Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Ignatieff on Iraq

Michael Ignatieff manages to say very little in today’s New York Times Magazine commentary. But he does deliver this remarkable admission:

Establishing free institutions in Iraq was the best reason to support the war -- now it is the only reason -- and for that very reason democracy there has ceased to be a respectable cause. The administration’s ideologues -- the ones who wrote the presidential inaugural and its image of America in the service of ’’the Author of Liberty’’ -- have managed the nearly impossible: to turn democracy itself into a disreputable slogan. Liberals can’t bring themselves to support freedom in Iraq lest they seem to collude with neoconservative bombast. Meanwhile, antiwar ideologues can’t support the Iraqis because that would require admitting that positive outcomes can result from bad policies and worse intentions. Finally there are the ideological fools in the Arab world and even a few here at home who think the ’’insurgents’’ are fighting a just war against American imperialism. All this makes you wonder when the left forgot the proper name for people who bomb polling stations, kill election workers and assassinate candidates. The right name for such people is fascists.

You read that right: Bush hatred has gone so far that many Democrats can’t bring themselves to support democracy in Iraq (or elsewhere). They would rather give aid and comfort to the enemy--"objectively," as Marxist grad students used to say, supporting Zarqawi--than admit that anything good can come from the Bush White House. This from a man of the (moderate) Left.

Perhaps then GWB ought to embrace the entirety of the 2004 Democratic platform (speaking in secret evangelical code to let the Republicans know he doesn’t really mean it), thereby driving the Democrats into absolute opposition to everything they once stood for. Works for me.

Discussions - 1 Comment

So Mike Ignatieff admits that liberals are flunking out on supporting freedom in Iraq (and coddling fascists, to boot). Juan Cole (hat tip: Andrew Sullivan) say’s he’s "appalled" by positive media coverage of the Iraq vote, and Howard Dean says he "hates" (his word) Republicans:

It may be a sign of things to come that the only major liberal/Demo figure to behave w/ anything approaching sanity over the past week or so has been Hillary Rodham Commissar. (In fact she has behaved w/ great insincere calculation, of course, but that’s a form rationality at least.)

Does Harold Ickes backing Dean mean that the Clintons have thrown in the towel on trying to stop him? If Dean’s moment of hate--he made that remark at a public event in NYC--gets the coverage it deserves, will it have the same effect on his DNC campaign that his screaming fit did on his presidential campaign?

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