The Franks Endorsement Posted by: Dale Franks
on Thursday, October 21, 2004
James Na's article in the Seattle Times today nicely encapsulates why I cannot agree with Jon's "noce of the Above" choice for the election. I understand it, but I can't follow his example. As Na Points out.
What many of my fellow Americans seem to forget is that these terrorists, whether operating in Iraq or elsewhere, cannot defeat the United States the way, for example, the Allies systematically incapacitated the Germans' ability to wage war during World War II by destroying armies, obliterating factories and even bombing population centers.
No, the only way the terrorists can defeat the United States is by convincing us that we are defeated - by creating a perception of calamity in our minds that does not exist in reality.
In a war like this, waged with fear on one side and with freedom on the other, the most crucial trait for the leader of the free world is steadfastness - the ability to withstand temporary fluctuations in military situations and popular opinion to ensure long-term success.
In this regard, Bush has demonstrated the necessary character of perseverance and political courage. He went as far as to state, "So be it," even if the war were to cost him the second term. Bush has demonstrated clearly that he views the eventual victory in the war to be more important than his own political future.
How does Kerry fare on this account? Kerry has shifted his position on the war based on changing popular and editorial sentiments, calling it, at various times, necessary, unnecessary, what needed to be done and a colossal mistake. Even now, as he calls Iraq "wrong war, wrong place, wrong time," he claims, somehow, that he will be able to attract a recalcitrant France and Germany to come to our aid.
A president so afflicted with self-doubt and prevarication cannot win the war on terror.
And it is not just that Mr. Kerry and his Democratic compatriots are weak on the War on Terror today. It is, as Max Boot points out in the Los Angeles Times, that Kerry and Co. have been historically weak on matter that involve the projection of American force. Boot includes in his column a series of quotes made by leading Democrats in 1991, when the first President Bush not only had a plethora of allies, but full UN approval for the use of force. The first quote he present is one by Sen. Kerry himself:
Sen. John Kerry: "I do not believe our nation is prepared for war. If we do go to war, for years people will ask why Congress gave in. They will ask why there was such a rush to so much death and destruction when it did not have to happen."
In point of fact, it did have to happen, and the reason wasn't because there was a rush to war, but rather because Saddam Hussein had engineered the invasion of Kuwait. Sen. Kerry was perfectly willing to let sanctions take effect. And, of course, we all saw how those sanctions after the Gulf War forced Saddam Hussein to come clean about his WMD programs, huh? If we'd waited for sanctions to work to get Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait, there'd still be a Kuwaiti government in exile in Alexandria, VA.
At this time, such ambivalence about the uses of American power is simply a luxury we can't afford.
Jon is perfectly right that President Bush has been less than keen to make government smaller or less intrusive. Tariffs on steel, softwood lumber, and textiles were a bad idea. The massive expansion of agricultural subsidies was a worse one. The proposed Federal Marriage Amendment to the Constitution is even more atrocious.
So what? In our current situation, those issues are, at best secondary. It's all very well and good to present hypotheticals about whether a Bush loss will force the Republicans into a more libertarian direction. At other times, it might be an interesting and relevant argument. Indeed, I've made those same calculations in the past. I voted for Bill Clinton in 1992, and didn't vote at all in 1996. In general, if given a choice between an ideologically undecided Republican and and ideologically uncommitted Democrat, I prefer the Democrat. And there are times when it's perfeclty logical to vote according to that calculus.
This is not one of those times.
It is utterly pointless and shortsighted to calculate about the future of the GOP when our primary concern right now is the threat of radical Islam. A retreat in the War on Terror that results in a decade of threats to American security like those that appeared in the 1970s could very well make domestic political calculations about the relative libertarian-ness of the GOP moot.
Now, I'd love it if Bush and the GOP moved in a libertarian direction, but here's the problem: if the GOP wins this election without being conservative/libertarian at all, then they don't ever have to be conservative/libertarian ever again.
I simply don't believe this argument is true. What does Jon believe L/C voters will do if faced with such a prospect? Simply stay home and not vote? Does he believe L/C candidates will never run for office again? Additionally, in an election like this one, facing the Islamist threat, I simply don't believe that any victory in this election can be taken as a referendum on domestic policy. It might say volumes about how the American people wish the War on Terror to be fought, but I doubt any case can be made that it would constitute a general expression of approval about, or predicts the future of, the L/C idea in American politics.
In any event, I'm far more concerned with keeping the USS America from slipping beneath the waves than I am about watching the GOP sink. Maybe, once the last terrorist's head is stuck on pike, I'll be more concerned with the fate of the GOP's L/C direction.
Until then, I want a president that I'm sure will pull the trigger, when it needs to be pulled. That president is George W. Bush.
Glad to hear some sense from this site. It's nice to see someone with their head in the right place. Ideology can wait, we have some business to take care of first.
Also, 2 points to the overspending complaints: 1- President Bush is a big supporter of the adage 'give a man a fish, and you feed him once, teach a man to fish, and you feed him for life'. He is trying to change programs so they are not give-aways creating dependence, but support systems enabling greater independence. But you can't get people off of the old archiac systems (think medicare, social security, subsidies) without something else. 2- It is my understanding that non defense spending was held to 1% increase, and taking into account 4% for inflation, that is a 3% decrease in non defence spending. Sounds pretty good to me looking back over the last four years (recession, corporate scandal, 9/11, 1 million jobs lost, airline bailout, 9/11 victims funds, 2 wars).
With regard to the deficits, I think they are a stupid way of measuring the governments budget. They take today's conditions, set them in stone (except for inflation), run them out ten years and declare that this will result in this huge deficit. That is just stupid. Who could ever think that things don't change over those 10 years. Since Bush is working hard to get this economy growing, things will likely change for the good, therefore changing the deficit picture.
Let's pick apart this post one faulty premise/assertion/conclusion at a time. It's a maddening post that perfectly captures the sloganeering and faith-based approach that the GOP passes off as substance.
#1) Here is the first paragraph of Na's article (which, from a purely stylistic point of view, makes Na sound like a college sophmore:
What many of my fellow Americans seem to forget is that these terrorists, whether operating in Iraq or elsewhere, cannot defeat the United States the way, for example, the Allies systematically incapacitated the Germans ability to wage war during World War II by destroying armies, obliterating factories and even bombing population centers.
Na, you are an elitist ass****. Of course Americans understand America cannot be defeated WWII style. We understand the nature of the conflict. We get terrorism. Don't tell us what we forget. Quit your lecturing, ass****.
How ironic that mkultra scolds Na for telling us what he believes many Americans think and then gives his own opinion speaking on behalf of the American people. I believe Na definitely has a point when the emphasis by many has been that the capture of Bin Laden would be the signal that the WOT has been won.
>Na, you are an elitist ass****. Of course Americans understand America cannot be defeated WWII style. We understand the nature of the conflict. We get terrorism. Don`t tell us what we forget. Quit your lecturing, ass****.
Another well-reasoned and well-thought out response from our signature lefty.
Heh ... yeah and Fidel Castro`s a libertarian.