Most Democrats see every event through the filter of their hatred for President Bush. No matter what happens, anywhere in the world, their spin on events is that they discredit the President. Democrats and their media allies are like an armada of Ahabs, cruising the seas in their obsessive pursuit of the white whale who defeats them time after time, never giving up the chase. Here are a few samples from this morning’s headlines.
In the Washington Post, Glenn Kessler sees Hamas’s win in Palestine not as an indictment of Palestinian political culture, but as a refutation of the Bush administration’s Mideast policies. His article is titled: “U.S. Policy Seen as Big Loser in Palestinian Vote”:
The election outcome signals a dramatic failure in the administration’s strategy for Middle East peace, according to analysts and some U.S. officials. [Ed.: Both the “analysts” and the “officials” are anonymous Democrats.] Since the United States cannot deal with an organization labeled a terrorist organization by the State Department, Hamas’s victory is likely to curtail U.S. aid, limit official U.S. contacts with the Palestinian government and stall efforts to create an independent Palestinian state.
More broadly, Hamas’s victory is seen as a setback in the administration’s campaign for greater democracy in the Middle East.
But democracy for the Palestinians is a policy of the U.S. government that long predates the Bush administration. Yasser Arafat was elected to head the Palestinian Authority in 1996 precisely because he was the world’s most famous terrorist. That Palestinians would vote for the most appalling candidates available is hardly a shock, and Kessler’s suggestion that the Bush administration could somehow have induced them to vote differently is unpersuasive, to say the least.
This is the part, though, that is really reprehensible; Kessler tries to argue that the administration’s support for democracy has generally been a failure throughout the region:
Elections in Iran, Iraq, Egypt and now the Palestinian territories have resulted in the defeat of secular and moderate parties and the rise of Islamic parties hostile to U.S. interests.
What a breathtaking bit of deception! The election in Iran was a sham, conducted by the mullahs and largely boycotted by reformist forces. The election didn’t cause the “rise of Islamic parties;” the mullahs have controlled Iran since 1979. Blaming Bush for the election returns there is like blaming him for the Iraqi referenda in which Saddam Hussein used to receive 99% of the vote.
Egypt’s election was barely more open, and the Egyptian government is not above arresting its opponents. But how did the election results represent a “defeat of secular and moderate parties”? President Mubarak, as secular as they get in Egypt, was overwelmingly re-elected, but the multi-party election–the first under his rule–was widely seen as a step on the road to democracy.
And then there’s Iraq. Astonishingly, the Post is now trying to cast last year’s Iraqi elections as a defeat for the Bush administration! The Iraqi government is still being formed, but Kessler’s suggestion that the election will yield a regime “hostile to U.S. interests” is unfounded, if not downright absurd.
Here’s the real tally, insofar as it relates to the Bush administration: In Afghanistan and Iraq, fledgling but fully functioning democracies are taking root. Lebanon, Egypt, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have all made progress, in varying degrees, toward popular rule. After centuries of autocratic misrule in the region, that’s an astonishing record in a period of only three years.
Next, there’s Eleanor Clift of Newsweek. In the context of next week’s State of the Union address, she resurrects the old chestnut that Bush is a divider, not a uniter. That’s another way of saying it’s his fault that the liberal Ahabs harbor an obsessive hatred for him. Clift’s prime evidence is the nomination of Judge Sam Alito:
After half the Senate Democrats voted to confirm Roberts, Bush figured he could lose a couple dozen votes and still get a conservative justice confirmed. Alito will be lucky to get three of the 45 Senate Democrats voting for him. To Bush