Does Jon Stewart Really Think Truman Was A War Criminal?

Update: Nevermind.

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Unlike many conservatives, I love The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He’s a very funny man, backed by an outstanding research staff.  His views skew hard to the left, but he’s not an America-basher like Michael Moore.

The idea that he’s the primary source of information for legions of college students is a little scary… but anyone who watched the April 28 episode got to see a very spirited and substantive debate on the issue of interrogation techniques.

Because of careful preparation and home-field advantage, Stewart often runs circles around his guests.  But Cliff May of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies more than held his own, and in the process very effectively made the point that different people can honorably draw lines in different places.

In the heat of the debate, Stewart responded to May’s question by saying yes, President Truman was a war criminal because of the atomic bomb attacks.  As Michael Goldfarb points out on the Weekly Standard:

He’s certainly not the only American who would take that view, but it’s a useful reminder that the most vocal and popular criticism of the Bush administration’s war on terror policies comes from people who, if they were being as honest as Stewart, would also judge Lincoln (suspension of habeas), FDR (internment), and Truman (use of nuclear weapons) as war criminals or tyrants or worse.

Somehow I think Stewart would moderate his opinions about Truman if he took a little more time to think about it.  My take? Truman certainly wasn’t a war criminal. The Hiroshima bomb undeniably saved many American lives compared to an invasion, and may even have saved Japanese lives on a net basis.  I’m more troubled by Nagsaki just three days later.

OK, Let’s Have A Fact-Finding Commission On Torture

Was it worth it?

Was it worth it?

The Washington Post offers the best argument I’ve seen for a bipartisan commission into the use of torture, or “torture” if you prefer, by Americans during the Bush Administration.  The editorial ends with this (emphasis added):

But a presidential commission could produce the fullest, least-heated account possible.

Once it did so, prosecutions would not be the only option. Based on what we know today, we do not believe they would be the best option. For reasons laid out at the beginning of this editorial, we would be extremely reluctant to go after lawyers and officials acting in what they believed to be the nation’s best interest at a time of grave danger. If laws were broken, Congress or the president can opt for amnesty. In gray areas, the government can exercise prosecutorial discretion. But the work of the commission should not be prejudged. And the prudence of not prosecuting, if that proves the wisest course, would earn more respect, here and abroad, if it followed a process of thorough review and calm deliberation.

And here are some of the “reasons laid out at the beginning of this editorial:

On one side, you have the sacred American tradition of peacefully transferring power from one party to another every four or eight years without cycles of revenge and criminal investigation. It’s one thing to investigate Richard Nixon for authorizing wiretaps and burglaries in secrecy, outside the normal channels of government, for personal political gain. It’s another to criminalize decisions authorized through all the proper channels, with congressional approval or at least awareness, for what everyone agrees to be the high purpose of keeping Americans safe from terrorist attack. Once you start down that road, where do you stop? Should Bill Clinton, Sandy Berger and their team have been held criminally or civilly liable for dereliction of duty 3,000 people died in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, given that they knowingly allowed Osama bin Laden to flee Sudan for sanctuary in Afghanistan? What if the next administration believes that Barack Obama is committing war crimes every time he allows the Air Force to fling missiles into Pakistan, killing innocent civilians in a country with which we are not at war?

In an Oval Office press availability after meeting with the king of Jordan last week, Obama said:

… this has been a difficult chapter in our history, and one of the tougher decisions that I’ve had to make as President. On the one hand, we have very real enemies out there. And we rely on some very courageous people, not just in our military but also in the Central Intelligence Agency, to help protect the American people. And they have to make some very difficult decisions because, as I mentioned yesterday, they are confronted with an enemy that doesn’t have scruples, that isn’t constrained by constitutions, aren’t constrained by legal niceties.

Having said that, the OLC memos that were released reflected, in my view, us losing our moral bearings.

Hawk though I am, Obama’s statements here work for me.  I voted for Bush in 2004, and would do so again today if he were running against Kerry.  Because of widespread Bush Derangement Syndrome in the media and the Democratic Party, my instinct is to defend Bush against almost any attack, at least in his role as commander-in-chief.

