Sunday, September 24, 2006

Grammar, Character, and "October Surprises"

Gary Hart, former Colorado Senator and one of today's more ridiculous commentators on the left, published this unintentionally funny apocalyptic vision of October doom yesterday in the likewise unintentionally funny Huffington Post. Apparently, The New Hitler (weirdly, he's not referring to the actual New Hitler, Ahmadinejad) will invade Iran next month in order to maintain Republican control of the House and Senate.

Of course, the (thankfully) former Senator also predicted back in August that Bush would exit Iraq just before the elections. The title of that post was also "An October Surprise." Clearly, Gary is keeping is bases covered.

Beyond the preposterousness of the "substance" of his argument, a couple things really stood out in his piece. The first, of course, is that the "Monkey Business" Man has very, very, very little room to lecture anyone on hubris, honesty, or "character," national or otherwise.

But then there's this little piece of snark: "For a divinely guided president who imagines himself to be a latter day Winston Churchill (albeit lacking the ability to formulate intelligent sentences)..."

Interesting. Of course, earlier in the piece, he wrote this: "[Bush will say that]... sanctions [against Iran] will have no affect (and besides they are for sissies)." (emphasis mine)

Sigh. Sanctions do not "have no Affect," they "have no Effect." (Although, sanctions having no Effect but to strengthen dictators, kill innocents, and line UN officials' pockets with graft while making liberals feel enlightened, I tend to agree they are largely for sissies). If you're going to be snarky about a person's use of the language and use it as proof of intelligence, it's probably a good idea to proof read your material. It is for that reason, being an AWFUL speller myself, that I will not use Mr. Hart's grammatical slip to impugn his logic or ability to reason - I'll leave that to his own absurd arguments.

Mr. Hart has made two predictions in as many months - one, that Bush will withdrawal troops in time for the elections, and two, that we will invade Iran before the elections. Neither have or are likely to come true. (He also predicted in 1987, after daring news reporters to follow him around and look for an affair, that they wouldn't find anything and would be "bored." That makes him 0-3.)

Once again, we have Bush as simultaneously the Machiavellian Evil Genius pulling the puppet strings on the ignorant groundlings that make up the American electorate, and as the stubborn dunce unmoved by opinion polls by that same American electorate which he clearly should listen to. If Bush talks to other countries, he's "outsourcing our diplomacy." If not, he's "alienating our allies." They vote for national defense spending before voting against it. These logical absurdities would be hilarious if it weren't for the fact that the utterers of such inanity weren't spending millions of dollars attempting to regain power in our country - and far too close to achieving it.

But even worse than Hart being an ineffectual sage is the fact that he apparently sees Iran as nothing more than another potential innocent victim of Bush the Impaler. How would President Hart deal with a country well known to carry out terror attacks against American interests, one which subverts emerging democracies, supports attacks targeting Israeli civilians after promising to wipe them off the map, denies the Holocaust, brazenly lies to the UN about its weapons programs, and is otherwise one of the most dangerous nations in the history of the planet?

The answer is not a happy one, and once again demonstrates why the current Democratic Party cannot be trusted with national security - or apparently, October crystal balls.


SirWhoopass said...

I find the conclusion (last paragaph) as a bit of a stretch. Mr. Hart is not running for Congress. Nor is he currently well-connected within the Democratic party. Yet we are to assume his poor decision-making apply to the entire party, simply because he was a member?

On that logic, he was (and is) a lawyer.

I'm not saying one cannot make the case that the current Democratic party has a poor plan on national security. I'm saying that you don't make that case simply by disparaging someone who hasn't been in office for 20 years.

PubliusRex said...

The democrats have a plan on national security?

I agree that Hart is not Howard Dean, but he's still a serious player in democrat circles. He got lots of airtime during the 2004 presidential election, at the very least.

Orrin Johnson said...

I agree with Publius. I think he is, in fact, very well connected within the party. He's a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, seriously considered a run for the Presidency in '04, and his increased air- and blog-time seems to indicate he's wieghing yet another run in '08. What's more, he represents perfectly the current decision making processes within the Democratic party.

Plus, he wrote a book called I, Che Guevera, with Che as the hero. I mean, come on.

But I agree Gary Hart alone does not make the case that the Democratic Party is lost in the wilderness. What makes the case is that so many prominent Democrats agree with him.

SirWhoopass said...

I'm not disputing that Hart's opinions are bad.

His membership in the Council on Foreign Relations is meaningless. He's not in a leadership position there. Besides, the CFR chairman, president, and one vice-chairman are all Republicans. Hardly proof of connection to the leadership of the Democratic Party.

Orrin says, "[w]hat makes the case is that so many prominent Democrats agree with him." That is the argument that should be made and supported in the first place. Smearing a straw man (and, let's face it, Hart isn't much of a hard target) adds nothing to intelligent discourse on the topic of national security.

Orrin Johnson said...

My point was that Hart is not without substantial influence bith within the party and outside of it, and that his arguments reflect very well those of people who are fighting to take control of our government. The advantage of looking at his writings is that they are unfiltered by campaign managers, and thus, a more honest representation of the policy goals (such as they are) of the Democrats.

Feel free to call me out in about a year if I'm wrong, but I'm confident that Hart will seriously investigate an '08 Presidential run, and that even if he doesn't, he will position himself as a "foreign policy guru/czar/whatever" of a front-running candidate. It's well worth tracking him now to see the direction the Democratic party is headed.

I agree he's an easy target, but I disagree that he's a strawman, as that indicates an argument NOT actually being made. Unfortunately, there's very little light between Gary Hart's and Howard Dean's worldviews these days.

SirWhoopass said...

I can't lend too much relevence to his running for office. It would speak to his ambitions almost exclusively. If he runs and loses, then we have evidence that Democrats rejected his beliefs.

Of course, Hart would likely lose due to issues other than foreign policy. Still, I think it would do more good to focus directly on someone who has a shot at winning the nomination, rather than criticism by proxy.

Orrin Johnson said...

Well that may be. But I'd like to think I'm not short of criticizing those who are actually running, either. And when I saw the grammatical error followed by the sneer on Bush's grammar, well, it was just too much to pass up.

It was interesting not just to read Hart's article, but also the six pages of responses to it that were almost universally gushing. This is what gets nominations like LaMont's. Like I said, I stand by that I think this kind of thing matters, and that it's worthy to respond to.