Home
In this issue
December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 17, 2008 / 10 Adar II 5768

Patton and the 2008 vote

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby
Printer Friendly Version
Email this article


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | On the eve of the Normandy invasion in 1944, General George S. Patton, addressing the men of the US Third Army, delivered a speech that would become legendary long before George C. Scott reenacted it on a Hollywood soundstage.


"Americans love a winner," Patton growled, "and will not tolerate a loser. Americans despise cowards. Americans play to win — all the time. I wouldn't give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. . . . The very thought of losing is hateful to an American."


Nowadays, the thought of losing a war isn't as hateful to some Americans as the thought of losing an election. Recall MoveOn.org's infamous "General Betray Us" ad last fall, which was intended to undercut the commander of US forces in Iraq. Think of Senate majority leader Harry Reid's insistence that "this war is lost and the surge is not accomplishing anything," or Barack Obama's unbudging claim that the "strategy is failed" and we must "get our troops out," or Hillary Clinton's vow that "starting on day one of my presidency, we will begin . . . to withdraw our troops within 60 days."


Were Patton alive today, his opinion of such defeatism would assuredly be unflattering — and unprintable. But his conviction that Americans have no patience for losers would be reinforced by the public's mounting confidence that the war in Iraq will be won.


According to a recent poll from the Pew Research Center, a majority of Americans, 53 percent, are now convinced that the United States will "succeed . . . in achieving its goals" in Iraq. A year ago, just 30 percent of the public thought the military effort in Iraq was going "very well" or "fairly well." That optimistic view is held today by 48 percent.


In September, the proportion of Americans wanting US troops to remain in Iraq stood at 39 percent. Five months later, it has climbed to 47 percent. Where will it be five months hence? And will the leading lights of the Democratic Party still be promising, as Clinton did in Pennsylvania the other day, to "end the war in Iraq and bring our troops home?" Could the Democrats' insistence on abandoning the field have anything to do with the fact that while nearly half of registered voters (in a recent New York Times/CBS News poll) consider it "very likely" that John McCain would be an "effective commander in chief," fewer than 25 percent say the same about Clinton or Obama?


Anything can happen between now and the presidential election, of course, and there is no guarantee that Iraq will be uppermost in voters' minds in November — particularly if the economy continues to darken. The disfavor in which Republicans are held by the public should not be minimized: Asked which party could do a better job in 12 key areas — taxes, immigration, foreign policy, etc. — respondents in the Pew survey chose the Democrats 11 times. (The lone exception was the handling of terrorist threats.)


But for all those caveats, a nation at war needs a wartime leader, and nothing distinguishes McCain from Clinton and Obama more dramatically than his outspoken commitment not just to victory in Iraq, but to the "surge" strategy that has made that victory probable.


John Podhoretz argues convincingly in the March issue of Commentary that it was the absence of such a strategy for victory that led to the repudiation of the Republicans in the 2006 midterm elections. President Bush had won a second term in 2004 by making his reelection a referendum on the decision to invade Iraq. But over the two years that followed, the news from Iraq grew steadily worse, and the administration seemed bereft of any plan other than "stay the course" for turning things around. The GOP paid a stiff price for the bloody mess in Iraq: It lost its congressional majority.


The Democrats, misinterpreting their victory as a mandate to end the war, promptly introduced legislation to bring the troops home. But one after another, their bills went down to defeat, and the approval ratings of the new Congress plummeted.


"Failure to win in Iraq — not the fact of the war itself," Podhoretz writes, is what galvanized the electorate in 2006. Now, ironically, thanks to the surge McCain embraced and the victory it has made possible, "the best political news for Republicans . . . may come out of Iraq."


The irony is one General Patton would have savored.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Jeff Jacoby is a Boston Globe columnist. Comment by clicking here.

Jeff Jacoby Archives

© 2006, Boston Globe

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles