SLOW NEWS DAY?….Has everyone gone nuts today? Let’s start with the right.

In Big Lies, Joe Conason says:

If your workplace is safe; if your children go to school rather than being forced into labor; if you are paid a living wage, including overtime; if you enjoy a 40-hour week and you are allowed to join a union to protect your rights — you can thank liberals. If your food is not poisoned and your water is drinkable — you can thank liberals.

Megan McArdle mocks Conason’s sentiments, Julian Sanchez says, “Golly, thanks liberals! I’d been under the misguided impression that these things were primarily made possible by technological development and economic growth, but it’s good to be set straight,” and Instapundit links approvingly.

But folks, liberals really did fight for all these things, and conservatives really did resist them ? and a lot of other things as well. Would they have happened anyway eventually? Maybe. But communism would probably have eventually fallen on its own too, and that doesn’t stop conservatives from deifying Ronald Reagan and calling Democrats traitors. Hell, even Conason’s rhetoric is pretty unexceptionable in this passage, so I’m not quite sure why the conserva-tarian crowd is getting so bent out of shape about it.

And now the left: what’s up with all the mockery about Bush morphing “major combat operations” into “major military operations”? It’s true that the guerrilla war in Iraq seems to be worsening, but I have to say that I have a hard time faulting Bush’s language on this. His policies, sure, but his language was actually pretty carefully chosen, and the fact that he’s acknowledging the ongoing fighting is to his credit, even if it has come a little later than it should. The difference between “combat” and “military” is pretty trifling, I think.

Must be something in the water today.

POSTSCRIPT: While we’re on the subject of Bush’s aircraft carrier speech, however, the book I’m currently reading reminds me of the last time a U.S. naval vessel flew a big banner that said “Mission Accomplished”: it was in 1982, when the Manitowoc left Beirut with 800 U.S. marines. We were a little premature that time too.

UPDATE: Bush really did say “major combat operations” in his May 1 speech, and it was reported that way by the media, but apparently the headline on the press release was originally “Combat Operations In Iraq Have Ended” and has now been changed to “Major Combat Operations In Iraq Have Ended” on the White House website. Or so it appears (although it hasn’t been changed here.) If they really have been running around changing the website, I guess that deserves a bit of mockery.

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