Obama’s Problem with Wright
By Dan | April 30, 2008 - 9:53 am - Posted in Politics & Policy, Liberals

With terms like “unAmerican”, “controversial” and “judgment” floating around willy nilly, I thought it might be helpful to provide a thorough outline of why this is such a problem for Senator Obama.

Taking the most recent denunciation of Reverend Wright’s recent comments, there are two ways to look at yesterday’s developments. The first is that Obama didn’t know of Reverend Wright’s controversial views, and is genuinely shocked hearing them now. The second is that Obama knew about Wright’s views but, given Wright’s refusal to keep them quiet, he is now doing the politically necessary thing and distancing himself from the man and the remarks.

The real problem for Obama is that either way you look at it, it undermines the three pillars of Obama’ candidacy: (1) judgment to lead (as opposed to experience); (2) post-partisanship (his argument that he’s not just a politician); and (3) post-racial unity.

There are many types of judgment, and all of them matter when considering a candidate for president. Character judgment, the ability to size up a person, their intentions, their concerns and their world view, aides a president in negotiating with foreign leaders, selecting cabinet members and forecasting world events. Political judgment, the ability to choose a path that will be acceptable to a broad audience, is just as important domestically and when dealing with foreign populations (the hearts and minds argument).

  • If you take the first view, that Obama didn’t know Reverend Wright’s true views, how could Obama know Wright for 20 years and not know his views? It is clear that Reverend Wright is not shy about his views and expresses them openly in front of a broad audience. Obama spent every Sunday with him for 20 years (except, coincidentally, those Sundays where Wright went off the rails). He was married by the man. Obama has called Wright his spiritual adviser. If Obama cannot discern the intentions and views of a man he has known closely for 20 years, how can we trust him to size up Kim Jong Il or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?
  • Secondly, and this speaks to both views, a little over a month ago, Obama chose to bring Reverend Wright closer, saying, “I can no more disown him than I can my own white grandmother.” Obviously, it is poor political judgment to bring someone so close, voluntarily calling them family, without ensuring that their penchant for controversial remarks are in the past.
  • Separately, it shows poor character judgment that Obama trusted Wright to keep quiet. Mort Kondrake noted yesterday that it reminded him of how Jimmy Carter was shocked, shocked, that the Soviet Union would invade Afghanistan. A telling analogy.
  • Finally, if you take the view that Obama knew about Wright’s comments, it obviously shows poor judgment that Obama chose to attend Wright’s church for 20 years.

Post Partisanship
This is one of the more amusing tales Obama tells. “No more politics as usual” is fast becoming politics as usual.

  • If you take the view that Obama knew of Wright’s views and is now distancing himself for political expediency, obviously this undercuts his “I am not a crook politician” argument.
  • Separately, though, if you say he knew of Wright’s views, you have to decide whether Obama agrees with Wright or not. Either way this bodes ill for Obama’s post partisanship facade. If Obama agrees with Wright’s controversial views, then Obama is clearly lying now for the sake of his political aspirations. If, however, Obama does not agree (as he says he does not), then why did he go to that church? The most obvious reason is that he needed to for his political ambitions in Chicago. Either way, Obama has shown he is willing to compromise his beliefs for political expediency (in other words, he’s a politician).
  • Finally, if you take the view that Obama did not know about Wright’s true views, in addition to the judgment issues noted above, you have to question the drastically different approaches Obama took, separated by only a month. In March, Obama made a long-winded speech about race, effectively excusing Wright’s sound bites and asking for the benefit of the doubt. Over the following weeks (as the thrill up Chris Matthews leg waned) Obama would slide down the slippery slope to later say he would have left the church had Wright not retired. Now, in April, he is offended and angry at Wright for essentially repeating what Obama told us Wright never said in the first place. In any case, Obama is doing what politicians do: when the high road doesn’t work, take the next available off ramp to the low road.

Post Racial Unity
Obama has claimed the mantle of post-racial unity. He has said he can lead us out of the era of racial animosity.

