The House Votes on Victory, and the Democrats Take Off the Mask
In the House, lawmakers moved toward a vote Friday after more than 11 hours of debate on a Republican resolution promising to “complete the mission” in Iraq, prevail in the global fight against terrorism and oppose any “arbitrary date for withdrawal.” In the Senate, lawmakers voted overwhelmingly to shelve an amendment calling on the United States to withdraw most troops by the end of this year, although Democrats vowed to revisit the debate next week.
Only six of 44 Senate Democrats voted to cut and run, but as the story notes, the 37 who didn’t are already feeling remorse. The numbers in the House KosCauscus will be much larger.
And as I noted yesterday, senior House Democrats such as Doggett and Harmon joined with the Kucinich fringe to hurl the most absurd charges and paranoid rants.
If a majority of the Democrats reject the resolution today, the electorate will have all the eveidence it needs to reject the claim by Peter Beinart and others that the Democratic Party can be trusted with the national security. Beinart writes in his book, “The Good Fight,” that “[a]s liberals have grown cynical about the struggle against jihad, growing numbers have accepted the implicit message of the anti-imperialist left [that] the United States can best protect itself by retreating from the world.”
Beinart thought this spread of Moore’s Disease through the Democratic Party could be arrested, primarily via the chanting of Harry Truman’s name.
But it is too late. The Kos-led attempted purge of Joe Lieberman is just the first exercise of the extremists’ new power within the party. Once Harry Reid showed up at YearlyKos to praise the virtual mob, the direction of the party was cemented.
If Democrats win either house, the United States will simply abandon Iraq, and with it, any forward strategy in the war against the Islamists. It will be a replay of the Democrats’ abandonment of southeast Asia in the ’70s, but this time the massacres that follow won’t be limited to the countries left behind.
[W]e’re talking about the great lion of the Democratic Party, Ted Kennedy. We’re talking about their last presidential candidate, John Kerry. We’re talking about the so-called father of the Senate, Robert C. Byrd. I mean, we are talking about very eminent figures here. And what I think people should understand is that whatever the argument for going into Iraq, once you’re in it, you’ve got to have even better arguments for getting out of a was without victory. And I think for America to actually announce an exit strategy, to say you’re right, this is a disaster, we’re getting out of here, we’re going home, it would end the American moment. If America cannot even withstand in fact what is a relatively successful operation in Iraq, if even that is too traumatizing for a society of 300 million, then that’s the end of the American moment. There’s no reason for Russia and China to pay any attention to America ever again. Not only that, there’s no reason for Belgium or Luxembourg to take America seriously ever again. It’s over. You go the John Kerry route, it’s over. And if Americans really want to be the kind of defeatist loser nation that Kerry-Kennedy & Co. paint them as, so be it. I don’t think they are, and in fact, I would say you know, despite the best efforts of the Republican Party to shoot themselves in the foot and in the hand and in the kneecap and everywhere else, that the Democrats will not do well this November, and the Republican Party will hold Congress.
[I]n many ways, [the YearlyKos] is a heady experience. How could it not be? When Mark Warner spends over $50,000 on a party complete with an Elvis impersonator, thrill rides, and ice sculptures; Wesley Clark hosts an open-bar soirée at the Hard Rock Casino; and Bill Richardson buys everyone breakfast, the so-called “netroots” start to feel a little special. SusanG sums up the heady mix of narcissism and euphoria: “It seems like every fourth person you run into is here covering the phenomenon of … us. We’re worth it, too. We are something else.”
But there is still a discomfiting sense among the bloggers here that, as with Armando, nothing in their world will be the same after this weekend. They are moving from faceless writers talking in what sometimes seems like an echo chamber to a national movement courted by presidential candidates and covered seriously by the press. They are finally meeting the politicians they bash and praise from the safety of their basements. Las Vegas could be the beginning of a new era of blogger influence and authority. Or it might just be the weekend they all sold out.
This uncertainty over what will happen at the first major convention for liberal bloggers drives Yearly Kos participants into a strange and ritualistic dance. Throughout the four-day convention, bloggers, politicians, and reporters circle one another like a trio of underwater species not quite sure who eats whom anymore. The bloggers alternatively ridicule and suck up to the reporters. The politicians prostrate themselves before the bloggers one minute and then roll their eyes at them in off-the-record pow-wows with the “mainstream media” the next. The press smile and yuk it up with the bloggers during the day and escape to decadent, MSM-only meals at night. All three groups seem to agree that everything in their respective spheres is changing because of the blogs, but nobody is quite sure how.
For their part, the bloggers are at a turning point. In Las Vegas, they are glimpsing their first taste of the establishment and watching as some of their leaders actually join it. “What they seem to be struggling with,” says a Democratic operative here with the bloggers for the weekend, “is when the rebels become the establishment, are you anything more than being rebellious? What does it mean when Markos has a press secretary and gives a speech in a ballroom?”