The Meme Spreads

I see the lefty memes I warned about yesterday are beginning to spread.l Remember, the two memes are:

1.) “Just because ballots were cast it doesn’t mean it is going to lead to a democracy.”

2.) “What about the WMD? We went in after the WMD.”

From the consistently dyspeptic Eric Alterman, today:

Whats more, elections do not a democracy make, and democracy is not necessarily the first or most important thing needed in Iraq to make that country safer and more securemuch less to accomplish the goal of reversing the hatred of the United States sown across the Arab world by the malignant policies and pronouncements of the Bush administration.

I am not sure what is more annoying- that this is the best they can do to try and talk down the elections, or the assumption that we don’t realize it takes more than voting. I mean, after all, they had elections in Iraq before the invasion, and it was no Democracy. Hell- lkook at the coups staged by Karl Rove and Bushco here in 2000 and 2004!

No, elections do not a democracy make. But they are a pre-requisite, you pompous windbag.

Watch for this meme to spread- you will find it rolling off the lips of left-wing pundits over the next 48 hours as they regroup and get back on message.

*** Update ***

Mark Steyn flays the meme alive:

“No one in the United States should try to over-hype this election,” warned John Kerry yesterday before embarking on the world champion limbo dance of Iraqi election under-hyping.

He has a point. One vote does not a functioning democracy make. To be a truly advanced, sophisticated democracy you need an opposition party that knows how to react to good news by sounding whiny and grudging and moving the goalposts. “The real test is not the election,” he declared, airily swatting aside 8 million voters. “The real test is…”

I dozed off at that point, so I’m unable to tell you what moved goalposts the senator inserted. But no doubt they involved, as they always do, the Bush administration needing to “reach out” more effectively to involve the “international community”. “International community”, by the way, doesn’t mean Tony Blair, John Howard, the Poles, Japan, India, Fiji, et al but Jacques Chirac and Kofi Annan, a pantomime horse in which both men are playing the rear end. But, in an advanced, sophisticated democracy, that’s how we define the “international community”: no matter how many foreigners are in your coalition, it’s unilateral unless Jacques is on board.

I could kiss him.

Meme Control

It was a rough day for the members of the 101st Ankle-biting Brigade, as they were ambushed with good news from Iraq regarding a largely successful election. Bombarded with positive news stories all day, the soldiers of the loony left hunkered down trying to re-group. Fortunately, Brigade HQ has issued new marching orders, and all the units are once again marching in lock-step, singing cadence, and telling us why they found it impossible to be happy and optimistic for ONE DAY.

What has these soldiers marching again once in unison? Why, Iraq is just like Vietnam!!!! This is what has them gleeful:

U.S. Encouraged by Vietnam Vote :Officials Cite 83% Turnout Despite Vietcong Terror

by Peter Grose, Special to the New York Times (9/4/1967: p. 2)

WASHINGTON, Sept. 3– United States officials were surprised and heartened today at the size of turnout in South Vietnam’s presidential election despite a Vietcong terrorist campaign to disrupt the voting.

According to reports from Saigon, 83 per cent of the 5.85 million registered voters cast their ballots yesterday. Many of them risked reprisals threatened by the Vietcong.

The size of the popular vote and the inability of the Vietcong to destroy the election machinery were the two salient facts in a preliminary assessment of the nation election based on the incomplete returns reaching here.

You gotta love these guys. Someone actually spent the night digging through the NY Times just to find a reason to justify their behavior- because, after all, Iraq is JUST LIKE VIET NAM! General Kennedy said so!

My question is, what is your exuse for acting like assholes for the 24 hours before the Daily Kos issued your marching orders?

BTW- the beautiful thing about this clipping is that not only does it give them a reason to piss all over the elections, but it ties in nicely with the meta-narrative. Foolish right-wingers- we Democrats are so much smarter.

Word Parsing 101

Tom Maguire reminds me of this truly outstanding quote from John Kerry yesterday during Meet The Press. I had intended to blog it, but forgot to with everything else going on. At any rate, check out this beauty:

MR. RUSSERT: Well, we’ll see if he runs it–“We have a generational responsibility to fix them.”

And then in 2003, you said–“Declaring `I am blessed to be wealthy,’ Senator John F. Kerry said that, if elected president, he would consider some form of means-testing for rich Americans as part of a broader review of ideas to shore up the Social Security system.” … But “`Rich people are getting checks from poor people well beyond what they put in the system,’ said Kerry. …Another idea Kerry said he would consider is raising the cut-off point after which people no longer pay into the system. …`Maybe people ought to pay up to $100,000 or $120,000, I don’t know,’ the senator said.”

Specifically, Senator, do you still agree with yourself? Should we raise the retirement age or consider it? Should we raise the cap on income level that people pay payroll tax?

SEN. KERRY: Precisely what I said in 1996 is “We should consider” a number of these things. We did consider them. I considered them. Others did. I rejected them.

