Ezzie's note: This was originally written a few weeks ago. I meant to post it then, but a hard drive crash and pushing it off made it wait.
We are living in truly remarkable and historic times. For those of us who believe in what Chazal tell us regarding the arrival of Moshiach and the preceding years, we look at the events of the past sixty or seventy years and understand them from a prophetic analysis. There is, however, a social and political analysis. Most notably has been the dramatic shift in political philosophy since the unprovoked (unless you consider our existence reasonable provocation) mass murder attacks on September 11. Since then, it is axiomatic that the new political discourse must focus on the threat of islamic terrorism and the consequential demand for an unyielding national and world security. Unfortunately, many leftist politicians, pundits and mewling-mouthed media personalities have dusted off the cobwebs of their sixties arguments and, like bad retreads, incessantly drone on against the President for recognizing this change. The good news, however, is that President Bush appears to be impervious to it.
I would certainly like to give the president’s adversaries the benefit of the doubt by arguing that their opposition to the President’s fight against terrorism is well-intended, but I am constrained to do otherwise. How else are we to understand the left’s obsessive opposition to everything the President says and does? Wouldn’t any self-respecting adversary find some common ground upon which to agree, if for no other reason than to establish credibility by at least occasionally appearing conciliatory? Yet, we hear the Kennedy-Schumer-Durbin-Kerry and, yes, Hillary Clinton (despite all her efforts to dress in sheep’s clothing) clan et. al., lambasting the President on a daily basis for everything in some of the most vile and vitriolic rhetoric heard during our lifetime. Moreover, the cacophony emanating from that paragon of objectivity and integrity, the mainstream media (though it is difficult to see exactly what about it is mainstream), is deafening. Merely a month or so ago, the media reported that poll after poll shows the President’s job approval rating below (gasp) forty percent - and declining. Pundits all over would have you believe that he’s mired in scandals and that people, especially conservatives, are abandoning him faster than rats off a sinking ship.
They argue, unsuccessfully, that his administration is in a “nose-dive” because of, get this, the so-called inept Hurricane Katrina response, Abu Gharib “abuse,” Scooter Libby’s “outing” of Valerie Plame and, most recently of course, the National Security Agency’s (NSA) secret (meaning without judicial or approval) eavesdropping of conversations of suspected terrorists on our soil. Never mind that Bubba’s Deputy Attorney, Jamie Gorelick, said such covert acts by a president were constitutional and entirely proper. But that was different because then the president was a Democrat. By the way, you remember her. She was a “non-partisan” member of the 9-11 Commission which conspicuously brushed aside the main flaw of those murderous attacks; the inescapable conclusion that the policy, instituted by her, which prevented intelligence and security information to be shared with other law enforcement and governmental agencies resulted in numerous failures to “connect the dots” as the liberals so eloquently claim.
Incidentally, it should be noted that in fact some members of the Senate Intelligence Committee were consulted and advised about the NSA wiretapping.
As for Scooter Libby, is this even news? Honestly, did you even know that a person named Scooter Libby existed, much less was that he was the Chief of Staff for the Vice-President? Regardless, this is hardly a scandal. Valerie Plame, Joe Wilson’s wife, had not served with the CIA in a covert capacity for several years before he allegedly “outed” her. More significantly, though, Wilson himself had already publically disclosed her identity to many in Washington well before any so-called scandal. Of course, I guess it is irrelevant that no indictments were brought accusing anyone of unlawfully disclosing Plame’s identity. So what was the big “scandal”? That Libby supposedly lied about when he first heard her name. Funny, I thought perjury wasn’t a crime. When the previous occupant of the White House lied, repeatedly, not only was there no indictment, but all his toadies (including the media and pundit co-conspirators) tripped over each to defend him against the wascally wepublicans. Darn, those pesky facts again. Like Wilson’s lack of credibility by going on a mission for which he was totally unqualified, he later acknowledged that he got the mission because of his wife’s position at the CIA and ultimately admitted that he had lied when he first reported that Saddam Hussein never attempted to purchase yellowcake. Of course, that was only after having publicized the adulterated information to discredit and embarrass the President. No matter that the several words in the President’s State of the Union which referred to that false information played very little, if any, part in the President’s decision to act militarily against Saddam Hussein. I know, details, details. And finally, coincidence of coincidences, just like the mysterious appearance and spectacle of Cindy Sheehan, Wilson happened to appear at a press conference with Schumer after the Libby indictment was announced. Hmm.
