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kelcimer
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http://www.carnegieendowment.org/publications/index.cfm?fa=view&id=18386&prog=zgp&proj=zusr

quote:
If Power Shifts in 2008
By Robert Kagan
The Washington Post, May 28, 2006

Could the United States be better off with a Democrat in the White House in 2009? Here are a couple of reasons the answer might be yes, even if you're not a Democrat.

The Democrats need to take ownership of American foreign policy again, for their sake as well as the country's. Long stretches in opposition sometimes drive parties toward defeatism, utopianism, isolationism or permutations of all three. What starts off as legitimate attacks on the inevitable errors of the party in power can veer off into a wholesale rejection of the opposition party's own foreign policy principles. Republicans in the 1990s, after supporting an expansive internationalism under Ronald Reagan and the first George Bush, drifted toward quasi-isolationism against the Clinton administration's quasi-internationalism. During Woodrow Wilson's two terms, the internationalist party of Theodore Roosevelt began transforming itself into the isolationist party of William Borah. During the Nixon-Ford years, the party of John F. Kennedy became the party of George McGovern.

Eight years of Bill Clinton brought the Democrats mostly out of their post-Vietnam trauma and revived liberal interventionism. But the George W. Bush years have driven many back. Buffeted between the administration's failures and their party's left-wing critics, the Clintonites either disavowed what they once believed or kept their heads down. Lately they're starting to show signs of life and could still take the reins again if the right Democrat won in 2008. That wouldn't be such a bad thing. No one can claim any more that the old Clinton foreign policy team is less competent than the Republicans who succeeded it. But what happens to these Democrats if their standard-bearer loses in 2008?

The case for electing a Democrat is not only to save the party's soul, though that's a worthy task, but to pull the country together to face the difficult times ahead. The last time the Democrats were in office, the world seemed a comparatively manageable place. They have not yet had to deal with the post-Sept. 11 world. Since the only post-Sept. 11 foreign policy Americans know is Bush's, many believe -- especially many Democrats -- that if only Bush weren't president, the world would be manageable again. Allies could be easily summoned for the struggle against al-Qaeda or to bring pressure on Iran or to replace American troops in Iraq. Threats could be addressed without force, through skillful diplomacy and soft power. Maybe some of the threats would disappear.

This is fantasy.
The next president, whether Democrat or Republican, may work better with allies and may be more clever in negotiating with adversaries. But the realities of the world are what they are, and the imperatives of U.S. foreign policy are what they are. The diffuse threats of the post-Cold War world simply don't unite and energize our European allies as the Soviet Union did, and even a dedicated "multilateralist" won't be able to get them to spend more money on defense or stop buying oil from Iran. A smarter negotiating strategy toward Iran might or might not make a difference in stopping its weapons program. Soft power will go only so far in dealing with problems such as North Korea and Sudan.

In fact, the options open to any new administration are never as broad as its supporters imagine, which is why, historically, there is more continuity than discontinuity in American foreign policy. If the Democrats did take office in 2009, their approach to the post-Sept. 11 world would be marginally different but not stunningly different from Bush's. And they would have to sell that not stunningly different set of policies to their own constituents.

In this respect 2008 would be another 1952. The Republican Party had been out of power for 20 years when Dwight Eisenhower took office, through Munich, World War II and the first years of the Cold War. Many Republicans imagined that everything that went wrong in the world during those two decades was the fault of Franklin Roosevelt and the Democrats. FDR "tricked" us into war with Japan. Then he gave away Eastern Europe at Yalta. Then Harry Truman adopted the disastrous strategy of containment. These were the years when Joe McCarthy, Robert Taft and anti-containment "realists" such as Walter Lippmann flourished. But when Ike and the Republicans finally took over management of the Cold War, years of railing against "cowardly containment" gave way to broad if shaky acceptance.

The country could benefit from a similar passing of the baton in the 2008 presidential election. At the end of the day, of course, a president's personal qualities and worldview are usually more important than the party she or he represents. The Democrats, like the Republicans, could nominate a candidate no sensible person would entrust with American foreign policy. For that matter, the Republicans could nominate someone capable of winning broad Democratic support, which would partly address the debilitating national divide on foreign policy. But eventually America's post-Sept. 11 foreign policy will probably be better if both parties have a shot at shaping it.

