The Wall Street Journal asks this at the end of an editorial:
"We doubt all of this will help Democrats with the larger electorate, which whatever its doubts about Iraq does not want a precipitous surrender. Americans haven't trusted a liberal Democrat with the White House during wartime since Vietnam, which is when the seeds of the current antiwar rage were planted. The great mistake that leading Democrats and anti-Communist liberals made during Vietnam was not speaking up against a left that was demanding retreat and sneering at our war heroes. Will any Democrat speak up now?"Yes, this, after all, does seem to puzzle so many people. The Democratic Party once had a wing of Pro-Defense folks who actually had some understanding of National Security. Most of them came from the South, but a number of others in the party also knew that no matter the internal social programs and conflicts of the United States, that it was important to actually *defend* the Nation. And the good folks at the WSJ miss the trend since 1972 and the 'Post-Watergate Congress': by embracing the anti-war, anti-administration and, ultimately, anti-American Left, the Democratic Party read out of its ranks those folks who had solidly supported it for over 100 years.
The ones they read out were the Pro-Defense, Fight Wars Completely to a Victory and Keep Your Government Out of My Life folks. These folks saw that the honor in equal protection and due process was a social good and that it held the honor of All Citizens at equal level. They did not like the giving of special privileges to those who had been oppressed for more than a short while, however. Most of this support was centered in the South, although large factions of these people showed up in suburbia and rural America.
These people have a name. They are Jacksonians.
The trend since that '72 election is one of downwards participation in the election system itself, and as those voting with their butts in their seats were those that had felt deep betrayal of themselves and their beliefs by the Democratic Party, that Party began to lose out disproportionately in elections. For every Jacksonian that walked out, the number participating in the elections dropped and so did the number voting for the Democratic Party.
Why the walk-out?
Well, any other political faction thinks in terms of politics first and policy second. Liberals do that to the point where they *have* no policy left and the only agenda is irate vituperation at anything they mildly dislike. They now run hot and hot and rarely *off*, although they are quite off-kilter. Conservatives worked hard to piece together a pro-business, pro-religion, pro-defense agenda and Ronald Reagan brought to the fore in 1980. After that, however, the party slowly morphed into pro-free trade, pro-business welfare, and pro-'we don't care so long as we get ours'. The 1990's saw an attempt to get back to Small Government Conservatism, but that disappeared upon reaching a majority in both houses. Today both parties are ones of Big Government, unaccountable agendas, and diminishing the voice of We the People to do what they think is 'right' for Us, instead of what they have run on.
Jacksonians believe that if you compromise on the basics of the policy for mere political gain, that the ends will be bad. While some may think that 'half-a-loaf'-ism is a practical way to govern, to a Jacksonian that looks like 'half-a-rope not reaching a drowning man'. Jacksonians will only compromise on the 'Trust, but Verify' to ensure the half-measures are surely carried out, and the process *must* be in the compromise or there will be no compromise. And the reasons that compromise is abhorrent is that the basic premises for policy are simple, but not simplistic. To compromise on something that is honorable and can be understood and to substitute quicksand language that has no footing is not only foolhardy but dangerous in the extreme.
Many, many, many people try to lump Jacksonians in with Conservatives of various stripes.
That is not true on the social side as Jacksonians will clearly express the fundamentals that all individuals are equal in society until they take action that does harm and demonstrates poor character. Those that are not known are given a benefit of the doubt on the 'Trust, but Verify' schema. If you get thrown into jail for some minor problem and you phone a friend to help, here is what you get:
1) A Liberal friend will call you a good lawyer the next morning and show up when the lawyer does and expect *you* to pay for it all. Fair is fair.
2) A Conservative will call you a decent lawyer the next morning and show up after you have gotten home and let you know that they did the best they could do, but you will still need to pay the lawyers fees and such. Fair is fair.
3) A Jacksonian will show up, write out a personal check for bail or otherwise try to get you out *immediately* and let the lawyer be damned as this is a FRIEND who is in need. And if that cannot be done they will try and get someone out of bed to get you out legally and fairly. And if you try and repay the cost expenditures, the Jacksonian will look at you and say: 'You are a friend and a good risk. Just show up for your hearing so I can get my money back and we will be even.' For *nothing* can repay friendship.
Now, depending on how good a friend it is, Liberals and Conservatives will suddenly find a Jacksonian streak in them and hew closer to that than their predilections. Most do not try to extend that beyond the personal scale to the National and International. Jacksonians can and DO this. But ONLY for Good Friends of honor and standing. And such are hard to find at all three levels and are held close and dear to the heart and defended as best as possible.
