Hinderaker writes::

So I don’t think it is either surprising or, from a political standpoint, unwise for the Democrats to turn to an antiwar figure like Feingold, or whoever else may emerge between now and the summer of 2008. And, while I would far prefer a Republican administration, or, failing that, a more moderate Democratic one, I think it is easy to overstate the practical consequences for our foreign policy should an antiwar candidate be elected.

Lest there be any misunderstanding, I am not saying that there would be no important foreign policy differences between, say, a Feingold administration and a McCain, Allen or Giuliani administration. There would be. But I think the practical reality is that events in Iraq have constrained what a conservative administration can do, while the overriding need to forestall terrorist attacks constrains what a liberal administration can do. As a result, the gap in practice between the two alternatives would be, I think, much narrower than one might expect from the rhetorical gulf that separates the parties.

I only need to cite one name to show that this reasoning is bogus: Jimmy Carter. Here’s an anti-war democrat who did immense damage while in office and as much again out of it. Start with Iran and his pathetic response. Carter stood aside while the fundamentalists took control of Iran, committed acts of war against America and plunged Iran into the darkness of Islamic fascism. The biggest foreign policy problem facing America today is Iran. After he left office, Carter stuck the Clinton administration with a lousy deal with North Korea that they promptly broke. The second biggest foreign policy problem we have today is a nuclear armed North Korea. Carter’s third master stroke was to legitimize Chavez’s election, ignoring all the evidence that the election had been rigged. With Chavez’s election legitimized by a former US President, it became very difficult to take any political action to thwart the rise of a second fanatically anti-American dictator in Latin America. Chavez is america’s third biggest foreign policy problem.

How much damage could an anti-war Democratic president do? Just look at Jimmy Carter’s record.

Hindraker wrote:

In terms of the broader war against terror, I think the danger posed by a liberal Democrat like Feingold may also be overstated. Once a Democratic President actually takes power, his number one priority will be preventing terrorist attacks on American soil, for the best of all possible reasons: self-interest.

Would a moderate Democrat like Clinton be better? Did it ever dawn on Clinton that the first WTC attack came close to killing 40,000 Americans? He sure didn’t act like America needed protection from further such attacks. It was Clinton who let Reno and Gorelick erect the wall between criminal and national security investigations that blinded the US to 9/11. It was Clinton who treated Al Qaeda as a criminal enterprise, despite the near catastrophic attack on the WTC in 1993. It was Clinton who emboldened Bin Ladin by pulling US troops out of Mogadishu. It was Clinton who did nothing when our embassies were destroyed by Al Qaeda attacks in Africa. It was Clinton who worried about whether or not it was legal to capture Bin Ladin and let him escape.

How much damage could a pro-war Democrat do? Just look at Clinton’s record.

Hindraker thinks that:

But the reality is that no administration that takes office in 2009, Republican or Democrat, will have any appetite for another ground war in the Middle East. For the foreseeable future, that isn’t going to happen, no matter who inhabits the White House.

The reason why an expansion of the war in the Middle East is so problematic is because President Bush has not been able to lead the nation. He’s had a few good speeches but he hasn’t prepared the nation to fight, and fight hard. No Churchill he.

So, looking forward to a Democratic era, what could we expect? Iran will go nuclear. There is no way any Democrat is going to use military force to preempt that. The US will pull out of Iraq without leaving behind a substantial US military presence to deter Iran. Saudi Arabia and Egypt would probably ramp up their nuclear programs to defend themselves from Iran. The chances of a nuclear war in the Middle East will rise dramatically, along with the risk premium on oil. You get the idea.

We need a President who can lead the nation to a crushing victory over Islamic fascism. What we don’t need is a President who will fudge and accommodate the enemy to the point where we could lose that war.

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