Bugs Bunny Democrats, MAC Daddy Republicans, and other thoughts
- Bugs Bunny Democrats are all carrot and no stick. Although, as the Clinton administration proved, Bugs Bunny Democrats can get flattened by anvils thrown by terrorists only spring back to life again, good as new.
- A lousy idea that's been floating around the internet lately is the propect of a McCain-Lieberman ticket in 2008. McCain is a long-standing favorite candidate for a party switch, probably because his big-government streak makes him the current MAC (i.e. a Minimally Acceptable Conservative, or the least Left conservative that is still considered "mainstream") Daddy of the Republican Party. Lieberman has already technically switched parties, although Lieberman still considers himself to be a loyal Democrat, so the idea that Lieberman would run with McCain for the Presidency is totally bizarre. Republicans probably aren't in a big hurry to contract a fresh case of "Tyler-Fillmore" disease anytime soon as well.
You can expect various forms of RINO-DINO (i.e. Republican/Democrat In Name Only) presidential tickets to be proposed between now and election day 2008. Conservatives have seen it all many times before: the mainstream media expects liberals who run for president/prime minister/chancellor to run unabashed liberal administrations once elected while conservatives who run for these offices and win are expected to neutralize themselves by establishing "unity" administrations.
- Another wacko idea floating around recently is a partition of Iraq into Shiite, Sunni, and Kurdish zones of some kind. First of all, Iraq isn't an American puppet state, so the United States can't just tell Iraqis to radically redesign their constitution and expect them to do it. That's assuming that they would even listen to such a request after all of the trouble and effort it took just to get the first constitution written and enacted; it seems much more logical that the elected Iraqi government would treat an American request that it commit suicide instead of fighting the insurgents with contempt.
The depressing thing here is that a key lesson of Vietnam, namely that purposefully delegitimizing a state under duress can lead to its collapse, has been totally ignored by those floating this partirion plan. What is even more depressing is that the lesson of 1938 Munich, namely that a "Balkans" consisting of one powerful authoritarian state surrounded by a number of weak states is inherently unstable, is also being completely ignored. As Victor Davis Hanson wrote last week, "In short, if we wish to learn what was going on in Europe in 1938, just look around."
- A pair of beliefs commonly held by some liberals is that "the current Iraqi government is a puppet state" and that "Iraq is in a state of civil war, therefore, the United States should evacuate its troops". It seems to me that these two beliefs are contradictory. Suppose, for the sake of argument, that the Iraqi government is a puppet government of the United States. That means that the true government of Iraq is the United States government and that the people of Iraq are, at the very least, American subjects if not American citizens. It does not follow then that the United States should evacuate its military from Iraq because all military forces in Iraq are de facto United States military forces. In other words, one must consider an Iraqi civil war to be properly an American civil war unless one is willing to conceed that the Iraqi government has a sovereign right to a territorial monopoly of military force.
That is a very depressing conclusion given that Democratic politicians generally addressed the American civil war with the same rhetoric that they use to discuss Iraq (i.e. the Republican President is a moron; the Republican President has totally bungled the war effort; Republicans are taking away civil liberties to form a monarchy; we should be negotiating instead of fighting; etc.)