Sunday, May 07, 2006

Democrats: We Come In Peace

Oh, well, we might have said "impeachment," but we didn't mean "impeachment." No, no, no, not us. In fact, I'm not even sure we said "impeachment" the other day. It was "in peace meant." As in, "we come in peace."

Pelosi gets a little smart and takes a step back from her fellow partisans who are oiling their knives for Bush and Cheney's impeachment after the (presumptive) Democratic sweep this fall.

Pelosi is wise to keep her distance, of course. If you feel like it, drag out your U.S. poli sci textbook and figure out who will be president if Bush and Cheney are removed. But I think she's genuinely concerned about chasing away voters who are tempted to cross over but are repulsed by the stench of the Bush-hating base.

If you're like me, you think:

1. the U.S. has serious problems in the world -- terrorism, oil crisis, national debt -- that beg for immediate attention.

2. Bush did or began to do the right thing about as often as not -- he often did it for the wrong reason, but at least he seemed to wake up in the morning and know what the problems were, four days out of seven.

3. It's the incompetence. The reason you're willing to abandon the current leadership has more to do with its apparent inability to do what ought to be done than its failure to do nothing or do something 180 degrees different.

Hard to lure us over, if you're Pelosi. Even in a two-party system, disaffection from A doesn't automatically become support for Not-A. If the disgruntled middle stays home in November, it will be base-against-base.

But why would I help elevate a Democratic Party to power if it swears in advance to devote all the resources of the government not to solving the problems I see, but to rehashing the last five years of incompetence? Accountability, yes, but not while the building is still burning.

Rather than spend the next two years picking over every clause and semi-colon of pre-war intelligence on Iraq, I'd spend it working to make Iraq better. To build on the success there, you have to admit that there is some. Let's hear Pelosi start with that. Rather than crawling to European elites and the U.N. and begging forgiveness, I'd continue to build alliances with free peoples who are not afraid to stand up and fight, if pushed down, and to work for reform of international bodies, not submission to their current corrpution.

If there's one thing worse than wherever we are now, it would be letting the next two years slip by while we do nothing but bicker about how we got here. The erosion in Bush's numbers has been gradual. People weren't against what he said he was going to do. If they were, the numbers would have dropped at once.

And we all know there's a huge chunk of the Democratic base that is completely fixated on Bush -- the way some on the right were utterly rabid about Clinton eight years ago. Part of her job is to convince me these people won't grab the tiller if the Democrats surge to power in November. I have no interest in electing a lynch mob.

I'll give you the wheel if you want to take a turn at driving but not if you want to pull it off the steering column and whack the last driver on the head with it.

Pelosi needs to take a page from the Clinton playbook. I said this about Kerry in '04, too. She needs a Sister Souljah moment. Pick out some recognizable, leading extremist in her ranks, hold him up, and dress him down. It would be a start.