Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Pro-Democracy Progressive

Dr. Moose, Ph.D. in Street Psychology from Central Texas Normal College, counsels donkeys not to let President Bush drive them crazy.

The Moose was surfing the radio dial yesterday and came across a broadcast on Pacifica Radio. The report was on the developments in the Ukraine and the gist was that the opposition was perhaps the creation of a dark American plot. According to Anne Applebaum's column in the Post today, this conspiratorial view is not limited to the outer reaches of the American left -

Just in case anyone actually thought that all of those people waving flags on the streets of Kiev represent authentic Ukrainian sentiments, the London Guardian informed its readers otherwise last week. In an article titled "US campaign behind the turmoil in Kiev," the newspaper described the events of the past 10 days as "an American creation, a sophisticated and brilliantly conceived exercise in western branding and mass marketing." In a separate article, the same paper described the whole episode as a "postmodern coup d'etat" and a "CIA-sponsored third world uprising of cold war days, adapted to post-Soviet conditions."

The Moose's response to all this is that he certainly hopes that the United States is assisting the pro-democracy forces in the Ukraine, or anywhere else for that matter. In fact, a range of Americans from the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute to George Soros-funded organizations have been helping Eastern Europeans make the transition to democracy. And the Moose applauds the Bush Administration for supporting the rights of the opposition in the Ukraine.

The Moose shares much of the American left's critique of the Bush Administration, particularly on the domestic side. As Leon Wieseltier observed, "you cannot govern as Winston Churchill some of the time and as Grover Norquist most of the time." But the Moose fears, particularly in frustration with a second Bush term, some on the left will take leave of their senses and reflexively oppose Bush foreign policy, even when it is on the right side such as in the Ukraine or in the Sudan.

The Moose is an old-school progressive. He fondly remembers the day when AFL-CIO president George Meany championed labor rights and economic justice at home and promoted democracy abroad. The Moose strenuously objects to the Bush redistribution program for the rich because it denies the country critical resources in the war against terror and is unfair to those Americans who largely bear the burden of defending our nation.

But the Moose urges the donkey not go nuts in response to the depredations of the Bushies. The Moose wished Kerry would have won. He didn't. If he had, President Kerry undoubtedly would have been on the side of democracts in the Ukraine.

The Moose remembers the days in the late 90's when some on the right, including the House Bug Man DeLay, viciously attacked the Clinton Administration's intervention in Kosovo. Progressives can do better than approach foreign policy in a partisan, reflexive manner. Senator Biden sets a good example for a rational approach to foreign policy for an opposition party.

Indeed, sometimes politics should stop at the water's edge.
-- Posted at 3:01 PM | Link to this post | Email this post