OpinionJournal.com's James Taranto wrote in this week's Best of the Web Today about a conversation on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" between the host and former Clinton aide Nancy Soderberg regarding the spreading of democracy in the Middle East. As has become painfully obvious to watch, Ms. Soderberg, like so many Democrats, is so desparate to return to power that she would prefer American policy failures, since she sees failure by America as an opportunity for Democrats. It is frankly embarassing to watch Democrats continue to hope for American failure so that they can 'rescue' us from ourselves. They can't stand the idea that the liberation of Iraq and the subsequent enthusiastic vote could well mark the beginning of a new era of democracy in the Arab world.
Already since the vote in Iraq we have seen the people of Lebanon rise up and force the upcoming withdrawl of Syrian forces, the presidential order in Egypt to hold real, democratic elections in that country for the first time ever, and the clear move toward further peace in the Israli-Palestinian conflict. In addition, since the Iraq war Libia has chosen to destroy it's WMD's and move back into the community of nations.
How Democrats could be sad over these developments is beyond reason, except that it is clear that they want, and could actually work for American failure to help them return to power. It is truely sad to see a once-great party turned into such a feable excuse for one today.
Here's an excerpt from Mr. Taranto's analysis of the show:
We've long been skeptical of Jon Stewart, but color us impressed. He managed to ambush this poor woman brutally, in a friendly interview. She was supposed to be promoting her book, and instead he got her to spend the entire interview debunking it (at least if we understood the book's thesis correctly from the very brief discussion of it up top).
She also admitted repeatedly that Democrats are hoping for American failure in the Middle East. To be sure, this is not true of all Democrats, Soderberg speaks only for herself, and she says she is ambivalent ("But as an American . . ."). But we do not question her expertise in assessing the prevailing mentality of her own party. No wonder Dems get so defensive about their patriotism.
Here is an excerpt from the show's transcript (by Taranto):
Soderberg: Well, I think, you know, as a Democrat, you don't want anything nice to happen to the Republicans, and you don't want them to have progress. But as an American, you hope good things would happen. I think the way to look at it is, they can't credit for every good thing that happens, but they need to be able to manage it. I think what's happening in Lebanon is great, but it's not necessarily directly related to the fact that we went into Iraq militarily.
Stewart: Do you think that the people of Lebanon would have had, sort of, the courage of their conviction, having not seen--not only the invasion but the election which followed? It's almost as though that the Iraqi election has emboldened this crazy--something's going on over there. I'm smelling something.
Soderberg: I think partly what's going on is the country next door, Syria, has been controlling them for decades, and they [the Syrians] were dumb enough to blow up the former prime minister of Lebanon in Beirut, and they're--people are sort of sick of that, and saying, "Wait a minute, that's a stretch too far." So part of what's going on is they're just protesting that. But I think there is a wave of change going on, and if we can help ride it though the second term of the Bush administration, more power to them.
Stewart: Do you think they're the guys to--do they understand what they've unleashed? Because at a certain point, I almost feel like, if they had just come out at the very beginning and said, "Here's my plan: I'm going to invade Iraq. We'll get rid of a bad guy because that will drain the swamp"--if they hadn't done the whole "nuclear cloud," you know, if they hadn't scared the pants off of everybody, and just said straight up, honestly, what was going on, I think I'd almost--I'd have no cognitive dissonance, no mixed feelings.
Soderberg: The truth always helps in these things, I have to say. But I think that there is also going on in the Middle East peace process--they may well have a chance to do a historic deal with the Palestinians and the Israelis. These guys could really pull off a whole--
Stewart: This could be unbelievable!
Soderberg:---series of Nobel Peace Prizes here, which--it may well work. I think that, um, it's--
Stewart: [buries head in hands] Oh my God! [audience laughter] He's got, you know, here's--
Soderberg: It's scary for Democrats, I have to say.
Stewart: He's gonna be a great--pretty soon, Republicans are gonna be like, "Reagan was nothing compared to this guy." Like, my kid's gonna go to a high school named after him, I just know it.
Soderberg: Well, there's still Iran and North Korea, don't forget. There's hope for the rest of us.
Stewart: [crossing fingers] Iran and North Korea, that's true, that is true [audience laughter]. No, it's--it is--I absolutely agree with you, this is--this is the most difficult thing for me to--because, I think, I don't care for the tactics, I don't care for this, the weird arrogance, the setting up. But I gotta say, I haven't seen results like this ever in that region.
Soderberg: Well wait. It hasn't actually gotten very far. I mean, we've had--
Stewart: Oh, I'm shallow! I'm very shallow!
Soderberg: There's always hope that this might not work. No, but I think, um, it's--you know, you have changes going on in Egypt; Saudi Arabia finally had a few votes, although women couldn't participate. What's going on here in--you know, Syria's been living in the 1960s since the 1960s--it's, part of this is--
Stewart: You mean free love and that kind of stuff? [audience laughter] Like, free love, drugs?
Soderberg: If you're a terrorist, yeah.
Stewart: They are Baathists, are they--it looks like, I gotta say, it's almost like we're not going to have to invade Iran and Syria. They're gonna invade themselves at a certain point, no? Or is that completely naive?
Soderberg: I think it's moving in the right direction. I'll have to give them credit for that. We'll see.
Stewart: Really? Hummus for everybody, for God's sakes.