The Democratic Pary was seen as asking via Presidents Kennedy and Johnson to *win* Vietnam. With the assurances from those two Presidents that this was a National necessity Jacksonians supported that conflict fully. By pulling the rug out from under US Troops by embracing the anti-war and anti-American Left, the Jacksonians saw betrayal of South Vietnam and felt the dagger in their backs from their political *friends*. And as the Jacksonians walked out, those few politicians in the Democratic Party that actually *understood* them began to age and lose ground within the Party and the electorate.
Those seeds of betrayal now bear bitter fruit from a twisted tree. So much so that the Democratic Party defense policy is a joke, and a bad one at that. They are so washed out with the Leftist Transnational Progressivist agenda that they cannot even figure out if the Nation is worth defending. Instead they attack it.
Representative John Murtha, (D-PA) via Gateway Pundit:
"And I said there's not only no progress, it's worse than it was pre-war. This thing has been mishandled so badly. The American people need to hear..."I am sure that will win 'hearts and minds'.... of the dedicated, hardcore Left and Communists.
One of my first posts was Running the Numbers on Iraq in which I noted:
A few other numbers to dwell uponConsider, Operation Iraqi Freedom started on 19 MAR 2003. As I write, that is 1160 days apart from today, 22 MAY 2006. Now, Saddam being the sort of man he is would have found some reason to terrorize his own people in that amount of time, and let normal political killings and such go on as normal, so his expected death toll would be 146,160 dead. Scratch any Leftist and they will immediate bleat out: '35,000 dead to US actions'. Uh-huh. A few might try to add in all the natural deaths and such and up that figure, but that is the one I hear everywhere I go... Not only is Iraq better off today than it was, but it has its first democratically elected government, a non-partisan and pro-nation military, and the number of killings reported as Iraqi on Iraqi are far, far, far lower than the average for Saddam.
The number of 'disappeared' in the 1970's in Iraq: 290,000
The number of Kurds dead in 1988 genocide campaign: 100,000 (182,000 by another estimate)
Unaccounted for Marsh Arabs in 1980's in Iraq: 50,000 - 70,000
Barzani males taken from resettlement camps in 1983: 8,000
Feyli Kurdish males deported to Iran in the 1980's: 10,000 or more
Estimated number of Kurds killed from chemical weapons attacks: 5,000
Kuwaitis disappeared and missing after invasion: 600
Mass grave sites found: 53
Number of dead in mass grave sites: 400,000
Estimated Iraqi dead in Iran-Iraq war: 450,000-950,000 (the lowest estimate is 200,000, and no one knows for sure)
From a Frontpagemag article:
Shia's deported to Iran in 1980: 60,000
Number of Iraqi's deported to Iran, total: 200,000 with 50,000 in squalid refugee camps
Shia's killed in Gulf War uprising: 300,000
No one has a guess on the number of Iraqis disappeared for political or personal reasons. At one point Abu-Ghraib held 48,500 in the 1980's. Most never came back.
No one can even begin to guess the numbers tortured, mutilated, terrorized, raped and robbed by the Saddam Hussein regime and its followers.
Death toll of Iraqis by Saddam Hussein's regime: quick low end guesstimate 1.2M, with the highend reaching about three times that. Say he had real power as de facto ruler in 1977 so call in 9,500 days, that gives you 126 Iraqis dead per day due to Saddam Hussein.
On the low side.
Amir Taheri has an extensive rundown on all the good going on in Iraq, and is worth reading to see how out of touch John Murtha is.
I honor John Murtha his military career.
His *actions* recently give him no honor and much shame and is a stain upon him as a man and politician. But his party cannot recant such things.
Representative William 'Lacy' Clay, (D-MO) gave a commencement address to the University of Missouri at St. Louis and decided to turn it into an anti-Administration speech. He was booed badly enough that he had to stop three times and even said that 'he had the microphone and you had to listen'. Some parents walked out, while the students, who had paid good money for their cap and gown rental and other such things had to stay or make a shambles of the presentation ceremony. A time that these students should have been congratulated for their hard work and dedication to learning turned into a political hate-fest by a Democratic Representative.
Representative William Jefferson, (D-La) has been brought up on charges of bribery and corruption by the FBI. And this is the same Representative that had used sorely needed National Guards to boat him to his house in NOLA so he could retrieve his computer and papers. Instead of saving lives. And while the wheels of justice have to turn, it should be noted that getting caught on videotape, having voice and hand written messages used against you and, finally, putting cash into the freezer are not good indicators of the trustworthiness of this individual.
