The Boston Globe is reporting that Evan Bayh has won re-election in his Senate seat in Indiana:
Democrat Evan Bayh, a leading voice in moderate “New Democrat” circles, swept to a second term in the Senate for Indiana.
The Indianapolis Star reports that Bayh won re-election 62% to 36% with 24% of the precincts reporting.
Once again, Blackfive reflects my own thoughts pretty clearly – there’s nothing here I disagree with:
No Matter What Happens Today
America will survive tomorrow.
Bin Laden and the Islamofascists will continue to attempt to destroy us. We haven’t had a Democrat that wants to fight since Roosevelt. Hopefully, the Democrats will be more on board with conducting the “war” on terror and Islamofascism. It’s not a cake party, it’s a war.
If John Kerry is NOT elected President, I sincerely hope that he follows through on his promises for a stronger America in the Senate. So far, he hasn’t done crap as a Senator to make us stronger.
If George Bush is NOT re-elected President, I sincerely hope that we will unleash HELL on the jihadis the world over. I would expect that he will transition the War management properly in a bi-partisan manner.
I’d like to see us partner more with India and other countries on the WoT. We partnered with the Communists during WWII. Depending on how far the war takes us, China may be a partner, too. France can go to hell…oh, too late, they’ve already taken that trip.
In Chicago, Blackfive has been kept from voting – and interestingly enough – ten of the others who were kept from voting were all Republicans.
They turned everyone (that was not in the books) away.
As I left on my way to the County Election Commission to file a complaint, I asked ten different people who were also denied a vote because they weren’t in the book, “Are you Republicans?”
All ten replied, “Yes.”
“Did you vote in the primary?”
It’s impossible to know if the Republicans were removed from the book. But this is Chicago…where the dead count more than the living.
I’ll let you know what happens in a few hours. I’m calling my friend who’s an editor for the Tribune and another who’s an Assistant State’s Attorney.
The always eloquent Bill Whittle over at Eject! Eject! Eject! has this missive about today’s election:
On Tuesday, Americans will choose between the conservative hawk from Texas, and the conservative hawk from Massachusetts. Both are running on a platform to strengthen the military and track down terrorists wherever they may live. Draw your own conclusions about who has the most convincing track record in this regard.
I have tried to make clear the reasons I have, and continue to support, President Bush. Despite his many faults, he seems to understand that the only nations serious about this fight are already in the field at our side. We have recovered from budget deficits before. We have been debating abortion and gay rights and all the other lifestyle issues for decades, and these debates will not go away if John Kerry is elected.
I will be able to live with a Kerry Presidency. But what tortures me is the thought that this country is no longer capable of doing hard, dirty work — that we have reached the point where nothing difficult is attainable because the cost is something less than free.
I believe, from a reading of the history and the very words of the leaders of North Vietnam, that John Kerry was instrumental in convincing them that if they were able to hang on and inflict enough American casualties, eventually we would tire and go home.
I further believe that history shows that the Ayatollah Khomeini had our number in this regard, and I regard the start of this current conflict as the day they overran the US Embassy in Tehran, to which our response was…what?
The murdering, beheading savages who are trying to steal victory from defeat in the American ballot box have seen these lessons of Vietnam, and Iran, and Somalia, and they are — and have openly said they are — doing their best to kill as many Americans as they can to win this election for the man they certainly seem to fear less. That tells me something.
President Bush has already done much to re-program our mortal enemies assumptions about our determination to finish what we start, no matter the cost. Three dangerous enemies have fallen during his watch — Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. The first two were predicted to cause American streets to run red with blood as the Jihadists took their vengeance upon us. In the three years since 9/11, there have been no terrorist attacks on this country. That is a record to be proud of, and one that deserves the reward of my vote, at least.
I want to finish this fight, now. I don’t think our children should have to worry about this five or ten or twenty years from now, when Iran or North Korea has had a chance to spread some nuclear largesse around. I believe a badly wounded enemy is more dangerous than a dead one. I want this fight to be over so that the country can afford to elect someone who panders to everyone and speaks French and can undo all this animosity from Europe with a few well-placed toasts and a conciliatory speech at the UN. The time for that is when this thing is over.
There is much to dislike, and even some to despise, about the current American President. But he means to finish this fight, and by that, I believe he means to finish it by winning.
