Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Tories Among Us

A long but well explained article by Norman Podhoretz starts with Thomas Paine's observations about "summer soldiers and sunshine patriots" and lays out the case that the panic on the Left is really fuelled by one fear: America might win.
The similarities to our situation today are uncanny. We, too, are in the midst of a rapidly spreading panic. We, too, have our sunshine patriots and summer soldiers, in the form of people who initially supported the invasion of Iraq--and the Bush Doctrine from which it followed--but who are now abandoning what they have decided is a sinking ship. And we, too, are seeing formerly disguised opponents of the war coming more and more out into the open, and in ever greater numbers.

Yet in spite of these similarities, there is also a very curious difference between the American panic of 1776-77 and the American panic of 2005-06. To put it in the simplest and starkest terms: In that early stage of the Revolutionary War, there was sound reason to fear that the British would succeed in routing Washington's forces. In Iraq today, however, and in the Middle East as a whole, a successful outcome is staring us in the face. Clearly, then, the panic over Iraq--which expresses itself in increasingly frenzied calls for the withdrawal of our forces--cannot have been caused by the prospect of defeat. On the contrary, my twofold guess is that the real fear behind it is not that we are losing but that we are winning, and that what has catalyzed this fear into a genuine panic is the realization that the chances of pulling off the proverbial feat of snatching an American defeat from the jaws of victory are rapidly running out.

Sneak Attack on Prop 13

A warning from the folks at Howard Jarvis.
Because the CLAA would be approved as a constitutional amendment, it
would dismantle the taxpayer protections contained in Proposition 13,
which caps property taxes at one percent of assessed values. Although
parcel taxes are allowed at the local level under Proposition 13, they
now require a two-thirds vote. By going to a statewide election,
promoters hope to impose the new statewide tax on property owners with
a simple majority vote. Since they have the ability to spend millions
on deceptive advertising, this threat to property tax payers is real.