Monday, October 17, 2005

In The News

The New York Times notes a change in rhetoric from the administration and sees it as a harbinger of a new public relations strategy to prepare the public for a long, drawn-out ideological battle reminiscent of the Cold War. "Now administration officials are beginning to describe the insurgency as long-lasting, more akin to Communist insurgencies in Malaysia or the Philippines, but with a broader and more deadly base," says Times reporter David Sanger. The hope of some conservatives such as Bob Novak and Pat Buchanan that Bush's re-election would lead to a withdrawal from Iraq has proven to be hopelessly naive.

Along with Karl Rove and Scooter Libby, it looks like the Veep might be the target of prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. In writing about the election in November, I said, "Is there any good news? Yes, there is...The last three presidents who won re-election were saturated with scandal in their second terms. Given that the Israeli spy scandal, the Plame case, the 'yellow cake' debacle, the lack of WMDs, Haliburton’s contracts, etc. are still out there, there is always the possibility that though the electorate did not hold the Bushies accountable, perhaps the courts will." It is obvious to anyone with eyes that a nefarious collection of neocon ideologues and Likudniks operated through the vice president's office to drag the country into war-and it's time someone answered for it.

The spending in Washington has gotten out of control. Despite the record of Republicans in Washington, the ethically challenged Tom DeLay declared victory in the war on pork. When asked if that meant the government was running at peak efficiency, Mr. DeLay said, "Yes, after 11 years of Republican majority we've pared it down pretty good." Can the Democrats be any worse than this?

Paul Weyrich has been writing a series of short essays on the future of conservatism (that it is dead apparently does not occur to Mr. Weyrich). But here he says some thoughtful things about how conservatives should think about foreign policy:

In my view, the next conservatism needs to take a hard look at our foreign policy from exactly this perspective. Do we now have a foreign policy that requires a federal government, and particularly an executive branch, so strong that it is a danger to our liberties? If we do, then we have a fundamental contradiction at the heart of our foreign policy. Why? Because the most basic purpose of our foreign policy should be to preserve our liberties. As Senator Taft understood, this touches on the most sensitive foreign policy question: to what degree should America be active in the world? Since his time, the whole Washington Establishment, the New Class, has come to condemn his position, which I think is the real conservative position, as "isolationism." But the word is a lie. America was never isolated from the rest of the world. Rather, through most of our history, America related to the rest of the world primarily through private means, through trade and by serving as a moral example to the world, the "shining city on a hill." That policy served us well, both in maintaining liberty here at home and in developing our economy.

It's sad that serious conservative foreign policy thinkers like Andrew Bacevich have to go to 'The Nation' to get published these days.

The Boston Globe profiles Richard Land, James Dobson, and Rick Warren. Speaking of Warren, I see that this "seminary" is providing an entire curriculum culled from "The Purpose-Driven Life."

Send Johnny to the local temple of atheism and be rewarded with a free trip to jail, courtesy of local "educators."

The civil libertarians are out in force, out to protect every major leaguer from the specter of hearing about Jesus.

This is probably old news to some, but Pat Tillman, who became a poster-boy over at Faux News upon his death, opposed the Iraq war.