Sunday, October 01, 2006

Nice guys finish second.

As much as I admire President Bush's determination to promote civility, it was good to hear him speak out about the party of Roosevelt and Truman becoming "the party of cut and run." After years of letting personal vilification go unanswered, he is finally giving it back, if mildly.

When I read this piece by Ed Koch, particularly his observations on Hugo Chavez' boorish speech to the U.N. and the reaction to it, I began to realize why it felt so good to hear Bush speaking out. Koch writes:
What offended me even more than Chavez's ludicrous remarks were the responses of the U.N. delegates. No one stood up and told Chavez that he was out of order and demanded that he stop or sit down. They should have told him he was a disgrace to the U.N. Instead they are reported to have applauded this monster and laughed with him, instead of at him. The Times reported: "So while there was official outrage over Mr. Chavez calling Mr. Bush 'the devil,' there was also a lot of applause and giggling, from dignitaries including the president of the General Assembly herself, Haya Rashed al-Khalifa of Bahrain, who was caught chuckling from her seat on the dais behind Mr. Chavez.

Where was the official outrage, and why was Chavez not rebuked while he held the platform? Many of the countries whose delegates were amused by his vitriol receive their sustenance from the U.S. We feed their people and provide much of their medical care. Many expect the U.S. to protect them from attacks from other countries, and some of them are even formal allies. Yet none of them walked out to show solidarity with us. The two nations not in the chamber when Chavez took the dais were the U.S. and Israel. We should forever remember the craven behavior of those who stayed and cheered."
This is what "sensitivity" and liberal correctness get us. Contempt. We have overlooked the true nature of most of the regimes who rule over the Third World and made a religion of dialog. No matter how badly they treat their own people or how corrupt they are, we treat them as honored guests. After all didn't we all learn in school that being judgmental of other cultures is almost as bad as genoncide? Thus we have become complicit in their corruption by our failure to object and do something about it.

Bloggers can post all they want about the irrationality and vicious disinformation which have seized the left and most of the mass media, but none of us has a bully pulpit to compare with the President's. Part of leading is pointing out the errors and false paths along the way. Indeed, this is a large part of reason Republicans are on the defensive. They have lost The Hammer, Tom DeLay, who was highly partisan but who recognized that the way to win is to fight fire with fire. His enemies used the courts and his connections with Jack Abramoff to force him to the sidelines. His own party was so skittish and nervous about being called corrupt that they allowed him to be driven from the stage. No fond reminiscences and war stories will be told about him, like other of the effective House and party leaders. Only Democrats are allowed that honor.


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