July 28, 2004 [LINK]

Political division, national unity

Blogger Dean Esmay poses a hard question to conservatives: Will they support Kerry as national leader should he win the election in November, and will they express dissent in a respectful way? Even though I find Kerry irritatingly condescending and wrong on most key issues, I have no hestitation in answering that question in the affirmative. Unlike many on the left, I take the peril our nation faces dead seriously: United we stand; divided we fall. Thanks to Glenn Reynolds for the link.

Military blogger Sgt. Stryker has some scathing words for partisans on both sides:

Three years into this current war, we've invaded Afghanistan and Iraq. We've created a new Cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security. We created a "Transportation Security Administration". The nation and the government, however, are still on a peacetime footing. No sacrifice has been asked of the general populace. People are apparently still scared to fly and have no faith in the security apparatus meant to protect them. A sizeable portion of the public honestly believes that we're not at war. Three years into this thing and we're about as screwed-up a nation as we can be. If you want someone to blame for the state of things, then each of you needs to take a long, hard look into the mirror.

Indeed, another big attack on American soil this fall will render partisan debates utterly beside the point and even childish. I agree with Sgt. Stryker that President Bush has failed to ask Americans to sacrifice for the sake of victory, and that much of the homeland security initiatives since 9/11 have been little more than bureaucratic chair-shuffling. (Much of what the 9/11 Commission recommends falls into the same category.) Sgt. Stryker fails to recognize, however, that there is a huge difference between the parties in terms of facing up to the terrorist threat.

Rising Democratic star Barack Obama came across pretty well last night, but his political identity seems hard to pin down. The Dems will need a lot more than upbeat rhetoric if they are too win and/or govern. So far the conventioneers in Boston have been very well behaved, and even Michael Moore zipped his lip for the sake of propriety. Josh Marshall has a good explanation for the Democrats' curious refraining from the expected hateful venting toward Bush at their convention:

Among Democrats, the rejection of this president is so total, exists on so many different levels, and is so fused into their understanding of all the major issues facing the country, that it doesn't even need to be explicitly evoked.

NOTE: This is a "post facto" blog post, taken from the pre-November 2004 archives.