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Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Thursday, November 07, 2002

Those Who Do Not Understand The Past...

Are doomed to inspire variations on a well-known quotation, not all of which will actually have a point. As here.

However, let us ponder Andrew Sullivan's sense of how Bush should proceed after his election night triumph:

"NOW WIN THE WAR: I've been reading with some disbelief all sorts of proposals for president Bush's next two years. Here's the only one that matters: win the war. If we can rid the world of Saddam Hussein and see Iran's dictators pushed to the brink, then an entirely new set of circumstances prevails in the world....

Well, yes. However, I have no doubt that Bush Sr. received very similar advice in January of 1989 - manage the peaceful transiton of the Soviets from empire to freedom, and nothing else matters. Or, conversely, fail in that task, and surely no other success will matter.

So, a peaceful collapse of the Evil Empire, the peaceful re-unification of Germany, the victory in Desert Storm, and Bill Clinton in the White House. Historians will applaud his administration, if that is a consolation.

Or, as a Brit, Andrew may remember that Churchill was replaced as Prime Minister in July of 1945, shortly after the defeat of the Nazis in Europe.

In war, there is no substitute for victory. In politics, there is currently no substitute for some good judicial appointments, tax reform, a partial-birth abortion ban, and a real Homeland Security bill.

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