[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: Week After the Election Update

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Week After the Election Update

Just saw the results of an AP poll which shows that although more Americans see Iraq as the number one priority of the new Democratic Congress, a majority said the Democrats don't have a plan for the war.

While voters in Election Day surveys said corruption and scandal in Congress was one of the most important factors in their vote, the postelection poll showed that 37 percent of all adults said the war in Iraq should be at the top of the congressional agenda during the next two years. The issue of terrorism, the second most mentioned priority, was ranked highest by 15 percent of those polled.

Though voters apparently embraced the Democratic mantra of changing course in Iraq, a majority of the public did not detect a clear Democratic blueprint for ending the war. Fifty-seven percent of all adults in the AP-Ipsos poll said Democrats do not have a plan for Iraq; 29 percent said they do. The poll of 1,002 adults has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

The fact that Democrats don't have a clear Iraq plan shouldn't be shocking, but the fact that much of these same people voted Democrats into power while regarding Iraq as a top issue should make anyone scratch their head. Change for the sake of change?

John Rodon, a retiree from Green Bay, Wis., said the situation in Iraq is "a big mistake" and voted for a Democrat for Congress. He doubted, however, that the Democrats would solve the war.

"I don't think anybody has an answer for this," he said.

There are some who have some ideas that they would like the Democrats to adopt, like this one from a Jupiter man:

Francis Curran, a 43-year-old carpenter from Jupiter, Fla., said he thinks Democrats would approach Iraq with a better lens.

"You can't solve that problem without involving the other players in the region. I think Democrats might be more willing to at least not call (Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad) the Axis of Evil," Curran said. "I don't know if the president would go with this, but this administration has to involve other nations in that region."

On second thought, not calling the Iranian president evil is, well, downright dangerous. Wanting to negotiate with someone that merely wishes for the end of western civilization only makes sense to those that wouldn't mind a world dominated by lunatics such as Ahmadinejad.

Speaking of the Democratic congress, looks like the political infighting has already begun, and we're barely a week past the elections. Let's keep our eyes on this one.

Murtha or Hoyer.

I get the feeling the fun has only begun, folks.


Blogger The Universal Spectator said...

The Dems will walk us straight into hell with a smile on their face.

7:27 AM, November 15, 2006  
Blogger Adam said...

It's funny, but I'm sure the democrats will do better with _no_ plan than the republicans have been doing for the last 5 years with the tax-cuts-for-the-wealthiest, invade-countries-for-no-good-reason-with-no-strategy-whatsoever, legalize-torture, lie-to-the-citizens overspend-by-billions, eliminate-habeus-corpus, solicit-minors-for-gay-cybersex plan.

or was that mostly just off-the-cuff?

11:59 PM, November 15, 2006  
Blogger Jonathan said...

Do you think there's anything wrong with a political party that refuses to make its positions known before an election?

1:48 AM, November 16, 2006  
Blogger Adam said...

I think it's a mistake to think that the "democrats" have to be united in their thinking for how to fix W's enormous foul-up. As far as I know the individual democratic congresspeople and senators have addressed the issue of Iraq in their campaigns with more clarity than the Bush administration ever did when it was making the case to enter the country in the first place.

9:33 AM, November 16, 2006  
Blogger Jonathan said...

You seem to be begging the question -- i.e., whether it's a foul-up or not will not be clear for some time, IMO. I still don't know what the Democrats, either individually or as a party, want us to do WRT the war: withdraw in 6 months? stabilize the situation with more troops? withdraw now? win? The Party leadership decided some time ago, as a matter of political tactics (which is a matter of public record; Sen. Schumer admitted it in an interview), to criticize Bush and the Republicans without offering alternatives. Now the Democrats are like the dog who caught the car and doesn't know what to do with it. It's obvious that as a Party (and the Party position matters, because the leadership controls the legislative agenda) they don't have a clue, so they're working it out as they go along. And that makes them better than the Republicans how? Which was my point.

The Bush administration has a very well thought out "National Security Strategy" document that you can read online. I happen to think they have mishandled the war in many ways, but it's undeniable that they have done a lot of serious thought and planning and have a good handle on the big picture. The Democratic leadership has nothing similar, and indeed gives little indication that it understands the nature of the war at all.

11:12 AM, November 16, 2006  
Blogger Adam said...

Actually, all that reamins to be seen is how major of a foul up it is. The initial fouling up happened when we began the war based on entirely false pretenses (WMD, connections to 9-11) and the electorate's fear of imminent terrorism without any real international support or exit strategy.

Whether or not we can allay the worst of the damages remains to be seen, but blaming it on some kind of Democratic indecision would be laughable at this point.

The National Security Strategy that you have referenced is certainly a brave sounding document, but if you bother to read it, the actual substance of it is at best patriotic sounding lip service that is either too vague to hold any policy decisions too or has been specifically ignored by this administration. This is not a plan for the Iraqi occupation, it is a political speech for Americans to feel good about.

4:39 PM, November 17, 2006  
Blogger Jonathan said...

-Most wars look bad at some point. 1864 was a bad year. Should Lincoln have cut a deal with the Confederacy then? 1940 was one of the worst years ever, yet we are all fortunate that Britain did not stop fighting. The outcome is what matters most, and I see no evidence that we cannot defeat the jihadists if we want to. And if we don't defeat them they are eventually going to attack us at home with WMD. If you don't think there's a serious threat of that you're blind to what's been going on in places like Iran for the last twenty years.

-Who says we invaded Iraq on false premeses? We had plenty of reason to believe that Hussein had WMD or would get it on short notice if we didn't stop him. Our allies all thought the same thing. There was little doubt, based on his history, that Hussein was a threat, and it would have been irresponsible of us not to invade. And it is simply not true that we invaded without international support: we had the support of about twenty countries. And what's an "exit strategy?" I thought we went there to win, or at least to defeat the jihadists and their allies in Iraq and then move on to defeat them in Syria and Iran.

-I didn't blame the Democrats for the damage caused by the war. Read more carefully. I said they don't have a clue about what to do about it.

-The NSS is actually quite sophisticated and realistic. It argues that we are threatened by terrorists allied with dictators and failed states; that such enemies are not deterrable; that their possession or imminent possession of WMD makes it too dangerous for us to wait for them to attack us before we respond; and that the best long-run response to these threats is to support the development of robust democratic institutions and civil society in the failed states, because democracies are much less likely to attack us than are dictatorships, and all of the other solutions have been tried and failed. What do the Democrats think is really going on, and what would they have us do about it? What do you think we should do?

3:17 AM, November 18, 2006  
Blogger Jonathan said...

The National Security Strategy of the United States of America

3:18 AM, November 18, 2006  

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