Sunday, May 18, 2008

If the shoe fits...

I was still in Europe when President Bush made his remarks about appeasement before the Israeli Knesset which got Barack Obama's panties so tightly in a bunch, so I only got CNN International's version of the story. Which is to say, of course, that I only got Barack Obama's side of the story.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air correctly points out that in protesting and howling over a remark that was never directed at him, he ends up owning the appeaser label:
No one in the US who runs for public office has suggested that the US break with Israel to appease terrorists. Obama certainly hasn’t suggested that, and perhaps apart from the really lunatic fringes of both Left and Right, that notion doesn’t get any oxygen at all here. Obviously, Bush wasn’t referring to American politicians in this passage, but instead politicians in Europe and elsewhere who have either an animus towards Israel or appreciation for dhimmitude. Nothing — and I mean nothing — in this speech points to any candidate or the Democratic Party, unless they identify themselves as the reference.

Obama and his surrogates drew those connections themselves. Instead of acknowledging the historical truth of appeasement’s failures, they chose to argue with it. Obama could have taken the smart route and embraced it to explain how he understands the lessons of appeasement, which is why his talks with Iran would not result in it. Instead, he got volcanically defensive, which suggests that even Obama sees the parallels between his everything’s-on-the-table approach and the Chamberlain diplomacy which resulted in dismantling Czechoslovakia.
Exactly so. While it's a sure bet that Bush was including many Democrats in his reference, he was surely including some Republicans and many European political leaders as well. In short, he was indicting the attitude of appeasement in general, not specific persons.

Mark Steyn sees things the same way:
It says something for Democrat touchiness that the minute a guy makes a generalized observation about folks who appease terrorists and dictators the Dems assume: Hey, they're talking about me. Actually, he wasn't – or, to be more precise, he wasn't talking only about you.

Yes, there are plenty of Democrats who are in favor of negotiating with our enemies, and a few Republicans, too – President Bush's pal James Baker, whose Iraq Study Group was full of proposals to barter with Iran and Syria and everybody else. But that general line is also taken by at least three of Tony Blair's former Cabinet ministers and his senior policy adviser, and by the leader of Canada's New Democratic Party and by a whole bunch of bigshot Europeans. It's not a Democrat election policy, it's an entire worldview. Even Barack Obama can't be so vain as to think his fly-me-to-[insert name of enemy here] concept is an original idea.
Indeed. If the shoe doesn't fit so well, why is Obama wearing it with such style?

1 comment:

Stanhope said...

Because "He's from the streets of Chicago" where they are used to wearing none fitting shoes.