Hey, while we’re at it why not blame the President and his evangelical beliefs for steering Hurricane Katrina to the poorest neighborhoods occupied by mostly minorities? After all, isn’t the President is a racist and a bigot? And it must have been his fault that the Mayor, after receiving numerous warnings of the potential devastating force of Katrina, sat idle and refused to use the some two thousand school buses to evacuate people to the Superdome. No matter that for years, the federal government sent millions of our tax dollars to local officials in New Orleans who lined their pockets instead of reconstructing more secure levees. Abu Gharib? Okay, parading naked prisoners around on a leash is certainly not something that should be condoned. And by the way, not that facts should ever stand in the way of carping liberals, there is no and has never been any evidence such behavior was condoned. The entire incident occurred due to a direct result of improper and negligent supervision from the commander on down. Period. As far as “torture” is concerned, such as sleep deprivation, the dreaded waterboard treatment, and other assorted mind-games, you’ll forgive me Team Teddy, but that’s not exactly the same as murdering innocent civilians by incinerating them inside airplanes, causing them to leap to their death and slicing their heads off while masked men scream “Allah Akbar.” Korans in toilets and urinating on prisoners you say. Absolutely unfounded. The toilet incident turned out to be an inmate slightly disillusioned with the seventy virgin thing (surprise, surprise) that it was he who flushed his Koran down the toilet. And by the way, Teddy, do you have any idea where he got the Koran from? Don’t answer that, I’ll answer it for you - us! That’s right, we gave it to him. In fact, we gave one to everyone who asked, along with prayer rugs and “culturally sensitive” food. Wow, no wonder they weigh more now than when they arrived. It should come as no surprise then that they are also in better health now, physically anyway, than when they crawled out from under their rocks and inside their caves. I suppose that if the President were a real leader, he would really try to understand their incomprehensible and indefensible aggression. Hey, maybe as a gesture of goodwill, he should invite a few of them as his guests to the next State of the Union address. Yeah, they could sit between Kerry, Kennedy and Hillary. Word of caution though, wear your armor.
Last but not least is the “Bush lied, people died” mantra. One of my personal favorites is the Bush/Hitler genocide claims. Not that there would be even a scintilla of evidence it. One has to wonder why, if there was actually a kernel of truth to this, the press and pundits are just beginning to gleefully proclaim that the Bush administration is kaput. And now that they believe he is in a “nose-dive, ” why attribute the cause to subsequent events that pale in comparison. Even more puzzling is why, when presented with the same intelligence that the President had (some even argue that the President’s was better), liberals who wholeheartedly believed in regime change in Iraq and voted to give the President the authority to accomplish it, now excoriate him for having the unmitigated gall to actually follow through. Before the Iraq invasion in 2002, Ted Kennedy stated, “There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein is a serious danger, that he is a tyrant and that his pursuit of lethal weapons of mass destruction cannot be tolerated.” In 2004, however, he said, “War in Iraq was a war of choice, not a war of necessity. There was no imminent threat, no immediate national security imperative and no compelling reason for war.” Harry Reid in 2002 stated, “Under Saddam’s rule, Iraq has engaged in far-reaching human rights abuses, been a state sponsor of terrorism and has long sought to obtain and develop weapons of mass destruction.” But in November of 2005, Reid claimed, “The administration manufactured and manipulated intelligence in order to sell the war in Iraq, and attempted to destroy those who dared to challenge its actions.” In January of 2003, John “I actually did vote for the eighty-two million before I voted against it” Kerry, voted to authorize the President to use force to disarm Saddam Hussein stating, “Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator leading an impressive regime. He presents a particularly grievous threat, because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation. And now, he’s miscalculating America’ response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mas destruction. . . . If you don’t believe . . . Saddam Hussein is a threat with nuclear weapons, then you shouldn’t vote for me (I didn’t).” However, in September 2004, Kerry chirped, “It’s the wrong war, in the wrong place at the wrong time.” More recently, in November of 2005, he barked, “The county and the Congress were mislead into war. It is deeply troubling that the Republicans in Washington are afraid to share the truth with the American people.” (Whew, this guy was almost president.) Now there’s character and conviction for you. Give the President authority to do something you agree ought to be done, embarrass him and the country when he does it, refuse to provide the necessary funding to our troops so that they are properly equipped to accomplish the objective and then claim that you support them by insisting they cut and run like cowards.