Interesting. That actually seems like a decent reason to look forward to having a democrat in 2008 or 2012.

I'm remembering some thoughts I had during the last election to the effect that I don't mind if the democrats win in 2008 so long as the republicans win in 2004. The 2004 election was unfortunately made into a referendum on the war. As long as that was what the election was about I wanted Bush to win. I am glad that he had a second term to correct a few things. Bush has been more conciliatory to other nations, and by the time his watch is up Iraq should be in decent shape. All that said, I can't stand the man and look forward to when he's out of office.

After all that, a passing of the baton would be nice. Here's to hoping the democrats nominate someone worth voting for. [Smile]

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Cytania
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Depends if the Republicans field Cheney as their presidential candidate or if they choose to go for a human being!
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canadian
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like Condoleeza.
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Rallan
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If the Republicans win in '08 I wouldn't mind it being under Cheney. The guy honestly doesn't seem to give a rat's ass about pandering to the rabid evangelical right on hot-button social issues, and the war on Iraq isn't his baby so he's not gonna be under the pressure Bush is to maintain an increasingly unrealistic position on it. He's still an economic rationalist with crooked big-business contacts of course, but then what Republican presidential hopeful isn't these days? [Smile]
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Fel2.0
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That has really got to be a stretch as a reason to vote for a Democrat. By that reasoning we should be switching parties every four years so no party is out of power for too long.
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Liberal
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quote:
Originally posted by Rallan:
If the Republicans win in '08 I wouldn't mind it being under Cheney. The guy honestly doesn't seem to give a rat's ass about pandering to the rabid evangelical right on hot-button social issues, and the war on Iraq isn't his baby so he's not gonna be under the pressure Bush is to maintain an increasingly unrealistic position on it. He's still an economic rationalist with crooked big-business contacts of course, but then what Republican presidential hopeful isn't these days? [Smile]

Cheney would be more about Iraq than Bush would. All of the key Iraq pushers are Cheney's lackeys (Wolfowitz, Feith, Rumsfeld, etc.)
You have to wonder where all those guys got their common obsession about Iraq, probably all from their common, long-time boss over the years (Cheney).

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livermeer kenmaile
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"a) or if they choose to go for a human being!

b) like Condoleeza."

You guys are too funny.

"Cheney would be more about Iraq than Bush would."

Agreed. Cheney was Sec of Defense during the first GUlf War. His entrenchment in military intervention in the region is so deep it's almost buried from sight.

I DO like the Eisenhower Era comparison of the article above. It strikes a healthy cautionary note. A too-common view about a Democratic regime is that it will be a silly give-away via namby-pamby pacifism and welfare wish lists and something called 'liberalism' (let every man define that as it pleases him).

But I think we should fear instead a closet authoritarianism.

Woodrow Wilson and FDR were both viewed by conservatives of the past century as authoritarians, with FDR being viewed as a socialist dictator. After all, the Red Scare happened on Woodrow's watch, to cite one example.

Now many conservatives are horrified to find that Bush is doing similar things as Wilson and FDR (misguided interventionism, civil liberties abuses, unrepentant internment camps) in the name of a War on Terror.

But I see no guarantee that a democratic majority would necessarily reverse this tide. I tend to think that a Democratic regime would move us away somewhat dfrom Bush's positions on these matters, but there are many roads to Mordor...

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cperry
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No way Cheney will get the nom.
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cperry
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BTW (total derail) -- why do parent insist on calling their kids Dick?
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Richard Dey
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Dumb mothers -- and grandmothers. My grandmother called her eldest Big Dick. I got to be Little Dick. That's why I don't dicker.

As to the Democrats' taking the house this year, I think there's a good chance. The north and the east are really, really, really sick of this right-wing religious stuff.

They had their chance -- and public opinion is fully convinced that they blew it in Iraq. How the hell did we get "Dick" Nixon after his defeat? The public was saying that the Democrats had a run at Vietnam, blew it, and anything would be better.

I would say that neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have a viable male candidate in the wings -- and we would get a loser in either case.

The big question I think is that we are domestically ready for a female executive. The problem is that we are not ready for a female executive to be commander in chief. That means that the Republicans are better prepared for a female successor -- and the Democrats utterly unprepared.

