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Jonah Goldberg, America's Bad Parent

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Shorter Jonah Goldberg: Anti-war Democrats are so irresponsible in their war opposition that the only solution is to let them have the White House in 2008 so they will start to feel the fear we feel on the Right and they can start to wet the bed every night just like I do.

Goldberg, whose column appears in the Hartford Courant, indulges in some logical and linguistic acrobatics in order to hedge the theory that the Right - and thus America - might actually gain something if a Democrat is elected president in 2008.

The idea goes something like this: If you believe that the war on terror is real, then you think it is inevitable that more and bloodier conflicts with radical Islam are on the way, regardless of who is in the White House. If the clash of civilizations is afoot, then the issues separating Democrats and Republicans are as pressing as whether the captain of the Titanic is going to have fish or chicken for dinner. There's a showdown coming. Period. My task isn't to convince you that this view is correct, but merely that it is honestly and firmly held by many on the right and by a comparative handful on the left.

This is actually an incredibly radical position to hold, one that I do not see any American holding. It is based in an abject fear of what lies beyond our shores and it reduces the experience, ideological standing, and basic competence of a person to lead America to their possession of an American passport. At no point in what follows does DoughBob LoadPants name anyone who "honestly and firmly" holds this view on the Right, nor who the comparative few are that hold it on the Left. But we all knew that would be the case because Goldberg is just making shit up.

Which is why if you really think that we are in an existential conflict with a deadly enemy, there's a good case for the Democrats to take the reins. Not because Democrats are better, wiser or more responsible about foreign policy, but just the opposite: because the Democrats have been such irresponsible backseat drivers that they have to be forced to take the wheel to grasp how treacherous the road ahead is.

That's right folks, the only way that we can learn them Democrats good is to put them in charge. Democrats are being silly and incompetent as war critics and the only way to end this, Goldberg claims, is to put us on a stage where what he perceives our irresponsibility to be will play out to the umpteenth level and we'll concede that he's been right all along. LoadPants is proposing the "Dad Caught You Smoking, So He's Making You Smoke Carton After Carton Until You Vomit And Never Want To Smoke Again" policy of parenting for national security. Only in his conception of this metaphor, the cigarettes turn out to be dead American soldiers and dead American civilians. Goldberg's fine with that, just as long as us Dems are scared straight.

But what happens when a President Clinton or President Obama has a 9/11 - or worse - on her or his watch? Or is faced with the prospect of an Iraq run by terrorists? I'd like to hope that president would rise to the occasion, out of conviction or political self-interest.

Goldberg's predilection for bed-wetting makes him think that another 9/11 is imminent without a Republican in the White House. But implied in his "I'd like to hope..." is that a Democratic president just might not have it in them to "rise to the occasion" out of their convictions. LoadPant's doughy premise is clear: Democrats are not patriots and can't be trusted to respond with patriotic vengeance if America is attacked on their watch.

I will not agree with any claim Goldberg makes about Democratic convictions and Democratic capacity to understand the threats this country makes. Obviously Goldberg's willingness to greet Bush's War on Terror mission-shift into Iraq with open arms belies his claims of sober understanding of the threat Islamic terrorists pose to America. LoadBob's column is one long slander against the patriotism of elected Democrats and those who want to end the war in Iraq. The only solution Goldberg presents is premised on his willingness to have thousands of American corpses pile at the feet of Democrats. He'd rather our nation be victimized by another massive terrorist attack than have there be an America where Democrats disagree with him and President Bush on how to protect America from Al Qaida.

Goldberg truly is a hack and a bad one at that.