So have the so-called scandals and ostensibly low popularity rendered him and his administration ineffective, or is he moving forward with implementing his agenda while the looney leftists continue to get their giggles by administering a daily skewering? To be fair, President Bush for his part has fallen short on several issues such as border control, immigration (you know you’re in trouble when Hillary’s policy on immigration and border control is more aggressive than yours), unbridled government spending, social security reform, permanent and meaningful tax cuts, and Arctic drilling. Consequently, it is not inconceivable that a sizeable portion of his decline in popularity may be attributed to the disillusionment of his most ardent supporters. But do you really think that it reflects an abandonment of all those warm, fuzzy, understanding and tolerant liberals who have so strongly supported him since being elected in 2000?
I know this will come as a news flash, but President Bush has forged farther ahead and behaved bolder than arguably any other president in history. He has indeed confronted the face of evil and, unlike the Carter-Clinton-Kerry appeasers who apparently are more interested in the “cut and run” approach, is committed to defeating it. I suppose that part of the reason is the ostensible touchy-feely nature of a policy to immediately withdraw all troops. In truth, however, it isn’t because of any policy. It is because of the enemy of my enemy is my friend mentality. The left hates him with such a passion that if the President is for it, they’re against it. The fact that it would expose us as weak-kneed and leave our precious troops vulnerable and toothless (read: Black-Hawk Down, you remember, Somalia, Bin Laden’s inspiration) be damned. Who cares if such a policy is disastrous as long as it embattles and embarrasses the President? And to show the world just how passionately they feel about their “policy” (i.e., hatred) they find it necessary to stand on foreign soil and trash our Commander-in-Chief. It isn’t enough to just do it here. Not so ironically, the most recent progenitor of such treasonous behavior was the former president (you remember him, the draft-dodger who went to England to announce that he “loathes the military”). Yep, our ole’ buddy, Bubba, just couldn’t resist another opportunity and traveled to Jordan with his wolf and opined that going into Iraq was a “big mistake” (even if didn’t inhale then, he sure seems to be now). This, after having ordered military strikes against Iraq during his presidency. Absolutely despicable.
How is it that we have heard very little, if anything, about the success in liberating the millions of people living under the tyranny of the Taliban and Saddam Hussein? The two elections within one year? The new constitution? And the new government which consists of three distinct and factional groups which perseveringly resist the continuous terrorist attacks? How come we only hear of the many soldiers who have countless stories of people ecstatic to see the American troops providing food, medical supplies and educational materials through Internet bloggers? How about the children interacting with soldiers? No, we have to wait until some maniacal mutant detonates a bomb or cuts someone’s head off. Then all of a sudden, it’s Bush’s fault. He created the insurgency. He convinced them that they will get seventy virgins if they blow themselves up and take a few Americans and Jews with them. The shrill left acts as though before he became president, everything in the world was dandy. Say what you will about the people of Jordan, but it certainly is refreshing to see the Jordanians expressing anger and blame to the perpetrator, where it belongs, and not the King, the opposing political parties or even the Jews.
