Political Animal


BUSH AND HOMELAND SECURITY….One of the things that Democrats could do a better job of is criticizing President Bush’s lame efforts to increase domestic security. Today Alex Gourevitch, writing in The American Prospect, tries to make that point:

Bush’s problem is not that he’s doing too little for national security but that he’s doing it incorrectly, frittering away precious resources on ill-conceived programs of nightmarishly large bureaucratic proportions but little security benefit. Rather than call for more money to be spent on homeland security, Democrats should be taking a hard look at how Bush is spending the money he already has. And if they did, they would find ample grounds on which to criticize the president.

Unfortunately, the entire article focuses on immigration problems, an issue that’s already a Democratic hobbyhorse and, I think, is unlikely to persuade people that the Bush administration is acting clumsily.

Unfortunately, this is the problem with so much writing on the left: it’s just too damn mushy and unpersuasive. If this were a conservative issue, a dozen think tanks would already have written detailed position papers, carefully poll tested and wordsmithed, and sent them off to hundreds of newspapers and congress members. Index cards with talking points would be distributed by the thousands. Op-eds would be flying out of their word processors.

We just don’t have this kind of organization, and we need it desperately. There are loads of areas where Bush can be attacked on his homeland security policies, but to do a good job requires a lot of dedicated research and a well-funded organization that can get it out to the world.

How come there aren’t any ultra-rich liberal cranks willing to bankroll this kind of thing?

SELLING OUT THE KURDS?….American foreign

SELLING OUT THE KURDS?….American foreign policy has a long history of creating long term problems in return for short term gains. Exhibits A and B (this year, anyway) are the aid that we gave to both Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein in the 1980s. To some extent these tradeoffs are inevitable in an imperfect world, of course, but you’d still like to think we could learn from our mistakes.

But probably not. Nathan Newman points to a New York Times article today indicating that in order to get Turkish support for the war with Iraq we are getting ready to sell out the Kurds. Of course, this has always been the price of Turkish support, but it’s still sad to see us playing this horrible game.

The warbloggers keep telling us that we don’t need any allies to win this war. If that’s the case, why are we making deals concerning the Kurds in order to get basing rights in Turkey?