  • Firstly, someone who attends the church of a man who claims the U.S. government is responsible for AIDS as an attempt at genocide is not going to lead us out of anything.
  • Secondly, Obama’s speech in Philadelphia, making the reaction to Wright’s comments about race, was evidence that Obama doesn’t understand either culture. If Obama truly believes that all Blacks think “God Damn America” is an appropriate sermon, based on the overwhelming Black reaction to Wright, Obama doesn’t understand the broader Black community. (See also, the recent dust up when Obama called for restraint in New York City and was smacked around by another Reverend (Al Sharpton)). Separately, if Obama believes that his grandmother is a “typical white person”, he doesn’t understand “white culture” either.
  • If Obama cannot stop a man he has know for 20 years from torpedoing Obama’s presidential campaign, how can he possible unite a country that, on one extreme, still believes that Al Gore won in 2000, and on the other extreme, still believes that Global Warming is a myth (I’m firmly in that camp)?
The Wright Frame of Mind
By Dan | April 28, 2008 - 11:25 am - Posted in Politics & Policy, Liberals, Op Ed, Foreign Affairs, 9/11

Answering questions today at a press club breakfast, Jeremiah Wright was asked about his “chicken’s coming home to roost” comment. The fact that his response was not met with derisive laughter is telling of the media’s abdication of its charge: “Have you heard the whole sermon? No? The whole sermon?” he responded. When the reporter shook her head, he said, “That nullifies that question.”

I beg your pardon? No, it’s still a valid question. You don’t need to read Origin of Species to have questions on evolution. (Or, to reinforce Goodwin’s law, you don’t need to read Mein Kampf to raise an objection to the Final Solution.) Reverend Wright made a comment (he claims he got the idea from former U.S. Ambassador Edward Peck) that some find objectionable. The fact that they have not taken the time to listen to all thirty-five minutes of the sermon does not mean we cannot ask questions.

The argument goes that we haven’t heard the whole sermon, only the 2 minute sound bite, therefore, we should not judge Reverend Wright based on that alone. Fair enough, so I have heard the entire “chickens coming home to roost” sermon. I have to tell you, that didn’t change my view of how offensive it was. The fact that Reverend Wright spoke at length about how America brought 9/11 on itself does not excuse the more provocative sound bite. It is that idea that is offensive. Is Bill Moyers and the rest of the media that blind? Can they not see that the idea that America deserved to be attacked is, in itself offensive? Do they think we are offended on behalf of poultry farmers?

Of course, Reverend Wright has grown accustomed to not having to answer difficult questions. I spent an hour this weekend watching Bill Moyer’s perform a nasal colonoscopy on Reverend Jeremiah Wright. I don’t watch Bill Moyers regularly, but I find it hard to imagine how someone can call themselves a journalist without ever asking a serious question. You have one of the most controversial people in America on your program and you don’t ask a single question clarifying his viewpoint?

For those unwilling to stomach the entire sermon, Reverend Wright equates the fall of Jerusalem at the hands of the Edomites to the fall of the Twin Towers and the pentagon (money and military). The sermon revolves around Psalm 137 and how the first 6 verses show reverence for Jerusalem, but then the Psalm goes on to ask revenge on the Edomites. Reverend Wright is arguing against American retribution for the attacks of 9/11. He clearly feels that America will go too far in seeking revenge against those who perpetrated the attacks. Violence begets violence.

Midway through the sermon, Reverend Wright switches tracks and calls out a “faith footnote.” It is in this footnote that Wright draws the moral equivalence between America’s past transgressions and 9/11. (He later goes on, at the 30:00 mark, to argue that money appropriated for rebuilding New York should be used for free healthcare, education, the poor and AIDS research.) This is exactly what we thought you said. This is not different and no less despicable than Jerry Falwell’s comments that 9/11 was brought on by moral decay. In the minds of many Americans, this is what is controversial. It is not that we assume you are unAmerican, it is that we know, from your words, that you blame America for 9/11. That, alone, is enough.

Happy Rick Monday!
By Dan | - 10:28 am - Posted in Sports, Today in History

Thirty two years ago this past Saturday, the greatest play in baseball history.

God Bless Rick Monday!

