Sunday, December 17, 2006

Raging RINOs

I say it, though, as a conservative, I may well be the RINO.

Hugh Hewitt today, explaining why Mitt Romney's views on abortion are irrelevant:
The simple fact is that the first post-9/11 contested primary season on the GOP side will be dominated by national security, not social issues, and understanding of the war against jihadism, whether from Sunni or Shia extremists, will be the key to capturing the Republican nomination.

Generals have often been accused of fighting the last war. Journalists these days seem intent on fighting the last campaign. The serious party is looking for serious debate on the war and the country's defenses...A handful of extreme pro-life activists allied with an even smaller number of radical bloggers aren't going to define the terms of the campaign of 2008 for the GOP. Not only are they immunizing Romney on the old issues, they are underscoring just how tone-deaf the MSM has become about the GOP grassroots.
Seems to me we just ran an election where the GOP snubbed the pro-life movement, declared everything but National Security was a waste of thought, and then offered mainly negative arguments on that topic.

I guess we know how well that worked for the center-right.

Browsing today I came across these comments by former Secretary of State Colin Powell:
The former secretary of state Colin Powell said Sunday that badly overstretched U.S. forces in Iraq were losing the war there and that a temporary U.S. troop surge probably would not help...Powell was deeply skeptical about increasing troop levels, an idea that appears to be gaining ground as President George W. Bush weighs U.S. strategy options.

"There really are no additional troops" to send, Powell said, adding that he agreed with those who say that the U.S. Army is "about broken."

...Powell endorsed another study group idea: opening talks with Syria and Iran.

...A troop increase, he said Sunday, "cannot be sustained." The thousands of additional U.S. soldiers sent into Baghdad since the summer had been unable to stabilize the city and more probably could not tip the balance, Powell said. The deployment of further troops would, moreover, impose long-term costs on a badly stretched military.
(BTW: I seem to recall, before the Clinton Administration, that a former Cabinet official was identified by the Presidential Administration in which they served. The media seems to have dropped that convention, I suspect because nobody seemed eager to accept Carter and Clinton appointees as Experts. Is it just my faulty memory?)

Back in the Cold War era, an assessment like Powell's would have been part of a crusade to expand the size of the American military. Not anymore; it is now part of a crusade to limit the scope of American foriegn policy. (I believe Powell has emerged to remind everybody, and the next Administration, that he's still out there ready to sit at the tables of Power.)

I don't think anybody can argue our position in the Middle East would be strengthened if we reversed two decades of cutbacks and closures, and took our military back to what it was in 1989. But that's not on anybody's agenda right now.

We have more wealth, more population, and better technology than at any point in our history, yet I would say we're weaker than any time since the immediate post-Vietnam era. And nobody who matters, gives a damn.

So long as that's the case, spare me the horse manure about being the "serious" party on national security.

And without that prop, what's holding up the "Permanent Majority"?

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