James Leroy Wilson's blog

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Gary Hart, '08?

Jude Wanniski wants the former Colorado Senator to run for President.

For those too young to remember, Hart was set up in sex scandal in 1986 to derail his probable shoo-in as the 1988 Democratic Presidential nominee. This week, he wrote an op-ed for the Washington post (which is included in the above link),

Many supported the Iraq war resolution and – as the Big Muddy is rising yet again – now find themselves tongue-tied or trying to trump a war president by calling for deployment of more troops. Thus does good money follow bad and bad politics get even worse.

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.

Wanniski, a supply-side Reaganite and longtime critic of the war, writes,

Sen. Russ Feingold, a Democrat, last week took the first step in calling for a hard timeline for withdrawal of all U.S. forces. But we all know it is Hillary Clinton who has to get out front – yet she seems already to have asked the pollsters, consultants and focus groups – and decided we must "stay the course." We can't expect any better from Sen. Joe Biden, ranking Democrat on Senate Foreign Relations, because he, too, is a victim of his own complicity in getting the nation into the war. Both Hillary and Joe are disserving the nation by urging the President to be more resolute in prosecuting the war – when they know full well, cynically well, that he cannot do that. They are cardboard politicians.

You know I have long admired your political instincts, and most certainly have never seen you as a "cardboard candidate" when you were either seeking the Democratic presidential nomination or making noises like you might enter the fray. Along with California's Jerry Brown, you have been one of the few high-profile Democrats to take seriously the supply-side economics I've espoused and which elevated Ronald Reagan to his eight spectacular years in the White House. This is another way of saying that you should take on the role you have outlined in your op-ed for some unnamed Democrat. Throw your hat in the ring for 2008 without giving it another thought, or taking a poll. Go on the Sunday talk shows, write more op-eds, and make the case for an exit from Iraq, and see where it leads. As long as you don't try to get yourself to the White House, but to stop the useless deaths of our fellow Americans, you can make the difference it will take to achieve that end. If, by happenstance, it also leads you to the presidency, that would be okay with me.

1 comment:

  1. Gary Hart, co-godfather of the Hart-Rudman commission report that recommended creation of a Department of Homeland Security? THAT Gary Hart? Is Wanniski nuts?