The Daily Kos, who would be God’s gift to the Republican party if he were half as influential as he thinks he is, claims that those who favor strong measures to protect the homeland are cowards who put their own safety ahead of our liberty. Where among conservatives, Kos wonders, are the Patrick Henrys who place liberty above death?
Kos’s rant is absurd on its face. If those who want vigorously to protect the homeland were motivated by fear for their personal safety, it would only be because the terrorists have the capacity to kill on a vast scale. The chances of a given American dying in another 9/11 are essentially nil. But if the terrorists have the capacity to kill on a vast scale, then the only rationale response is to take strong measures to prevent future attacks. Thus, Kos’s ad hominem argument would be irrelevant.
Kos mindlessly invokes the American Revolution but forgets that one of its slogans was “Don’t Tread on Me.” This quintessentially American sentiment explains why Americans are unwilling to tolerate future attacks on the scale of 9/11, much less the far more deadly attacks that al Qaeda has in mind. The sentiment is not a conservative one either; it is still shared by the vast majority of Americans, though not by the left. That’s why the Patriot Act passed so easily and why Democrats have taken too straight beatings since 9/11.
The desire for liberty is also quintessentially American. But most Americans understand the absurdity Kos’s cheap claim that President Bush has reached “the point where he now resembles the very despot we fought in our war of independence.” How? By listening to the conversations of al-Qaeda operatives? By extending to terrorists the investigative techniques used to fight organized crime? Or are there American soldiers being quartered in Kos’s house in Berkeley?
When he’s not emulating Patrick Henry, Kos fancies himself some sort of new-age Democratic operative. But Dick Morris, a real operative, argues persuasively that if the Democrats are seen as not serious about protecting the homeland, they will remain in the wilderness. Thus, Kos performs a great service by revealing the nonchalance of liberal Democrats when it comes to this core issue. His service would be greater still if he were actually influential. In reality, I suspect his real contribution in 2008 will be to provide Hillary Clinton with a series of Sister Souljah moments.
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“Arise and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.” Winston Churchill
“Proclaim Liberty throughout All the land unto All the Inhabitants Thereof.” Inscription on the Liberty Bell