Thursday, January 26, 2006

Just A Few Things...

Just a quick post with a few things I think are worth reading, and then I’m going to bed. It’s late, ya know!

First off, there’s Christopher Hitchens, in Slate, this past Tuesday: Al-Qaida Is Losing. Excerpt:
The fratricide within the insurgency offers a perfect opportunity, which one hopes is being fully exploited, for infiltration, for the spread of damaging rumors about secret negotiations with one faction, for sabotage and for provocations that will increase the misery and distrust now infecting the ranks. It also offers an occasion to reverse the questions that we have been so anxiously asking ourselves. It is for the murderers and video-beheaders to ask themselves: How long can we sustain this effort? How many casualties is too many? Was our postwar planning adequate to the task? Are we winning hearts and minds? Are we endangered by sectarian strife within our own camp? And they have to pursue these discussions in secrecy, with superstitious reference to dreams and omens and prophecies, whereas at last we can pursue our argument in the open.
Here comes Dr. Sanity, with The Political Paranoia Of The Left - Part I. Excerpt:

While there is merit in debating how best to go about achieving our objectives in the war in Iraq and the GWOT; believing that terrorism is a conspiracy cooked up by Bush and Co. to consolidate power and institute (take your pick) a fascist state; a theocracy; or both; is simply a paranoid fantasy that consoles those of the liberal left who cannot cope with their loss of power and influence.

The hallmark of the paranoid individual and the paranoid style is constant anticipation or expectation of either attack or personal betrayal. Paranoia finds causal connections everywhere and in everything; for them, nothing is coincidental. They can develop complicated conspiracies about innocuous behaviors and seemingly irrelevant events. Their paranoia makes them constantly on guard, searching for hidden motives and meanings in everyone else's behavior. (Just go check out the Democratic Underground, where these fantasies on every action or inaction on the part of the Bush administration are immediately converted into conspiracies and plots). The tragic death of a reporter -- Bush et al had him killed because he knew too much. Osama's most recent tape -- a Rovian plot to show how frightened we should be. And so on.
Sigmund, Carl and Alfred comments on Dr. Sanity’s post and points us to Shrinkwrapped’s superb post in the same vein. All three of these posts are as right as rain (no pun intended, of course).

The upshot of these three posts is that the Left is pretty much an answer in search of a question. The answer may have been appropriate 30 or 40 years ago, but it certainly isn’t today. To be more specific, I don’t like the answer and I’ve not asked the question, at least not in the last 25 years or so. I say this as a former liberal, and like most reformed ex-anything (smoker, druggie, you-name-it), those of us who have seen the error of our ways are often the most outspoken opponents of whatever it is we left behind.

Dr. Sanity observes that the Left had successes in the past, and rightly so. Roosevelt arguably did good things for the country in the '30s and the '40s, but there are lots of conservatives who will argue THAT point. The Democrats were the civil rights champions of the ‘60s and they deserve credit for those successes. But that was then, this is now. The question I have for today’s Democratic party is the classic “What have you done for me (us) lately?” I mean, other than to be obstructionist in all aspects of American politics, undermining the war in Iraq while giving (inadvertent?) aid and comfort to the enemy, insist that I be politically correct in all aspects of my life, tax the living Hell out of me, and… Oh, what’s the point?

My bottom line is pretty simple: If the Democrats ever expect to get MY vote again, they better come up with something a lot more powerful than NO!

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Just be polite... that's all I ask.