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Friday, November 16, 2007

Ron Silver And Joe Lieberman: Two Democrats Who Get It

Neo-Con? Extreme Moderate? How About Revolutionary Liberal, by Ron Silver
I find myself increasingly amused as folks extrapolate my support for the Bush Doctrine and our battles in Iraq and Afghanistan to how I feel about everything. When backed into a corner I often describe my politics, quite snarkily I admit, as a little bit to the right of the left of center.

As far as I can tell, my politics, with regard to American foreign policy and projection of American power haven’t changed very much from what they’ve always been—what I would call revolutionary liberalism. I have always resisted reactionaries from the left or right, Democrat or Republican. At the moment, the reactionary forces on the left, the Democratic netroots and their supporters—Mickey Colitis from the Daily Cuss, MoveOn.org and the Moores and Sheehans—are more fearful to me than the traditional reactionary forces of the extreme right. And the Democratic Party seems to be listening to them. [...]

JFK reportedly remarked, “sometimes the party asks too much.” He was referring to the deal his Democratic Party made with southern segregationists to maintain control of Congress. His words are as true now as they were then. Sometimes the party asks too much.

I count myself firmly in the tradition of Wilson, FDR, Truman and Kennedy…and yes, Reagan and George W. Bush. “Go anywhere, bear any burden,” “try to do our best to make a world safe for democracy.” Our national mission, a worthy and ennobling one, is to expand freedom where we can. These are revolutionary goals very much in keeping with our Founders’ vision. They are hardly conservative, let alone neo-conservative goals.
The Politics of National Security, by Joe Lieberman
Since retaking Congress in November 2006, the top foreign policy priority of the Democratic Party has not been to expand the size of our military for the war on terror or to strengthen our democracy promotion efforts in the Middle East or to prevail in Afghanistan. It has been to pull our troops out of Iraq, to abandon the democratically-elected government there, and to hand a defeat to President Bush.

Iraq has become the singular litmus test for Democratic candidates. No Democratic presidential primary candidate today speaks of America’s moral or strategic responsibility to stand with the Iraqi people against the totalitarian forces of radical Islam, or of the consequences of handing a victory in Iraq to al Qaeda and Iran. And if they did, their campaign would be as unsuccessful as mine was in 2006. Even as evidence has mounted that General Petraeus’ new counterinsurgency strategy is succeeding, Democrats have remained emotionally invested in a narrative of defeat and retreat in Iraq, reluctant to acknowledge the progress we are now achieving, or even that that progress has enabled us to begin drawing down our troops there. [...]

I understand that President Bush is a divisive figure. I recognize the distrust that many Americans feel toward his administration. I recognize the anger and outrage that exists out there about the war in Iraq.

But there is something profoundly wrong—something that should trouble all of us—when we have elected Democratic officials who seem more worried about how the Bush administration might respond to Iran’s murder of our troops, than about the fact that Iran is murdering our troops.

There is likewise something profoundly wrong when we see candidates who are willing to pander to this politically paranoid, hyper-partisan sentiment in the Democratic base—even if it sends a message of weakness and division to the Iranian regime.
If only there were more men like them on both sides of the aisle, and fewer people committed to partisanship and politics over country and national security.

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