But regarding the torture issue, all I can say is I hope they saved a lot of American lives with whatever information they waterboarded out of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and whoever else, because the ramifications are going to continue for years. I’ve thought for some time that the best spin I can put on it is to say that “America” — I’ll not blame Bush alone, although it happened on his watch — abandoned the moral high ground on the issue of torture.  We should reclaim the moral high ground, and a fact-finding commission may be the best way to start.

Update: From this morning’s WaPo, a news article with a fairly balanced cost-benefit analysis of the torture/harsh interrogation program.  This part rings true to me:

The Obama administration’s top intelligence officer, Dennis C. Blair, has said the information obtained through the interrogation program was of “high value.” But he also concluded that those gains weren’t worth the cost.

“There is no way of knowing whether the same information could have been obtained through other means,” Blair said in a statement. “The bottom line is these techniques have hurt our image around the world, the damage they have done to our interests far outweighed whatever benefit they gave us and they are not essential to our national security.”

Conservatives Should Support Obama When He Gets Something Right

Limbaugh offers snark and bile

Limbaugh offers snark and bile

Parts of the right-o-sphere are all aflutter, debating whether President Obama deserves any credit for the rescue of a maritime hero held by pirates.

It’s a reminder that Obama Derangement Syndrome is no more appropriate than its more wide-spread predecessor, Bush Derangement Syndrome.

In The Corner, Jonah Goldberg piped up promptly and congratulated the President for authorizing the mission.  Later he took incoming fire from his right, as it turned out the President may not have specifically authorized the mission, he may just have refrained from interfering.  Jonah stood firm:

But you know what? Congratulations anyway. It’s good news the captain was rescued; Obama is the commander-in-chief and this happened on his watch; if he were thoroughly Carteresque he would have ordered that the pirates not be harmed, and you can be sure some of the snark-and-bilers would be blaming Obama if this ended badly (and I might have been one of them).

Look, I think my credentials as a critic of Obama are pretty solid. But I find the idea that I have to be critical no matter what Obama does to be exhaustingly unappealing.

Hear, hear.  But Rush Limbaugh weighed in on the side of snark-and-bile, saying sarcastically, “I would like to not only jump on the bandwagon of praising President Obama for a brilliant rescue, not only a plan but its execution, I don’t think the Navy had that much to do with it.”  He went on to fantasize at great length about who would play Obama in the movie, settling on Will Smith as both the President AND the Navy SEALs commander who took the crucial shot.  He later speculated  that if this had happened in the previous administration, the headlines would have been along the lines of Bush Assassinates Three Black Teenagers.  Exhaustively unappealing, indeed.

Just before the inauguration, Limbaugh famously said “I hope Obama fails.”  He clarified:

I’ve been listening to Barack Obama for a year-and-a-half.  I know what his politics are.  I know what his plans are, as he has stated them.  I don’t want them to succeed.

But of course he knew what the sound bite would be.  I often tell my liberal friends, don’t blame me for Rush Limbaugh and I won’t blame you for Michael Moore.

Most conservative commentators I saw came down closer to Goldberg’s opinion.  Abe Greenwald at Commentary didn’t single out the President by name, but said:

Fantastic news all around. The U.S. did not dither with negotiations or treat this as a criminal matter. It acted unilaterally and with force to free a brave man.

National Review’s Andy McCarthy notes that conservatives might well have expected a different outcome, based on the President’s past rhetoric:

Obama’s posturing put the pieces in place for a disaster. When an American-flagged ship was besieged, the president might have been paralyzed by his solicitude for the Islamic world and his commitment against unilateral action. He might have subordinated the safety of Americans to the bridge-building he has dubiously claimed to be central to our security. As commander-in-chief, he could have handcuffed the Navy. But he didn’t. Whatever his predilections, Obama unleashed John Wayne when that’s what was needed. For that we should be pleased and acknowledge a job well done.

Even Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs offered unambiguous approval (some of his lizardoid commenters were predictably less gracious):

The US Navy did us proud today. And yes, I know we’re supposed to detest and mock everything President Obama does, on pain of excommunication, but as Commander in Chief he deserves congratulations for handling this one just right.

I cast my vote in the comments of my previous post on the topic — ” I don’t think he did anything heroic, but I think he handled it fine.”  I’ll stand by that, although I might phrase it a little more graciously.  It wasn’t on the scale of the Cuban Missile Crisis, but the Commander in Chief did well in his first live-action military test.

