Even smear tactics require a certain plausibility. When you damn someone as a big scary mega-troubling racist misogynist homophobe and he seems to any rational observer perfectly non-scary and non-troubling, eventually you make yourself ridiculous. The boy who cried "Wolf!" at least took the precaution of doing so when there was no alleged predator in view. If he'd stood there crying "Wolf!" while pointing at a hamster, he'd have been led away for counseling. That's the stage the Senate Democrats are at.
More "troubling" for the party, the whole scarified routine is over something of ever more doubtful political value. Throughout last week's hearings, the Democrats had five key concerns: abortion, warrantless wiretaps, abortion, abortion and abortion. Neither abortion absolutism nor constitutional protection for terrorists resonates with the broader public -- and, indeed,going on cable TV round the clock for a week to flaunt such peculiar fixations only makes them look ever more disconnected from reality. When Ted Kennedy & Co. were demanding that the ancient records of the Concerned Alumni of Princeton be subpoenaed, I received a fluttering of e-mails comparing the Dems to Sen. McCarthy. But Red-baiting, unlike partial-birth abortion, had the advantage of public support.
Here he is calling for England to stop treating Iran with kid gloves:
Jack Straw has been at pains to emphasise that no military action against Iran is being contemplated by him or anybody else, but in a sign that he's losing patience with the mullahs Mr Straw's officials have indicated that they're prepared to consider the possibility of possibly considering the preparation of a possible motion on sanctions for the UN Security Council to consider the possibility of considering.