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My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.
|I've been trying to absorb the news of the past 12 hours, and trying to put all the pieces into their place in the big picture, and as I was thinking, I noticed I was getting a little bit angry.|
First, here's the news I'm talking about:
:Scott Thomas Beachamp has outed himself as the writer of the psuedonymous "Baghdad Diaries" at The New Republic. The man who reported with cynical humor about he and his unit-mates mocking a disfigured female soldier, and then how one of his buddies kept a piece of a child's skull in his helmet and how he made a point of targeting dogs as he was driving down the street, now reveals that he's a real person.
Unfortunately for him, lots of people are on his trail, including:
The big news from all these brilliant searchers is the existence of Scott Beauchamp's blog, which contains . . . .ug . . .poetry. The brilliant likes of which include this revelatory stanza:
but I cant do it without getting through this army experience first, which will add a legitimacy to EVERYTHING i do afterwards, and totally bolster my opinions on defense, etc,
That's important; I'll come back to it.
:Secondly, the GOP top tier seems inclined to skip the CNN/YouTube Debate.
Why do these two pieces of news have me in a tizzy?
Well, first off, the thing about Beauchamp's blog isn't that he's a hopeless lefty--that's not news. The point is that he's using--HE'S USING--the United States Military to "add legitimacy" to his life.
We saw this phenomenon in 2006--go back through all the races Republicans lost in 2006 and add up all the Dems with military experience on the resume. The problem is, IT WORKED! The races in which a Democrat vet--even ones as nutty as John Murtha--ran were ones in which the Republicans lost their best weapon in the battle. We made NO effective effort to cast doubts on these guy's judgement because they fell back on the Veteran argument.
And this is not to cast any aspersions on anybody's service--absent any decent information to the contrary, I assume they all served with honor, and for that, I'm grateful.
But goofballs (and I'm being kind in my choice of adjectives) like Beauchamp saw that phenomenon and decided to "cash in" on it. Clearly, Scott Thomas Beachamp IS NOT SERVING HIS COUNTRY--he's serving himself and his ambitions. Likewise, it seems pretty clear that he is headed for disciplinary action, if not court-martial. Thus, I feel no sense of obligation to honor his service.
But, in the larger sense, this is what the Left sees as an innoculation against later arguments that they're all Eugene McCarthy reincarnate--if they, as did John Kerry, put on the uniform for any length of time, then they believe they can be as naive (Murtha), pathetic (Sheehan), or psychotic (Beauchamp) as they want to with impunity.
And the problem is, again, IT WORKED. And will, likely, continue to work unless we gt our act together on this.
Which brings me to the second story.
I can not disagree more vehemently with Hugh on this one. OF COURSE CNN will skew it far to the Left; OF COURSE there will be a heavy dose of idiocy among the questions; and OF COURSE it's a trap.
But good traps are surprises, and this one isn't.
WE MUST ENGAGE!!! In every medium, in every event, with every spare ounce of intellectual capability we have WE HAVE GOT TO ENGAGE!!!
And, no, not in the stupid and futile ways the administration seems inclined to.
More like the way that Mitch McConnell has engaged the Senate Democrats over the past two weeks.
So, my ire got raised over the combination of two pieces of news which show--to little surprise to me--that WE ARE GETTING WORKED by the Democrats in a strategic sense. They have a strategy, they have the energy, they have the money at this point . . .
and probably fully one-third of all Republicans are waiting on a 60-something actor to dig us out of the mess we're in.
Folks, Fred Thompson is not the answer.
When Abraham Lincoln was in a tough race, he actually showed up at one of his opponent's speeches, and invited the assembled crowd to come back the next night to hear his rebuttal. This led to a series of debates which have become the template for how to have a high-minded, serious discussion of the issues.
A template which hasn't been followed in, oh . . . 46 years.
And some will say "but Lincoln lost that election;" yes, but the respect it earned him led directly to a bit higher office two years later.
The candidates in the field right now CAN NOT afford to miss ANY opportunity to engage the public. When somebody asks an idiotic question, they should be gracious and--God forbid--funny; when CNN picks a stupid Lefty question, they should first knock the hell out of the premise and then re-frame the question into something sensible for the country. At some point, you gotta know the YouTubers are not going to be watching, so somebody's--preferrably EVERYBODY, but I'm not going to hold my breath on Ron Paul--got to make sense to the country.
And then, somebody ought to get on the phone with all the Party Chairs around the country and GET A CANDIDATE LIST OUT THERE. One has to believe that Ed Perlmutter is vulnerable in the Colorado 7th, but I haven't heard any names. I haven't heard any names for the CO 3rd held by the other Salazar, either. And as much as I respect his feistiness, Bob Shaffer has been a bit too quiet for my taste, also.
You don't need money at this point--you need a e-mailing list and somebody willing to send out your message every day. This should be easy--Perlmutter and Udall are two of the Leftiest candidates in competitive places anywhere in the country.
BUT WE'RE NOT ENGAGED, EITHER!!
So that's why I'm a bit . . . . ticked today. We are leaving the field of battle empty to people who actually have a plan, even if it's cynical and, well, execrable.
Which makes us complicit in our own defeat.