Why the about face? The left claims it is because he deceived them into supporting the war by cleverly manipulaing the intelligence - and that he did such a good job of it that they allowed themselves to be deceived by someone thay consider to be an abject moron. Yeah, right. What they really want is for the President to fail miserably. It matters not on which issue or in what manner his failure occurs, as long as it becomes a reality. Yes, even if it is at the expense of our soldiers’ lives and our country’s (and even the world’s) security. Am I being too cynical? Maybe. But make no mistake. The left recognizes the historic progress that the President has made in Afghanistan and Iraq, though they vociferously deny it. Even Libya has moved away from the dark side. Most recently, the left has come to the realization that unlike them, the President has a moral compass and does what he says he is going to do. They see that the day is soon approaching when most, if not all, our troops will turn Iraq back to its people to govern themselves. They are well aware that President Bush will redeploy the troops as soon as the country is as stable as possible. Though it remains to be seen whether democracy will or can be instituted in Iraq and whether democratization is attainable there or in any Arab country, The President will have accomplish the goal of ridding the world of despotic tyrannies in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as freeing millions of people who have been terrorized by most of their lives. He will also have demonstrated to the world that evil must be engaged and defeated, not appeased. The liberals cannot simply sit by and suffer the indignity of being beaten by someone who they believe is so stupid that he cannot think his way out of a paper bag. That is why Congressman John Murtha (who?), the hypocrite “hawk”, now thinks we should cut and run after years of clamoring to send more troops and “stay the course” as the President says. Most of the left, other than the Deaniacs and the rest of the looney left, who sheepishly supported the President, are now screaming to cut and run. Yet, when they all had the opportunity to put up or shut up, they contracted an instant cased of yellow fever. Days after John Murta courageously demanded an immediate withdrawl (and a plethora of lefty media appearances) only three congressman voted to do so. Maybe what they really need is to ask the Wizard of Oz for some courage.
As for the President’s “nose-dive,” just keep a few things in mind. First, some of our greatest presidents have suffered through poor job approval and popularity opinions. They are, however, just that. Reagan, Nixon and Truman all had very low numbers. At one point, Truman and Nixon had ratings in the twenties and today, Truman is widely lauded as a no-nonsense, tough leader. He even accomplished a thing or two. Second, poll numbers are meaningless to a man whose decisions are not governed by them. Right or wrong, agree or disagree, the President, even with all of his foibles, leads by precisely what he believes is in the best interests us and our country. Third, for all the left’s sniping about what a dope the President is, it certainly seems as though he’s got their number. John Kerry, who during the 2004 election repeatedly insinuated that the President was too dumb to remain in office, turns out had a cumulative grade point average at Yale University of seventy-six. He had four D’s his freshman year: sixty-one in geology, sixty-three and sixty-eight in two history courses, and sixty-nine in political science. He also received one D in his sophomore year before graduating in 1966. A colleague and close friend of mine, who also happens to be a loyal fan of the John Belushi classic Animal House, had an interesting insight. He pointed out that Kerry “should be proud. That would have put him at the top of the Delta House, slightly ahead of Hoover, but well ahead of Bluto, DDay, Otter, Flounder & Pinto, provided, of course, that the fifth grade was higher than a C.” And finally, think back over the Clinton years. True, he was very popular. But what comes to mind about his accomplishments? Whitewater? Travelgate? FBI filegate? Don’t ask, don’t tell? Monica Lewinsky? Paula Jones? Jennifer Flowers? Or one of my personal favorites, bombing an abandon aspirin factory on the eve of testifying before the grand jury on the Lewinsky investigation. And did I mention perjury? Oh, I forgot. That’s not a crime.
Though the President has enjoyed other accomplishments such as the economy, crime reduction and tax cuts, if he accomplishes nothing else, he has already left an indelible imprint on history; trail-blazing a path for the defeat of terrorism. Contrary to what Howard Dean thinks, President Bush has not taken his eye off the ball at all. Rather, it appears that he is one of the few riveted to it. As for the polls, they’re on the way back up if you believe in them. Nonetheless, it’s quite a difference from the indelible stain left by the White House’s previous occupant, eh? Gee, I guess Dubya isn’t so dumbya.
Give ‘em hell Dubya!
Professor Justice practices Criminal Law in New York, teaches trial advocacy, and is a Professor of Business Law.