The Rockford Files

Blue Christmas

The November election results were all about the war, the chattering classes told us; and in this case, there’s probably more truth to popular opinion than not.  For those of us who have opposed the war in Iraq from the beginning (and even before), this seems a rather strange moment.  After all, what really changed between November 2004 and November 2006?  Yes, more Americans and Iraqis have died; the scale of individual acts of violence has risen; and we’re no closer to leaving Iraq today than we were when President Bush defeated John Kerry.  But anyone who had eyes to see and ears to hear knew what was coming two years ago.  That Tucker Carlson and Rod Dreher and William F. Buckley, Jr., now concede what we argued all along says more about their lack of connection to reality than it does about our prescience.

Perhaps it’s time to revisit the conventional wisdom about the 2004 election.  The media, who don’t like the idea that Republican manipulation of moral issues may have driven the election results, were quick to jump on Karl Rove’s claim (on NBC’s Meet the Press the Sunday after that election) that moral values did not play a decisive role.  Rove argued that  voters’ attitudes on the war and terrorism were more important, and exit polls gave him solid ground for that claim, since the two were cited as the first and second most important...

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