Friday, June 09, 2006

No Credit Even When Due

Conservative satirist Scrappleface "reports" today that Democrats "are still optimistic" in spite of the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Scrappleface writes satire well, meaning that he manages to write with a kind of humor that has a bit of reality and is biting, yet not quite cruel. This little piece captures a thought that I have had at various points in the war and that is manifest in this incident.

Why can't opponents of the administration admit that something good has happened every once in a while? After all, even a clock that doesn't run is right twice a day. Why is there a need to hunt for negativity, even when the news is good?

This is actually one of the reasons the Democrats lost in 2004. They made the strategic mistake of only opposing Bush, with no coherent alternative strategy. In doing so, they positioned themselves so that any good news on the war effort was bad news for the Democrats. One may oppose Bush and agree that such a course was strategically stupid.

Don't get me wrong: I don't expect those opposed to the war to suddenly declare that they have seen the light. However, one indication of maturity is the ability to see that even those with whom we differ are sometimes good, and partisanship has bred much childishness. Why can't opponents of the war say something like this:

"I think the war was misguided and wrong. I think that the conduct of the war has been mismanaged. I think American soldiers have died needlessly. I think Rumsfield, Bush, and all the rest are incompetent. I would put Mickey Mouse in charge of foreign policy and the military before I trust these guys. But the U.S. military successfully nailed a terrorist and mass murderer, and that is a good thing."

I'm sure that some have managed that, but not most. Many on the left feel compelled to spin away, saying that, sure they got a target, but it doesn't make any difference and who cares.

That is just knee-jerk anti-Bush think -- reflexive, but not reflective.

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