The Therapy Sessions
Saturday, May 10, 2003
The Washington Post's Jonathan Chait is right on:
“Perhaps the most disheartening development of the war -- at home, anyway -- is the number of liberals who have allowed Bush-hatred to take the place of thinking. Speaking with otherwise perceptive people, I have seen the same intellectual tics come up time and time again: If Bush is for it, I'm against it. If Bush says it, it must be a lie. Their opposition to Bush has made liberals embrace principles -- such as the notion that the United States must never fight without U.N. approval except in self-defense -- to which the Clinton administration never adhered (see Operation Desert Fox in 1998, or the Kosovo campaign in 1999). And it has made them forget that there are governments in the world even more odious and untrustworthy than the Bush administration.”
Amen to that.
Hatred is irrational and the Left is full of it right now. Sputtering with rage, they are unable to communicate clearly. They are going to pay a dear price in 2004 if they don't snap out of it. If that election were held today, they would be pummeled in the House, they would lose four more seats in the Senate, and Bush would get four more years.
Having a viable second party is essential, and I think the Democrats need to re-discover themselves. They should start by examining their heroes. The evolution from John F. Kennedy to Teddy Kennedy parallels the decline of the Party. John was vibrant, distrusted big government, strongly advocated a muscular US foreign policy and viewed government as a tool for making the US (and the world) a fairer place (so that the exceptional could excel). Modern Democrats forget this, and they cast him in the image of Teddy: a bloated, self-serving and thoroughly corrupt politician, who views government largesse as a way of buying the votes of society's losers.
The Democrats need more Joseph Lieberman and less Howard Dean. At some point they will discover this. It would be better for the nation if they discovered it now instead of in 2020.