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July 20, 2004

Fisking the DNC « Politics As Usual »

I wanted to fisk the DNC's 2004 platform, but at points it actually fisks itself!

For instance:

Time and again, this Administration confuses leadership with going it alone and engagement with compromise of principle. They do not understand that real leadership means standing by your principles and rallying others to join you.


But the Bush Administration has walked away from more than a hundred years of American leadership...

Because he was standing by his principles and rallying others to join us. We did get all of NATO to help in Afghanistan. We did get Great Britain, Australia, Poland, the Netherlands, Turkey, Singapore, Mongolia, Spain, the Philippines (the last two unfortunately reneged on their support), among many others, to join us in Iraq. Just not France. See, that's the same leadership this document just said President Bush lacks: not waiting to get a green light from France and China, but acting when necessary and expecting others to join in, as they did.


With John Kerry as Commander-in-Chief, we will never wait for a green light from abroad when our safety is at stake, but we must enlist those whose support we need for ultimate victory.

Ah. President Bush already did this. But they can't admit it, or else they lose an opportunity to criticize the President. They recognize this method is the right way, but they can't support a sitting President for doing exactly what they advocate. This does not say good things about their integrity or willingness to place the good of the nation ahead of their own political advantage.

For instance:

It requires the ability and willingness to direct immediate, effective military action when the capture or destruction of terrorist groups and their leaders is possible;

But since President Bush actually did that, they also have to say:

This Administration disdained the United Nations weapons inspection process and rushed to war without exhausting diplomatic alternatives.

But that was the direction of immediate, effective military action to capture the leader of a terrorist group: Saddam al-Hussein al-Tikriti himself.

For instance:

This war isn't just a manhunt. We cannot rest until Osama bin Laden is captured or killed, but that day will mark only a victory in the war on terror, not its end.


After allowing bin Laden to escape from our grasp at Tora Bora, he diverted crucial resources from the effort to destroy al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

Hmm...seems like a lot of emphasis on one man. And al Qaeda currently lacks any significant presence in Afghanistan...

With such a target-rich environement, there are still a few other things I can fisk...

That is the America we will build together – one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Wait, isn't that exclusionary? Isn't that phrase representative of a fundamental Christian theocracy just as bad as the Taliban in attempting to impose its views on this fine nation that has always been atheistic and secular? What happened to the separation between church and state in the Democrat Party? guess is it didn't play well in polls with "under God" removed.

And we must break down the old communications barriers between national intelligence and local law enforcement, taking care to fully preserve our liberties.

Said commication barriers being put in place by the last Democrat administration...

We will launch a "name and shame" campaign against those that are financing terror. If nations do not respond, they will be shut out of the U.S. financial system.

But not unilaterally shut out, surely? After all, unilateralism is wrong...

As a first step, we must create a stable and secure environment in Iraq. To do this right, we must truly internationalize both politically and militarily: we cannot depend on a US-only presence.
First, that statement is truly a non-sequitor: the only way we could get more international in Iraq is to call in the UN, just as this platform calls for in various places. But the UN has a horrible track record of creating stable and secure environments. What success did they have in Rwanda? The Danes, wearing UN berets, stood by and watched ethnic cleansing happening in Kosovo. What has the UN done about Sudan? How can the UN do anything in Iraq when they pulled out after the first car-bombing of their offices? Especially since the car-bombing only occurred because they refused to allow the US military to stand guard...

Second, In what way is the military force in Iraq US-only? In fact, the only place you can find a US-only presence is in the United States. Surely, the DNC isn't advocating accepting UN troops on US soil?

Our helicopter pilots have flown battlefield missions without the best antimissile systems. In a Democratic Administration, that will change. Too many of our nation's finest troops have died in attacks, because tens of thousands were deployed to Iraq without the best bulletproof vests, and there is a shortage of armored vehicles on the ground. In a Democratic Administration, that will change. Thousands of National Guardsmen and reservists have been forced to leave their families and jobs for more than a year – with no end in ight – because this Administration ignored the pressing need for a true coalition. In a Democratic Administration, that will change.

Actually, our helicopters did not have the best antimissile systems because the last Democrat Administration didn't fund the development. Thousands of troops didn't have the bulletproof vests and there was a shortage of armored vehicles on the ground because the last Democrat Administration gutted the military and cut military spending, forcing the military to choose between training, equipment, and decent housing. Before President Bush took office, the military was funding needs on a priority system: whatever was about to become unusable from wear was replaced/fixed/funded. But we were falling behind, and many Army troops lived in condemned housing because President Clinton wouldn't authorize the funds to allow the military to take care of its people and meet the increased requirements he gave us. President Bush has done much to correct that, but we still need more...having an active war in progress makes it difficult to get all the funding necessary to get caught up after 8 full years of neglect under President Clinton. I am fully stunned that the DNC can even bring this up, since Senator Kerry voted against many of the military modernization programs like the F-15 and F-16, and since he also voted against the $87 billion to fund military actions, including getting modern bulletproof vests to all the soldiers. What evidence do they offer that Kerry might actually change his ways and be willing to expend political capital to fund the military and follow through on this? Right now, I'm seeing "zero".

I could go on, but I won't. I guess I shouldn't have expected anything more than this, but I did. I expected to see a step-by-step plan of how the Democrats would do things better. Instead, what I saw was all variations on the theme:

1) President Bush didn't do what President Bush actually did.
2) But we'll do it. And we'll do it better.
3) A miracle happens.
4) As a result of the unspecified miracle, the United States is univerally loved and respected in France, al Qaeda surrenders, all wealth is redistributed equally (although rich Democrats can keep their money), and no one ever votes Republican again.

Nice plan, yanno?

Posted by Nathan at 10:49 AM | Comments (0)
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