Thursday, January 26, 2006

Imagine you're applying for a promotion but are passed over in favor of another candidate. Or imagine that your pitch for an advertising campaign comes in second to someone else's ideas. Or imagine you're a professional athlete sitting on the bench while other players get the minutes and adulation from the fans. Or imagine your company's management is launching a new project line that you really, really think is a bad idea.

How will you respond?

Do you hope for success for the person chosen ahead of you, because 'success' is best for the organization? Do you do this even though 'success' will be cited by your superiors as proof they were right in not choosing you? Do you root for the new product line to succeed? Do you place the organization's success over what you think is good for you?

Or do you hope for the person to fail, to fall flat on their face, in order to show your bosses they were wrong in not picking you? Do you root for the new product line to be a disaster? Do you do this even though you know your company could be severely damaged by the impact of a failure? Do you place your own feelings ahead of what might be good for the company as a whole?

For an awful lot of people, it's a tough situation to be in and a tough choice to have to make.

And it is the situation anti-war Democrats and liberals find themselves in.

They didn't want the country going to war in Iraq. They know if we're successful in Iraq, Bush will use claim he was proven right and that they were wrong. They know if we're successful in Iraq, there will likely be more such adventures... perhaps in Syria, perhaps in Iran. They know if we're successful in Iraq, that Bush is even more likely to ignore them and their concerns. They know if we're successful in Iraq, the voters will be likely to reward the GOP for years and years.

There are a lot of reasons why anti-war liberals would want our mission in Iraq to fail. But, just like a guy at work who's lost out on a promotion who knows there's not a lot of immediate upside in being too openly hostile to what is viewed as being 'good for the company', so too do the Democrats realize that there are limits to how openly they can root for the mission in Iraq to fail.

So they end up trying to keep their true feelings somewhat bottled up. They take non-sensical positions like "we hate the war, but we support the troops".

But every now and then, we get a glimpse into their true feelings, such as with Joel Stein's comments the other day, with Mother Cindy's comments last year that she blamed Bush more than than the insurgent who actually killed her son, with Michael Moore's depiction of terrorists and insurgents as 'Minute Men'.

And comments such as this provoke a huge backlash.... from the right, as we've seen this week... and from the left as well. It's just that the left doesn't disagree with the comments, they just wish they hadn't been said out loud...