Sunday, August 24, 2008

Good thing!

Just this morning I was thinking "Boy, aren't we glad that back in 2005 we all ignored Peter Beinart's advice to kick out of the Democratic party?" I mean, check out this view from Beinart circa late 2004:
In sharp contrast to the first years of the cold war, post-September 11 liberalism has produced leaders and institutions - most notably Michael Moore and MoveOn - that do not put the struggle against America's new totalitarian foe at the center of their hopes for a better world. As a result, the Democratic Party boasts a fairly hawkish foreign policy establishment and a cadre of politicians and strategists eager to look tough. But, below this small elite sits a Wallacite grassroots that views America's new struggle as a distraction, if not a mirage.
Hilariously he went on to explain the way to fix the disconnect between the grassroots and "a cadre of politicians and strategists eager to look tough" was to get new grassroots:
The challenge for Democrats today is not to find a different kind of presidential candidate. It is to transform the party at its grassroots so that a different kind of presidential candidate can emerge. That means abandoning the unity-at-all-costs ethos that governed American liberalism in 2004. And it requires a sustained battle to wrest the Democratic Party from the heirs of Henry Wallace. In the party today, two such heirs loom largest: Michael Moore and MoveOn.
Well, let's not be too hard on the guy. A lot of pro-war liberals thought that the path to credibility on foreign policy was promising to do everything the Republicans wanted but more competently. Still, it's nice to stand back every once and a while and admire how thoroughly this kind of thinking has been discredited. The left of course has just nominated a candidate who became famous exactly because he disagreed with people like Beinart. MoveOn is part of the fabric of the party. And even the right is debating dropping the alarmist foreign policy positions with the insurgency of Ron Paul.

1 comment:

Bret said...

I agree, as they say in sports, "Winning is the best deodorant." You can't be both obviously right and politically marginalized for very long.

I don't know how seriously the GOP takes Ron Paul at this point, though. The Paleo-Neo split was fairly palpable even two or three years ago, and you see very little in the way of reaching across the divide. You can take the pulse of the Paleoconservative view of the split by reading Pat Buchanan, and the pulse of the Neocon view by talking to my parents for five minutes.

I find it telling that my parents now fully disavow Bush exclusively for his views on immigration. The right has begun the process of rejecting the Bush Presidency, but they can't yet agree on the public reason they'll give for doing so.