Afghanistan did not go to the warlords. It went to the polls. There were not one million refugees. Iraq did not produce 10,000 US casualties in house-to-house fighting, nor did it splinter into 3-way civil war as so many predicted. In three months, Iraqis will also go to the polls, and they, by all accounts, will continue their widespread support for secular candidates and repudiation of the extremists that are fighting so hard to terrorize and dishearten them. But the Iraqis are not terrorized. They are signing on for their army and police forces in the face of great danger. We owe those brave men and women something better than “wrong war, wrong place and wrong time.”
This is failure?
Not by my standards, it isn’t.
So I promised you a final thought, and everything above this point is mere preamble to it. Here it is:
People are telling you that Tuesday will be the most important election of your lives.
That is not true.
The most important election of your lives was held on Tuesday, November 7th, 2000. You just didn’t know it. Neither did I.
What happened on that day led to one man being in the White House these past four years, rather than the other one. Whether he has done enough to keep us safe, even if he should lose on Tuesday, remains to be seen. But the fact remains that George W. Bush was Commander in Chief and President when we needed him the most.
I made a mistake when I cast my vote for Al Gore in the most important election of my lifetime. I won’t make that mistake again on Tuesday
Britain has 9,000 troops in Iraq, hundreds of whom are being drawn into the less stable regions of the country at American request. For the foreseeable future, our troops will play a central role in the bringing of order to the liberated country. Mr Bush has made many mistakes in Iraq. But one thing is certain: Saddam Hussein has been deposed. Mr Kerry is not even sure that the Iraqi dictator’s tyranny would be over had he been President. “He might be gone,” is as far as he was willing to go in an interview with NBC last week.
Indeed, Mr Kerry’s position on the war could scarcely be more muddled. The Senator voted for the invasion (unlike the first Gulf War, which he voted against). However, last October, he voted against an appropriation to support American soldiers dealing with the aftermath of a war he had approved. He has said that Mr Bush failed to commit enough troops to Iraq, but at the same time has promised to start bringing American soldiers home six months after taking office. Who, then, will plug the gap? The French foreign minister, Michel Barnier, has said that France will “never” send its troops to Iraq, even if Mr Kerry does win. Germany is no less forthright. How does the Democrat candidate propose to “win” in Iraq – as he says he would – in such operational circumstances?
Mr Kerry has done everything to encourage the charge that he is stranded in the world of September 10. “We have to get back to the place we were,” he said this month, “where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they’re a nuisance.” That would no doubt be desirable. But nothing Mr Kerry has said suggests that he knows how to achieve this goal. The intellectual vacuum at the heart of his candidacy has profound implications for Britain’s strategic interests and the lives of our troops: in both cases, this country would be better served by the re-election of Mr Bush.
As usual, James Lileks adds much to the debate over the elections:
I am certain Bin Laden fears a Kerry presidency more than a Bush second term. He knows – and I think we all know this – that Kerry would summon in the military guys, and say “I want you to find bin Laden.”
Uh – sir, I don’t quite –
“I mean it. Find him. ”
You mean, find him? Why – such a thing has never been considered, sir; we’ve just been waiting for him to wander into camp looking for directions, or perhaps to use the bathroom. That whole Abu Ghraib thing – well as you no doubt know, we were just trying to provoke him to set his ol’ beard on fire and run screaming into camp waving a big-ass scimitar, and then we’d be like all Indy on him and pow! Pow! But it never worked out. We never even had a Plan B. Find him? You serious? This is so totally unexpected! You mean, actually go try and get him?
“That’s exactly what I mean. And I have a plan.”
“I want you to go here –”
Where, exactly? Your hand is covering all of Afghanistan and northern Pakistan on the map –
“That’s right. I want you to go here, and I want you to look for him. And when you see him, get him. ”
Is that the plan, sir?
“No, there’s more. See this? I’ve drawn a blue line, making a wide new river to his exact position. Send the Navy.”
Uh – yes. Yes of course sir. Anything else, sir?
“Yes. Take this hat. If he’s invisible, you’ll see him – but only if you have the hat on. Now find him! ”
Kerry’s votes for and against the war and his shifting campaign rhetoric raise grave doubts about what, exactly, a President Kerry would do in Iraq. He emphasizes persuading countries like France and Germany to join the war effort, but they have said no and never. He promises to prosecute the war better than Bush, but he has not gone beyond pointing out every setback in the conflict.
