July 25, 2008

Questions for Samantha...

I was thinking of fisking this piece, The Democrats & National Security, by Samantha Power, in New York Review of Books. There's lots to correct, but really, the piece is self-contradictory; there's no point in attacking it. In fact it's kind of comical, in the way it misses the essence of the subject.

It's about the possibility of Democrats reversing the traditional Republican advantage among voters on national security issues and military matters. But all the arguments and assumptions of the article are leftist arguments and assumptions. It amounts to saying that ordinary Americans will trust Dems with national security any minute now---as soon as we start thinking like the people who subscribe to the NY Review of Books.

To be trusted on defense, it's not enough to have a clever policy. There's a certain other quality one must possess...

Samantha, dear, let me ask you a few questions. When was the last time you got a lump in your throat when you heard The Star Spangled Banner? Hmmm? Or when thinking of Pearl Harbor, or the Bataan Death March? When was the last time you were outraged because a hero who was given the Medal of Honor was ignored by the press? Eh? When was the last time you said that the President should be given honor and respect as Commander in Chief, even if one disagrees with his politics?

And your friends. When accusations are made, how often do they give American troops the benefit of the doubt? How often do they suspect that the grunts probably acted correctly, and are being smeared by the press? And is their first instinct to support our leaders in time of war? And what do you kids do on Memorial Day to honor those who have fallen in service of our country? On what days do you fly our flag?

When you hear, Samantha, of someone taking a job in Iraq, or joining the reserves, do you feel envious? Hmmm? Like us ordinary Americans do? And maybe a little bit guilty that you are not also standing on Freedom's Wall?

Is "Freedom's Wall" a phrase you would feel comfortable using? Comfortable among your friends? And your readers at the NY Review of Books? Hmmm? You know, the sort of Democrats who are going to, as you say: "advance a distinct twenty-first-century foreign policy that voters will prefer and trust them to execute?" That doesn't exactly trip off the tongue, does it? Wouldn't it be more poetic to say that you are going to "Stand on Freedom's Wall and defend America?"

Try saying that. Say it out loud. Among your pals. Try it on for size, since you are "auditioning," shall we say, for the part of "trusted with national security."

Or say this:

“We in this country, in this generation, are, by destiny rather than choice, the watchmen on the walls of world freedom. We ask, therefore, that we may be worthy of our power and responsibility, that we may exercise our strength with wisdom and restraint, and that we may achieve in our time and for all time the ancient vision of ‘peace on earth, goodwill toward men.’ That must always be our goal, and the righteousness of our cause must always underlie our strength. For as was written long ago, ‘except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.’”

It was a Democrat who said that. Can you say it?

Posted by John Weidner at July 25, 2008 11:35 PM
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