Friday, June 23, 2006

The Donkey-Hawk

The Moose notes the opening for the donkey.

Yesterday, the Moose was struck by William Perry's and Ashton Carter's piece in the Washington Post advocating a preemptive attack on the North Korean long range missile launch. They wrote,

"Should the United States allow a country openly hostile to it and armed with nuclear weapons to perfect an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of delivering nuclear weapons to U.S. soil? We believe not...

"Therefore, if North Korea persists in its launch preparations, the United States should immediately make clear its intention to strike and destroy the North Korean Taepodong missile before it can be launched. "

Needless to say, that was a bold and daring proposal... and the right one. And it was particularly notable coming from two respected Democratic national security experts. It was an example of Democrats critiquing the increasingly vulnerable and hapless Bush foreign policy from the right.

As the Moose has previously mused, if a President Kerry had pursued the Bush Administration's policy toward North Korean and Iran, there would be conservative rioting in the streets. While the Bushies continue to express their determination to win in Iraq, they refuse to bolster the troop levels. And the Bushies always favored tax cuts for their donor class over expansion of the military. As a result, our military is stretched to the limit and the option to commit more troops to Iraq is constrained.

Meanwhile, the right is largely quiescent, paying far more attention to their border war with Mexico. There is no Reagan-like opposition to the flailing and hapless policies of the Administration. And there is hardly a Scoop Jackson wing in the Democratic Party to keep the Administration honest. Instead, the Senate Democratic leadership plays the role of a Rove-enabler by offering quitting resolutions. And the national Democratic left is committed to purging one of their few leaders with stellar national security credentials.

Will at least one Democrat argue that it is a good thing that our intelligence agencies are attempting to use all means to thwart terrorists from hitting us again? Or, will there be more howls of protest over the latest revelation about the aggressive attempts to discover terrorist financial machinations? Expect the latter.

In 1960, '76 and even to a small extent in '92, Democrats gained the White House when they offered a hawkish critique of the Republicans. Now, driven by the base, most of the Democrat can only either endorse the Administration's handling of Iran, or offer a more dovish critique on Iraq.

But, maybe a savvy donkey will realize that he/she may get the nomination by running as a dove, but he/she will become President only as a hawk.
-- Posted at 8:06 AM | Link to this post | Email this post