The Holy Bible, Nancy Pelosi Version
By Dan | April 25, 2008 - 10:05 am - Posted in Politics & Policy, Liberals, Best Of, Weather, Edukashun

Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D-Ranged) is fond of quoting her own personal bible to underscore her belief in high gas prices, government mandated largesse and greener and greener policies, no matter the cost. In particular, Pelosi is fond of saying, “The Bible tells us in the Old Testament, ‘To minister to the needs of God’s creation is an act of worship. To ignore those needs is to dishonor the God who made us.’” The problem, of course, is that this verse appears nowhere in any known translation of the Holy Bible.

Speaker Pelosi has acknowledged that the verse is not easily found, as it appears only in her own apocryphal copy of the Bible, given to her personally by God (here taking multiple Earthly forms, including AFL-CIO President John Sweeney and Internet pioneer Al Gore). Among the lost Pelosi passages of the Holy Bible are:

  • “Woe betide the man who, having money, giveth not to thine most progressive party.”
  • The Greenest Commandment: “And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? And Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is Global Warming. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy wallet, and with all thy tax revenue, and with all thy Hollywood special effects: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt tax thy neighbor unlike thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”
  • “And on the recess of the 10th Day, God cast out the evil spirits of the kingdom of Beegoil, the Chloroflorenes, the Carbonites, the Antiozonites and the Essyouveans. And God saw that the world contained no commerce, and it was good.”
  • “Blessed are the elected officials, for thine is the kingdom of taxation and spendation.”
  • “And He sayeth unto the congregation of nonbelievers, ‘I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you and drinketh your Royal Crown and eateth thine waffles?’”
  • “And God said unto Moses, ‘Let not my people’s carbonite footprint exceed that of thine cattle. For to do so would cause me to warmeth the Earth.”
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Washington D.C., 10 Square Miles Almost Completely Surrounded By Reality
By Dan | April 24, 2008 - 1:16 pm - Posted in Government, Taxes, Edukashun

If this is not the height of government stupidity, I fear what that might look like. The city of Washington D.C. (which, you’ll recall, is federal property overseen by the United States Congress) bought 3 electric streetcars three years ago for a total price of $10,000,000. Why? no on really knows, as the city does not have the overhead power lines needed to run the cars, nor does it have a plan to build them. So the streetcars remain in a factory in the Czech Republic, presumably where the person who bribed the incompetent idiot in D.C. works.

Your tax dollars at work.

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Democrats Claim a River in Egypt
By Dan | April 18, 2008 - 1:31 pm - Posted in Politics & Policy, Liberals, Op Ed, Edukashun

I have to confess, I have been enjoying, with guiltless pleasure, the debacle Wednesday’s debate was, and the accompanying fracas it has created on the internet and in the media.

On Obama’s performance, two things lept out at me, first how he turns into a whining little mess when the media shows the slightest bit of skepticism towards him and second his ridiculous response to the Ayers question.

The first issue, which really speaks to the broader problem of denial for the Democrats, was evident in Obama’s responses and his demeanor. He was asked about the lapel pin, Reverend Wright, terrorist cum professor William Ayers and his demeaning and elitist comments in San Francisco. Each time, he deflected these questions as either unfair or “distractions.” This is the corollary to his San Francisco comments: “You people aren’t smart enough to focus on the real issues!” It would seem that anything on which Obama and the vast majority of Americans disagree are irrelevant distractions, security blankets, or unfair partisan attacks.

For example, most Americans (like it or not, Mr. Obama) believe in their religion. I assert that a majority of Americans believe that abortion is abhorrent and should be made illegal in most cases. (Polls on this point are debateable, but if Democrats believe that I am wrong, stop hiding in court, and let’s decide the issue by majority vote in Congress). Many Americans believe the Second Amendment protects their right to keep and bear arms and are actually afraid of what America will become if we, like the UK and France, lose that right.

Simply because your ivory encrusted sheepskins from Columbia and Harvard tell you such claims are unfounded does not make these issues irrelevant. We live under a system of laws, not one ordered by fiat from know it alls who don’t want to talk about religion, abortion, marriage, gun ownership or other topics on which they hold an unpopular stance.

