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RUSH: James Taranto at the Bestoftheweb.com, Wall Street Journal.com. ‘A leading Democratic lawmaker lashed out at the former leaders of Germany and France, calling former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder a ‘political prostitute.’ The Associated Press reports from Washington: ‘I am so glad that the era of Jacques Chirac and Chancellor Schroeder in Germany is now gone,’ [California’s Rep. Tom] Lantos said to applause. He said when the United States asked Schroeder to support its decision to go to war in Iraq ‘he told us where to go.’ ‘I referred to him as a political prostitute, now that he’s taking big checks from (Russian President Vladimir) Putin. But the sex workers in my district objected, so I will no longer use that phrase,’ Lantos said. … Lantos said Chirac ‘should go down to the Normandy beaches. He should see those endless rows of white marble crosses and stars of David representing young Americans who gave their lives for the freedom of France.’ He said under the successors of Schroeder and Chirac, Angela Merkel in Germany and Nicolas Sarkozy in France, relations with the United States ‘will take a very positive turn.” Well, now, isn’t this fascinating? Isn’t that fascinating? Why, I thought it was our fault that the French and the Germans hated us. I thought it was Bush’s fault. I thought he had destroyed our reputation and our image around the world. Now we find out it’s Chirac and Schroeder who were to blame, from Tom Lantos, Democrat, California?

In fact, as Mr. Taranto points out, ‘A few years ago Donald Rumsfeld was disparaging ‘old Europe’ while Lantos’s fellow Democrats were accusing the Bush administration of alienating America’s allies, most notably Germany and France.’ You remember all that. ‘It looks as though Rumsfeld was right, and the allies have come around, to the extent that they are capable of doing so. Once again, reports of the Bush administration’s failure were greatly exaggerated.’ I tell you, they are. These Democrats are just relentless. They don’t stop, like the Mafia. They’re patient. If you end up in their crosshairs, doesn’t matter, 15 years, and they’re going to get you. And they won’t stop, until they do. They’ll make the biggest mountain out of the smallest molehill. Of course, they are aided in this effort by their willing accomplices in the Drive-By Media. Republicans do not play the game this way. They just do not play the game this way. It’s not in them. They will tell you, and I’ve asked a bunch of them, ‘If you’re not going to go on offense why don’t you at least fight back against some of these outrageous things that are said?’ President Bush on down, ‘Well, if we tried that we wouldn’t get the coverage.’ Yes, you would, at least you’d get coverage at first, you’d get novelty coverage because it would so surprise the Drive-By Media, they’d say, ‘Whoa, what are the Republicans doing here?’ and they’d report on it. And of course they would characterize it as the Republicans being responsible for the lack of civility and reasoned discourse in the culture. But you know who would love it, it’s all of us.

You know, Republican voters have been sitting around I think since the budget battle of 1995 for some of this return fire. Look at Petraeus. These guys all voted for Petraeus in the Senate, Senate voted for Petraeus to be the new chief over there in Iraq, head up the surge and do all this. Now all of a sudden Dingy Harry and Ellen Tauscher, congresswoman from California, ripping Peter Pace, the chairman of Joint Chiefs, and they’re ripping Petraeus, Dingy Harry ripping Petraeus. And you know why they’re doing that? Because everybody’s pointing out, ‘Wait a minute. You unanimously confirmed his appointment to do exactly what he’s doing. Now you’re pronouncing it a failure?’ The Democrats reaction, ‘All right, you going to remind everybody, you going to remind everybody that we unanimously supported Petraeus, fine, we’re going to take him out. We’re going to politicize this. We’re going to politicize everything. You keep reminding the American people of our hypocrisy, we’re going to take you guys out. We don’t care how long it takes. We’ll do it, and you’re not going to stop us.’ And that’s what they’re doing, and, by the way, Pace is out! Pace been thrown overboard by Bob Gates, the defense secretary. I just told Mr. Snerdley, I think Carl Levin is running the Pentagon, the Democrat on the Armed Services Committee. It appears to me that Gates is new-toning it here trying to give Levin everything he wants, including the heads of the top commanders that the Democrats don’t like.

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