September 19, 2007 [LINK / comment]

Dems opt for partisanship

For a while, it seemed that General Petraeus's recent testimony on Capitol Hill* might actually persuade enough Democrats to give the "surge" strategy in Iraq a chance. Sen. Joseph Biden was among those who suggested that Democrats take credit for bringing about the partial withdrawal of troops which President Bush announced. Sen. Jim Webb, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and others voiced their inclination to work toward bipartisan compromise, but Speaker Nancy Pelosi quickly put an end to that. She "insisted that Democrats coordinate their message and dictated what that message would be: The general's plan meant 10 more years of war, or even 'endless war.'" Read it and weep at the Washington Post. So much for the national interest!

Meanwhile, the obnoxious stunts pulled by some anti-war protesters at Congressional hearings last week raise the possibility that Hill staffers may have abetted their activities by arranging to have them be admitted to the hearing room. The hysterical conduct of many protesters in the streets of Washington over the weekend is a sad reflection of the jaded, knee-jerk way many Democrats think about the war. Sincere dissent is one thing, but renouncing your own country's role in promoting world freedom, which is what our armed forces are doing, little by little, is something else entirely.

* I will have much more to say about Petraeus and Iraq war strategy very soon.

Is Alan Greenspan a "RINO"?

Well, the former Fed Chairman expressed deep disappointment with President Bush and voiced support for the old-fashioned virtue of budgetary prudence, so by the prevailing standards of today, he must be a "Republican In Name Only." His new book, The Age of Turbulence, as reported by the Washington Post, will provide plenty of grist for the ongoing debate within the Republican Party about the meaning of conservatism. On the other hand, Greenspan strongly endorsed Bush's decision to remove Saddam Hussein from power, which ought to earn him points among Bush loyalists, except that it was on narrow economic terms. Well, at least he's being honest!

We should remember that Greenspan was originally nominated to lead the Federal Reserve by President Ronald Reagan himself. Greenspan was given much of the credit for taming inflation and healing the country's financial system in the 1980s, but his predecessor Paul Volcker (nominated by Jimmy Carter) deserves just as much credit for that.

Will Warner succeed Warner?

Now that Mark Warner is officially in the race to replace the retiring John Warner, the Democrats can breathe a sigh of relief. Who else among them could have waged a credible campaign? With solid credentials on economic policy matters, and many friends in the business community, Warner the Younger will be very hard to beat.

On the Republican side, Rep. Tom Davis (11th District) is said to be considering a run for Warner's Senate seat, but helping his wife Jeannemarie Devolites Davis win reelection to the State Senate is taking a priority for the moment. See Washington Post. Davis has much more experience on Capitol Hill than the other likely contender, former Governor Jim Gilmore, and he doesn't carry any of the baggage of being tied to the anti-tax and social conservatives constituencies that make up the GOP "base." Davis would therefore have greater latitude to elaborate his own campaign platform, which will be especially important if Virginia Republicans decide to choose their senatorial candidate in an open primary next year, as opposed to in a convention.