Senator John Kerry, (D-MA) has said as part of a long oration on the ills of the war in Iraq at American University on 11 MAY 2006:
"I understand fully that Iraq is not Vietnam, and the war on terrorism is not the Cold War. But in one very crucial respect, we are in the same place now as we were thirty five years ago. When I testified in 1971, I spoke out not just against the war itself, but the blindness and cynicism of political leaders who were sending brave young Americans to be killed or maimed for a strategy the leaders themselves knew could not accomplish the mission."And a bit later in that same speech:
"As our generals have said, the war cannot be won militarily. It must be won politically. And to achieve a political reconciliation in Iraq, we need hard and fast deadlines. Iraqi politicians have only responded to deadlines: a deadline to transfer authority, and a deadline to hold three elections. It was only the most intense 11th hour pressure that pushed aside Prime Minister Jaafari and brought forward a consensus Prime Minister. That is why we need a deadline now for Iraqis to stand up and fight for their own country."Or perhaps he is just having flashbacks to that trip to Cambodia with Secret Operatives that is 'seared' into his memory. Blindly being anti-war and not recognizing that there is a substantive difference between fighting an opponent that respects the Laws of Nations and barbaric Transnational Terrorists that seek to end the Nation State concept as a whole is a major problem with anti-war activists today and, apparently, John Kerry. Also, if it was so bad over there, then why are the US Armed Forces having an upsurge in recruiting and re-enlistment? If things were so bad as Senator Kerry believes, the military would be hard pressed to even maintain itself and veterans would *not* be returning. Just the opposite is happening, however.
Indeed morale is high according to the Senior Enlisted Adviser for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Sergeant Major William Joseph Gainey :
"Well, what I tell folks is one thing we have to remember, regardless of which branch of service our young troops serve in, they are the most committed young men and women I have ever seen. They have the same hopes, dreams, desires, sense of loyalty and honor. They have personal courage and integrity beyond reproach, and their devotion to duty I'm telling you after 31 years of serving I've not seen devotion to duty like this in my 31 years. We are a bunch of lucky people to be on their team."Yes, he isn't a General! He is someone who actually went to many areas and units and even ships at sea to find out what the overall 'feel' by the enlisted soldier actually IS. He came in AFTER John Kerry and the anti-war Left decimated America's faith in its military by denigrating soldiers and policy makers, when ONLY policy makers should have been cited. So by going to an all-volunteer force we now have the most competent and capable military force on the planet. And Senator Kerry is *still* trying to 'speak the truth to power'. Forgetting that he IS in power.
As to a deadline, Senator Kerry needs to answer this simple question: What is the deadline for leaving Germany and Japan?
So there you have some of the assorted nuts in the Democratic Party today: corrupt, clueless on National Security and out of touch with today's military. Jacksonians stopped voting for these folks for that very reason. Their actions are deplorable and their words even worse.
That said the Republican Party has done itself no favors in becoming the Party of Big Government for Pork spending and protecting and giving money to businesses that really should not need them. The Party that ran on Smaller Government and Lower Taxation and Less Intrusion has been the party of Huge Government and somewhat lower taxation and keeping intrusion levels the same while adding in heftier kickbacks to their supporters. In a space of less than 10 years the Republican Party has accomplished what the Democratic Party took 40 years to do: become so corrupt and two-faced on spending and National Security that they now no longer have a position worth standing upon for either of those things.
While not outright anti-American as the Leftists in the Democratic Party, the Republican Party has been undermining the foundations of the Republic by giving out Corporate welfare and keeping protective tariffs in place so that high labor agriculture in a DESERT can need illegal labor. And by not keeping to its promises, vast and deep promises of "Law and Order", dating back decades, the Republican Party has effectively conceded that it only cares about the Law when it helps business. And to hell with We the People.
To those saying that electing Democrats will bring dishonor and infamy upon the US with a premature withdrawal from Iraq and open Amnesty for illegals, I ask this: What is the Republican's plan about not thinking creatively on the foreign front to protect the Republic from Transnationalism nor on the domestic front to enforce the Law of the Land that is so much better?
There is NO PLAN on how to effectively deal with Transnational Terrorism. Just more of the same and hope that the 'shadow warriors' of the espionage services and Special Forces can keep 'plinking' away on a one-by-one rate. And by going after al Qaeda only we ignore the very internetworked property of ALL Transnational Terrorists and Drug Cartels and those that traffick in drugs and humans. This *undermines* the entire effort. Yes the Democrats would do worse, but the status quo is going to land us in hot water AGAIN.
And by not actually ENFORCING the Laws of the Land the entire Republican Party is seen as not caring about it and catering to their special interests. Yes, the Democratic Party is worse, but this status quo is heading us towards CIVIL WAR OVER SLAVERY!
Does the Republican Party *really* want to have ANOTHER one of those?
So my rejoinder to the folks at the WSJ is this: Will ANYONE from either party fully commit to the necessities of Governing this Nation in accordance to its Laws and keep to their Oaths to defend and protect the Constitution?
Those folks are scanty in BOTH PARTIES.