Sunday, August 21, 2005

Bainbridge wants instant gratification and that is bizarre.

Politics: Professor Bainbridge offers up this summation which focuses too much on blaming President Bush and not the entire GOP.

It's time for us conservatives to face facts. George W. Bush has pissed away the conservative moment by pursuing a war of choice via policies that border on the criminally incompetent. We control the White House, the Senate, the House of Representatives, and (more-or-less) the judiciary for one of the few times in my nearly 5 decades, but what have we really accomplished? Is government smaller? Have we hacked away at the nanny state? Are the unborn any more protected? Have we really set the stage for a durable conservative majority?
It's sorta hard to accomplish anything when you have a majority controlled Senate and House who have the spines of jellyfish with a judicial system that overrules everything. Take abortion. Partial birth abortion passes and promptly gets thrown out in courts. A parental notification law for minors in New Hampshire gets signed and promptly gets thrown out in the courts. Protecting the unborn is something that must come from society, not the courts. The point was made here in regards to growing up with Roe vs Wade
"What Roe did was create a world in which abortion is legal, and everyone has lived in that world since then," he says. "People started to live their lives - Republicans started to live their lives, conservatives started to live their lives - in ways that assumed that abortion will always be available. "That's in the back of their mind, even people who are pro-life, that it will be there," Graber says. "One thing we know is that among women who had abortions - whether before the unwanted pregnancy they were pro-choice or pro-life - a great many women discover that they are still pro-life. So personally, as long as it is legal, they can say that they are against it."
Government can only do so much, the rest is up to society to change the culture back to protecting unborn babies. That can't happen in 5 years and just because the GOP controls the House, Senate and the White House. It will take decades. Smaller government will never happen because both parties like the pork and unless you vote in people who are willing to cut and take the political heat, it is nothing more than a pipe dream. The best example of this is Trent Lott's quote when Tom Coburn is trying to cut away at pork.
"Senators, take heed: Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) may have a "hold" on your bill. The freshman is using his power as a Senator to put a hold - or secret filibuster threat - on any bill he believes would create a new spending program, whether it is included in an appropriations bill or an authorizing bill. ....Lott said he wasn't aware of Coburn's plan to hold up myriad bills, but said Coburn is "genuinely and legitimately concerned about the size of the deficit." Still, during his more than 30 years in Congress, Lott said he has learned something about how to keep the likes of Coburn from stopping his pet projects from becoming law. "The way I do it is, I fold them into bills where you can't find it," Lott said. "I've been around here long enough to know how to bury it."
Lott is not the only one who knows how to bury goodies in bills for his/her state. It all comes down to who is willing to take the political heat for cutting away at government expense. Something as straightfoward as PBS losing federal funds gets a little play in the press and everyone reverses course. The highway bill is the mother of all pet projects, but every house and senate member benefits from it which will play well for most at home with voters. President Bush can only do so much when you have other GOP members willing to play the pork game. The nanny state is here to stay because like Roe vs Wade, there is a good portion of Americans who like the government giving them "free" stuff and the Democrats who are not nothing more than a poor man's version of a Euro-socialist play that up with class warfare. The last question of have we set the state for a durable conservative majority. The answer to that is yes. Some like Kevin Drum long for the days of the "Rockerfeller" GOP who were useless for conservatives, but great for Democrats. The GOP is not going to be shoved into the political wilderness while being framed by a mainstream media who loathes anyone to the right of center without fighting back. Religious conservatives have also learned not to shut up and be out of the political process which is another source of power for a durable GOP majority. The technical and physically parts of a powerful conservative movement are in place, but unlike the professor who understandly is frustrated by what he sees as wasted opportunities. It will take decades for some issues(abortion) to come around to a conservative's liking. Slow and steady with setbacks along the way is the best course for the conservative movement. Now as for the Iraqi war, I agree with that in some ways it has been fought with incompetent behavior because the White House is trying to fight a politically correct war, while trying to fend off critics who would like nothing more than America to tuck its tail between it legs and crawl home. This is something Victor Davis Hanson has also alluded too as the Professor points out. But other points I disagree with.
The second problem is that the fly paper strategy seems to be radicalizing our foes even more. For every fly that gets caught, it seems as though 10 more spring up. This should hardly come as a surprise to anybody who has watched Israel pursue military solutions to its terrorist problems, after all. Does anybody really think Israel's military actions have left Hezbollah or Hamas with fewer foot soldiers? To the contrary, the London bombing suggests to me that it is only a matter of time before the jihadists strike in the US again, even though our troops remain hung out as fly paper in the Augean Stables of Iraq.
Islamic terrorism has been growing in the middle east for decades and as the world has become smaller thru modernization, the number of radicals has grown in response. The appeal of jihad and fighting for a world ruled by Islam unfortunately appeals to a certain sections of Muslims, especially among the young. At best the Iraq war sped up the process of recruitment, but also exposed the disconnect with various Muslim communities mostly in Europe that allowed this to happen. Israel military solutions to Hamas and Hezbollah up till a couple of years ago I thought misguided. Even the Lebanon invasion did not have the intended results. But then they hit upon precision strikes on various leaders of terrorists groups and it had an effect. Military solutions can work if you have the objective clear in your plans. Hamas and Hezzbollah can have as many supporters and foot soldiers that are dumb enough to join up. But the goal is to make them ineffective as much as possible.
BBC 09/2004: Four years after the eruption of the al-Aqsa intifada, the dominant mood among Palestinians is one of defeat. This is registered not only in enormous human and material losses. It is seen in the progressive collapse of the Palestinian Authority as a central governing body, replaced on the ground by local and increasingly unaccountable militias. The Palestinians are also confronted with the disengagement plan of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, a unilateral action in which Israel is set to withdraw from most of the Gaza Strip and four small West Bank Jewish settlements. ....Relentless Israeli military operations have left militias in the West Bank fragmented and on the run. They are headed now by young, inexperienced leaders, sometimes sponsored by PA officials or foreign powers jockeying for status in internal or regional power struggles."
The London bombings and even another strike here is a given. Our societies are open enough that you can stop most plans but someone will get thru, unless you are willing to live like North Korea which is considered the safest place in the world from terrorism. London bombings were not a surprise and were just a matter of time due to it being a safe haven for radical Islamists to operate.

"....Britain's tolerance of exiled dissidents and terrorist sympathizers has sometimes frustrated U.S. officials. U.S. intelligence officers say they respect the sophistication of Britain's intelligence collection among radicals in London, but some question whether its emphasis on monitoring, as opposed to the preemptive disruption often favored by the FBI in the United States, has left the country vulnerable. "I've been preaching London will get hit long before us," said a former senior U.S. counterterrorism official who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the subject's sensitivity. "They have a critical mass of a group of radicals operating in an open society."

An 'Inevitable' Attack Until last week, whether London was a target of al Qaeda had been a source of debate. Some experts, like Scheuer, believed that bin Laden had long wanted to hit the city, ever since the arrest of his aide, Fawwaz. Bin Laden blamed the arrest publicly on "British Crusader hatred of Muslims" from his refuge at the time in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar. Other analysts, such as Simon, believed that, up until 2001, "Britain was regarded as too valuable a staging area" for al Qaeda to attack. But ever since, it has been a key target."

As for Bin Laden.
It strikes me that catching Osama would have done a lot more to discourage the jihadists than anything we've done in Iraq.
Catching Bin Laden would do more for recruitment than anything else. He would become even more of a cause and a point of inspiration to budding terrorists. A dead Bin Laden would be worse because he becomes a martyr.

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