I got a confession to make. I have developed these systems over the years that help me to do things. Decide things. It takes some time to develop them, but they are tried and true.
Light's red. I just stop. No need to question why or breeze on through if no one is around. No need to try and thread the needle just to show off. Stopping at those things is preordained for me. Hot outside? No coat. I mean, I could wear one. But it really isn't necessary. Already tackled this. The system says no coat.
I see a hippie at a "Legalize Medical Marijuana" booth on Venice Beach. No need to check. I already have run the numbers. He is hitting the medicine cabinet.
A woman with a hyphenated name? 98.3% of the time, it's trouble. Why bother to find out if this one is the exception? A man with a hyphenated name? He's at the medical marijuana booth.
Our systems seldom let us down.
Okay, so where is this going?
Well, Ted Kennedy is as reliable a detector of good and evil as there is in Washington, D.C. He really is. I am hard-pressed to find a better weather vane than old Ted.
When he was working with Bush on the Education Bill, it was preordained that there would be dastardly pork, goodies and unwieldy regulations throughout. And his signature on McCain's immigration bill (speaking of indicators, I have a complex formula that involves dividing the Kennedy evil quotient by Pi.), was a sure indicator that the thing was a disaster. He likes John Kerry, etc. It's fool-proof.
And Ted doesn't like the new Bush Iraq plan at all. He is even threatening to cut off funding to the troops (which the Demos will never do). Thus, it must be fairly good. It's at least a dramatic improvement over what we all were fearing with the Iraq Study Group.
Here's another indicator that is as reliable as Ol' Faithful: When Democrats praise the non-partisanship and inclusiveness of Republicans, that means that the Republicans are up to no good.
So, I saw today that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are complaining that Pres. Bush allowed them "no input" into his new Iraq policy. (By the way, what was that red body shawl that she was wearing at the Demo presser? Scary.) This is a good sign. Who do they think they are? His spouse? They get no input, unless it is granted. And that would be a mistake. It's always a mistake to do what the Demos want you to do. Always.
Remember when Nancy Pelosi corrected Brit Hume after she was elected Queen of Congress and told him that the objective was not winning in Iraq, but rather "solving a problem". These people don't have a plan for our success in Iraq, and candidly there is no evidence that they want us to win there. And what right do this congresswoman from California and senator from Nevada have to give their input to the commander-in-chief, any way? None.
And what do either one of them know? Pelosi's claim to fame is being a grandma. Reid is a pretty crafty land dealer. But they have no national security expertise, and they weren't elected to be commander-in-chief. Beat it.
So, based on these tried and true indicators, the troop surge policy, with an eye toward and end-of-year handover to Iraqis, seems to be a step forward rather than backward.
I don't know yet what the president will say regarding the rules of engagement. Here's hoping that our troops are given rules of engagement that free them up to clean up. We will see. And we don't know yet what the plan is with respect to the Shitte militias. Al Maliki may be hedging his bets by keeping friendly with these radical Shiites. Maybe if the surge in Baghdad works, al Maliki will warm to doing what is necessary with respect to Moqtada al Black Teeth. Again, we'll see.
But if Ted says the light is red ... by all means, go.
P.S. I know, I know ... I said I would do a post on "The Minority" ... a real spellbinder. Well, I tried but ... I am thinking next week.