Counting on UnhappinessGas prices are up. Iraq is complicated. Summer is over and school is starting soon. The Yankees are playing well enough to make the play offs. Football has not started yet. People feel irritated and that is hurting the President’s poll ratings.What does that mean?Not much. George W. Bush shows no ability to part the Persian Gulf, turn water into oil, or make the terrorists lie down with the Democrats. Bush has made some mistakes. Wars, even successful ones, are full of mistakes. Look at all the generals that Abraham Lincoln hired, only to fire, in the Civil War. Could George W. survive a choice as bad as General Burnsides was for Lincoln? Bush, like many of us, thought the war would be harder than it was and the reconstruction easier. He is paying the political price for that mistake.Americans, all of us, wish things were better. Who likes paying more for gas at the pump? We blame the President, because there is nobody else to blame. I see no signs that anyone thinks that any other politician could do any better.The problem with the Democrat strategy is it relies on discontent turning into hatred. Democrats hate the President and they hate the War. They have no plans for winning it and most of the sensible ones admit that they would do just about what the President is doing. A few say they would not have gone in the first place, but what good does that do America now?As for going to Iraq in the first place, what were the options? Does anyone doubt that by now Sadaam would have found a way to give terrorists support? If we were not fighting these folk in Iraq, we would be fighting them someplace else. At least in Iraq, the United States has a large swath of turf, Kurdistan, which is very friendly to our interests and is prospering. Where else would that be true?The radical edge of the Democrat Party, increasingly dominate, would take America in the direction of Western Europe. How is Western Europe doing? Gas is more expensive there. It is at least double what it costs in the US. Standards of living are lower. Health care is free, but anyone who can afford it comes to the United States for cutting edge care. The Western European population is aging and radical Islam is growing in the borders of those nations. The American economy is doing better than that of Western Europe combined and is doing so while actually fighting a War.Americans may be unhappy, but we are glad, thank you very much, not to be in the Euro-zone.A few of the Western European nations also recognize the need to fight. Tony Blair, far left of center by American standards, leads Britain in helping us battle terrorism. Italy and a few other countries have helped as they could, but most can do little. Western Europe has relied for so long on the US to defend it that with the exception of Britain it has no real military to use. If the United States pulled back from its global commitments, who would defend the West?Of course, this is so obvious that even a leftist such as Mrs. Clinton recognizes it. The good news is that the far left cannot win or govern. The worst we have to fear is a Clinton presidency.A Clinton presidency would not bring large scale policy changes on the War nor would gas prices magically go down. Clinton has no new ideas to win the War, because the President is already winning it. It is just hard work.President Bush is doing what is sensible and all he can do to end conflict in the Middle East. The few sane Democrats who would actually be trusted with governing know this. Policy changes would be on the edges.In fact, the problem with a Clinton presidency when it comes to the War and the economy would be the risk posed to both by her increasingly radical party. Clinton would have to manage a surging Left that would not be content with anything less than a radical withdrawal from Iraq. Since such a withdrawal would spell disaster to the US, she would have to oppose them. Could she? The titanic struggle would distract the nation at a time it cannot afford to be fighting itself.What is certain to happen in a Clinton presidency would be the speeding up of the attempt to make American culture like that of Western Europe. Leftist social experimentation with the lives of children and with marriage would thrive. A culture of death would be extended. The far-left in Congress would be taken more seriously. Bill Clinton’s personal life would be front page news again. In short, a Clinton presidency would change almost nothing in the areas we are unhappy and change a great deal where the President has majority support.The American people are sensible. They know these things to be true. Nobody may be happy with the way things are going now, but most know that there are few options. Wars are messy and things get tough. It took us four years to win World War II and decades to win the Cold War. Reconstruction of the Middle East will take time. Given a chance between a mild critic of the process used in winning the War with insane friends and the party that is winning it, the American people will choose the Republicans. We voted for Lincoln and not McClellan after all.Of course next year there is a mid-term election. If the election becomes national, then the Democrats must count on continuing bad news. There is good reason to think that we have reached a turning point. There will be a new Iraq Constitution. There will be elections. The south and north of Iraq will continue to prosper. Reporters who think Baghdad is Iraq will continue to report bad news from the Sunni city, but Americans are smart. They know that just as bad news in New York City gets overblown by the media centered there so bad news in Baghdad is also over done.Everyone wishes the news was better from the War and from the economy. In the end, just as they did less than one year ago, the majority of the American people will stick to the party that has the will to win the War. Why? Few of us want the insanity of the social left unloosed without restraint on the nation. Almost none of us want to lose the War by empowering Moveon.org, even indirectly. Only a minority wants to burden the economy with higher taxes and even more spending which is the sure result of Democrat success.We know the Democrats are the party that loves bad news. We may not like bad news, but like the people who like it even less.
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