as President Bush stands behind a different lectern every other
day to talk up the war effort, his poll numbers seem to have slowly
nudged upward. Skeptics say this is because the public has noticed
the improving economy and lower gas prices, and they may be right.
But the Republican
National Committee has launched an ad on its Web site (www.gop.com)
that leaves no doubt where the war debate is headed. It is time
to pass judgment on the pronouncements of the harshest war critics.
The ad begins
with black block letters on a white screen. "Democrats have
a plan for Iraq," it reads. "Retreat and Defeat."
A white flag
waves across the screen to reveal a still photo of Democratic
National Committee Chairman Howard Dean. We hear his words from
last week's disastrous interview on a San Antonio radio station:
"The idea that we're gonna win this war is, unfortunately,
an idea that is just plain wrong."
A white flag
waves across his face. Next we see U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer in
a cable news interview: "So there's no specific time frame,
but I would say the withdrawal ought to start now, right after
the elections, Dec. 15."
flag waves, another sound bite plays, this time from the Democrats'
2004 presidential candidate, John Kerry, speaking with Bob Schieffer
on CBS: "There is no reason, Bob, that young American soldiers
need to be going into the homes of Iraqis in the dead of night,
terrorizing kids, children, you know, women."
flag courses across his image, leaving a white screen. A message
appears: "Our country is at war. Our soldiers are watching."
The shot pans out to show a soldier who has been watching all
of this on a large TV screen. "And our enemies are too."
fade to the final message. "Retreat and defeat is not an
weekend, some supposed war-backers couldn't wait to distance from
it. On NBC's Meet the Press, possible presidential hopeful Sen.
Lindsey Graham of South Carolina called on the RNC to pull the
ad, calling for a campaign that would "unite the country,"
not "a campaign about who's a patriot."
On the same
show, conservative David Brooks, who manages to keep a job at
The New York Times, gave the ad the back of his hand
as well. "Political consultants are so stupid," he complained.
But are they
in this case? Why is it a bad thing to identify the following:
national party chairman who says we are going to lose the war;
U.S. senator who calls for immediate withdrawal before the mission
presidential candidate who continues his penchant for slandering
troops by maligning their search for insurgents as terrorizing
women and children?
a deal. As long as bitter vets like Rep. John Murtha can continue
to make our troops the villains, and as long as frauds like Cindy
Sheehan can become the toast of two continents, I don't want to
hear a lot of whining – especially from Republicans –
if the RNC does what all who support the troops should do: Identify
rhetoric that is deleterious to the war effort.