Republicans 47 Democrats 46

…That is what the most recent USA Today/Gallup would read like if politics were a sporting event.  This score does not really provide us with anything substantive, so we need to break down the game-time statistics instead.  For this, I decided to go to The Huffington Post.  Keep your friends close, your enemies non-friends closer (in the spirit of civility and the censoring of Huckleberry Finn).  This is the equivalent of reading the Washington Post to see how the Cowboys played… nevertheless, I am certain that we can gleam some valuable insight by considering HuffPo’s point-of-view.  Here’s how it starts out:

Forty-seven percent of respondents said that they had a favorable view of the GOP, while 43 percent said they had an unfavorable view. Since late in 2005, Gallup has rarely found the party with an unfavorable rating below 50 percent

Now, I am no professional writer.  However, I am a graduate of Montgomery County’s public schools, and remember being taught that if you are going to write numbers stick to writing them out or writing the number (forty-seven or 47), but do not mix.

The article points out that Republicans have a 47% Favorable rating, and a 43% Unfavorable rating.  Not overly impressive, except when it is mentioned that Republicans carried out a November landslide with worse favorable numbers.  The Democrats have a 46% Favorable rating, and 47% Unfavorable one.  This isn’t very good for the party that tends to enjoy high favorable marks because, let’s face it, they come across as the bleeding-heart caring type.  Everyone is more favorable of the parent that says ‘yes’ all of the time, and never punishes, and is the push-over; while the other parent is the one that really molds your disciplined being.  That is what Americans need, they need the disciplinarian.

Despite all of the wonderful information that can be taken from this poll, and all of the analysis that can be done, Huffington Post chooses to live in the past:

As the Gallup poll’s trend data shows, public views of the parties can shift quickly. As recently as May of last year, Gallup found that only 36 percent of Americans had a positive view of the Republican Party while 58 percent had a negative view, for a net rating of -16.

…Really…?  Who’s living in the past now?  By the way, this was how the article was closed-out.  Brava HuffPo!

-rj

Operation: Just Cause

In December of 1989, George H.W. Bush (or Bush Senior for the liberals who do not know the proper application of a generational?suffix) sent the XVII Airborne Corps, Joint Special Operations Command and numerous other Army, Marine, Navy and Air Force units into the country of Panama.? The operation was launched in an effort by then-President Bush to depose of Manuel Noriega (the de facto leader of the Panamanian government at the time) and rescue Americans who had been trapped in the country during those turbulent times.? The operation was named Operation Just Cause, leaving some critics of the engagement to quip that the operation’s name was the only argument H.W. Bush had to justify the action (I will leave the conspiracy theories about Skulls and Bones, Mena Airport, Bush, the CIA and aliens out for the sake of time, much to the chagrin of Alex Jones supporters).

What makes a war “just”?? Surely this is a topic that has been debated and mulled over for as long as men have been around on this earth (because women do not go to war, of course; war is a bi-product if irrational manliness).? Can anyone truly justify a war to every one’s liking?? Is the nature of the state to do what is right for the population of that state, no matter what that means for other states (as the term state is understood post-Machiavelli) as we see with the realists?? Or can a state only be justified in going to war if such an engagement is for the benefit of humanity as a whole (by asking “pretty please” from the UN)?? Then again, it was once said that “those who invoke humanity on their side mean to cheat” (Carl Schmitt, The Concept of the Political).?

Apparently, Americans are having a sort of crisis of conscience.? According to a recent Rasmussen Poll, only 50% percent of our fellow countrymen and women feel that the War in Afghanistan is a “Just” war.? This goes along with the Quinnipiac University poll that came out about a week and a half ago, which nearly reaches the exact same conclusion.? Support for the war in the first year preceding the September 11th attacks of 2001 was close to near unanimous approval, with Gallup showing 89-93% stating that Afghanistan was not a mistake in January of 2002.? So it appears that Americans (Democrats and Republicans mind you) are waning on their support for a war that they felt was necessary in 2001 and 2002.? What has changed?

If the Afghan War was justified then, what makes it less so now?? Surely we are there for the same reason, since we did not go over and overthrow the Taliban and then leave only to return as “occupiers”.? What is it that makes this war “unjust” then?? What is “justice” to these people who?have decided that it is no more than a mere term to be thrown around in the height of passion following an attack on 3,000 innocent people?? Was it only then just because we went in and overthrew a tyrannical regime that was directly tied to forces responsible for bloodshed on our own soil?? Now is it “unjust” solely for the reason that we are being told by the news and liberal (and libertarian and some conservative) influences that we have overstayed our welcome?? Which is the more justified action: going in and sacking the regime of a country to leave it in anarchy and decay; or staying and building it up to the point that their government can run effectively and more justly than before?? Who are the 21% of voters that have obtained this retroactive prescience? and decided they are against it after they were for it?? I can understand those people who were against it from the beginning, and that is because they feel that no war is ever justified.? They should be acknowledged and applauded for their principled stand, but let us not forget the ignorance that must be evident in such a dogmatic stance.?

I must admit that it is polls like these that create a feeling of futility in the pit of my stomach.? Perhaps a majority of Americans should not be asked a question about wars and their relation to justice until they better understand what justice is.? The slow decay of support for this necessary war is a sad barometer of the fortitude possessed by the American people to support the men and women overseas, their families at home, and the mission we sent them to do eight years ago.? In the end, those 50% of Americans who now question the mission and its necessity, are not doing those soldiers or their families justice.?

-rj