An important quote from George W. Bush’s speech on January 10th signaled a new direction in the Iraq War:
“We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We will interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq.”
Thus, we will actually begin treating this situation as a war. No doubt, Saddam was aided and abetted by foot-dragging at the UN, and was able to remove most of the WMD’s, likely to Iran and Syria. Many will not soon forget the fecklessness and treachery especially of France and Russia in this affair, even if this was not exactly shouted from the rooftops by our leaders. Which causes one to ask why wasn’t it?
Blame Bush if you like, but the problem is greater than one man. I, for one, prefer plain talk and forthrightness to circumlocution. I suspect that a goodly number of folks would agree with me, yet, the popular culture has tended toward epicene communications. This, combined with a shocking lack of assertiveness—now exercised only by approved victim classes—dialogue-killing political correctness, and misplaced concepts of gallantry contribute greatly to our bizarre self-imposed national malaise.
Some examples come to mind.
When Robert Bork became a candidate for the Supreme Court in 1987, many conservatives were pleased. But they were to be sorely disappointed as the hearings unfolded. From the outset, Bork softened many of his earlier views, which cost him support on the Right, and did not buy him a thing from the other side.
In the proceedings, Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) infamously stated that:
“Robert Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, Blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, children could not be taught about evolution.”
This over-the-top calumny demanded a rebuttal from Bork, but he played it cool, much to the dismay of his supporters. Getting religion a bit too late, he hung in for the full Senate vote, which went 58-42 against him.
As Bush staffers took over the White House offices in 2001, it was reported that much equipment had been vandalized, and this included leaving human feces on floors and desktops. Bush should have made a point about this, as it would have set up an immediate contrast between his administration and Clinton’s, but was obviously too genteel to do so. In retrospect, this would have been a terrific gambit to slow down the attack media.
But, he was above all that, though the media still hated him virtually from the outset, and he remains on the defensive to this day.
A tactic that could be employed at press conferences, in answers to any one of hundreds of lugubrious questions that start off with, “The American public feels that…” would be a reply something like this:
“Excuse me, Mr. Pencil Neck newspaper guy, who has never actually done anything, but instead writes about other people who do, what makes you think that you have any idea whatsoever of how the American public feels about anything?”
I’m waiting for someone to ask Barack Obama why he should have presidential aspirations. Why should any credibility be given to an obscure state senator from Illinois, who ran for that office unopposed, and who lucked into an easy Federal Senate race, and whose biggest claim to fame is that he’s half-Black?
A similar question, of course, could be posed to Hillary Clinton. Until being elected to the US Senate, the only things she had accomplished on her own were being the valedictorian of the 1969 graduating class at Wellesley and getting into Yale Law School. But, how hard would it be with a major in political science—generally considered the easiest undergraduate major—to have the highest GPA out of a mere 400 students? Moreover, such credentials, and being female in 1969, would catapult one right into Yale Law School.
However, after law school, virtually everything she did derived from her husband. As such, how did she ever keep her feminist bona fides after the Monica Lewinsky scandal, not to mention Bill’s earlier dalliances? Everyone knew she had no relationship with Bill by then. Why didn’t she just leave him? It was far too calculated, but no one ever called her on it. And, let’s not forget the Whitewater mess.
Like Obama, she ran against a very weak opponent for her Senate seat, who was afraid to campaign against her, and there she is. Does anyone care that every single policy matter she was involved with as First Lady self-destructed? Why should she get any respect?
It’s way past time to bring plain talk back into the mainstream.