Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Standing on the Sidelines Sneering

If you didn't read John Podhoretz' column yesterday in the NY Post, you should. It's very illuminating:

In other words, support for Bush's Iraq policy is an astounding half again as big in the active military as in the American body politic.
And, in the words of the Army Times report on the poll, "Support for the war is even greater among those who have served longest in the combat zone: Two-thirds of combat vets say the war is worth fighting."
It seems that the people who are actually putting their lives on the line believe in what they are doing — and that those who have spent the most time in harm's way are the most passionate of all.
Job satisfaction in the military, the poll found, is a breathtaking 87 percent, and only a quarter of those polled say they want out.

Podhoretz goes on to say:

But what is not heartening is this sobering fact: We can locate the decline in support for the war effort almost entirely inside the Democratic Party.
By a margin of 80-19, Democrats now say they oppose the decision to go to war. The margin among Republicans is exactly the reverse: 80 percent of GOPers support the war, while 19 percent disapprove.
This is not only a partisan divide. It's a cultural divide. As the year 2004 ends, the rank and file of the Democratic Party has turned decisively and profoundly against the military effort in Iraq. And there is reason to believe it won't be long before they turn on the military as well.
Throughout the year, Democratic politicians have been trying to split the difference with the military — saying they support the troops while opposing the war. But that kind of sophistry won't stand.
The military wants to fight this war. Democrats don't. How long before Democrats decide that our men and women in uniform are just extensions of the president and party they detest — a bunch of warmongering, bloodthirsty and stupid imperialists?
Democratic Party bottom-feeders — like the odd and unpleasant people who inhabit the comments sections on Web sites like and — have already long since started spewing their bile at our soldiers, sailors and Marines.

I agree with Podhoretz that this is a cultural divide, but it is also an ideological one. It is reflected not only in the Democrat's unwillingness to do what needs to be done to win the war on terror; but also in their unwillingness to find fault with the UN; unwillingness to acknowledge an ailing and overburdened Social Security System that cannot last forever; and unwillingness, frankly, to move into the 21st century.

The so-called "Progressives" have become regressive and demand that there be no changes to the old ways; no new ideas or perspectives. They yearn for the utopian Clinton years when they felt they could understand the world. But things have become topsy-turvy and all the old formulas and slogans have lost their meaning (if they ever had any) since Fukayama's end of history.

Michael Barone opines on the transformation from forward to backward-looking here. New ideas, new perspectives--hell, even new threats--aren't enough to convince the Democrats and other assorted Leftists that they should move into the new millennium. They prefer to go kicking, screaming, sniping, and whining. Hindrocket at Powerline puts it very well:

This is, of course, the fundamental political debate of our time. It is between those who are willing to roll up their sleeves and try to make the world a better place, and those who offer no alternative but prefer to stand on the sidelines and sneer.

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