Friday, January 13, 2006


Through the Prism of Bush

Howard Kurtz, writing Media Notes in the Washington Post, posts a fine essay, Dems vs. Dems, and links to an even better essay by Peter Beinart, writing on Both Sides in The New Republic.

First, the money quotes form Beinart:

Yet, if Lieberman's view is one-dimensional, so is that of his critics. If he only sees Bush through the prism of war, they only see the war through the prism of Bush--which is why they can muster so little anger at America's jihadist enemies and so little enthusiasm when Iraqis risk their lives to vote. Kos and MoveOn have conveniently convinced themselves that the war on terrorism is a mere subset of the struggle against the GOP. Whatever brings Democrats closer to power, ipso facto, makes the United States safer. That would be nice if it were true--but it's clearly not, because, sometimes, Bush is right, and because, to some degree, our safety depends on his success. National security will never be reducible to the interests of the Democratic Party.

What both Lieberman and the Lieberman-haters have lost is what the great social democratic critic Irving Howe called "two-sided politics." Liberals are engaged in two different struggles--one against illiberalism at home, the other against an even more profound illiberalism abroad. Both must be fought with passion. Neither can be subsumed. Each must be sometimes compromised for the sake of the other. It is that moral tension--more than Bush-hatred, and more than wartime unity--that defines the liberal spirit. Let's hope both Lieberman and his critics recapture it in the days ahead.

A vain hope, if ever there was one, at least from on eof the sides in question. Kurtz quotes hyper-partisan Kos:

I don't like Lieberman because he carries water for the GOP. He reinforces right-wing frames. Because he rolled over during the recount in 2000 without fighting for the victory Gore had earned. Because he is the go-to guy whenever the press needs a Democrat to bash another Democrat. He thinks it makes him a maverick or something. In fact, it makes him a tool of the GOP.

Of course, it doesn't help that his views on Iraq are colored by fantasy and wishful-thinking, rather than the realities on the ground. Let's not forget these words from Time's Bahgdad bureau chief:

“I and some other journalists had lunch with Senator Joe Lieberman the other day and we listened to him talking about Iraq. Either Senator Lieberman is so divorced from reality that he's completely lost the plot or he knows he's spinning a line. Because one of my colleagues turned to me in the middle of this lunch and said he's not talking about any country I've ever been to and yet he was talking about Iraq, the very country where we were sitting.”

Remember, for the KOS, Kennedy, and Pelosi Democrats, Lieberman’s views are “colored by fantasy and wishful-thinking,” because presumably he spends too much time talking to military leaders and soldiers, rather than those sole-purveyors of “realities on the ground,” such as the Time’s Baghdad Bureau Chief, safely ensconced in his cocoon in the Green Zone.

Note also the reference to the election “victory Gore had earned” in 2000. The Commander in Chief is wrong, wrong, wrong, because at root, he’s still illegitimate. Far too many in positions of responsibility – in the Democratic Party and Government – can “only see the war through the prism of Bush.”

While there’s probably no better testament to the moral courage and commitment of our President, that’s a pretty sad commentary on any opposition party that seeks preeminence.

(Via Instapundit)


Links: Mudville Gazette

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