Steyn: Dems Want Another Holiday
Mark Steyn provides the perfect contrast to the unfortunate wobbling of Andrew Sullivan, in a great new column about the Democrats’ holiday from history: We can nitpick forever, but what’s changed? (Hat tip: Connecticut Yankee.)
But, if Berger was simply covering his buns (literally), I don’t care. The minute the decision was taken to convene a 9/11 commission during election season, it was obvious that it would boil down to who was most to blame for the day — the eight months of the Bush administration, or the eight years of Bill Clinton — and, given the Clintonian penchant for playing fast and loose with the rules, Sandy Berger wandering out with his pants stuffed tighter than Al Gore’s jeans on that Rolling Stone cover has a kind of tacky inevitability about it. Who screwed up worst should have been left to the historians, which means when the war is over.
By way of comparison, in 1940, when Neville Chamberlain resigned as Britain’s prime minister, his successor Winston Churchill asked him to stay on as leader of the Conservative Party and to remain in the Cabinet. Chamberlain did so, serving loyally under Churchill until cancer forced him from office. He died four weeks later, and Churchill paid him handsome tribute and wept at his bier. I’m not saying Clinton, Berger & Co. are the Chamberlains of this new war. The point is even Chamberlain wasn’t Chamberlain when he died: Posterity had yet to chisel him the one-word epitaph “Appeaser.” And neither side of the appeasement debate thought it worth spending the 1940s arguing about the 1930s: There were other priorities. And, in fairness to Chamberlain, the overwhelming majority of the British people supported “appeasement,” just as, in fairness to Clinton, most of the American people were happy to string along on an eight-year holiday from history. There’s nothing Sandy Berger can pack down his gusset that can change that, and all the rest is details.
What matters is where we’re headed, not where we were. And, in that respect, John Kerry is still looking through the rear window. Not so much because of his remarkably poor choice of advisers — Joe Wilson (the Politics Of Truth fraud), Max Cleland (with his schoolyard cries of “Liar, liar!”) and Sandy Berger (with his pants on fire) — but because Kerry’s prescriptions (the U.N., the French) are so Sept. 10. A holiday from history is one thing. The Democrats are now embarked on a holiday from reality.