That is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo." The president had a pretty good night last night at the state of the union, don't you think? He delivered his speech well. Snap poll showed 78 percent of Americans liked what he said and he asked us to give his new Iraq strategy a little time. I think that's reasonable.
But as "Talking Points" has stated, the battle for Baghdad must go our way or it is over in Iraq. If the Iraqis don't stand up this time and effectively fight for a free and peaceful country, then U.S. troops will have to be redeployed.
Predictably left-wing organizations like The New York Times and NBC News didn't much like the president's speech. NBC's post-speech coverage featured four Democrat politicians, only one Republican. Fair and balanced as always, right, NBC News? The New York Times editorial made it clear there's little about the Bush administration it likes, but with 86 percent of Americans telling a Gallup poll they are satisfied with their situation right now, all this disenchantment on the left seems a bit mystifying at first. But it's logical if you look a bit deeper.
Here's what the American left wants right now:
• A rapid withdrawal from Iraq , leaving that country to pretty much fend for itself.
• Discussions, but no confrontation, with Iran. — An article in The L.A. Times this week played down any danger from Iran.
• Free medical care for low-income Americans, run by the government .
• No improved security at the southern border — the left wants to maintain the chaotic status quo; the far left wants to maintain open borders.
• A big tax hike on affluent Americans and government regulation of corporate salaries for fat cats
• Suspension of NSA listening programs and target suspected terrorists
• Civilian trials for captured terrorists
• And the closing of Guantanamo Bay.
• And finally: gay marriage, unfettered abortion, medical euthanasia, fetal stem cell research and a host of other social changes.
Obviously, there's a huge divide between President Bush's vision of the world and the left wing vision. And despite the niceties in Washington last night, the "madam speaker" stuff, the divide is what the president race in 2008 will be all about.
And that's "The Memo."
Most Ridiculous Item
The reason that the NBC News has taken a sharp turn to the left, as we mentioned, and some of the stuff NBC is putting out there is grossly unfair and even vile. Most Americans will reject that kind of thing, thus, NBC's entire news product and the image of its parent company General Electric will suffer. Just wait and see.
Ridiculous? No doubt.