Put another way, your “irrelevant distraction” is my “core value.” Your “core values” (which, though it’s hard to tell, seem to be government run health care, withdrawal from Iraq, and government bailout of people who made a bad decision on real estate) are my “irrelevant distractions.” I don’t want to live with government health care any more than I want live in government housing. If we wanted out of Iraq, we would have elected the Junior Snob from Massachusetts in 2004. If I wanted to pay for someone else’s mistakes, I would be a Democrat. People vote on what matters to them. Saying Republicans “scared voters” into voting against their interest is not an argument, it’s denial.

On William “I wish I had done more to kill innocent civilians” Ayers, Obama’s response would be funny if he wasn’t running for president. Ayers was part of the Weather Underground and, not only has he never renounced violence against the government (and innocent people), he is proud of his “work” and, on 9/11/2001 of all days, the New York Times ran a puff piece pitching his memoirs. He is scum and in a just world, someone would visit the violence and terror on him that he visited on others. He is, however, a force in Chicago politics and helped launch Obama’s political career in 1995. He and Obama have served on boards together, their relationship is far more substantial than Obama indicated.

Here is George Stephanopoulos’s question and Obama’s response:

MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator, if you get the nomination, you’ll have to — (applause) — (inaudible).

I want to give Senator Clinton a chance to respond, but first a follow-up on this issue, the general theme of patriotism in your relationships. A gentleman named William Ayers, he was part of the Weather Underground in the 1970s. They bombed the Pentagon, the Capitol and other buildings. He’s never apologized for that. And in fact, on 9/11 he was quoted in The New York Times saying, “I don’t regret setting bombs; I feel we didn’t do enough.”

An early organizing meeting for your state senate campaign was held at his house, and your campaign has said you are friendly. Can you explain that relationship for the voters, and explain to Democrats why it won’t be a problem?

SEN. OBAMA: George, but this is an example of what I’m talking about.

This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood, who’s a professor of English in Chicago, who I know and who I have not received some official endorsement from. He’s not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis.

And the notion that somehow as a consequence of me knowing somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago when I was 8 years old, somehow reflects on me and my values, doesn’t make much sense, George.

The fact is, is that I’m also friendly with Tom Coburn, one of the most conservative Republicans in the United States Senate, who during his campaign once said that it might be appropriate to apply the death penalty to those who carried out abortions.

Do I need to apologize for Mr. Coburn’s statements? Because I certainly don’t agree with those either.

So this kind of game, in which anybody who I know, regardless of how flimsy the relationship is, is somehow — somehow their ideas could be attributed to me — I think the American people are smarter than that. They’re not going to suggest somehow that that is reflective of my views, because it obviously isn’t.

First, the fact that Ayers’s conduct occurred when Obama was 8 is irrelevant. The Unibomber was killing people when I was 8, does that mean it’s okay for me to have him launch my political career? Can I serve on a board with him? Ayers is only a professor because he’s a left-wing nutjob who tried to kill innocent people in the 70’s. Is this another pathetic version of the “I wasn’t in church that day” defense?

Second, Tom Coburn is an elected official who has, to my knowledge, never broken the law, nor advocated the overthrough of the government of the United States by force and violence. He advocated a change in the law that would allow the death penalty for people who violate that law, as changed. Comparing the two is absurd.

Third, he hasn’t given Obama his “official endorsement”? Talk about irrelevant. Louis Farrakhan gave Obama his official endorsement, should we interpret that to mean Obama exchanges ideas with him on a regular basis? (Speaking of which, you need not exchange ideas with someone if you know you share the same anti-American perspective). And what are we to make of the lack of an endorsement? Certainly Ayers, a Chicago political operative who launch Obama’s career, is in fact in favor of Obama’s candidacy. So why hasn’t Ayers “officially” endorsed Obama? The only reasonable explanation is that Obama has asked him not to. In other words, the two are close enough that Obama can ask him for such a favor.

Fourth, again with the “this is irrelevant because it makes me look bad.” This is not irrelevant. You have chosen to associate yourself with someone who tried to kill people. This is a statement of your character, your judgment and possibly your ideology. Either Obama agrees with Ayers on some level or Obama compromised his principles to cozy up to a terrorist for the sake of his political career. Which is it? Personally, I could not be in the same room with William Ayers for 5 minutes before security would be called. Obama gave a speech at Ayers’s home, with his terrorist wife and their friends. Obama moved into his neighborhood, knowing he lived there. Obama agreed to serve on a board of directors with this defective human.

