Just One Minute
Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Thursday, August 15, 2002

Our Ongoing and Lamentably Obvious Strategy

To busy to post, "Just One Pine" presents the mysterious sound of one hand clapping.

UPDATE: Here is a second article on the same theme, from Today's NY Times, titled " The Democrats and the War". The author: is "Ted Widmer, director of the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience at Washington College, was director of speechwriting at the National Security Council from 1997 to 2000."

The author comments on the history of the two parties in foreign affairs, which for a long time was; Democrats, internationally engaged; Republicans, isolationist. He wonders when the Democrats backed away from foreign affairs:

"Part of the problem is the subtle perception, fed by Republican strategists, that Democrats lack the credentials to conduct foreign policy and oversee defense matters. It is difficult to know when Republicans began to make this argument — or when Democrats began to believe it.

Certainly there was no trace of the idea a generation ago; from 1960 to 1984, every Democratic presidential candidate except Jimmy Carter was a current or former senator with strong foreign-policy credentials. Perhaps the travails of our hostages in Iran had something to do with it, and the fact that their release coincided so neatly with President Ronald Reagan's inauguration. Some damage was surely self-inflicted; Michael Dukakis's ill-advised ride in a tank did little to reassure voters of his defense expertise."

Oh, my. Have we forgotten Viet-Nam? Without attempting to re-fight that war, I think it is fair to say that it had an impact on the Democratic party's self-image with respect to international involvement. Maybe even more than the Duke's tank ride.

UPDATE: Look for M Pine's comments about Viet-Nam here.

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