By John Eberhard
After the November election, many conservative columnists had different opinions on why the Republicans lost control of the House and Senate. These included:
1.Liberal/Democratic bias of the mainstream news media
2.The overwhelming and non-stop onslaught of criticism of President Bush and the war in Iraq by the Democratic leadership and their willing cohorts in the mainstream news media
3.The war in Iraq has gone more badly over the last year
4.Instances of corruption with a number of Republican Congressmen who were running for re-election
5.The Democrats wisely put up numerous relatively conservative candidates in the election, some even more conservative than their Republican opponents
6.Overspending by the Republican controlled Congress over the last few years
7.Failure of Congress to take any effective enforcement measures on illegal immigration, which are favored by a large majority of the US population (not amnesty or ?comprehensive reform? which includes amnesty)
While not discounting the contributory effect of numbers 4 through 7 above, my opinion after several months to consider the whole phenomenon, is that 1, 2, and 3 above were the primary cause of Republican defeat.
We have witnessed one of the dirtiest campaigns in the history of modern politics, not that politics is by and large a clean and ethical subject overall. The Democrats, realizing years ago that a majority of the public does not support their liberal policies of welfare, higher taxes and gay rights, have mounted lame, false attack after lame, false attack on the President and the war in Iraq. And the mainstream media has played the part of PR agency for the Democratic Party, trumpeting all the lame attacks for week after week, then moving on when one attack turned out not to have any substance or ran out of gas.
Columnist Douglas MacKinnon, in an article on Townhall.com, stated:
"Nov. 7 needs to be remembered for something even Republicans don’t have the stomach to address at the moment: that the remnants of objectivity in the mainstream media were all but exterminated by some on the left.
"Make no mistake. Along with the multitude of Republican gaffes, and the hard work of the Democrats, there can be no doubt that the left-of-center mainstream media helped to manufacture this election victory for the Democratic Party. For parts of the last two years, many in the media have worked in concert with the Democratic spin doctors to indoctrinate the American voter into believing this election had to be a referendum on President Bush and the "failed" war in Iraq.
"Horrified by Mr. Bush’s re-election in 2004, as well as the historic Republican gains in the House and the Senate that year, some liberals in the media were determined to do everything in their power to ensure that there was no GOP celebration in 2006, even if that meant confirming to the world that they proudly abandon professionalism and ethics in the name of partisanship and ideology.
"To make the election of 2006 a referendum on Mr. Bush and "his" war, the media knew full well they had to present that conflict in the worst possible light for as long as possible on their nightly newscasts, cable programs and front pages. Then, after force-feeding the American people a steady diet of this carnage for weeks at a time, the same media outlets would then "poll" the voters to get their impressions of Iraq and Mr. Bush."
It’s no surprise then that the electorate developed "President Bush and Iraq War Fatigue" and voted against the President by voting against Republican Congressional candidates.
They certainly didn’t vote for any kind of Democratic Party vision or plan for the country or for Iraq, because the Democratic leadership was extremely careful not to present any. And of course, the media obligingly never required them to show one. They knew the public didn’t favor their liberal policies, so the only way to get back in power was to turn the public against the President and the Republicans, so that’s what they did.
One major mistake the President has made in the last year is that he has failed to counter a strategic change by the terrorists in Iraq, whereby they have significantly increased the magnitude and frequency of their attacks. This added fuel to the media fire about the "failed" war.
The War in Iraq and War in General
If you look at the war in Iraq, and why President Bush went there in the first place (stripping away the constant Democratic and media barrage and the Democrats’ flip-flops after they all voted for the war in the first place), it was an action the President judged to be in the strategic interests of the United States.
And the Democratic leadership also concluded at the time that it was in the strategic interest of the United States. Check out this article by Larry Elder giving quotes by prominent Democrats before they decided to all show solidarity against the war in Iraq:
But perhaps too much negative water has flowed under that bridge to really see that now. The Democrats have certainly decided en masse that their national standard-bearers must be against the war and must use the war as a club to bludgeon the President and the Republicans. Witness what happened to Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman.
So if we set aside the issue of whether you are for or against the war in Iraq, the fact remains that we did go in and we are there. So the question now is – what should we do now that we are there?
It seems to come down to two simple options:
1. Take whatever actions are necessary to win, or
2. Withdraw our troops, slowly or quickly, without winning.
"Winning" would be defined as "Iraq in a stable condition, with its government in control, without widespread violence, and not at risk of being taken over by nearby hostile countries such as Iran."
The initial goal with going into Iraq was to take out Saddam Hussein. We did that, relatively easily, because of far superior military power. But what we perhaps did not count on (and you can never predict everything in a war), was that violence by terrorists would continue there after Saddam’s removal and even after his death.
The Iraq Study Group, dubbed the "Iraq Surrender Group" by some, basically started their whole review process with the assumption that Iraq was a lost cause and that we should get out as soon as possible without losing any more face.
The President has wisely rejected their defeatist recommendations. But Democrats are clearly in support of pulling out. They are trying to cut off all funding for the war.
I believe they do so for several reasons, none of which has anything to do with the security and real strategic interests of the United States:
a.To give President Bush and the Republicans an embarrassing defeat
b. They will do anything to get back in power, particularly to win back the White House
c.They realize that the only way they can get back in power is to destroy the public opinion of the President and the Republicans, because the majority of the public does not support the Democratic Party policies
So the last 4 years or so have really been a PR war for the Democrats, using some of the dirtiest tactics I have witnessed in my lifetime. Unfortunately the President has either not realized it has been a PR war, or has been unable or unwilling to wage that war. Now his image has been completely destroyed.
Speaking of the Democrats’ policies, now that they have a majority in Congress again for the first time in 12 years, watch for them to push for the following:
- Higher minimum wage
- National health care
- More invasive policies eroding parental rights
- More pro-abortion actions
- Higher taxes, repealing tax cuts that have boomed the economy
- Gay marriage
- More rights and giveaways for illegal immigrants
- Policies leading to defeat in the war on terror
- Restrictions on business due to "global warming"
Luckily we still have that guy in the White House. Hope he warms up his veto pen.