By Dan | April 15, 2008 - 1:15 pm - Posted in Politics & Policy, Liberals, Op Ed, Edukashun

Unless you have been hiding in a cave in Pakistan over the last four days, you have heard the remarks Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said in a “closed” or “private” meeting with billionaires in San Francisco. An attendee who planned to visit Pennsylvania and volunteer for the Obama campaign asked Obama what to expect and how to convince people there to vote for hope and change.

Obama referred the person to his advisors who would provide him with talking points, and then the candidate engaged in a little bit too much of pop psychology. Explaining why voters in Pennsylvania were not joining in lock-step march with team Obama, Obama said:

You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not.

And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

There are several problems with this analysis:

  1. Legally: Obama needs to obtain a licenses from the estates of Karl Marx and Joseph Lenin. Calling working people ignorant for having religion is nothing new. The Soviet Union was founded on that principle. Guess where Obama wants to take us.
  2. Logically: It assumes that people who do not vote for Obama are irrational. Of course people can be bitter about their condition (economic, political, environmental), but not voting for someone who claims to represent hope doesn’t mean you’re hopeless. It could, and in my case certainly does, mean that you think he’s full of crap and his plan for America will bankrupt America. This is a fundamental problem with Democrats that goes back to Adelaide Stevenson, who, when told he had convinced all thinking people to vote for him, he quipped, “That’s not good enough, I need a majority.” Funny line, but not exactly a pro-American stance. This is no different than the constant argument by Democrats that Republicans use scare tactics (i.e. remind voters that there are, in fact, people trying to kill us and leadership matters) or play to ignorant social conservatives (i.e. remind voters that abortion and gay marriage are differences between the parties) to win votes. This, of course, discounts the possibility that voters, in full control of their senses, vote Republican because they believe in the principles that the party represents, chiefly, limited government and lower taxes. This, in all honesty, is beyond the scope of the Democratic imagination. We’re all just bitter, delusional, bible thumping, gun totting, racist, anti-immigration boobs.
  3. Honestly: Because these statements were made in a “closed, private” meeting (campaign speak for “You weren’t supposed to hear that”), and Obama was responding to a question (these were not prepared remarks vetted for political message) we can reasonably assume Obama was being honest and unguarded. In other words, whatever he says from here on out to clarify or rephrase, this is the closest to what he truly believes.
  4. Politically: Tuzla hurt Hillary Clinton because it was a microcosm of what people despise about Hillary Clinton. She flat out lied about sniper fire. Sniper fire is not something you forget, but with no shame or remorse (except at being caught), she told a patently false, easily disprovable lie. What’s worse, she did so for no real gain. Does anyone think that landing in a war zone makes you Commander-in-Chief material? Maybe Sinbad should run for president. The point is, this was a crystallizing event for Democrats. It reminded them, without bringing up partisan scars, of the stained blue dress, Whitewater, travelgate, troopergate, and the hundreds of scandals and bullship the Clintons created in eight years in Washington. It was Hillary in a nutshell. Obama’s comments, similarly, crystallized the hidden fears nonbelievers have about Obama: he’s a dyed in the wool liberal. It removed his mask of “post-partisanship” and revealed (or, in deference to those not there yet, appeared to reveal) what he truly is: a Marxist, anti-American charlatan who thinks working men and women are suckers who are good for nothing if they don’t support the revolution.
  5. Finally: As Rich Lowry points out, it finally resolved the paradox of the “uniter” who has never reached across the aisle for anything. It is clear that Obama intends to bring the mountain to the ignorant masses. Meaning, his idea of uniting us, is to pry our bibles, guns and racist sentiments from our mystified little paws and show us the true path to enlightenment: an ever expanding socialist government for all.
Tax relief plan

April 14, 2010

In an effort to alleviate decreasing consumer confidence and skyrocketing food and energy costs, President Obama announced a broad tax relief package today. The plan, which is modeled after President Obama’s anti-foreclosure plan, allows federal judges to reduce the tax burdens of those who cannot afford the fat, bloated government they purchased.

