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Dishing, But Not Taking
A Party That Can’t Handle (Truthful) Criticism Can’t Fight Al Qaeda
[Carol Platt Liebau] 11/22/05

This is the pattern and the record of the Bush administration [on Iraq, jobs, Medicare, schools, issue after issue -- mislead, deceive, make up the needed facts, smear the character of any critics.
Teddy Kennedy

The truth is that the president misled America when he sent us to war.
Howard Dean

Dick Cheney is lying. George W. Bush is lying. And they've been lying from the outset.
Michael Moore

George Bush and his lying band of imperialist greed-mongers exploited 9/11 and our national terror of other terrorist attacks to invade a country that had nothing to do with the attacks on our country.
Cindy Sheehan

The quotes above encapsulate the quality of the discourse emanating from the left in recent days. Disregarding the fact that elected officials had much the same intelligence that the President did (and the intelligence they didn’t have only strengthened the case for war), Democrats have decided simply to assert that the President “lied” to secure the (overwhelming and bipartisan) congressional support to go to war. Their only goal: Returning to power, whatever the cost to the war on terror.

Carol Platt Liebau - Senior

Carol Platt Liebau is editorial director and a senior member of tOR and CRO editorial boards. She is an attorney, political analyst and commentator based in San Marino, CA, and has appeared on the Fox News Channel, MSNBC, CNN, Orange County News Channel, Cox Cable and a variety of radio programs throughout the United States. A graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, Carol Platt Liebau also served as the first female managing editor of the Harvard Law Review. Her web log can be found at [go to Liebau index]

Politics isn’t beanbag, as the statements above attest. The Democrats have deliberately and repeatedly impugned not only to the President’s conduct of the war but also his motives and integrity –while declining to rebuke even the wildest statements coming from their supporters. Given those facts, it’s amazing that Democrats would be so inordinately sensitive to much less incendiary statements that criticize the policy of retreat that many of them have been espousing.

Just last week, Democrat Congressman John Murtha argued that Americans should begin withdrawing from Iraq as soon as it’s “practicable.” In response, the Republicans offered a resolution that forced Democrats to vote on whether troops should start coming home immediately. Even being asked to cast a recorded vote in favor of the policy that many had been supporting for weeks was too much for the Democrats: “This is a personal attack on one of the best members, one of the most respected members of this House and it is outrageous," fumed Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass.

But things really got hot during the debate on the resolution. In her floor statement, Republican congressman Jean Schmidt recounted a telephone conversation she received from a Marine colonel: "He asked me to send Congress a message - stay the course. He also asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message - that cowards cut and run, Marines never do."

With that, according to the AP account:

The “Democrats booed and shouted her down - causing the House to come to a standstill. Rep. Harold Ford, D-Tenn., charged across the chamber's center aisle screaming that it was an uncalled for personal attack. "You guys are pathetic. Pathetic," yelled Rep. Marty Meehan, D-Mass.

Who are these people, anyway? For months, even years, they charge George W. Bush and Republicans generally with the gravest accusation that can be leveled against elected officials: That they were maliciously and deliberately indifferent to the lives of American soldiers. And now, when Republicans finally repudiate their charges and note (correctly, mind you) that a significant segment of the Democratic Party does, indeed, want to cut and run from Iraq – well, its members simply go to pieces.

Certainly, the Republicans aren’t perfect. But if the Democrats are counting on political victory next year based on their current conduct, perhaps they’d better revise their expectations.

Through their own statements on the Iraq war, they have shown themselves to be either terminally dishonest about their own reasons for having supported the war – or else unbelievably gullible. And in the course of conducting the debate their accusations have prompted, they have become perfect caricatures of the schoolyard bully: People who are adept at handing out abuse, but completely incapable of coping with the blowback that their own behavior elicits.

If the Democrats can’t handle being criticized by the Republicans, how could we ever trust them to stand up to Al Qaeda – or anyone else, for that matter? -one-


Columnist Carol Platt Liebau is a political analyst, commentator and tOR / CRO editorial director based in San Marino, CA. Ms. Liebau also served as the first female managing editor of the Harvard Law Review. Her web log can be found at

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