Writing in National Review Online, the invaluable Michael Ledeen asks whether we are living in “the Thirties all over again.” The theme of the piece is that our apparent complacency in in the face of Syrian and Iranian aggression reminds him of the complacency of Western democracies in the 1930s. The entire piece is worth reading, but this portion is particularly relevant to EFM:
Meanwhile, a collection of frauds, writing in places like Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, and Mother Jones, continuously recycles a story saying that a neocon (code for “Jewish”) conspiracy duped Bush into going to war in Iraq, and is now arranging the invasion of Iran. Documented lies, like those peddled by Joe Wilson to New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, are treated as reliable. Fantasies about American armed forces operating covertly in Iran, like those written by Seymour Hirsh, get taken seriously. And people like me are accused of masterminding the whole thing, even though I oppose a military campaign against Iran.
No one can doubt that this is a willful disinformation campaign, aimed at paralyzing and then destroying the president. I do not think people in the White House have ever fully appreciated their peril. I think that lack of understanding goes hand-in-hand with the failure in strategic vision that underlies our unwillingness to fight the regional war that is being waged against us.
Why is this relevant? I think Ledeen is right that the White House was not prepared for the vitriolic liberal response to his wartime policies. Despite his membership in the Bush clan, his primary political experience was in Texas, where Democrats are just a bit different than Democrats in New York, San Francisco, and, yes, Massachusetts. I don’t think the President has yet figured out how to deal with the left.
Governor Romney understands the contemporary left. He lives in the Northeast and governs one of their cultural headquarters. His response to the same-sex “marriage” issue and the stem cell debates have opened him up to the most vicious of critiques, yet he not only handles the critiques effectively, he moves forward and governs. The stakes are too high to elect another leader who cannot adequately respond to relentless leftist attacks.
Hat tip: Powerline.