It’s not over, of course.  Somali pirates hijacked more ships today — it’s a business model that works for them.  It will be interesting to see if they try to grab any more American ships.

Mr. Obama’s War: I Told You So

President Bush salutes in front of General David Petraeus
and Admiral William Fallon, September 2007, in Iraq

President Obama today announced an Iraq withdrawal plan that George Bush would be proud to call his own. Actually, it IS Bush’s own.

Don’t be fooled by the lawyerly language in his pledge to complete “the responsible removal of our combat brigades from Iraq” by August 2010. He’s leaving up to 50,000 troops in place until the end of 2011, and I guarantee that they’ll have weapons and the capability of responding with more than battalion strength. I’m not sure how he’s defining “combat brigades,” but he must be dancing close to an outright lie — a brigade is only 3,000 to 5,000 soldiers, it looks to me like he’s leaving three divisions in place.

Thank God.

Fully seven months ago, in July, I wrote the following:

If it’s going to become Mr. Obama’s war, I can take some comfort in the fact that at least he’s showing signs of an ability to think independently of the extreme pacifist wing of his party.

Candidate Obama already was tacking to the right on the war — his clarion call for surrender lost its usefulness as a wedge issue once Hillary Clinton withdrew from the race. The previously hapless George Bush had finally found the right general and the right strategy. Well before the election, even Obama had to acknowledge that the surge had “succeeded beyond our wildest dreams.”

After winning in November, Obama co-opted Hillary and her one-time support for the war by naming her Secretary of State. But the clearest indication that the grown-ups would be in charge of the war came when Obama announced that he was retaining Bush’s Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, who oversaw the turnaround in Iraq. I feel much better about the Obama Presidency now than I did on Election Day.

The Bush Administration won the war in Iraq just in time, making it too late for the Democrats to surrender. The real test will come with the war Obama says he wants to fight, in Afghanistan. I wish him every success.

(Photo: Associated Press)

Iraqis Vote to Stabilize Their Country

Incomplete election returns from Iraq are very heartening. In addition to being almost completely peaceful — with security provided solely by Iraqi forces, with Americans on standby — the results appear to have strengthened the secular government of Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The various Sunni factions, which largely boycotted the 2005 elections, appear to have won representation proportionate to their numbers, giving them a stake in the government.

From an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal (emphasis added):

The big loser in this election was Iran. Iranian agents spent a lot of money trying to influence the outcome of the elections in the south, and they largely failed. Iran’s favored parties did poorly. The Iranians had hoped to persuade Iraqi voters to punish Mr. Maliki for signing the security agreement with the United States. Instead, these elections proved to be a powerful vote of confidence for the prime minister and his policies, including that agreement.

The big winner in this election was the concept of a unitary Iraq. An attempt to hold a referendum on establishing an autonomous Basra failed before the election. ISCI, the only Arab party that had favored the creation of an autonomous Shiite region, lost ground throughout that region, including in its own stronghold of Najaf. Iraqis have sent a clear message that they want to live in a single state with a strong central government connected to strong provincial governments, rather than in some sort of artificially federated state.

Iraq has gone from being an impending disaster to a golden opportunity. Helping Iraqi internal politics develop peacefully and across sectarian lines is a critical part of reintegrating Iraq into the Arab world, making the world’s only Shiite-controlled Arab state acceptable to the Sunni regimes that surround it. That reintegration, in turn, offers tantalizing prospects for balancing Iran and stabilizing the heart of the Muslim world. The stakes in Iraq remain very high, but we are finally starting to see the return on our investment.

Thank you, President Bush. The only way to defeat Islamic fascism is to nurture and support peaceful alternatives in the Arab and Muslim worlds. Iraq is a good start.

(Photo: AP)

Mixed Signals in Obama’s Approach to Radical Islam

“Respect and partnership” 30 years ago

I didn’t pay close attention to Obama’s first media interview as President yesterday, with with Al-Arabiya. The news snippet I saw led with:

President Barack Obama on Tuesday chose an Arabic satellite TV network for his first formal television interview as president, delivering a message to the Muslim world that “Americans are not your enemy.”

Sounds good, I thought. Same message President Bush started emphasizing six days after 9/11.

