now that the war is over Dean is starting
to look, well, a bit comical. And he's starting
to take fire from some of his fellow competitors.
It all started
with Dean's infamous comment about Saddam Hussein:
gotten rid of him, and I suppose that's a good thing."
followed by this little episode reported in The
week on CNN, Dean was pressed about the war's impact on the
Iraqi people: Were they better off with Hussein gone?
don't know yet," Dean said.
is drawing fire for these comments appearing in the current issue
two weeks ago, while campaigning at a Stonyfield yogurt factory
in New Hampshire, the would-be Commander-in-Chief [Dean] suggested
that America should be planning for a time when it is not the
world's greatest superpower : "We have to take a different approach
[to diplomacy]. We won't always have the strongest military."
who apparently feels his own waffle strategy on the war has now
been vindicated, dispatched rent-a-hack Chris Lehane yesterday
Dean over his comments and question his fitness to be the
Leader of the Free World.
for Kerry, Edwards, Gephardt and Lieberman is that there is still
a seizable McGovernite portion of the Democratic base who don't
think Dean's comments are comical at all and agree with them wholeheartedly.
It's going to be a difficult tightrope for these men to walk during
the primaries, but one that will be fascinating to watch.
REDUX: I've gotten a number of emails regarding my
comments on Newt
Gingrich's recent diatribe against the State Department. It's
somewhat of a mixed bag: some people agree with me that Newt's
criticisms were poorly delivered, and others felt Newt was fully
justified in making a very public and aggressive push for reforming
the State Department.
Let me just
reiterate for posterity that I agree with the general idea of
reforming State. It should be done. My qualm is less with the
substance of Gingrich's criticism (although as previously mentioned
I think a couple of the examples he cited as proof of "failure"
on the part of State were bogus) but with the way it was done.
Newt & Co. orchestrated the event to ensure maximum publicity
and delivered the speech with extraordinarily pointed and harsh
This is my
point. If Newt wants to help engineer constructive reform of the
State Department, that's fine. Take your case up to the hill and
push privately for hearings and urge the President to put pressure
on Powell to make serious, accountable reform at State a top priority.
But if you
just want to stand up days after an historic victory in Iraq and
start throwing grenades and fragging your comrades for other reasons
then I'm going to have a problem - and I do.
one of the people who happen to disagree with me, you can take
comfort in Frank
Gaffney's piece this morning. I can't help but point out that
Gaffney's argument about the level of vitriol aimed at Gingrich
proves the validity of his critique of the State Department is
overblown at best. I doubt Gaffney would argue that because the
Dixie Chicks were recently overwhelmed by public vitriol it proves
they were "right on target" in their comments about
And if I
haven't completed worn you out on the subject, there's more on
Washington Times editorial page.
I'll admit I've been a bit conflicted over the looting of the
Baghdad Museum. Part of me thinks the Pentagon could have, and
perhaps should have done more to try and protect its contents.
But when you hear reports that it was an inside job and read stories
it makes you wonder whether the looting was at all preventable
in the first place. Not to mention that Rumsfeld's prediction
on the Meet The Press a few weeks back is beginning
to come true. In the end I think there will be a fairly happy
ending to this story and the museum will be restored with nearly
all of its original contents in tact. - T.
Bevan 8:22 am
April 28 2003
What to make of Senator Bob Graham's appearance on ABC's
This Week yesterday? To be honest, I wasn't that impressed.
Perhaps this is because my expectations were too high, but I just
didn't think he was very sharp. Not to mention, I just don't think
his policy mix will give him a realistic shot at the nomination:
staying to the right of Gephardt on health care and trying to
get to the right of Bush on the War on Terror probably isn't going
to inspire the base enough in the primaries or wash with the public
in the general.
Graham is more of a darkhorse than a serious candidate (think
Orrin Hatch in 2000). He's not going to be competitive in either
Iowa or New Hampshire (he just took his
first visit to NH the other day) and if he battles to a draw
or worse with Edwards in South Carolina the game could be over
before it begins. For Graham, the more likely road to the Presidency
(as some astute political
pundits have noted) lies in his potential value as a VP candidate
for one of the true contenders. But if Graham wants a chance to
be taken seriously, it's critical that he has a good showing at
debate in South Carolina.
And for those
who saw the program on Sunday, can we stop for a moment to mention
the fact (which I can't find a trace of anywhere this morning)
that a sitting US Senator and Democratic Presidential aspirant
repeatedly mispronounced the name of the deadly virus currently
streaking around the globe? This didn't seem like a simple slip
of the tongue - Graham was totally oblivious to the fact he kept
referring to SARS as "SCARS." It's not like this hasn't
been in the news recently and you'd expect someone in his position
not to make that kind of mistake.
QUESTION: How quickly would the leftist pseudo-intellectual
elite (yes, Eric
Alterman, I'm talking about you) have sneered over our current
President's monumental stupidity had he made the same error?
SANTORUM: Although we've been posting news and opinion articles
on the Santorum affair since the beginning, we haven't commented
on it personally in the blog.
But let me
just make a quick, general observation. If you stipulate, as most
in America would, that no one is interested in criminalizing homosexual
behavior, one of the fundamental questions at issue here is tolerance.
Just how tolerant are we and must we be of homosexuality in our
way, is the idea that one can, to use Santorum's words, "have
no problem with homosexuality" but "have a problem with
homosexual acts" a tolerant or intolerant statement? This
is, after all, another way of articulating the "don't ask,
don't tell" position of the Catholic church, the U.S. Military,
and the vast majority of the American public. Most people have
no problem with people engaging in homosexual behavior in the
privacy of their own homes, even if they don't agree with it,
can't understand it, or consider it to be sinful behavior.
seen as this debate has played out over the past week, however,
is that to those on the left the idea of "don't ask, don't
tell" is bigoted and disgraceful. Anyone who is unwilling
to accept the full panoply of items on the gay lobby agenda (civil
union rights, hate crime statutes, teaching of homosexuality in
schools, etc...) is ipso facto a homophobe and a bigot.
Once again, there is a profound irony in the fact that many of
the "champions of tolerance" on the left are absolutely
intolerant toward anyone who doesn't actively embrace their vision
of how America should be.
Evidence continues to mount that Hussein survived. USA Today carries
front page story in which the recently captured Tariq Aziz
claims he saw Saddam alive after the second air strike against
him on April 7.
appearing on Fox
News Sunday yesterday, said:
is still alive. We have a pretty good idea of how they are moving
and where they were, and we've tried to again focus on how we
can know where they will be, so that they can be apprehended,
he and his sons, Saddam and his sons, Qusay and Uday."
suggested in the interview that Saddam procured "bomb belts"
and might be inclined to blow himself up rather than be captured.
there's also this tidbit tucked in this
week's mammoth New Yorker feature of one of Saddam's personal
doctors by Jon Lee Anderson:
he and Bashir said they believed that Saddam was also alive.
Bashir pointed out that the Adamiya mosque, where Saddam had
been sighted on Wednesday, April 9th, was not far from Saddamís
secret clinic. They were both situated along the river, which
offered an avenue of escape. Upriver, in the country outside
Baghdad, there was an area that was the fiefdom of a tribal
leader who was a close ally of Saddam Husseinís."
is alive, our ability to capture him in the not-too-distant future
sets up a very intriguing prospect: a public trial run by the
fledgling Iraqi interim authority to bring the hated former dictator
to justice. Covered by a free Iraqi press, to boot. It could represent
the sort of monumental event that helps inspire and solidify the
presence of a better system of governance in Iraq. - T.
Bevan 8:27 am