“Just like the economic recovery plan I proposed when running for president,” noted President Obama, “this plan allows for an ex post facto repricing. If a taxpayer is having trouble paying for the enormous bloated bureaucracy they bought when they elected me and my fellow Democrats, they can declare bankruptcy and a federal judge will be empowered to adjust their tax burden.”

Critics of the plan note that it will create what one Senator calls “a reverse ponzi scheme.” At first, the lower middle class will begin to file bankruptcy, “which will increase the burden on those left paying taxes, causing them to file for lower taxes. Eventually, you won’t have anyone left to pay taxes except George Soros, Hillary Clinton and Al Gore.”

President Obama dismissed these claims as unhopeful, saying “I find your lack of hope disturbing.” John Sweeney, the new Secretary of the Treasury, noted that the plan would be “as, if not more successful as the anti-foreclosure rule.” The Treasury department reported that exactly zero home foreclosures have occurred since last month, down from 25 the previous month.

“We have not seen the ‘dramatic’ increase in interest rates predicted by the so called ‘experts,’” noted Secretary Sweeney. The nationwide average interest rate on a 30 year mortgage remains steady at 24%.

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McCain Makes Obamarific Gaffe
By Dan | April 14, 2008 - 12:03 pm - Posted in Politics & Policy, Liberals, Edukashun

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain has found himself in hot water due to remarks he made today at a Midwestern Militia and Bible Study Group conference. The remarks, which the campaign notes were “private remarks at a fund raiser” have been characterized by his political rivals as “a true statement of [McCain’s] sentiments about obscenely wealthy Americans.”

Speaking to the conference, McCain said:

You go into these large towns in California and, like a lot of large towns on the Left Coast, the liberal guilt has been building for 25 years and nothing’s placated them…And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna get higher taxes to assuage their guilt, but they have not.

And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to unions or global warming or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or pro-abortion sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

The McCain campaign at first acknowledged the remarks as “something everybody knows to be true.” When the firestorm grew, with several liberal fat-cats like George Soros and Barbara Streisand demanding an apology, McCain conceded that he could have chosen his words better, so as not to offend the “ignorant masses with my big words.”

Iraqi Revolution
By Dan | April 11, 2008 - 1:21 pm - Posted in Politics & Policy, Liberals, Media & Marketing, Foreign Affairs, 9/11, Stars & Stripes

Liberals in the media and in Congress have made many ill-rationed arguments against the war in Iraq. Among them is the contention that our presence in Iraq foments anti-Americanism and breeds more terrorists than it destroys. Not true says, of all sources, the New York Times: “After almost five years of war, many young people in Iraq, exhausted by constant firsthand exposure to the violence of religious extremism, say they have grown disillusioned with religious leaders and skeptical of the faith that they preach.”

Let that sink in for a minute. Not only do young Iraqi’s not want to join al Qaeda in Iraq (that’s the group’s own name, mind you) or any other militant Islamic terrorist group, they blame the clerics for the violence in Iraq.

The article goes on to frame the debate in terms of religious participation rather than what is, in my view, a rejection not of Islam, but of Wahabiism. The article does not report the kind of pro-American flag-waving gratitude you might expect to see from a liberated people, but we are talking about the New York Times reportage. They have rules about displaying American flags when they are not on fire.

The article does, however, expose as untrue one of the primary arguments liberals have for “getting us out of Iraq now.” If young Iraqis are turning away from violent Islam, we are decreasing the popularity of al Qaeda and Islamofascism, not increasing it. Yes, it is true that there is violence in Iraq, and it is true that our military personnel are still at risk, but as this blog has often noted that it took us almost four years of combat in Iraq to lose as many Americans as we did in one day of terror in America. Where is the acknowledgment that our efforts in Iraq are reaping rewards?

We are creating a democracy in a part of the world that has never seen one. We are attracting and killing foreign terrorists by the thousands. We are preventing attacks on American civilians by focusing the battle in Iraq. And, to top it all off, we are exposing Muslims to the realities of Wahabism and they are clearly rejecting it.

Where, exactly is the downside?