Most seriously, Candidate Kerry’s clearest position on the war undercuts the cause a President Kerry would be obligated to fight. As Washington Post columnist Jim Hoagland put it: “Kerry’s repeated denunciations of Iraq as the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time weaken the moral and perhaps even the legal base for ordering Americans to continue to fight there if he becomes President.” World leaders — those Kerry intends to rally and those already committed — could not responsibly risk their citizens in a misbegotten fight.
At this critical juncture, America cannot afford such a lack of clarity — or even a hint that a President would revert to playing defense rather than staying on the offensive. Nor would it be wise to change commanders midbattle in Iraq and around the globe, replacing a tested leader with a man who would have to learn on the job under the most difficult circumstances. With so much at stake, that’s a transition not to be wished for.
Returning Bush to office is the wise course, The News believes, despite our sharp disagreement with his domestic policies. Those pale in comparison with the overarching challenge of securing the nation and preserving New York’s vital way of life. Of the two candidates, Bush has the clearer vision for accomplishing the goal, as well as the greater experience. He gets our endorsement.
I know I’m a bit behind in this news, but the Chicago Tribune has endorsed the re-election of President George W. Bush. Some of the more interesting portions of their endorsement are:
Bush’s sense of a president’s duty to defend America is wider in scope than Kerry’s, more ambitious in its tactics, more prone, frankly, to yield both casualties and lasting results. This is the stark difference on which American voters should choose a president.
There is much the current president could have done differently over the last four years. There are lessons he needs to have learned. And there are reasons–apart from the global perils likely to dominate the next presidency–to recommend either of these two good candidates.
But for his resoluteness on the defining challenge of our age–a resoluteness John Kerry has not been able to demonstrate–the Chicago Tribune urges the re-election of George W. Bush as president of the United States.
Bush, his critics say, displays an arrogance that turns friends into foes. Spurned at the United Nations by “Old Europe”–France, Germany, Russia–he was too long in admitting he wanted their help in a war. He needs to acknowledge that his country’s future interests are best served by fixing frayed friendships. And if re-elected, he needs to accomplish that goal.
But that is not the whole story. Consider:
Bush has nurtured newer alliances with many nations such as Poland, Romania and Ukraine (combined population, close to 110 million) that want more than to be America’s friends: Having seized their liberty from tyrants, they are determined now to be on the right side of history.
Kerry is an internationalist, a man of conspicuous intellect. He is a keen student of world affairs and their impact at home.
But that is not the whole story. Consider:
On the most crucial issue of our time, Kerry has serially dodged for political advantage. Through much of the 2004 election cycle, he used his status as a war hero as an excuse not to have a coherent position on America’s national security. Even now, when Kerry grasps a microphone, it can be difficult to fathom who is speaking–the war hero, or the anti-war hero.
Kerry displays great faith in diplomacy as the way to solve virtually all problems. Diplomatic solutions should always be the goal. Yet that principle would be more compelling if the world had a better record of confronting true crises, whether proffered by the nuclear-crazed ayatollahs of Iran, the dark eccentrics of North Korea, the genocidal murderers of villagers in Sudan–or the Butcher of Baghdad.
In each of these cases, Bush has pursued multilateral strategies. In Iraq, when the UN refused to enforce its 17th stern resolution–the more we learn about the UN’s corrupt Oil-for-Food program, the more it’s clear the fix was in–Bush acted. He thus reminded many of the world’s governments why they dislike conservative and stubborn U.S. presidents (see Reagan, Ronald).
Bush has scored a great success in Afghanistan–not only by ousting the Taliban regime and nurturing a new democracy, but also by ignoring the chronic doubters who said a war there would be a quagmire. He and his administration provoked Libya to surrender its weapons program, turned Pakistan into an ally against terrorists (something Bill Clinton’s diplomats couldn’t do) and helped shut down A.Q. Khan, the world’s most menacing rogue nuclear proliferator.
Kerry, though, has lost his way. The now-professed anti-war candidate says he still would vote to authorize the war he didn’t vote to finance. He used the presidential debates to telegraph a policy of withdrawal. His Iraq plan essentially is Bush’s plan. All of which perplexes many.
Worse, it plainly perplexes Kerry. (“I do believe Saddam Hussein was a threat,” he said Oct. 8, adding that Bush was preoccupied with Iraq, “where there wasn’t a threat.”) What’s not debatable is that Kerry did nothing to oppose White House policy on Iraq until he trailed the dovish Howard Dean in the race for his party’s nomination. Also haunting Kerry: his Senate vote against the Persian Gulf war–driven by faith that, yes, more diplomacy could end Saddam Hussein’s rape of Kuwait.
