Wednesday, January 31, 2007
An interesting natural experiment in the Senate: The Darryl Levinson thesis revisited
There is an unusually interesting story in today's Washington Post, tellingly titled "For GOP, Discord in Dissent," on the growing tensions in the Senate with regard to expressing disapproval (or support) for Bush's escalation (or whatever you think it is). What I find most interesting are the following paragraphs:
If we accept that the individuals of both parties are interested only in self-preservation, than the two parties are behaving exactly as expected.
Sadly, at this point, it is in the Democrats best interest for the war to continue and for it to be a total fiasco. They have already attained the "party of opposition" status with regards to the war, without really opposing it. The choice in 2008 will be between a party that favors continuing the war (Republican) and a party that favors not discontinuing the war (Democratic)--logically the choice is the same, but the Democrats get the advantage of being able denounce the war--the continuation of which only enhances their power--while doing nothing to end it. Meanwhile, Republicans who turn against the war appear as opportunists and are encumbered by their own party's habit of labeling anyone who is anti-war as a "defeatist" or a "traitor."
The vanity of Hagel and other opportunistic Senators at least agitates for change, but it is again only for self aggrandizement. I think that when John Murtha turned against the war, every potential presidential contender in the Senate perked up his/her ears and realized the staggering amount of favorable free press they would receive by turning against their party. This has lead to many individuals denouncing the war, but neither the Senate nor the House has any interest in acting, so the status quo will continue until after the 08 elections.
I should finally note that the condition of craven cynicism that today infects and directs the Democratic party does not make the party of opposition a righteous savior--they clearly are anything but. However, Republicans will seize on this fallacious reasoning during the coming election cycle, as a way to denounce the motives of their opponents.
For the record, I reject the description of Senator Hagel as "opportunistic," as would certainly be the case with, e.g., Rep. Murtha. Others may deserve such an appellation, in both parties, but one should not presume that everyone who is speaking out on the war (including those who support it) is moved by crass self-interest. There are honest patriots on both sides.
Just for the record, I hope it is clear in my prior posting that I do NOT regard Rep. Murtha as "opportunistic."
I suppose that Murtha and Hagel are as "opportunistic" as any of us. It's in our nature. As pols, even more so, given the rewards of being pro-MIC and a pol these days. Just ask Randy "Duke" Cunningham or Duncan Hunter or "Crazy" Curt Weldon, to name but a few. I don't see that "opportunism" at all in Murtha or Hagel's opposition to the war. Not one bit. These are two men who have seen war up close. I do see it in other Republican's new found opposition. And I doubt the Democratic party is quite as cravenly cynical is Keith Carr thinks they are or I am myself.
Keith Carr... Sadly, at this point, it is in the Democrats best interest for the war to continue and for it to be a total fiasco.Post a Comment
If even you were as cynical as you think the Democrats are, you'd know this war was a total fiasco about the time Bush donned his flight suit and declared: "Mission Accomplished".