Will the 2006 election be about Iraq or the Democrats?

We hear on all sides that the Democrats want to "nationalize" the 2006 Congressional elections. Former NYC Mayor Ed Koch worries that the conflict in Iraq is going badly, and that the election will turn against President Bush because the American people believe that.

I think Da Mayor is wrong on this one. I believe the 2006 election will be about the Democrats' shafting of the United States in a time of war — an unprecedented abandonment of our national interest by a major party in the aftermath of 9/11 — the biggest unprovoked attack on civilians in American history.

Look at the Democrats' record:

1. John Kerry rose to media fame in the Vietnam War by smearing his Swiftboat buddies as reckless murderers. His entire chain of command rose up against him in the 2004 election, to tell it like it was. No sensible person can still believe that Kerry is a patriot — of any kind. The Democrats are the Kerry Party.

2. Al Gore is still red with rage — along with high blood pressure and a lot of added pounds — from the toss of the dice in the Florida election, six years ago. He was last heard of smearing his country's honorable treatment of Muslims for the sheikhs in Dubai, while collecting a fat speaker's fee. The Democrats are the Al Gore Party.

3. Senator Russ Feingold wants to run for President in 2008. He just made big headlines by introducing a censure motion against the President's "wiretaping of Americans" — an idea so shot through with lies that even the Democrats ran away from it. Yes, you guessed it: The Democrats are the Feingold Party.

4. Hillary Clinton has been steering to starboard, to the point of outraging the Democrat Leftwingers like Maureen Dowd. She may well get the Democrat presidential nomination. But what is her greatest claim to fame? That she was the biggest wronged woman of the most successful Democrat administration in recent history. Bill Clinton did to Hillary exactly what all the Democrats are constantly doing to the United States. In more ways than one, the Democrats are the Betrayed Spouse Party.

As much as I admire and like Ed Koch, he may be thinking that the American people are fooled. Uh—uh.

Traditional Democrats like Mayor Koch — and Hubert Humphrey, Scoop Jackson, Patrick Moynihan — were patriots without mental reservations. They didn't have to redefine the word "patriotism" to suit today's fashions. They were instinctive Americans, and even if they disagreed with the Bush policy in Iraq they would still understand his reasoning.

The Iraq War is being fought for exactly the same reason that Americans fought and died in North Africa, in France, Italy and Germany, Korea, the Atlantic and the Pacific. Patrick Moynihan was a founder of Americans for Democratic Action, one of the strongest voices of liberalism over many years. Moynihan might disagree about overthrowing Saddam tactically, but not strategically. He'd know exactly what this war is about. And he would never stoop to join the smear campaign against the President.

Traditional Democrats might passionately disagree about a foreign policy, as rational people can, but they would never, ever stoop to exploit those disagreements abroad. For those good and honorable men, politics really did stop at the water's edge. Old style liberals would be ashamed — as Ed Koch is — of the contemptible behavior of cheap demagogues like Kerry, Gore, and Rodham Clinton. They would be scandalized, for the obvious reason that publicizing enemy propaganda in a time of war does nothing but prolong the war, and encourage those who go forth to kill innocent women and children with malice aforethought.

All that would go without saying in the old, honorable generation of Democrats. Well, the Democratic Party has new leaders, and new pressure groups. They are internationalists — what used to be called pro—Communist. They live in a world in which the nation—state is on its last legs, and the truly admirable thing to do is to stab America in the back at every opportunity, to hasten the coming reign of the international elites.

The only trouble with this fantasy is that the nation—state is the fragile boat in which we ride out the freak storms of world politics, the depredations of tyrants like Stalin, Hitler, Saddam, Ahmadinejad. If too many starry—eyed idealists start drilling holes in the bottom of our boat, in the delusional belief that they are just promoting peace on earth, we will just sink. If America goes down the world will not be better, but much, much worse. There is no civilized world power prepared to take our place, unless you'd like to place your bets on France, Russia, or China, or a new Caliphate. America is still everybody's last, best hope.

The real danger today is the little idealists who are constantly trying to drill holes in the bottom of our frail craft. If America's shared sense of patriotism was as strong today as it was in the time of Humphrey and Moynihan, we would have no doubt about the outcome in the war on terror because our will would be indomitable.

But things are better than they seem.  Everyday Americans have not been radicalized by the Left. Americans have a strong core of common sense. If you doubt it, look at the attendance numbers for Hate—America—First movies, compared to traditional fare.

So to Mayor Koch: be of good cheer. The country understands what's going on. And if the GOP wants a national strategy for the elections of 2006, it should be to make the Democrats the issue. They deserve to get it, in spades.

