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Boffo Barone

Posted by Richard on August 29, 2006

Michael Barone has been on a roll recently. First, in Thursday’s Lessons for Tuesday’s Victors (August 14), he connected the Democrats’ rejection of Sen. Lieberman with the revelation of the British Muslims’ airliner bombing plot:

Tuesday was a victory for the angry antiwar Left that set the tone in the Democrats’ 2003-04 presidential cycle and seems likely to set the tone again in 2007-08. Thursday was a reminder that there are, as George W. Bush has finally taken to calling them, Islamic fascist terrorists who want to kill us and destroy our way of life.

Thursday’s lesson was not one Tuesday’s victors wanted to learn. … Here’s the reaction of one of them, John Aravosis, to the red alert ordered here in response to the British arrests: "Do I sound as if I don’t believe this alert? Why, yes, that would be correct. I just don’t believe it. Read the article. They say the plot had an ‘Al Qaeda footprint.’ Ooh, are you scared yet?"

What we are looking at here is cognitive dissonance. The mindset of the Left blogosphere is that there’s no real terrorist threat out there.

Barone went on to contrast the "sterner stuff" of Neville Chamberlain — who realized his errors, built up the British military, and strongly supported Churchill — with today’s left. He doubted that the latter would measure up to Chamberlain. I agree — comparing the MoveOn crowd with Chamberlain is unfair to Chamberlain.

On August 21, he followed up with a brilliant and (uncharacteristic of the soft-spoken, nerdish Barone) rather fiery denunciation of Our Covert Enemies:

Our covert enemies are harder to identify, for they live in large numbers within our midst. And in terms of intentions, they are not enemies in the sense that they consciously wish to destroy our society. On the contrary, they enjoy our freedoms and often call for their expansion. But they have also been working, over many years, to undermine faith in our society and confidence in its goodness. …

At the center of their thinking is a notion of moral relativism. No idea is morally superior to another. Hitler had his way, we have ours — who’s to say who is right? No ideas should be "privileged," especially those that have been the guiding forces in the development and improvement of Western civilization. … Rich white nations imposed their rule on benighted people of color around the world. For this sin of imperialism they must forever be regarded as morally stained and presumptively wrong. Our covert enemies go quickly from the notion that all societies are morally equal to the notion that all societies are morally equal except ours, which is worse.

In A GOP Terror Bump, his August 28 column, Barone looked back at the events of August and the consequences thereof and thought about what they meant:

When asked what would affect the future, the British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan famously said: "Events, dear boy. Events." The event this month that I think has done most to shape opinion was the arrest in London on Aug. 9 of 23 Muslims suspected of plotting to blow up American airliners over the Atlantic.

The arrests were a reminder that there still are lots of people in the world — and quite possibly in this country, too — who are trying to kill as many of us as they can and to destroy our way of life.

Barone noted that there were many other reminders this year — the films United 93 and World Trade Center, the upcoming 5th anniversary and all the commemorations and retrospectives associated with it. Then he looked at the trends in the polls and the recent positive developments in Iraq. The man who is arguably America’s most astute political analyst concluded:

Earlier this summer, I thought that voters had decided that the Republicans deserved to lose but were not sure that the Democrats deserved to win, and that they were going to wait, as they did in the 1980 presidential and the 1994 congressional elections, to see if the opposition was an acceptable alternative. Events seem to have made that a harder sell for Democrats. A change in the winds.

I hope he’s right. I, too, think that most Republicans deserve to lose. I’ll spare you the recitation of the ten thousand reasons why most Republicans deserve to lose. But then I think about today’s leadership of the Democratic Party in control of Congress, and I shudder.

Never mind that the Dems would make the drunken sailors of the GOP look like Reaganites — rolling back tax cuts, fixing the "underfunding" of scores of domestic programs, regulating up a storm. The scary thing is that most of them think like (or pander to those who think like) John Aravosis — they simply don’t believe that there’s a serious, global, deadly Islamofascist threat to the existence of Western Civilization. They reject the notion that we’re in a war for our survival, whether we want to be or not. They believe that we can be at peace if we simply choose to.

And because they believe that, returning them to power will get a lot more of us killed.

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5 Responses to “Boffo Barone”

  1. VRB said

    You really think the left blogoshpere represents a significant portion of Americans?

  2. Anonymous said

    Well, look at (and listen to) the Dems who flocked to support Lamont over Lieberman. Look at how much of the Dems’ funding is coming from and its siblings and allies. Listen to what Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi, Al Gore, et al, have been saying.

    Most of the Dem leadership and candidates are at a minimum pandering to the radical anti-war crowd, and I think many of them sincerely believe that Bush is a bigger threat to the world than the Islamists.

  3. Jan from Denver said

    VRB, wake up and smell the kool-aid. I work with rank and file Dems who think Bush is a world threat and that he let people in New Orleans die because they were poor and black.

  4. VRB said


    I didn’t think being anti-Bush is being soft on terrorism. This has not been my experience where I work.

    As for me I never did like Bush and I have not been impressed with his handling of the “war on terror.” WMD’s were not an excuse to go to war in Iraq, a case of Vodka could have bought those. To say this does not mean that I am anti-war or that I think we should leave Iraq. I think Bush has lost his will to win in Iraq. I think the US is not fighting the Jihad, we are fighting some other war.

  5. Jan said

    What other war do you think we are fighting?

    I do think being anti-Bush goes right along with being soft on terrorism and studid on Islam.

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