Sunday, December 18, 2005

REACT: Dems have no shame.

Regarding Iraq, I suspect the Democrats are about to be, as my mother used to say, “too smart for their britches.”

They may be too quick to bury Bush, and lay their future on anti war sentiment. The enormous success of the Iraqi election and the likelihood of improved reports from that liberated nation, and maybe even a modest troop reduction, will wreak havoc on the viciously strident and ruthlessly partisan strategy reflected in such Democrat hardliners as Peolsi, Dick Durbin, Ted Kennedy, screamer-in-chief Howard Dean, and the congressional races point man (Should I have said “person”?), Rahm Emanuel.

As the Dems political cheerleader in Congress, many of the most partisan party activists see in Emanuel a shrewd and effective money raiser and candidate recruiter. There is no question of his brittle partisanship, and his myopic ambition to win elections at all costs. The approach, could backfire --- and hopefully will.

The most prominent case in point is the “recruitment” of Tammy Duckworth to knock off the other Democrat primary candidates for the Illinois’ congressional seat being vacated by Henry Hyde. Emanuel and Durbin have successfully lobbied a female double amputee war veteran to enter the race. It took gobs of financial IOU’s, pre-programmed national exposure by the more than cooperative George Stephanopoulos, of ABC television, and whatever else Emanuel could promise within the edge of reason and law.

One can respect Duckworth’s duty to country, and the price she paid, and still reject her as a candidate on the basis of qualification and process. She is neither a resident of the district in which she plans to run, nor has she had any experience that would naturally suggest any credibility for public office. It is irrefutable that Emanuel’s only interest in her are her missing legs, and opposition to the war in which she lost them. He hopes that she will be, to use the expression, the poster child of anti-war, anti-Bush sentiment.

In her announcement, she says that only a person on the ground can understand Iraq. That is nice rhetoric, but an absurdity of the first magnitude. I will buy that when we put students in charge of the urban school systems. More significantly, it reveals that Emmanuel is going into the next election cycle with a one-issue strategy. He does not care that Duckworth is dangerously clueless on taxation, budgeting, education, and the million other issues that face the Congress.

Since this is a seat in Congress, and not a tryout for the Special Olympics, Emanuel may find that voters are not only too smart to be taken in, but totally offended by the crass cynicism and myopic vision of his political strategy. In producing the huge sign-up bonus for an experientially unqualified candidate, Emanuel insults the electorate by assuming mindless gullibility and superficiality. This is one case where the public can prove Lincoln correct when he opined that you cannot fool all the people all the time.

Consider this. Without the unfortunate injury, her selection would have been considered profoundly stupid. Emanuel, himself, would have scoffed at the idea.

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