January 18, 2006
Plenty o Nuttin: The Democrats' National Security WastelandBy Geoffrey P. Hunt
George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess is a fitting allegory for the Democrats' approach to domestic policy— permissive sex, drugs, gambling, sleaze and co—dependency — all on somebody's else's tab. Less obvious, Porgy's refrain from Act II, 'I Got Plenty o' Nuttin' and Nuttin's Plenty fo' me...' has also been the Democrats' contribution to national security for nearly 60 years.
When was the Democrats' last string of national security successes? The Battle of Midway in 1942? The Normandy landing in 1944? The Battle of the Bulge in '44/'45? Iwo Jima in 1945?
The correct answer is Harry Truman's decision to end WWII with the big surprise over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, followed by the Truman Doctrine and then the Marshall Plan in 1947. Of course this was preceded by FDR's narcolepsy—induced capitulation at Yalta in February 1945, a move that set the stage for the Democrats' impotence in foreign affairs over the ensuing six decades.
Truman's achievements are even more remarkable in that despite his re—election in 1948, by 1952 the Democratic Party abandoned any pretense in engaging a serious national security strategy. And nothing much has changed for the Democrats since then, except the names and faces.
Harry Truman and his Cold War containment pragmatists, including Secretary of State Dean Acheson, wrested foreign policy from Henry Wallace, a Soviet sympathizer, FDR's third term Vice President, then Commerce Secretary, Wallace, the undisputed pathogenesis for the modern Democratic Party, opposed both the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan. Wallace's logic would be borrowed decades later by John Kerry, Howard Dean and the rest of the blame—America—first rabble—expensive unprovoked unilateral initiatives/disrespectful of the international community/spreading fear and loathing of America.
When Henry Wallace was tossed over the side, oddly enough by his own acolytes following his out—of—step endorsement of Truman's adventure into Korea, he was relieved by Adlai Stevenson and the new Democrats. A popular and competent Governor of Illinois, Stevenson emerged onto the national political stage with an inauspicious entrance: as a character witness in the defense of Alger Hiss. Ike's running mate and bagman, then—Senator Richard Nixon, a man not usually associated with a sense of humor, stuffed Stevenson neatly into a box,
JFK's attempts to restore Truman's athletic national security strategy were foiled by his tentative Bay of Pigs fiasco. The Diem coup didn't turn out so hot either. Credited with saving the globe from nuclear annihilation in the October 1962 Cuban missile crisis, JFK is less well known,15 months earlier, for shrugging his shoulders, fresh from his private sailing yacht off Hyannis, upon learning that the Soviets had erected the Berlin wall.
Senator Frank Church, the Idaho Democrat whose notorious Church Committee used the post— Vietnam revulsion and Watergate paranoia to emasculate America's foreign intelligence gathering capability and the CIA itself, ushered in Wallace—ite Jimmy Carter. We are still atoning for the foreign policy sins of appeasement and wishful thinking committed by Carter's National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski and the worst CIA Director ever, Stansfield Turner, whose pathetic tenure has just been rivaled by George Tenet's. Turner, taking a cue from Sen Church, finished dismantling the CIA by wiping out nearly a thousand covert field agents. Norman Podhoretz reminds us in his January 2006 Commentary article 'The Panic Over Iraq,' that it was Carter's Secretary of State Cyrus Vance who advanced the moral equivalence of the Soviets, saying that they 'have similar dreams and aspirations.'
With this legacy over the last half a century, why should anyone expect anything better from, MurthaPelosi, KennedyKerry and Howard Dean today?
Surely the Democrats have pitched a permanent campsite in the political wilderness bemoaned by Democrat—in—name—only Sen Joe Lieberman in August of 2003. When Peter Bienart. editor of The New Republic, faithful defender of unrepentent liberalism, and his antagonist David Horowitz, erstwhile lefty radical turned mainstream conservative, both make the same connection from today's Democrats to Henry Wallace, can the Dem's apocalypse be far behind? Bienart finds Wallace's Progressive Party convention in 1947 the inspiration for Michael Moore and MoveOn.org. Horowitz points out that Senator Gene McCarthy, the darling of the Vietnam era anti—war adolescent troublemakers who died a few weeks ago, actually worked on the Wallace third party presidential campaign staff against Truman and Republican Thomas Dewey.
This is no mistaken fork—in—the—road or misread compass heading. This is a legacy, now hard—wired into the Democrats' DNA, rooted as deeply but far more pervasive than the post—Vietnam syndrome displayed by a few Medicare—eligible 1960's potheads and flower children. This legacy sees its world—picture entirely through the prism of the Constitution through the 'establish Justice' portion of the preamble, while conveniently ignoring preconditions such as 'provide for the common defense' and 'secure the Blessings of Liberty.'
This legacy venerates the likes of Ramsey Clark, Joe Wilson and anonymous CIA and State Department leakers as heroes. Traitors and terrorists are canonized, while George W Bush is called a dictator, racist and theocratic fascist who is shredding the Bill of Rights.
This one—track infatuation with 'establish Justice' accompanies an unshakeable love affair with Karl Marx. I know this sounds like the usual knee jerk epithet—when all arguments fail, label the Dems Marxist commies. But how else do you explain their deliberate and calculated moves to distance themselves from a coherent national security agenda? Who are their enemies. anyhow? Certainly not purveyors of tyranny, dictators or terrorists. Their enemy is the mother of all evils—owners of private capital and the means of production. You see, the form of globalism to be feared and repudiated is the free flow of goods and capital through private enterprise. The kind of globalism to be endorsed and embraced is the noble struggle of oppressed workers everywhere against the ruthless forces of capitalism and brutal protectors of democracy, private property and open markets.
The real war against tyranny and Islamic jihad is just a phony war, barely a sidebar, according to the Democrats. This phony war diverts attention from what really matters— ascendancy of the multicultural, secular, socialist state governed by a self—annointed elite. Otherwise, why the enduring fascination with Fidel Castro, sympathies for Hugo Chavez, chanting of the tiresome slogan 'no blood for oil,' preoccupations with Halliburton, offerings of ambrosia to suicide bombers and Al Gore's bizarre assertion that global warming is more of a threat to our civilization than global jihad?
Conservatives will be reviled owing to their platform of limited government, low taxes, disdain for the welfare state, advocacy for free market capitalism, rejection of moral relativism and support for free trade of goods, services and capital across all borders. In the meantime, in the eyes of most Americans, the Democrats' credibility will continue to vanish as they filibuster and undermine any substantive steps to build and sustain a strong national defense that would demolish the agents of instability, chaos and nihilism.
Most Americans, some of whom are Broadway musical buffs, may sing along and snap their fingers to 'I Got Plenty O' Nuttin''. But they know an entertaining show tune won't pass for a meaningful national security policy needed to protect and defend the Constitution. For 60 years and counting, the Democrats still haven't figured that out.