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June 24, 2005 [LINK]

More partisan vitriol on the war

In a speech to the New York state Conservative Party, Karl Rove angered many Democrats when he drew a sharp contrast in how the two sides view the war on terrorism. All the usual suspects in the Democrat leadership fired back: Sen. Reid called on Rove to resign, Sen. Clinton called the remarks "appalling" and "saddening," and Howard Dean "accused Rove of trying to divide the country with 'cynical political attacks,'" which is supremely ironic. Here's the crux of what Rove had to say:

Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war. Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers. (SOURCE: Washington Post)

One caller on the Rush Limbaugh show suggested that Rove should issue a Durbinian quasi-apology (see below), but Rush wisely warned against such patent cynicism. I've often criticized Rove for his Machiavellian subordination of principle to winning at all costs, but this time he made a good point. True, his words were provocative and painted liberals with too broad a brush (as pro-war liberal Michael Totten writes), but Rove aptly called attention to the fact that the leftists who have come to dominate the liberal side of the political spectrum, including most Democrats (there is a small but vital distinction), seem not have the foggiest idea what we are up against in this war, or what the stakes are. Hence the recent chorus of (self-fulfilling?) defeatist rhetoric on the Left. Millions of Americans are under the grotesquely false impression that "we had it coming" on 9/11, and that those nasty terrorists would leave us alone if only we had "nicer" foreign policy and abandoned Israel. Not bloody likely. Differences of opinion on something as awful as war are entirely natural, and all we can hope for is a measure of restraint and balance. FWIW, here are my initial reflections on 9/11.

Durbin "apologizes"

Sen. Dick Durbin choked back tears as he pleaded for understanding and forgiveness for his hyperinflammatory words comparing actions by the U.S. military to the Nazis and other totalitarian regimes. It was conditional contrition, however:

I'm sorry if anything that I said caused any offense or pain to those who have such bitter memories of the Holocaust, the greatest moral tragedy of our time. Nothing, nothing should ever be said to demean or diminish that moral tragedy.

I'm also sorry if anything I said in any way cast a negative light on our fine men and women in the military. (SOURCE: Senator Durbin's Web site)

If??? That might be construed to mean that he is not sorry otherwise, except for the fact that the word if was [nothing more than a lame attempt to raise the (remote) possibility that someone was not offended]. It's a lot like the congressional resolution apologizing for lynching passed last week: a contritional gesture that carries little weight. I fail to understand how Durbin thinks he could have been "misunderstood." He said what he said. This case really says less about Durbin than it does about the general deranged state of mind exhibited by many Democrats these days. I've read various leftist blogs that accuse conservative critics of Durbin of not caring about human rights abuses at military detention facilities. I for one am concerned about such abuses, but I would prefer that criticisms be reasonable in tone and balanced, hopefully reserving judgment until more thorough, impartial investigations are carried out.

UPDATE: postwatchblog "compares and contrasts" how the Washington Post covered the Durbin story to how it covered Rove's comments. It's almost like they're biased or something... (via InstaPundit)

Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 24 Jun 2005, 11: 40 PM

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