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« Santa Is A Fat Old White Man | Main | A Noble Sacrifice »

The New Five-Year Plan

Tony Snow makes an excellent point about the Democrats' position--that long-term central planning doesn't work much better in war than in agriculture or industry:

The only flaw in the Orderliness Hypothesis is that it doesn't work if people are present. The war on poverty looked great on paper. It failed miserably in real life. Air-cleansing regulatory schemes looked great in computer models, but failed abysmally in reality. Centralized health care boasted of chalkboard elegance, but is breaking the bank right here, right now. The myth of managed affluence collapsed with the Berlin Wall.

And yet, failure has not altered Democratic thinking an iota. John Kerry boasted dozens of times in his debates with George W. Bush that he had a plan -- for everything: dental care, tree planting, street paving, book binding, teen rutting, mass transit, air circulation, steel production ... you name it. He announced these schemes with a sense of triumph, as if having a plan were superior to having a clue.

In resisting President Bush's infinitely variable approach to the ever-shifting situation in Iraq, Democrats have reverted to form. The cries for benchmarks and deadlines merely embody their weird faith in plans. Howard Dean unwittingly captured the absurdity of it all when he announced this week the precise number of National Guard units required to subdue Al-Qaida.

[Update at 11:30 AM]

Rich Lowry says that the Dems are dazed and confused:

The sight of Murtha denouncing (even incoherently) the war was too much temptation for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.). The House Democrats’ strategy was to let Murtha take the lead with his surrender proposal, and otherwise get out of the way. But Pelosi couldn’t resist blurting out that she agreed with Murtha’s call and so did most House Democrats. As the political damage of that outburst sank in, Democrats — including Pelosi — began to backpedal. She explained that she would lobby her House colleagues to keep them from officially adopting her position and, apparently, their own position.

Elsewhere, in the spirit of the moment, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean declared the war lost — until a furor prompted him to explain what he really meant to say was that we could still win, and that it’s imperative that we do so.

The Democrats can’t help themselves. The party’s attitudes about matters of war and peace were forged during Vietnam, and so defeat is stamped in its DNA. Learning what they consider the lesson from Vietnam — that the war dragged on too long when it was a lost cause — they consider declaring defeat the height of geopolitical wisdom in almost any circumstance.

Posted by Rand Simberg at December 16, 2005 08:27 AM
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failure has not altered Democratic thinking an iota...

It's tempting to gloat over a Democrat "meltdown," but that's not quite the word for it. Too liquid and flexible. We need a metaphor of rigidity, a term that might be used to describe a granite statue being transported in an old wagon without spri...

Weblog: Random Jottings
Tracked: December 19, 2005 08:22 PM

Iraq is a golf course....

Dems are shooting par for the course.

Conservatives are shooting birdies "hawks"

Ain't politics fun?

Posted by Mac at December 16, 2005 09:53 AM

I don't know much about golf, Mac, so I'm probably using the wrong term, but I think it's more accurate to say the Democrats are (as usual)trying to take a mulligan.

Posted by Barbara Skolaut at December 16, 2005 02:06 PM

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