War tactics, media tactics, election tactics
Wizbang has identified the similarity in military tactics between the Iraqi terrorist insurgency and those who would foul the blogosphere with "vile invective and insults."
. . . if you kill enough Americans (but not too many), and seasoned it with a healthy dose of barbarity, you could get the Americans to leave you alone.
And that is what we are facing now in Iraq. There is no way our enemies can hope to defeat us militarily. Nor can they pose any threat to our ability to sustain our forces. And nearly all reliable reports indicate the morale of our forces in Iraq is very high, and the efforts in Iraq is overwhelmingly supported by the troops.
The only way our enemies can win is to attack and defeat the resolve of the American people to continue to support the war. It's a battle like no other in history, with no clearly-defined combatants or fields of battle.
(I had a personal experience with this tactic recently, in the comments section of another blog. I went in prepared to calmly argue facts and positions; I was greeted with vile invective and insults. I briefly gave in and fought back in kind, but I finally gave up in disgust. That's when it hit me; my opponent wasn't attacking my facts or style, but me personally, in an effort to discourage me from continuing the argument. He wasn't looking to win the argument on its merits, but to drive me off, and I was letting him.
It was what I've started calling the "chamberpot defense." When his position was attacked, my opponent so thoroughly befouled the argument that it simply became too vile to be worth fighting over. He won the argument, but he has to live with the mess he created in the process. It's related to the scorched-earth defense in war and the poison-pill defense in business.)
Wizbang has identified the political tactics we have seen in this country for a long time, but which began to reach fever pitch during the Clinton administration, as leftists and the MSM implemented this scorched-earth policy.
The most prominent example of this policy was Al Gore's Florida challenge in 2000. Even though Gore lost, he achieved his objective. He so discredited the political process that Bush' administration was undermined throughout the entire first term. Only with Bush' victory in 2004 can we begin to repair the damage. But the MSM/DNC remain committed to scorching the earth. The left continues to try to scare up an Ohio challenge. Only if we turn their attacks against them will we avoid further damage. Any leftist who challenges Bush' legitimacy should be known as one who tilts at windmills in Ohio.
A worse example can be found in Washington, where Democrat voter fraud threatens to install a Democrat governor. The governor's office is only secondary in the DNC calculations. First and foremost is the ability to discredit the election process. Not that we should let them have their way for the sake of preserving the public's faith in the process. We must fight them, win and prosecute the offenders. We must use the blogosphere, talk radio, etc. for the purpose of telling the full story of how the Democrats work.