no more monkey business

I’ve never considered myself a big Gary Hart fan, but what he had to say recently in the Washington Post made a hell of a lot of sense. Here’s a clip:

History will deal with George W. Bush and the neoconservatives who misled a mighty nation into a flawed war that is draining the finest military in the world, diverting Guard and reserve forces that should be on the front line of homeland defense, shredding international alliances that prevailed in two world wars and the Cold War, accumulating staggering deficits, misdirecting revenue from education to rebuilding Iraqi buildings we’ve blown up, and weakening America’s national security.

But what will history say about an opposition party that stands silent while all this goes on? My generation of Democrats jumped on the hot stove of Vietnam and now, with its members in positions of responsibility, it is afraid of jumping on any political stove. In their leaders, the American people look for strength, determination and self-confidence, but they also look for courage, wisdom, judgment and, in times of moral crisis, the willingness to say: “I was wrong.”

To stay silent during such a crisis, and particularly to harbor the thought that the administration’s misfortune is the Democrats’ fortune, is cowardly. In 2008 I want a leader who is willing now to say: “I made a mistake, and for my mistake I am going to Iraq and accompanying the next planeload of flag-draped coffins back to Dover Air Force Base. And I am going to ask forgiveness for my mistake from every parent who will talk to me.”

Further, this leader should say: “I am now going to give a series of speeches across the country documenting how the administration did not tell the American people the truth, why this war is making our country more vulnerable and less secure, how we can drive a wedge between Iraqi insurgents and outside jihadists and leave Iraq for the Iraqis to govern, how we can repair the damage done to our military, what we and our allies can do to dry up the jihadists’ swamp, and what dramatic steps we must take to become energy-secure and prevent Gulf Wars III, IV and so on.”

Flying back with the flag-draped coffins, I don’t think would go over so well in the American press, but I like the idea of having someone take responsibility for their actions, and then follow that up with a series of speeches around the United States. I know that I, for one, would go and sit in a stadium somewhere to hear someone in the Senate, regardless of their party, take some responsibility and then offer us a way out… As pissed as I am at McCain, I’d even accept it from him… My sense is that the American people are ready to hear the truth if someone would just bring it to them, and meet them halfway.

It’s time we reevaluate the situation, give back our tax-breaks, start sharing the burden of this war, and begin making the tough decisions together that need to be made… Anemic fuel efficiency rates that go into affect in 2012 just aren’t going to cut it… We need to stop sleeping with the Saudi’s and get to work.

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  1. chris
    Posted August 25, 2005 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    The two main indicators of character and integrity are largely known (much like carrying ID with you at all times) to be 1) the ability to admit when you are wrong, and 2) the ability to respond to a question, “I don’t know” when you don’t know the answer. In fact, the absence of these two abilities are often used by mental health professionals to identify sociopaths.

    Also, human resource personnel often present scenarios to establish whether a job candidate has these traits as well.

  2. mark
    Posted August 25, 2005 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    I guess if your dad gets you every job you’ve ever had, you bypass that though.

  3. chris
    Posted August 25, 2005 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    Actually, I am sure they ask the same questions but look for the exact opposite response.

  4. Tony Buttons
    Posted August 26, 2005 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Gary Hart can’t be taken seriously. He’s known to enjoy a good fornication.

    We demand asexual leaders. Only the most repressed will do. Give me Judge Roberts, Donald Wildmon or John Ashcroft any day.

  5. mark
    Posted August 30, 2005 at 12:09 am | Permalink

    You are me, aren’t you, Tony?

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