Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Kaus' headshaker

I enjoy reading Mickey Kaus. He may be an unreformed Democrat, but he can be sensible at times (e.g. his support for welfare reform). He has been on a crusade lately to expose all the liberal BS surrounding "Brokeback Mountain".

What is interesting is his tone deaf advice to the Democrats today after all the effort he has put into telling liberals they are fooling themselves about Brokeback. He writes that Dems should run on a return to normalcy theme because:
The essential premise is that Bush has stretched the military, the Constitution and the civility of our politics to the limit in reaction to the threat of future 9/11s. All this fevered straining and leveraging may have been appropriate at the time, but there's no real need to keep running in hyperdrive. We can routinize the anti-terror struggle the way we routinized the Cold War, when just as much was at stake. We don't have to make an end run around the Constitution or a duly-passed statute (wiretapping). We don't have to torture prisoners or hold them forever without hearings. We don't have to slight disaster relief (Katrina) because the Department of Homeland Security worries only about terrorists. We don't have to unmask CIA agents in a desperate effort to build a case for war. ** We don't have to alienate our allies. We don't have to run giant deficits to finance our armed forces, as if the "Global War on Terror" were a temporary crisis that will be over in three years. It's not. It's a semi-permanent part of the landscape. Democrats can contain the terrorist threat the way, for four decades, they helped contain the Russians--while (as during the Cold War) we allow ourselves to turn our attention to domestic problems such as health care and Social Security.

This might be good advice, except that Bush hasn't violated the Constitution, we don't torture prisoners, we haven't slighted disaster relief, we didn't unmask any CIA agents and the deficit isn't giant. The only people who believe all that are the same folks who want to believe all the breathless hype about Brokeback (hint: not an electoral majority).

Oh, and the idea that the Democrats did a good job during the Cold War is pretty funny, too. I don't think the Cold War legacy of LBJ, John Kerry and Jimmah Carter is going to make people forget about the Gipper.


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