Iraq’s George Washington

Citizen Z thinks he’s identified the “George Washington” of Iraq’s brand-new democracy:

How lucky are we, and the Iraqi people, that the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani is who he is? Consider:

  1. He’s the number one religious leader in Iraq.
  2. His followers comprise the 60% Shi’a majority there.
  3. He doesn’t want to run the country himself.
  4. He believes in keeping the government separate from the religious order.
  5. He doesn’t want to fight a war with the Sunnis.
  6. He believes Iraq’s leaders should be elected and he lent his own credibility to the cause of getting out the vote.

Take away any of these characteristics and we could be facing a very different situation in Iraq. So I ask again: How lucky is that? It’s on the order of blessed, in my opinion.

Meanwhile, Israpundit has an opinion on “insurgents” and leftists, and links to an NYT article touching on Sistani’s surprising forebearance to date.
I’ll grant that Sistani’s so far been remarkably democratic, but that’s about all I’ll grant. Personally, I’ll defer giving Washingtonian praise to anybody in Iraq until they’ve got a stable constitutional republic over there. I think they’ve got a very good shot at it, mind you, and I still support our mission there. I’m just not ready to count chickens yet.

ABC hunts for war dead on Inauguration Day

Courtesy of Captain’s Quarters, a bold attempt by ABC News to throw mud on President Bush’s Inauguration … discovered on their website by bloggers:

For a possible Inauguration Day story on ABC News, we are trying to find out if there any military funerals for Iraq war casualties scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 20.
If you know of a funeral and whether the family might be willing to talk to ABC News, please fill out the form below[.]

Disgusting. Any spin trying to downplay this is demolished by the fact that ABC deleted the web page once they’d been exposed. Captain’s Quarters cached a copy before ABC could destroy the evidence.

Coulter vs. Rove

Ann Coulter thinks Karl Rove’s no campaign genius:

If Rove is “the architect” — as Bush called him in his acceptance speech — then he is the architect of high TV ratings, not a Republican victory. By keeping the race so tight, Rove ensured that a race that should have been a runaway Bush victory would not be over until the wee hours of the morning.
As we now know, the most important issue to voters was not terrorism, but moral values. Marriage amendments won by lopsided majorities in all 11 states where they were on the ballot. Even in Oregon, the state targeted by gay marriage advocates as their best shot of defeating a marriage amendment, the amendment passed by 57 percent — a figure noticeable for being larger than the percentage of votes cast for Bush in Oregon. In the great state of Mississippi, the marriage amendment passed with 88 percent of the vote.
Seventy percent to 80 percent of Americans oppose gay marriage and partial-birth abortion. Far from appealing exclusively to a narrow Republican base, opposition to gay marriage is strongest among the Democratic base: blacks, Hispanics, blue-collar workers and the elderly. There were marriage amendments on the ballot in Michigan and Ohio. Bush won Ohio narrowly and lost Michigan by only 2 points. How different might that have been if Bush hadn’t run from the issue.
But Rove concluded Bush should stay mum on gay marriage and partial-birth abortion — contravening the politicians’ rule of thumb: Talk about your positions that are wildly popular with voters. “Boy Genius” Rove decided Bush shouldn’t even run radio ads on gay marriage, and at the last minute, Bush started claiming he was in favor of civil unions, just like John Kerry.

Ouch.

My wish list for the next four years

Now that we’ve won the election, it’s time to capitalize. I offer three lists as starting points for thinking about what to do next.
Here’s my off-the-cuff list of top political priorities that President Bush and the Republican Congress ought to pursue between now and 2008.

