Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Again, Why I Can't Call Myself a Democrat With a Straight Face

I love this. Atrios, a political blogger, recently posted a list of policy items about which left-leaning bloggers ostensibly agree. I learned of the list from Kevin Drum at Washington Monthly, who posted its contents, including: "Simplify and increase the progressivity of the tax code," "Reduce corporate giveaways," and "Marriage rights for all, which includes 'gay marriage' and quicker transition to citizenship for the foreign spouses of citizens."

OK. Not the sexiest stuff, but I can see where he's coming from. I can even forgive the fact that he offers caveats on two of the more pressing issues -- health care ("obviously the devil is in the details on this one") and increased decriminalization of drugs ("the details [are] complicated there too.")

But at the end, Drum writes, "This list isn't meant to be exhaustive, and Atrios doesn't pretend that every single lefty blogger in the world agrees with all of this. And it's solely domestic stuff."

Huh. Solely domestic stuff? This seemed almost too good to be true as a cliched vision of Democrats turning a blind eye to foreign policy, so I visited the original Atrios post to see if perhaps there was further clarification. There was:
I left off foreign policy because I find that most people who write about it imagine they're playing the game of Risk. It's nice to have nice bumpersticker doctrines which are ultimately meaningless, but basically "put grownups in charge" is my prescription. Kick the petulant children out.
Well, I imagine they're not imagining a game of Risk so much as they're trying to come up with answers for incredibly complicated, urgent, consequential matters on a global scale. And as those answers go, "put grownups in charge" strikes me as utterly useless, much more hollow than even the "bumpersticker doctrines" that are derided in the very same sentence.

And of course, the sentiment might be partisan in the sense that it's a knock against Bush, but the rule of grownups over children certainly won't fall in the favor of Democrats in every case. Is John McCain not a grownup? I say this as someone who, in the face of a fundamentalist-Republican alliance, would love to be convinced to vote Democratic again in 2008: How about some ideas, guys?



Blogger Dezmond said...

That has been the Democrats' big problem for awhile. JFK was the last leading Dem I can think of who really had a vision for foreign policy issues. I guess LBJ did, but it was a big failure. Carter was a disaster on the foreign policy front. Clinton was inconsistent and showed quite a bit of weakness. Their main foreign policy "vision" in recent years has been to stand in opposition to whatever the Republicans are doing.

10:40 PM  

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