Move over Bill Clinton- thar’s a new sheriff in town. And the best is Kerry said it with a straight face!

*** Update ***

Jim Geraghty catches this gem:

MR. RUSSERT: Do you believe that Iraq is less a terrorist threat to the United States now than it was two years ago?

SEN. KERRY: No, it’s more. And, in fact, I believe the world is less safe today than it was two and a half years ago.

Then, a few seconds later:

MR. RUSSERT: Is the United States safer with the newly elected Iraqi government than we would have been with Saddam Hussein?

SEN. KERRY: Sure. And I’m glad Saddam Hussein is gone, and I’ve said that a hundred times. But we’ve missed opportunity after opportunity along the way, Tim, to really make America safe and to bring the world to the cause.

Geraghty remarks:

Consistent as ever. We’re less safe because of what we’ve done in Iraq, and yet more safe at the same time.

It’s nuanced.


The Question of The Hour

Jim Henley takes me to ask in the comments section of this earlier post:

John, maybe by “gloating” Matt means that this site and others would become an orgy of “find the most disagreeable things our opponents have to say” items, ignoring more thoughtful and even positive items on places like Crooked Timber, Thomas L. Knapp’s site, The Agitator and Political Animal, to name a few. At least Chrenkoff and Vincent are able to devote the bulk of their energy to expressing their enthusiasm for the event itself. All you seem to manage is carping about your enemies. Can’t YOU take any more pleasure in events than your betes-noires? Is the extra sleep doing you so little good?

A fair question- here is my response.

Because when I woke up this morning and found out that the elections had gone off as good as or better than I had ever expected, I was ecstatic. Granted, it was horrible that 33 people were killed (for wanting to vote- that makes it pretty clear the scum we are dealing with), but the event itself eclipses their deaths.

I didn’t and don’t view this election as a complete vindication of the Bush doctrine, I didn’t and don’t think this election mean that we can withdraw are troops tomorrow (which we can all agree is a chief long-term goal), and I didn’t and don’t think Iraq is going to be New Hampshire tomorrow. I viewed the election as a very positive step in the right direction, and I felt relief and happiness.

I felt like we dodged a bullet, and I felt happy for all those who were able to vote. And then I started reading the left wing blogs, starting with Matt, who had nothing but a snotty post up dismissing the elections. Then I went around to the other lefty sites, and rather than celebrating along with everyone else, I saw snotty post after snotty post by people either dismissing the election, struggling desparately for a way to dismiss them, or in Oliver’s case, just being a jerk.

Add to that the mainstream media attempts to frame this election prior as a failure prior to one vote being cast, and I got pissed. I started to wonder- when did the Democrats become the Dick Tuck Society for Sore Losers (“The people have spoken, the bastards.”)? How do you possibly frame this election in a negative light?

But they did, and I blogged about their disgusting transgressions. If my documenting their behavior counts as ‘gloating,’ then we have redefined the term and I am guilty of some major league gloating. My apologies.

However, let me say it again- I am thrilled about the outcome, although I fully expect a wave of violence in the upcoming weeks and months. More soldiers are going to die. And the country may never see Democracy. But I will wait for that bad news, should it come. Right now is for celebrating, and I wish my friends on the left could get rid of their bitterness and join in.

And in case any Democrats who think this election was all a sham and that things were better off under Saddam Hussein, let me point out one little difference between what is going on in Iraq now as opposed to 3 years ago. We dipped their finger in purple ink after arranging the first free election in 50 years. Saddam Hussein hammered nails into their fingers and hands.

Pissing on The Parade

I have sifted through all the Democratic talking points, and here are the two that are going to get the most play.

1.) As voiced by Jeralynn Merrit on MSNBC and as discussed here: “Just because ballots were cast it doesn’t mean it is going to lead to a democracy.”

Of course ballots don’t translate directly into a democracy. Saddam Hussein did get 99% of the ballots cast in the last election, and I would hardly argue that Iraq was a democracy. I would, however, stipulate that the franchise is a PRE-REQUISITE for democracy. I am curious- when Democrats make a cake, do they put the icing on first?

2.) “What about the WMD? We went in after the WMD.”

We went in for WMD as well as a number of other documented reasons that the left now pretend to forget. But this really isn’t an issue, because what is an issue is the inconsistency even in the “What about the WMD” argument. Am I to assume that our deep thinkers on the left were in favor of going into get the WMD, seizing/destroying them, and then leaving a broken shell of Iraq? Of course not- so even though there were no WMD, we still need to fix Iraq.

Whyat is most annoying about this line of argument is that many on the left were right, and Bush was wrong- we would have to engage in nation-building. But now that Bush and the right have embraced nation building, the left cedes their moral authority and begins screaming to “Bring Home The Troops!” Go figure.

Watch for these- Jeralynn is dialed in, she knows the talking points. The talking heads and the Democrats will try to advance these specious arguments in the next couple of days- if you let them.