Today a former favorite professor, Fouad Ajami, offers a somewhat more troubling perspective in the Wall Street Journal [free link], noting that Obama said he wants to return to “the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago.”

[Hm… 20 years ago… 1989… that would have been during the investigation into the December 1988 terrorist bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, for which a Libyan intelligence officer was convicted. 30 years ago would have been 1979… now why does that year stick in my mind? Oh yes, that was when militant Islamists declared war on America by taking hostages at our embassy in Tehran.]

But let Professor Ajami make his own points. Under President Bush:

America had toppled Taliban rule and the tyranny of Saddam Hussein; it had frightened the Libyan ruler that a similar fate lay in store for him. It was not sweet persuasion that drove Syria out of Lebanon in 2005. That dominion of plunder and terror was given up under duress…

In this vein, the assertive diplomacy of George W. Bush had given heart to Muslims long in the grip of tyrannies.

Take that image of Saddam Hussein, flushed out of his spider hole some five years ago: Americans may have edited it out of their memory, but it shall endure for a long time in Arab consciousness. Rulers can be toppled and brought to account. No wonder the neighboring dictatorships bristled at the sight of that capture, and at his execution three years later.

The irony now is obvious: George W. Bush as a force for emancipation in Muslim lands, and Barack Hussein Obama as a messenger of the old, settled ways. Thus the “parochial” man takes abroad a message that Muslims and Arabs did not have tyranny in their DNA, and the man with Muslim and Kenyan and Indonesian fragments in his very life and identity is signaling an acceptance of the established order. Mr. Obama could still acknowledge the revolutionary impact of his predecessor’s diplomacy, but so far he has chosen not to do so.

Ajami currently is a professor at Johns Hopkins, but he previously taught at Princeton, where I had the good fortune to take his International Relations course during my freshman year, more than [cough] years ago. His latest book, The Foreigner’s Gift, occupies a place of honor on my bookshelf — it is a scholarly examination of the war in Iraq, which the Lebanon-born Ajami strongly supports as a just war.

The WSJ article has an unfortunate headline that Ajami undoubtedly did not write: “Obama Tells Arabia’s Despots They’re Safe — America’s Diplomacy of Freedom is Officially Over.” That vastly overstates the point the good professor makes in the text. I read the article as a caution to the new president to avoid giving up the progress that has been made toward establishing a model for Islamic democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan. As Ajami says in the article:

This war was never a unilateral American war to be called off by an American calendar. The enemy, too, has a vote in how this struggle between American power and radical Islamism plays out in the years to come.

Radical Islam will not end its war against America anytime soon. It will be up to President Obama to ensure that we continue to fight back. He struck the right tone in his inaugural address: “for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.” When the inevitable next crisis arises, I hope his actions will be guided by those words, rather than by a yearning for the idyllic days of “20 or 30 years ago.”

"Vets for Freedom" Offers a Template for the Loyal Opposition

Captain Pete Hegseth of the Minnesota National Guard was deployed in Iraq in 2005-06. After returning he helped found Vets for Freedom, whose mission is “to educate the American public about the importance of achieving success in these conflicts” in Iraq and Afghanistan. The group is officially non-partisan, but based on their mission, it’s not too hard to guess which Presidential candidate they preferred.

As Hegseth writes this week in National Review Online (which for some reason still lists him as a lieutenant):

Our group, Vets for Freedom, ran millions of dollars’ worth of television and radio advertising this year that directly challenged Obama’s policies toward Iraq and the surge. We aggressively instigated his return trip to Iraq and called on him to tell the truth about the success of the surge. We believed his stated policy prescriptions for Iraq were outdated and pressured him to reconsider his rigid timeline for withdrawal.

Then Obama won. Now what?

But on Inauguration Day, our approach will change—as a candidate becomes our commander-in-chief. We will not do to President Obama what others did to President Bush. Our brothers are still in harm’s way, and Obama is their commander-in-chief, just as he is ours.

We will support President Obama whenever possible, persuade him at decisive and deliberative moments, and constructively oppose him when he pursues policies we deem detrimental to battlefield success. Success on the battlefield—as well as the health of our military—must be our lodestar, as we seek to help our new president defend our nation.

Thank you for your wise counsel, Captain Hegseth, and for your service to our country.

