No Quagmire Here!

Another president began a war promising a “chance to test our weapons, to try our energy and ideas and imagination for the many battles yet to come.” He said that as conditions change, “we will be prepared to modify our strategy.” The heralded modifications never came, nor did an end to the war. President Lyndon Johnson’s war on poverty turned out to be a bigger quagmire than Vietnam. Would that the Democrats would give the war in Iraq as much time to succeed as they are willing to give the “War on Poverty,” now entering its 40th year.

Instead of poor people with hope and possibility, we now have a permanent underclass of aspiring criminals knifing one another between having illegitimate children and collecting welfare checks. It is an ironclad law of economics that if you want more of something, subsidize it; if you want less of something, tax it. But liberals were shocked and bewildered to discover that when they subsidized illegitimacy, they got more of it.

The War on Poverty took a crisis-level illegitimacy rate among blacks in the mid-1960s (22 percent) and tripled it to 69 percent. It transformed a negligible illegitimacy rate among whites (2 percent) to emergency proportions (22.5 percent) – higher than the black illegitimacy rate when Daniel Patrick Moynihan heralded the War on Poverty with his alarmist report on black families, “The Negro Family: The Case for National Action.” (Demonstrating the sort of on-the job-training that has so impressed Hollywood elites, the state with the second highest rate of white illegitimacy is Howard Dean’s Vermont.) Overall, the illegitimacy rate has skyrocketed from about 8 percent to 33.8 percent.

If George Bush’s war on terrorism were to go as well as the Democrats’ war on poverty, in a few decades we could have four times as many angry Muslims worldwide plotting terrorist violence against Americans.

Or how about an “exit strategy” for New York City’s war on high rents? Rent control was introduced as a temporary wartime measure during World War II. Sixty years later, the Germans have been subdued – but government bureaucrats in New York are still setting rents, leading to the surplus of affordable housing for which the city is duly famous. The anointed live in lush five-bedroom apartments in marquee buildings for $350 a month while newcomers are forced to bid up the few units in what’s left of the housing market, paying thousands of dollars per month to live in rat-infested tenements.

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor recently upheld a 25-year failed experiment in race discrimination for college admissions. She breezily announced a pull-out date of 2028. Liberals admired O’Connor’s Solomon-like resolution of a festering national problem and did not concern themselves with the absence of an “exit strategy.”

But George Bush – with the widespread support of the American people and the U.S. Congress – acts to take out a lunatic supporting Islamic terrorism, and within six months, all the Democratic presidential candidates are clamoring for an “exit strategy.” Bush should promise the Democrats that there will be peace and democracy in Iraq long before the Democrats conceive of an exit strategy to the war on poverty, the war on high rents, and the war on white kids applying to Michigan Law School.

The party of diversity is in lockstep in supporting all those idiotic programs. They’re working just great. But our servicemen come under attack while clearing out a swamp of murderous fanatics who seek the death of all Americans and the Democrats have had enough.

To be fair, encouraging Democrats to come up with new ideas is fraught with danger. One Democrat who has recently demonstrated her out-of-the-box thinking is Mattie Hunter, a Democratic state senator in Illinois. (You knew she was a Democrat when the New York Times neglected to provide a party affiliation.) After a fired employee returned to the auto supply warehouse in Hunter’s district to gun down six of his former colleagues, she demanded an investigation into … the circumstances of the gunman’s firing. “How did they do it?” she said. “Did they just say, ‘We’re going to fire you’? Was it done professionally? In today’s day, everyone is under a lot of pressure. When someone loses their job, it’s a shock and tragedy in itself.”

Perhaps Hunter could propose a War on Firing Employees. In 50 years, 69 percent of all employees will be shooting up their workplaces, but the Democrats will urge patience in working out the bugs.