We are again seeing both in Israel and here that elections do have consequences. Any conservatives or Republicans who are wary of voting for their party this November should be aware of this. In Israel they had a choice last March between Ehud Olmert and Benyamin Netanyahu. Ehud Olmert won promising to disengage from the Arabs. Thanks to that policy the Israelis are more engaged than ever with the Arabs. As was entirely anticipated, unilaterally withdrawing from the Gaza strip, after doing the same in Lebanon, and then drawing up plans to withdraw from Judea/Samaria simply emboldened Israel’s Arab enemies. After his policy blew up so quickly, Olmert reacted as a typical leftist leader, he played tougher than thou art.
As with other leftwing leaders though, Olmert is discovering you have to do more than act tough to win. The recent news that the Israeli cabinet refused to expand the operation, if true, is the latest evidence that the center-left government in Israel either doesn’t understand what it is doing or that it is consciously passing up a golden opportunity. I doubt Netanyahu would have botched the response this badly (I should mention that I’ve been a Bibi fan since 96). Netanyahu has shown again and again that he understands the situation Israel is facing better than the Labor Party. He was rightly suspicious of the Oslo Accords and then led the charge against the misguided Gaza withdrawals. He also seems in his TV interviews to have a clear understanding of what is going on vis-à-vis Iran and Syria. Unlike John Kerry, I’m not saying that had Netanyahu won there would have been no trouble, just that he would have handled it better.
Our Democrats are in the same strategic rut as Olmert. While their former presidential candidate is running around bragging about his omnipotence (well, at least he claims to be omnipotent enough that he can cut the Gordian Knot that is Mideast peace while at the same preventing mega hurricanes from hitting us, although he's apparently not omnipotent enough to win an election), they bicker over whether their motto should be “strong and smart” or “tough and smart” despite not being any of those things. They walk out on the first Iraqi Prime Minister because he is just an American puppet, then they walk out on this Iraqi Prime Minister because he isn’t an American puppet. Is that the kind of leadership we want in America during these times of change? Do we as conservatives, Republicans, and Americans really want to saddle our nation with an immature and petulant Democrat Congress who will ensure that our country pays any price and bears any burden to see that President Bush is humiliated? If it is worth it to punish the Republican Party for whatever sins it has committed then just understand the price our nation and the world will pay for such a decision. Israel is discovering the effect elections have, let’s not repeat their mistake