  1. Redouble the war effort. It’s no quagmire. We have the initiative now, so let’s exploit it.
    • Reaffirm the Bush Doctrine. Then beef it up by repealing Section 2.11 of Executive Order 12333, which forbids assassination as a foreign policy tool.
    • Stick Osama’s head on a pike. No arrest. No trial. Sure, as a martyr he’ll be an inspiration to terrorists, but he already is. His continued respiration makes us look weak. Kill him, kill his followers, and humiliate his fans.
    • Crush the insurgency in Iraq. That means flattening Fallujah for starters.
    • Seal our borders.
    • Use profiling to catch the enemy here. That means looking more closely at:
      • People from countries that support terrorism
      • Muslims
      • Men of Middle Eastern appearance between the ages of 16 and 40.
    • Topple the governments in Iran, Syria, and North Korea. Use diplomacy, sanctions, and internal instability if possible. Otherwise use force.
    • Field new weapons systems tailored for this war.
    • Kill obsolete weapons systems. Pork be damned.
  2. Stop worrying about offending American leftists and don’t let them drive your policies. Unabashed conservatism wins and “the new tone” loses. We won, so start governing like it.
  3. Stop worrying about the media’s opinion of you. They’ll never like you, so get over it. It’s our votes you need, not theirs. Besides, the blogosphere’s here to stay, and the media dinosaurs will either evolve or die … and either way, you win.
  4. Appoint and confirm conservative judges.
  5. Cut taxes, regulation and especially spending.
  6. Pass the Federal Marriage Amendment.
  7. Boost military pay (especially combat pay).
  8. Replace the tax code with a national sales tax (or at worst, a flat tax).
  9. Expand the majority in the Senate and House in 2006.
  10. Europe is about to come crawling for our forgiveness, because they’re realists and they know we’re in the driver’s seat for good. Be polite, give them some of the financial action, but never defer to their judgment on anything.
  11. Move the federal budgeting process to a two-year cycle.
  12. If the Partial Birth Abortion Ban dies in the Supreme Court, pass it again and keep fighting.
  13. Consider a newer, better GI Bill; ask the troops what they want.
  14. Leave the United Nations. It’s rotten to the core, and has long outlived its usefulness. This will help with #10, above.

As for the military, there’s still a lot of work to be done.

  1. Add at least two divisions to the Army.
  2. Ease up on deployments for the Reserves & National Guard.
  3. In recruiting, continue the shift from “here’s what you’ll get” to “here’s how you can serve“, because we want warriors and not half-hearted mercenaries.
  4. Get sophisticated in your recruiting. If your efforts look half-assed, then you’ll get the recruits you paid for.
  5. Keep women from combat.
  6. Cultivate frontline warriors among noncoms and junior officers. Get the combat lessons they’ve learned into institutional memory now, before they leave the service.

Last, a list for the conservative blogosphere.

  1. Destroy the credibility of the mainstream media.
  2. Repeat #1.

I’ll add to the lists and expand them as things come to mind.

Off to battle

This post from Saturday will stay at the top of the blog through Election Day.
I’ll be heavily involved in the Bush/Cheney 72-hour effort, so I won’t be blogging much. I made phone calls to undecided voters and possible Bush supporters for a couple of hours on Friday. I’ll do it again on Monday, and I’ll attend training on Sunday so I can serve as a poll watcher on Tuesday. If you’re concerned about how close this election’s shaping up to be, turn off your computer and go do something about it.
Go to GeorgeWBush.com and sign up to volunteer in your state (look for the pull-down menu box on the left-hand side labeled “Grassroots” and select your state). The campaign can use all the help you can offer, even if it’s just an hour on the phones at your local Bush/Cheney headquarters.
While I’m gone, browse the blogrolls on the right side of the home page, and make time to read these:

Remember, due to the strain on the election system, all Republicans are asked to vote on November 2nd and all Democrats can go to the polls on November 3rd. Thank you for your cooperation.

Why libertarians must vote for Bush

In a sequel to my admonition to Democrats, today I take on libertarians. Here’s the text of an e-mail that my very libertarian Dad sent me last week.

From: Dad
Sent: Monday, October 18, 2004 5:45 PM
To: Puddle Pirate
Subject: FW: Patrick Buchanan Endorses Bush
This is truly depressing reading, almost as depressing as watching the debates. I have sent over $2,000 to various libertarian type republican candidates but can’t bring myself to send George $1.
The scary part is that I disliked dad enough that I decided “How bad can a Clinton presidency be?” and voted my libertarian convictions. I now teeter on the same decision point.
So what is the correct ethical choice — the candidate without a moral compass or the one without a brain?
Dad

I’m optimistic about Bush’s prospects

The guys at Power Line read the tea leaves and conclude that Bush is winning (and they don’t buy the lastest Gallup poll results, either). RealClearPolitics has been constantly tracking all the major polls and averaging them, which when displayed on a handy chart reinforces the Bush-is-winning point. Outside The Beltway looks at all the polls individually, which is nice if you’re into detail. Stephen Den Beste digs into the RCP chart and thinks that the mainstream media have been monkeying with their polling samples and their stories (albeit not actively colluding) to manufacture “bounces” for Kerry; I’m not convinced, but you be the judge.
For an overview of where we stand, try Hugh Hewitt.