Cal Thomas on the Belgian Threat

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Unofficial Just for Men spokesman Cal Thomas uncharacteristically employs a passive voice to recap the latest plot development in the midterm elections: "Republicans have a fair story to tell about what they've accomplished…but their narrative has been interrupted by the trashy subplot of Mark Foley and his trolling for male House pages." But the real issue of this election isn't a booze-swilling cruise-a-holic like the conservative congressman from Florida, says Thomas. It's not even ginormous increases in spending, which really was a Democratic thing anyway. As Thomas puts it, "Too many [Republicans] joined the Democrats at the spending trough, setting earmark records" (and what about the Democrat-led Medicare expansion, Cal?).

The real issue is defense:

Democrats have no plan for keeping America safe, or winning the war against the fanatics. They have opposed most of the Bush administration's domestic surveillance methods. They have opposed aggressive interrogation tactics designed to get information to protect us, including opposition to the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where detainees are treated better than they could expect if they were detained in their homelands.

This election isn't about House pages; it's about survival. In his new book, "America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It," columnist Mark Steyn states this irrefutable fact about the importance of winning in Iraq: "Being seen not to run—or, if you prefer, being seen to show 'resolve'—should be the indispensable objective of U.S. foreign policy. Were these colors to run from Iraq, it would be the end of the American era—for why would Russia, China, or even Belgium ever again take seriously a superpower that runs screaming for home at the first pinprick."

Ignore for the moment the times when the U.S. did cut and run, seemingly to no terrible outcome (Reagan pulling the Marines out of Lebanon, say). Or the times when superpowers showed loads of "resolve" while bleeding their resources and domestic support (Afghanistan for the Soviets, say).

Remember this: We're only a midterm election away from Belgium–home of Tin-Tin, the Smurfs, Dr. Evil, and half of the smooth-singing sensation Sandler & Young–not taking us seriously. The stakes have indeed never been higher.

Whole Thomas col here.

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