Random commentary and senseless acts of blogging.
The first Republican president once said, "While the people retain their virtue and their vigilance, no administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can seriously injure the government in the short space of four years." If Mr. Lincoln could see what's happened in these last three-and-a-half years, he might hedge a little on that statement.
Prisoners of Azkaban
Sunday, September 14, 2003
The New Republic, which was once a great liberal magazine and intermittently acts as if it still is, has recently been rating the Democratic candidates on such categories as political courage, intellectual honesty, and sucking up to neocon foreign policy. Okay, I made up the last one - sort of. They seem to believe that support of their publication is a vital necessity for Democratic candidates, a claim for which they cite none other than Howard Kurtz, who is one of the many low points of a Washington Post editorial page that has become such a collection of shameless shills and pathetic hacks that The New Republic's decline is, in comparison, hardly noticable. However, on their own criterion of intellectual honesty, TNR gets no better than a D. This piece attacks Howrd Dean's much-noted statement that the US should "not take sides" in the Middle East. It claims that Dean's statements mark "a precipitous break with previous policy, which is based on strong military, economic, and political support for Israel". But another post quite properly points out than Dean made this statement in regard to negotiations, where the US still has to function as an honest broker between the sides. Dean has clearly stated that he is committed to the traditional bipartisan policy that "the United States will maintain its historic special relationship with the state of Israel, providing a guarantee of its long-term defense and security".
The bottom line is that Dean has made some statements which, if taken out of context and spun the right way, suggest he wants to make a fundamental reverse in US support for Israel. And he has made several statements which state, clearly and directly, that he has no such intention. Dean could have spoken more clearly, but his imprecise remarks are far more acceptable than TNR's calculated misinterpretations.