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Jewish World Review Sept. 7, 2004 / 21 Elul 5764

Debra J. Saunders

Debra J. Saunders
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Deserving victory

http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | New York — The conventional talk about the Republican National Convention was that, like the Philadelphia convention in 2000, this would be a parade of moderates putting a kinder face on (what by implication is mean) conservatism. Instead the 2004 convention has been a parade of moderates and conservatives putting themselves on the line for President Bush because they believe that he is right about the most important issue before America today: The war on terrorism, which in this room includes the war in Iraq and the war in Afghanistan.


That sentiment was clear Thursday night when Gen. Tommy Franks endorsed George W. Bush for president because he doesn't believe "we should retreat into a defensive posture and hope that the terrorists don't attack us again."


Actor Ron Silver put it well when he told me he supports the GOP ticket because, "I'm a 9/11 person and not a Sept. 10 person." Silver has been a supporter of abortion rights but, he noted, "If we don't get this thing right, then the rest of it doesn't make much of a difference."


The difference between Boston and New York could not be starker.


A New York Times/CBS News poll in July found that three-quarters of Democratic voters and 86 percent of Boston delegates opposed the war in Iraq. Yet both John Kerry and John Edwards voted for the resolution authorizing force in Iraq in 2002.


The same poll found that 19 percent of GOP voters and 3 percent of GOP delegates oppose the war. Those delegates are in harmony with Bush and Veep Dick Cheney, even if 51 percent of all voters polled oppose the war.


That's the central difference between the GOP and the Democrats: The Democrats were willing to — no, they chose to, by nominating Kerry — sell out their core issue in order to beat George W. Bush.


That's how fanatical their hatred is.

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Republicans, on the other hand, are willing to lose an election for a cause they believe in. Bush knew when he began that the war in Iraq could cost him the election, but he did what he thought was best. And he still isn't flinching.


"He may lose this election. But the principle of how he conducts himself is more important than if he wins or loses the election," said California GOP Chairman Duf Sundheim.


Let me be clear: I am not arguing that Bush is not political — he is political. He's president. I am arguing that the Democratic Party has become so political that it stands for absolutely nothing. Dems know it, so they nominate men who also stand for nothing — but raw ambition.


Kerry won the nomination because many Democrats believed they had to pick a pro-war candidate in order to beat Bush. They were able to look at Kerry's vote against the Persian Gulf War and determine that he did not believe his 2002 Iraq vote and does not mean the pro-war statements he has made during the campaign.


Some of the very folks who bellow, "Bush lied," are crossing their fingers in the hope that Kerry lied.


"I don't think the Democrats have confidence in the American people," Republican National Committee Chairman Marc Racicot noted. That's why the Democrats are "angry."


And many Democrats think that they're going to lose. A famous wartime poster had Winston Churchill's face looming over the words, "Deserve victory." You deserve victory when you believe in a cause so much that you are willing to take risks for it.


This year, the Democrats abandoned their principles, implying either that they don't trust the America people to appreciate their message, or that they don't trust their message. Democrats aren't willing to take risks, but they are willing to choose someone whom they want to mislead the public. For that alone, they deserve to lose, and I think they know it.

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© 2003, Creators Syndicate