James Lewis is a frequent contributor.

We hear on all sides that the Democrats want to "nationalize" the 2006 Congressional elections. Former NYC Mayor Ed Koch worries that the conflict in Iraq is going badly, and that the election will turn against President Bush because the American people believe that.

I think Da Mayor is wrong on this one. I believe the 2006 election will be about the Democrats' shafting of the United States in a time of war — an unprecedented abandonment of our national interest by a major party in the aftermath of 9/11 — the biggest unprovoked attack on civilians in American history.

Look at the Democrats' record:

1. John Kerry rose to media fame in the Vietnam War by smearing his Swiftboat buddies as reckless murderers. His entire chain of command rose up against him in the 2004 election, to tell it like it was. No sensible person can still believe that Kerry is a patriot — of any kind. The Democrats are the Kerry Party.

2. Al Gore is still red with rage — along with high blood pressure and a lot of added pounds — from the toss of the dice in the Florida election, six years ago. He was last heard of smearing his country's honorable treatment of Muslims for the sheikhs in Dubai, while collecting a fat speaker's fee. The Democrats are the Al Gore Party.

3. Senator Russ Feingold wants to run for President in 2008. He just made big headlines by introducing a censure motion against the President's "wiretaping of Americans" — an idea so shot through with lies that even the Democrats ran away from it. Yes, you guessed it: The Democrats are the Feingold Party.

4. Hillary Clinton has been steering to starboard, to the point of outraging the Democrat Leftwingers like Maureen Dowd. She may well get the Democrat presidential nomination. But what is her greatest claim to fame? That she was the biggest wronged woman of the most successful Democrat administration in recent history. Bill Clinton did to Hillary exactly what all the Democrats are constantly doing to the United States. In more ways than one, the Democrats are the Betrayed Spouse Party.

As much as I admire and like Ed Koch, he may be thinking that the American people are fooled. Uh—uh.

Traditional Democrats like Mayor Koch — and Hubert Humphrey, Scoop Jackson, Patrick Moynihan — were patriots without mental reservations. They didn't have to redefine the word "patriotism" to suit today's fashions. They were instinctive Americans, and even if they disagreed with the Bush policy in Iraq they would still understand his reasoning.

The Iraq War is being fought for exactly the same reason that Americans fought and died in North Africa, in France, Italy and Germany, Korea, the Atlantic and the Pacific. Patrick Moynihan was a founder of Americans for Democratic Action, one of the strongest voices of liberalism over many years. Moynihan might disagree about overthrowing Saddam tactically, but not strategically. He'd know exactly what this war is about. And he would never stoop to join the smear campaign against the President.

Traditional Democrats might passionately disagree about a foreign policy, as rational people can, but they would never, ever stoop to exploit those disagreements abroad. For those good and honorable men, politics really did stop at the water's edge. Old style liberals would be ashamed — as Ed Koch is — of the contemptible behavior of cheap demagogues like Kerry, Gore, and Rodham Clinton. They would be scandalized, for the obvious reason that publicizing enemy propaganda in a time of war does nothing but prolong the war, and encourage those who go forth to kill innocent women and children with malice aforethought.

All that would go without saying in the old, honorable generation of Democrats. Well, the Democratic Party has new leaders, and new pressure groups. They are internationalists — what used to be called pro—Communist. They live in a world in which the nation—state is on its last legs, and the truly admirable thing to do is to stab America in the back at every opportunity, to hasten the coming reign of the international elites.

The only trouble with this fantasy is that the nation—state is the fragile boat in which we ride out the freak storms of world politics, the depredations of tyrants like Stalin, Hitler, Saddam, Ahmadinejad. If too many starry—eyed idealists start drilling holes in the bottom of our boat, in the delusional belief that they are just promoting peace on earth, we will just sink. If America goes down the world will not be better, but much, much worse. There is no civilized world power prepared to take our place, unless you'd like to place your bets on France, Russia, or China, or a new Caliphate. America is still everybody's last, best hope.

The real danger today is the little idealists who are constantly trying to drill holes in the bottom of our frail craft. If America's shared sense of patriotism was as strong today as it was in the time of Humphrey and Moynihan, we would have no doubt about the outcome in the war on terror because our will would be indomitable.

But things are better than they seem.  Everyday Americans have not been radicalized by the Left. Americans have a strong core of common sense. If you doubt it, look at the attendance numbers for Hate—America—First movies, compared to traditional fare.

So to Mayor Koch: be of good cheer. The country understands what's going on. And if the GOP wants a national strategy for the elections of 2006, it should be to make the Democrats the issue. They deserve to get it, in spades.

James Lewis is a frequent contributor.