This country’s paramount issue, though, remains the threat to its national security.
John Kerry has been a discerning critic of where Bush has erred. But Kerry’s message–a more restrained assault on global threats, earnest comfort with the international community’s noble inaction–suggests what many voters sense: After 20 years in the Senate, the moral certitude Kerry once displayed has evaporated. There is no landmark Kennedy-Kerry Education Act, no Kerry-Frist Health Bill. Today’s Kerry is more about plans and process than solutions. He is better suited to analysis than to action. He has not delivered a compelling blueprint for change.
For three years, Bush has kept Americans, and their government, focused–effectively–on this nation’s security. The experience, dating from Sept. 11, 2001, has readied him for the next four years, a period that could prove as pivotal in this nation’s history as were the four years of World War II.
That demonstrated ability, and that crucible of experience, argue for the re-election of President George W. Bush. He has the steadfastness, and the strength, to execute the one mission no American generation has ever failed.
The Boston Globe, on the same Sunday two weeks ago, endorsed John Kerry. Truly, I expected nothing less – he is, after all, the hometown candidate. And, the Boston Globe, for all of its protests to the contrary, is a very liberal newspaper. So their endorsement of Senator Kerry was not a surprise to me.
I was shocked though that 90% of their endorsement was about domestic policy and hardly mentioned the real issues in this election: National Security, Terrorism, Foreign Policy. In my mind, and the minds of many, these are the three intertwining issues that will define the next four years for the United States. Then again, we are talking about the Boston Globe here…
In any event, I was quite pleased with the Trib’s endorsement of President Bush’s re-election – and their thoughts and ideas closely reflect my own.
Last week I finally posted a longish post about the war that we’re in. While it took me many weeks to put those thoughts onto virtual paper – Bill Whittle, in a fantastic essay in two parts, has written something far beyond what my poor skills as a scribe can fathom.
And all of this rage and fury and spitting and tearing up of signs, all of these insults and spinmeisters and forgeries and all the rest, seem to come down to the fact that about half the country thinks you deter this sort of thing by being nice, while the other half thinks you deter this by being mean.
It’s really just that simple.
Now if sociology were a real science, we could set up experiments. We could, in fact, do what just about every one of us – Liberal or Conservative — has, in our heart of hearts, secretly wanted to do: send that 50% of idiots on the other side packing – I mean, really packing, as in, out of the country, for good — and let history show we were right after all.
We imagine an America made up exclusively of tough-minded Conservatives would be a far better, a safer and stronger place, than an America composed of nothing but compassion-filled Liberals.
They, of course, think precisely the opposite. And I have, over the past two years, determined that internet comment threads do not hold the answer to this predicament. Theirs, and ours, are usually just cheerleading sessions, full of sound and fury and signifying nothing but a soothing reduction in blood pressure brought about by the narcotic high of being agreed with.
We can’t, alas, deport all the left wingers and they cannot, damn it, silence all the right wingers. We are stuck with each other. Each sees the press as biased toward the other, and each gapes in awe and amazement that the other side could possibly feel the same way.
And although we can not run an experiment to look into the alternate futures to glean the best result, to determine the relative benefits of being nice or being mean – for those, ultimately, are the choices, believe it or not – we can at least look back to see which seems to have produced the best results in the laboratory of history.
It all comes down to carrots (liberals) or sticks (conservatives). By the way: if you’re in a rush and need to run, here’s the spoiler: You can offer a carrot. Not everybody likes carrots. Some people may hate your carrot. Your carrot may offend people who worship the rutabaga. But no one likes being poked in the eye with a stick. That’s universal.
I’m a stick man. I wish it were different. But part of growing up – in fact, the essential part of growing up – is realizing that wishing does not make it so.
Folks, it’s time to reach down deep and get in touch with our inner adult.
This line, this doctrine – either you’re with us or the terrorists – has drawn derision and scorn from the nuanced sophisticates from around the world. What they refuse to see is that in one brilliant stroke it cuts the camouflage away from terror, and in effect neutralizes the very lever that makes International Terror so effective a tool: deniability. More on this in a moment.
I sat amazed at the confidence and the vision President Bush outlined in that speech. I remember saying out loud, to no one in particular, “I was wrong about this man.” A few of the grips nodded in silence. None of us took our eyes off the TV screen.