Wednesday, October 27, 2004

We have an eagle down

I know I shouldn't be surprised given the gradual leftward turn of his blog over the past year or so, but nonetheless I'm terribly disappointed to post that one of the original bloggers, Andrew Sullivan, has endorsed John Kerry. I feel as if I'm writing a eulogy for a former great moderate conservative.

Andrew was my first experience with a blog. I read his posts before he had a tip jar, before he started the book club, and back before he trumpeted the victory of George "hedgehog" Bush in 2000. Some of his criticisms of the president do have merit. Did Dubya keep all his promises from 2000 campaign, no. Did he spend too much at home, while there was a war abroad, yes. I know the gay marriage amendment is a big concern for Andrew, but with radical judges making law instead of interpreting it, the President felt he was left with no recourse. The issue should be left to the states to decide, and many have. My state of California for example already passed a proposition banning gay marriage, but San Francisco followed the lead of Massachusetts and started handing out marriage licenses anyway. A big detractor for Andrew was the lack of WMDs found and the Abu Ghraib prison scandal both of which he believes undermined the integrity of the war. Abu Ghraib was shameful, and the perpetrating officers are being prosecuted as they should be, but it pales in comparison when compared to the actual tortures that took place in that prison under Saddam (note even close to warranting the the ire of Ted Kennedy's "open under new management" comment).

And with the following laundry list of things he approved of in the Bush administration you'd think it was would be an easy decision: "He was right to cut taxes as the economy headed toward recession; he was right to push for strong federal standards for education; he was right to respond to 9/11 by deposing the Taliban; he was right to alert the world to the unknown dangers, in the age of al Qaeda, of Saddam Hussein's Iraq. He is still right that democratization is the only ultimate security in an age of Jihadist terror. And when you see women bravely exercising their right to vote in Afghanistan, you are seeing something that would not have happened without our current president."

And based on his opinions of John Kerry's public service I can't believe he's even considering the man: "His record is undistinguished, and where it stands out, mainly regrettable. He intuitively believes that if a problem exists, it is the government's job to fix it. He has far too much faith in international institutions, like the corrupt and feckless U.N., in the tasks of global management. He got the Cold War wrong. He got the first Gulf War wrong. His campaign's constant and excruciating re-positioning on the war against Saddam have been disconcerting, to say the least. I completely understand those who look at this man's record and deduce that he is simply unfit to fight a war for our survival. They have an important point - about what we know historically of his character and his judgment when this country has faced dire enemies. His scars from the Vietnam war lasted too long and have gone too deep to believe that he has clearly overcome the syndrome that fears American power rather than understands how to wield it for good." That's not a ringing endorsement of the candidate's qualifications.

Then Andrew labels Bush's waging of the Iraq war as incompetent. Hardly. Iraqi elections are in January and a recent poll confirms their excitement despite the daily terrorist attacks. Watching the news, most of those dying are Iraqis, which goes to show that more and more it is the Iraqis that are fighting for their own freedom (using US forces as a crutch, but they're fighting their own fight as best they can). And as Chrenkoff continually points out, if you look beyond the fighting in limited areas, the rest of the country is moving forward at a good pace economically, agriculturally, politically, etc... Could things have been done better in the war. Of course, nothing's perfect. But to say this post liberation uprising wasn't expected is extremely shortsighted. Andrew totally contradicts himself here because I learned of the flypaper war concept directly from him. War is a horrible thing and our country hasn't got the stomach for it, but if the Marshall plan after WWII took five years, how can we expect to have Iraq wrapped up nice and tidy within a year and a half. Right after 9/11 the president set forth the policy that we would not distinguish between terrorists and the nations that harbored or funded them, and he said it was going to be a long hard battle. Why people are so surprised that it has indeed been a long tough road is beyond me.

For me Kerry is at best, a total wild card. Will he go far left with Michael Moore's crowd or come back to the middle or try to muddle somewhere in between. Andrew's fears seemed assuaged by the DNC convention, but all I saw there was a "I served in Vietnam" fest presided over by Michael Moore. I don't want that leftist wing controlling our government (I wouldn't let them control a mini-mart). Bush has a proven track record; even if you disagree with him, you know where he stands and what he plans to do. He's done what he feels is in the best interest of the security of the country. I hope the rest of America agrees.