Bush, Reagan, Moral Clarity, and the Politics of Evil

President Bush has outpaced former President Reagan when it comes to calling evil by its name. What remains to be seen is whether history will vindicate Bush as it has Reagan.

From President Bush’s farewell address to the nation last night (hat tip: K-Lo):

As we address these challenges — and others we cannot foresee tonight — America must maintain our moral clarity. I’ve often spoken to you about good and evil, and this has made some uncomfortable. But good and evil are present in this world, and between the two of them there can be no compromise. Murdering the innocent to advance an ideology is wrong every time, everywhere. Freeing people from oppression and despair is eternally right. This nation must continue to speak out for justice and truth. We must always be willing to act in their defense — and to advance the cause of peace.

I’m all in favor of tolerance, open-mindedness and humility. I try to remain alert to the possibility that other cultures, belief systems and ideologies may have something to teach me. But at some point, open-mindedness must give way to moral clarity.

I’ve not always thought this way. In 1983 I was one of the many liberals who sneered when President Reagan referred to the Soviet Union as an “evil empire.” So simplistic, I thought, and dangerous. I loved America and certainly preferred it to the Soviet Union, but the Soviets were an important force in the world, and I thought it was naive and arrogant to speak out so strongly against them.

I didn’t learn about it until years later, but I would have been even more scornful if I knew about the philosophy of the Cold War that Reagan had voiced several years before he became president, in a conversation with his future National Security Advisor, Richard Allen:

“So,” he said, “about the Cold War: My view is that we win and they lose. What do you think of that?”

What a simpleton, I would have thought. But by the time I first heard of the conversation, America had won the Cold War — and Reagan, more than any other individual person, made it happen. He created the conditions for victory by bankrupting the Soviet Union with an escalation of the arms race — which I also derided at the time. While I joined others in rolling my eyes, he startled his staff and captured the world’s imagination with his clarion call: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” And then, when he sensed the time was right and that Gorbachev was a different kind of Soviet, Reagan pushed past harsh criticism from his right and engineered a landmark nuclear arms treaty, signed at the White House in 1987, as shown in the photo above.

Two years later, the Berlin Wall fell, and two years after that, the Soviet Union fell.

In context, Reagan’s evil empire passage squarely attacks the sense of moral relativism that still guides so much criticism of the United States, both domestically and abroad:

I urge you to beware the temptation of pride – the temptation of blithely declaring yourselves above it all and label both sides equally at fault, to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of an evil empire, to simply call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong and good and evil.

The Soviet Union was, in fact, an evil empire, but I and many others chose instead to focus on America’s shortcomings. The starkness of the contrast between the two great powers became clear to me only in retrospect, but Reagan saw it from the start, and never wavered in his opposition to evil.

Which brings us back to President Bush.

In his January 2002 State of the Union address, Bush famously declared that Iraq, Iran and North Korea constituted an “axis of evil.” Just over four months earlier, I and millions of others had watched evil unfold on live television, as the second plane plowed into the South Tower and the second fireball announced that this was no mere accident. So in the State of the Union address, my main quarrel with Bush’s formulation was not “evil,” but “axis,” evoking as it did the formal World War II partnership of Germany, Japan and Italy.

When a North Korean ship smuggling Scud missiles was intercepted in the Middle East later that year, I warmed somewhat to the term “axis,” but I still think it was problematic. More broadly, however, I’m a fan of Bush’s references to evil and evil-doers — so much so that I named the blog after someone else’s famous quote about evil.

Bush started talking about evil in the days after 9/11 and continued during the run-up to the Iraq War and beyond. He is faulted for insisting before the war that Saddam had — or more accurately, still had — stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. Even though Bill Clinton was convinced, both as President in 1998 and through Bush’s overthrow of Saddam in 2003, that Saddam had WMD, Bush was labeled a “liar” when no such stockpiles were found. I suppose a case can be made that Bush was guilty of believing what he wanted to believe about WMD, but the idea that he lied about it has always been silly — why lie about a momentous matter when you know the lie must be discovered?

WMD or no, Bush’s liberation of Iraq rid the world of a truly evil regime. I still believe it was the right thing to do, and I’m not alone — support for the war has never dipped below a third of all Americans, although until recently you wouldn’t guess that from the tenor of media coverage. Iraq War supporters are a minority, but we are not a fringe group.

