This is going to be short, as I’m really busy, my brother’s getting married and I’m dead tired.
But I read this post at Eschaton, and I couldn’t let it go without an Amen:
Well, look, the reason why a lot of left of center types don’t like the “‘hawkish’ brand of liberals” begins, of course, with their support of the Iraq war. Nice move that turned out to be. Then, you know, that group tended to think monitoring liberals for insufficient enthusiasm for painted schools and turning-the-corner-lights-at-ends-of-tunnels was more important than pointing out the obvious clusterfuck that was unfolding in their pet war. Once regret set in and the election passed we were told that the real reason we lost the election was because Fat Michael Moore and the Move On crowd were insufficiently enthusiastic about blowing shit up generally and supporting more George Bush led wars, and these “softs” tainted the Dems so much so that they should be purged from the party.
I’m all for Dems being associated with being the tough guys because I do think pandering to the ill-defined center does actually win votes. I’m all for the Dems being perceived as serious about foreign policy. A little “those guys would really blow some shit up if need be!” attitude goes a long way. Whatever his other flaws as a candidate may have been, Howard Dean actually had that but he dared oppose them and their pet war. Peacenik!
As far as I can tell the liberal hawks have mostly offered a series of op-eds telling Dems to get serious about foreign policy and telling people who were against the Iraq war to get out of the party.
Seriously, this is a major problem. But it’s not the worst part of this constant harangue from the liberal hawks. The worst part is that they keep telling us: liberals have to develop bold foreign policy alternatives to the Bushies’ policies. Over and over again we hear this refrain, but we’re never told what these bold policy alternatives might be. We’re just told over and over again: “we can’t just withdraw from Iraq…yackety schmackety blah blah blah.” OK geniuses…it’s time you show your cards. What should we do in Iraq? What’s the bold liberal policy that will fix it? Increase the number of US troops in Iraq? Really? Isn’t the military having recruitment problems? Got a liberal solution to that?
Sooner or later the Liberal Hawks are going to have admit that, with respect to Iraq (to coarsen Juan Cole’s words a bit), we may be fucked