This is how you do it, boys. A little charm, a little linkage, a little low-intensity flaming, and pretty soon — she’ll notice. It’s like pulling the pigtail of the cute girl sitting in front of you in first grade. Or “Woman of the Year,” except with blogs instead of a newspaper and we never actually meet.

She’s so not getting an invite to Russ Feingold’s inauguration:

The reality is that Rumsfeld got a lot alot [sic] of it right in this speech — something you frankly will not hear me say very often, since he too frequently offers analysis (no insurgency, war will last six months etc.) that is questionable at best — but he goes too far with the appeasement argument, which has become a staple of Sean Hannity in recent weeks. I believe there is a war on terror; I believe it’s the greatest threat of our time; I believe it’s akin to Nazism. And I believe the threat is grossly underestimated by many people.

Hot.

But then she kills the mood:

But I would be hard pressed to come up with a list of names of elected officials or opinion leaders who are “appeasers.” That’s a pretty serious accusation.

A few things here. First, unless I missed something, Rumsfeld never attributed that view to pundits and politicians. He said it was held “in some quarters,” which admittedly is vague and weaselly but no more so than KP’s own acknowledgment that the jihadi threat has been minimized by “many people.”

Second, no politician or pundit is going to come out publicly in favor of appeasement, no matter how fervently they might believe in its effectiveness. The stigma is too bright and the hint of cowardice too rancid for anyone to emulate the Chamberlain approach, which is precisely why nutroots messiah Keith Olbermann made the analogy he made the other night. We’re left to infer people’s tendencies towards appeasement from their public statements on other subjects, a good example being Kerry’s reference in one of the debates in ’04 to “passing the global test” before going to war. If he was willing to subject American military power to some sort of international veto in the interests of “peace,” many of us figured, what else would he be willing to compromise on?

There were other hints about him, too, but we’re in no position to throw stones anymore, alas.

I’ll admit, though, that “appeasement” was a poor choice of words to describe what I think Rumsfeld meant. For one thing, there aren’t a lot of concessions we could make that would do the trick even if we wanted to. The only real options are to convert, cede whatever land they ask for, or confront them directly. As Steyn likes to say quote, “We are not fighting so that you will offer us something. We are fighting to eliminate you.” Nice and simple. What I think Rumsfeld was aiming at was what KP herself said about people who misunderstand or willfully blind themselves to the danger. Buckley and Will and Novak believe Iraq was a mistake, but neither Don Rumsfeld, I suspect, nor most other conservatives would call them appeasers for wanting to leave — not because they’re right-wing but because we know they take the threat seriously. We’re on the same page, just not the same paragraph. What page is this guy on, though? Is he even reading the same book?

I’ll grant, then, that without some proposal of concessions, “appeasement” doesn’t adequately describe the fast-becoming-mainstream fringe left’s ignorance about Islamic fundamentalism and mania to withdraw from Iraq immediately, whatever the consequences. We’ll leave that term for countries that retreat in direct response to terror attacks. Or for ex-presidents who lend their prestige to the notion that fundamentalists can be placated through “dialogue.”

I hope KP will at least concede, though, that they show some troubling tendencies.

I think she will. She ain’t a Lieberman supporter for nothing.

Exit link/exit question. Link: Dems rally to battle the real enemy. And question: which liberal will the boss end up debating on O’Reilly once Powers finally crosses over to the dark side?

Update: Speaking of appeasement, here’s some good news for Hezbollah. If they ever get tired of having them there, they know exactly how to get rid of them.

Update: Right on cue, some douchebag who periodically spams me with left-wing links sends along today’s BuzzFlash editorial comparing Bush, Rumsfeld, and the rest of the gang to Hermann Goering. Bonus points for working in the beaten-to-death quote about denouncing pacifism as a way of getting the people to do your bidding, as though there could be no other reason ever to do so. Vote Lamont!