For better or worse, Bush’s legacy will always be inextricably tied to the war in Iraq. This means, as I’ve written before, there is a chance Bush will be remembered years from now as the man who planted the first stable democracy in the heart of the Arab Middle East. If some day Islamic fascism joins Soviet communism in the category of defeated ideologies, a President’s clarity about the United States as a bulwark against evil may again be a large part of the reason.

(Photo of Reagan and Gorbachev from the Reagan Library. Berlin Wall photo from Agence France-Presse. Graph from Pew Research.)

A Centrist Obama May Help Moderate the Democratic Party

Today’s edition of Obama Silver Lining Watch (hereafter OSLW) starts with a trip down memory lane.

In my very first substantive post on this blog, way back in July 2008, I discussed how Obama was, inevitably, moderating his stance on multiple issues after finally knocking Hillary Clinton out of the race:

But it turns out Obama is a politician. After winning the Democratic nomination by appealing to the young, the idealists, the activists and the pacifists, he’s swerved right so fast that many of his supporters have whiplash.

Now that he’s won the general election, I’ve blogged several times about my relief at the extent to which Obama has not swerved back to the left. But the very signals that I find encouraging are causing consternation in other quarters.

In an essay titled “The Coming Rift,” Abe Greenwald argues at that Obama and the Democratic leadership are much more in tune with the Republicans than they are with the liberal Democratic base. Noting the recent support for Israel’s current Gaza offensive from Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats, Greenwald says:

On matters of foreign policy, social policy, and economics, Democratic leadership is largely indistinguishable from the Republican variety. And Democratic voters have noticed.

The best part of the essay is where Greenwald analyzes the role of Bush Derangement Syndrome (he doesn’t use that term) in creating a disconnect for Democrats:

The runaway train of preposterous (and liberal) expectations that delivered Barack Obama into the White House first gained speed as a runaway train full of preposterous accusations against George W. Bush. With their cartoonish demonization of every Bush policy and associate, groups like the Daily Kos and made it impossible for any liberal with a web browser to give a single conservative policy a fair shake. Barack Obama’s exploitation and mobilization of this online hysteria made for an unstoppable campaign, but also for an illusory state of political affairs. Democratic politicians, President-elect Obama included, always knew better than the frenzied multitude that voted in “change.” But the netroots were duped as a result of their own momentum.

It’s too early to know how the betrayed will repay their leaders in the next Congressional or Presidential elections, but if Democratic fragmentation is to be avoided down the line, perhaps the introspection about re-branding, redefining, and reaching out needs to happen on the Left.

Democratic activists can be vindictive. In 2000, Joe Lieberman was the party’s VP candidate. Just six years later he was denied his own party’s nomination for re-election to the Senate, and two years after that he became an absolute pariah for daring to campaign for McCain on the basis of support for the Iraq War. The analogy is inexact — Obama clearly is a darling of the liberal Democratic base in a way that Lieberman never was. But that could make the left’s sense of betrayal sting all the more in the context of some future hard decision by President Obama.

Left-wing anger could damage Obama’s effectiveness, but I see happier possibilities for Obama and for our country.

Obama’s election victory was the product of two powerful forces: Obama’s own undeniable charisma, combined with Bush’s liabilities. In turn, Bush’s problems also had two parts: frenzied hatred from the left and dissatisfaction from many across the rest of the political spectrum.

Starting two short weeks from now, Bush will become largely irrelevant. President Obama will be the leader of what Newsweek controversially (but correctly, I think) called a center-right nation. If, as I expect, Obama makes grown-up decisions that infuriate the extreme left, he’ll still have a broad base of support from the center and from some on the right. In the process, Obama — like Clinton before him — may help move the center of gravity of the Democratic party away from the leftist fringe.

(Photo Credit: Alex Wong, Getty Images. Note that Obama is leaning to his right.)

G.W. Bush Better Than Clinton on Gay Equality

Have you heard about the (pro-) gay-rights bill our President signed right before Christmas? Probably not, if you rely on the mainstream media for news. In fact, even the blogosphere has been strangely quiet about it, although Gay Patriot launched an item about it this morning.

His succinct wrapup (a reference to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell):

Bush increased American gay rights, Clinton took away American gay rights. Facts are facts.

Hat tip: A Disgruntled Republican.