Saturday, July 17, 2004
This blog's co-editor gave me a call today.
It occurred to him while listening to The Michael Savage Show that the Right's frustration with the conduct of the war has as much to do with the politeness of it all as it does to do with the naivete and obtuseness of the Left. At bottom, his contention was rather simple; we are not allowed to identify the war as a "Clash of Civilizations" between Western Christendom and Militant Islam. The resistance to identifying the enemy in plain sight with plain words is too great, especially among the chattering classes.
The common people show no reticence in this regard.
Into the breach steps David Warren and T.C. Wretchard of The Belmont Club. I recommend both readings today, as I suspect the Jihadists have more mayhem planned for us this summer and fall. They will attempt to repeat their Spanish triumph, but have even far grander plans, I suspect.
As Wretchard points out, we will not know the enemy by his name until his handiwork destroys one of our cities.
Then, in my opinion, it will come down to the oldest human choice-us, or them.
Sunday, July 11, 2004
John Kerry hasn't gotten quite the lift out of John Edwards that he thought he would.
The latest compilation of polling data from our friends over at Real Clear Politics.com indicate that at most Kerry got five points out of picking Edwards. Senator Kerry should be up by ten points right now, given the media orgy surrounding the Edwards nomination. Time and Newsweek are the Usual Suspects this week with glowing cover stories on the pair. I suspect that the media believed that Kerry would be enjoying a much larger lead than he has; the latest polling news has to be somewhat of a disappointment for Kerry's people.
On Wall Street, this is called a "Dead Cat Bounce". When a rally occurs in the markets, but only lasts for an abbreviated period of time, the traders compare it to the bounce made by a dead cat after the condemned feline has fallen from a tall building. This is what I think happened to Kerry-Edwards.
A couple of things are going on. Bush's strength among his base voters is overwhelming. More of Bush's base supports him than does Kerry's base support the Massachusetts senator, despite all the stories in the media about angry Democrats. Things in Iraq appear to be turning for the better, and the economy is definitely headed north. All of these trends in the background are serving to shape the fall campaign, and I believe they will shape them in Bush's direction. Finally, the voters aren't really mad at Bush. They are uneasy with the way things are proceeding, but I'm not sure that they are ready to toss Bush over the side.
My take? If Kerry fails to build a significant lead after his convention, he is a dead man walking.
Joe Wilson, distinguished former ambassador, bon vivant, and con man....
Well, the Washington Post was able to leak the story first, but it appears that Powerline Blog has done the best job of summing up what has become of Joe Wilson, professional con man; he was a liar from the getgo. Wilson denied that he had been recommended for the Niger Mission by his wife, Valerie Plame. It turns out that he had been recommended for the Niger Mission by none other than Valerie Plame. According to the Senate report, Wilson actually lied his ass off about the results of his mission, as well. It appears that he reported that Iraq tried to buy 400 tons of uranium oxide ("yellowcake") from Niger in 1998.
According to the former Niger mining minister, Wilson told his CIA contacts, Iraq tried to buy 400 tons of uranium in 1998.
Oh, well now that's different. Wilson didn't mention that in his New York Times op-ed piece, now did he? Money graph from Powerline:
So: what Wilson actually told the CIA, contrary to his own oft-repeated claims, is that he was told by the former mining minister of Niger that in 1998, Iraq had tried to buy 400 tons of uranium from that country, and that Iraq's overture was renewed the following year. What Wilson reported to the CIA was exactly the same as what President Bush said in his 2003 State of the Union address: there was evidence that Iraq had tried to buy uranium in Africa.
The entire Plame affair was bullshit from beginning to end, and it appears to me that Joe Wilson was trying to parlay an investigation of Cheney's shop into a ministerial position in a Kerry State Department. Now he's poison, and no one in Kerry's foreign policy team can go near the guy.
Joe Wilson just died, but Who Lied?
Not George W. Bush, that's for damn sure. Turns out that those sixteen words in his 2003 State of the Union speech never should have been retracted.