Skip to comments.The Rehabilitation of the Cold-War Liberal (dangerous liberal alert - he makes some sense - long)
Posted on 04/30/2006 2:40:44 PM PDT by neverdem
This fall, for the third time since 9/11, American voters will choose between Democrats and Republicans while knowing what only one party believes about national security. In 2002, Democratic candidates tried to change the subject, focusing on Social Security and health care instead. In 2004, John Kerry substituted biography for ideology, largely ignoring his own extensive foreign-policy record and stressing his service in Vietnam. In this year's Senate and House races, the party looks set to reprise Michael Dukakis's old theme: competence. Rather than tell Americans what their vision is, Democrats will assure them that they can execute it better than George W. Bush.
Democrats have no shortage of talented foreign-policy practitioners. Indeed, they have no shortage of worthwhile foreign-policy proposals. Even so, they cannot tell a coherent story about the post-9/11 world. And they cannot do so, in large part, because they have not found their usable past. Such stories, after all, are not born in focus groups; they are less invented than inherited. Before Democrats can conquer their ideological weakness, they must first conquer their ideological amnesia.
Consider George W. Bush's story: America represents good in an epic struggle against evil. Liberals, this story goes, try to undermine that moral clarity, reining in American power and sapping our faith in ourselves. But a visionary president will not be constrained, and he wields American might with relentless force, until the walls of oppression crumble and the darkest region on earth is set free.
If this sounds familiar, it should. It was Ronald Reagan's story as well. To a remarkable degree, the right's post-9/11 vision relies on a grand analogy: Bush is Reagan, Tony Blair is Margaret Thatcher, the "axis of evil" is the "evil empire," the truculent French are the truculent French. The most influential conservative foreign-policy essay of...
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
I come from a whole family of "Cold War liberals." In the early 70s, I made the Long March to the Right while they stayed on the rat plantation.
Any idea what the universal password is? Everything I try is not working.
I don't know, either. But I liked the portion that I read.
The link at the bottom of the preview all of a sudden worked for some reason. Strange.
He starts out good and then goes into the typical whine in the second half of the article. For example:
"Since 9/11, President Bush has often been criticized for not asking Americans to sacrifice. But government cannot just tell Americans we are all in it together; it must show them. And in recent decades it has been doing the opposite."
Not much new.
And all of this talk of needing to bring economic progress to our enemies is pointless, Iran was one of the most modern nations in the Middle East until 1979 when the jihadists started dragging them back into the Dark Ages. Our enemies don't want progress, they want to live in the manner of their pedophilic founder, living in huts, barbarically cutting of heads and raping women and children.
The opening is surprising, coming from the NYT. Didn't register with them to read the rest since everytime I do there are black silent helicopters hovering over my house......but the opening was good.
bumpt for later (since you say it is long!)
The left likes to continually focus on the "repressive" Shah and SAVAK. Yes it was barbaric, but it was no different than the barbarianism that exists in most of the Islamic world to this day. The jihadists don't want prosperity, they want to murder anyone who doesn't share their distorted beliefs.
BTW, there's no charge for registering with the NY Times.
BugMeNot is what I was using but not successfully - then I got it all of a sudden.
There are precious few Henry "Scoop" Jacksons or Sam Nunns in today's Democrat Party. Lieberman is about it, and you see him get slammed all the time by people of his party.
That's merely dancing around the obvious. Here's the simplified version, and I'd be willing to bet that most Americans grasp it: Republicans are working to protect America from terrorists, tyrants, and totalitarians; Democrats are working to protect terrorists, tyrants, and totalitarians from America...
The article brings up a few interesting points, but at it's base, is encouraging a sort of America-sceptic ideology to evolve in the Democratic party. It's a nonstarter in my view. The GOP opposition would simply publicize anything to come out of such an ideological scepticism (rightly or wrongly) as "just more of the same 'hate America first' propaganda that has always been coming out of the liberals for years." End of America-sceptic foreign policy, roll credits.
There's also the problem that the author alluded to. Democrats are not becoming America-sceptical interventionists, they're becoming isolationists. Democrats circa 2006 are simply not interested in affairs outside the U.S.
(It's funny to stand back and look at it from a historical perspective, since it appears that President Bush is now cast in the role of FDR.)
No, The strategy that the Democrats are playing at this point is to be the "no" party. If the Republicans are for it, we're against it. It might well work, at least from the perspective of getting short term political power. Why offer up any cohesive policy, which comes with risks, when all you really have to do is just wait the other side out?
But there's bigger problem transcends all this. Whether the Republicans or Democrats win this election or not is becoming increasingly irrelevant, because the prevailing belief out there amongst the public is that the new boss is just the same as the old boss. So why bother to participate in a system where you have little if any say as to how things are run and zero ability to change it? It'll be interesting to see the poll numbers this coming November election. Not so much from the point of view of who wins, but how many people make the minimal effort to show up.
>>The left likes to continually focus on the "repressive" Shah and SAVAK. Yes it was barbaric, but it was no different than the barbarianism that exists in most of the Islamic world to this day.
Just going by the numbers, it was a lot less barbaric. And probably not much more than what it took to keep the jihadis of the day, along with the local Communists, under control.
Only if you believe (as does the author) that damaging the US economy in an ill-conceived cosmetic scheme that will have no tangible effect on the Earth's climate is "acting responsibly".
When I can take the time, I will repost this with every lie, mis-statement, incorrect historical view, and incorrect perspective this guy has.
Who does this guy represent - TNR - The New Republic - a liberal magazine that was first, last and always Al Gore's most constant supporter in the media.
Mr. Beinarts problems stem mostly from the fact that like a true liberal, he believes their own myths.
A cardinal mistake. I have always argued that like our opponents we should export our ideology, not by imposing it, but by educating people in it. We haven't even done that simple act. The checks and balances that our republic affords. the staggered elections to prevent a "tyranny of the majority" etc.. Instead we are making the same mistake in Iraq by allowing a "parliamentary democracy system", the same system that brought us WWI, WWII and Hitler and Bolshevism to Europe. The same failed system that is leading Europe down the primrose path to extinction to prevail. We should translate the "Federalist Papers" into every known language and drop it from airplanes onto the populations. Heck, we should mandate that every American read it.
It pains me to no end the fact that most Americans are ignorant of the principles upon which this country was founded.
quote I was refering to above
I agree with your comments about parliamentary democracies. Unicameral legislatures have similar problems. They are way to prone to mobocracy.
Beinart ignores that the Democratic Party always had its "progressive" left which was in sympathy with the Communists. Just looks at the way it defended Castro's dictatorship . By refusing to support Humphrey in 1968, they caused his defeat and in 1972 they took over the Party. Since that time their thinking has dominated the Party. After Nixon's fall in 1974, they took over the Congress and caused the overthrow of the South Vietnamese governmment. To this day they refuse look at what misery they caused the Vietnamese people.
Republicans are working to protect America from terrorists, tyrants, and totalitarians; Democrats are working to protect terrorists, tyrants, and totalitarians from America...
BUMP and === placemark === for tomorry.
Please remove my name from the Free Republic list.
I will log off and never come back.
Go to Google News and type in "The Rehabilitation of the Cold-War Liberal" it'll get you in.
Actually, Clinton did have a significant impact on foreign policy. He sold nuclear weapons technology for campaign contributions and emasculated the intelligence services. The effects of these and other policies are still being felt to this very day.
Possible, but only because it suits them.
The task isn't challenging at all.
A typical Clintonesque foreign policy example: support for the Albanian (Mohammedan) terrorists against Christian Serbs.