Still Pissed Off About the Hawley-Smoot Tariff

Monday, January 31, 2005

More on Democracy in Iraq

Via Stephen Green, the VodkaPundit, I found this WSJ piece by Arthur Chrenkoff, who has been posting the good news from Iraq for quite some time now, in order to offset the primarily negative treatment by the MSM.

Post-election coverage on conservative blogs has basically emphasized two points.

1. Rounding up as many inspirational quotes as possible, showing how committed some Iraqis are to Democracy. One particularly amazing story is about a guy whose leg was blown off in a car bomb last October (you can find it at the link above, and elsewhere) but who voted anyway.

2. Slamming the liberals who are downplaying the significance of the election or undermining its legitimacy. Hans Bricks has a particularly good example of this latter approach. I especially like his summary of prominent lefties Atrios, Chomsky and Joshua Michah Mellencamp Marshall's Talking Points Memo.

Because these are the only big stories in town, and because I don't really feel like rounding up all the links that round up all the links, I think I'll just be satisfied with the posts I've done and call it good.

But there is one other point I think needs to be made, and it doesn't fall neatly into number 2 above, so I'll flesh it out here. Matt Yglesias responds to the elections:

"Looks reasonably successful so far, no mass casualties, turnout low only in a few trouble spots. It's time to prepare for three weeks of gloating from the hawks before they realize that nothing has really changed and they return to previous hawk practice of not mentioning Iraq. The interesting thing to watch, I think, will be whether or not Shiite political unity starts to break down now that the elections are behind us."

I guess it's no surprise that Lefties are genuinely disappointed by the high turn-out and lack of violence. But get this: Yglesias' complaint is not that the election is illegitimate, or that Iraqis never really wanted democracy in the first place. What's got him in such a bad mood? Let's look again:

"It's time to prepare for three weeks of gloating from the hawks..."

Is that seriously your biggest concern, here? Never mind the fact that 25 million Iraqis now live under a democratically-elected government for the first time in decades, how will this look politically? I don't know that much of what I've posted here has been "gloating" (other than a photoshop of an Iraqi woman flipping off Zarqawi and a crack about Ted Kennedy), but this kind of comment absolutely begs for it. Matt Yglesias, ha ha ha on you. You, personally, suck. Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries. If you are more concerned with petty politics on the day the Iraqi version of the Berlin Wall comes down, you deserve to be shamed and harassed by gloating hawks for far longer than three weeks, and you deserve to watch your party of choice get voted into oblivion time and time again.

For the love of everything good and holy, can petty partisanship not play the deciding role in your reactions for one single day? Can you actually find it in you, somewhere, deep down, to actually feel happy that oppressed people somewhere far away have taken an important step towards enjoying the freedom you're so quick to crap all over? Or is your soul too small, shallow and embittered to see and acknowledge the good, just because of how it will play in Peoria?

Arguably at least, observations by John Kerry or Markos Zunigas that the polling was flawed can be advanced (much as I disagree with them, for basically the reasons you'll find here). But to assail the elections, not out of some committment real or feigned to a higher vision of democracy, but just because you don't want to hear your political opponents gloating - that redefines shallow. Congratulations, Matt Yglesias, you have set the bar at an all-time low.