There is an old joke (and I’m sure Ann Althouse will find this terribly partisan and sexist) that goes:
Q: Why don’t they let women fight in wars?
A: Because they don’t know when to quit.
Which brings us back to Ann Althouse and beyond:
Why aren’t the protests huge and dramatic, like they were at the time of the Vietnam War? Here’s one attempt to answer that obvious question:
A clue to this curiously low-key response may be found in the bustling shopping centres. Despite the mounting cost of the war in Iraq, the economic consequences have remained relatively contained. There have been no signs of a decline in consumer confidence and no uptick in inflation….
As of Friday military casualties had mounted to 2,313 killed and 17,000 wounded. This is enough to make many Americans question the conflict, but the toll still falls far short of the 58,000 Americans who died in Vietnam.
A poll for Newsweek magazine at the end of last week showed that just 29 per cent of Americans approve of the president’s handling of the war, down from 69 per cent in the months after the conflict began in March 2003. Almost 60 per cent of Americans now feel less confident that the war will come to a successful conclusion, with fears mounting that the country will slide into civil war.
We should also take into account the nature of the opposition to the war. When people acknowledge that they disapprove of the President’s handling of the war, what does that mean? You might answer that way to say you’re unhappy that we haven’t yet won decisively. If you think Bush ought to be handling things better, moving us along toward victory along a clearer, more well-defined path, do you feel motivated to go out on the street and protest? What would you chant? I know you’re in the middle of a difficult task, but would you please try to figure out a more effective way to complete it?
Don’t assume that Americans are a bunch of dullards, complacently out shopping. Maybe we intelligently and perceptively understand the situation when we answer the polls like that and still stay away from the public protests.
Of course, the dinosaur in the room that anyone over the age of oh, say sixteen, could identify would be named The Draft which I’m guessing by Althouses picture she might remember (add ageist and unchivalrous to the aforementioned ‘partisan’ and ‘sexist’). If George Bush announced a draft tomorrow, college campuses would begin spontaneously combusting like a Great White concert*. (Alternatively, they could just conscript Young College Republicans which would only cause the frat houses to burst into flames thus killing two chickenhawks with one stone, so to speak.) Surprisingly Althouse, whose extraordinary grasp of the obvious is legendary, lets draftasaurus Rex die from neglect because she has another theory. You see, it’s not that people are really against the war because it is costing $200 million a day or that over 2300 Americans have died fighting in it or even the fact that it is turning into a civil war that we will have no control over. No. It’s not being “handled” properly. And by ‘handled” she means…won. Because it’s all so easy. No. Really. And to prove it let’s check in on one of her buddies who also pulls down a higher education paycheck – Dr. Sanity:
LET’S FINISH IT AND WIN
I think Ann Althouse has the answer to why Bush’s low poll numbers don’t translate to anything particularly positive for the Democrats
As most of my readers are aware, I am a staunch supporter of the Iraq war. If I have any dissatisfaction at all it is precisely because of all the politically correct limitations that have been placed on our troops that have kept them from responding “decisively” throughout this entire conflict. To the extent that Bush has attempted to pacify the war’s critics both nationally and internationally, we have seen our troops hands tied behind their backs–and even then they have been blasted mercilessly; ridiculed and accused of the most horrible crimes for their staunch heroism and courage.
We’re not killing enough. That’s the problem. And if we could just kill a few more of the evildoers (whoever they may be) and possibly enough innocent bystanders (who keep getting in the way) why, we’ll turn the corner and see the light at the end of the tunnel and we can break out the Mission Accomplished banners and we can all have pie.
I mean, besides that…
*Yes. That was in bad taste, but I’ve already got reservations in hell so what the…hell.