Condo is quiet but firm and might gain some respect. Hillary is a strident virago, but wouldn't scare any foreign enemies except by her unpredictability.

As usual, the answer is to vote Libertarian [Big Grin] .

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cperry
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LOL, Mr. Dey!
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Redskullvw
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"The next president, whether Democrat or Republican, may work better with allies and may be more clever in negotiating with adversaries. But the realities of the world are what they are, and the imperatives of U.S. foreign policy are what they are. The diffuse threats of the post-Cold War world simply don't unite and energize our European allies as the Soviet Union did, and even a dedicated "multilateralist" won't be able to get them to spend more money on defense or stop buying oil from Iran. A smarter negotiating strategy toward Iran might or might not make a difference in stopping its weapons program. Soft power will go only so far in dealing with problems such as North Korea and Sudan."

This is the only part of the article which isn't dripping with a "Woe is Me!" slant towards the Democratic party. It also happens to be the only realistic passage written. It hits the obvious, the policy we have follwed under Bush, will be the policy followed under a Democrat. Which kinda lends fuel to the argument, that when pressed to come up with an alternative, the democrats don't seem to have one to offer concerning how they would deal with the war on Terror.

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flydye45
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I will be tranquil and patient with a Democratic win. They have talked themselves into a corner with Deficit Reduction and how their Foreign Policy rocks.

They have set a very high bar for themselves and watching them trip over it will be amusing, particular when they start their own round of deficit spending.

And who knows, maybe the horse will sing...A win/win for Flydye.

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canadian
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Considering the state of the Democratic Party, if I choose to get me some US citizenship, I'd probably be looking at the next round of Republicans, to tell you the truth.

Or vote Concord.

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Haggis
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quote:
They have set a very high bar for themselves and watching them trip over it will be amusing, particular when they start their own round of deficit spending.

Funny, that's exactly how I've felt. It's been fun watching Republicans step on their own d!cks for the last two years.
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canadian
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They must be walking extreeeemely close to their crotches!
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Rallan
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quote:
Originally posted by cperry:
No way Cheney will get the nom.

Oh I dunno, who else is there? McCain's popular, but he's getting on in years, and its a given that the fundie side of the Republican rank and file will mobilise to vote for pretty much anyone except him. Several of the other likely contenders have been shot down in flames by the DeLay scandal or the Abramoff scandal. Santorum's chances as a champion of the evangelical right are in doubt as his popularity with voters is absolutely shot to hell (and nobody wants to field the '06 midterms' least popular failed senator as an '08 presidential candidate). Newt Gingrich is talking about throwing his hat in the ring, but his history and his truly ugly lesbian sister will hold him back. And then there's Alan Keyes, and it don't take a rocket surgeon to understand why he'll never, ever win a presidential primary no matter how often he runs.

All in all, Cheney's probably the strongest contender of the lot (if only by default) other than McCain, and while he doesn't have McCain's popular appeal, he also doesn't have any conservative demographics rabidly oppposed to him. Unless Colin Powell surprises everyone by deciding to run, Cheney's got a chance if he wants to take it.

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cperry
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quote:
Originally posted by canadian:
They must be walking extreeeemely close to their crotches!

short legs
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cperry
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Granted, Rallan, the field is sparse, but I just don't see Cheney getting it, with his health issues, his problems with firearms and friens, and his unfortunate inability to win a beauty contest. Not to say he wouldn't be best qualified, but the voting public will never go for him.

Just my prediction. I'll be following it closely, just because I think it could end up being someone most of us don't even know about now.

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Ivan
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I dunno. I've always viewed Cheney as a bureaucrat rather than a visionary or leader, which is what we should look for in a President. A President can hire bureaucrats. His job is to inspire and lead us.
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mlve
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Everyone is forgeting there are many Republican Governors testing the presidential waters so to speak. Mitt Romney (Mass), George Pataki (NY), Bill Owens (CO), and Mike Huckabee (AR) for example. I actually think that these men are much stronger candidates then any Republican Senator for the Republican nomination. I am not a Republican (or a Democrat) but I like Mike Huckabee he is a very good executive, but no one knows who he is, the same is true with Owens. Romney has the stigma of Massachusetts to deal with. Pataki, has never lost an election and has a lot of experience but no one likes New Yorkers, really he is a pretty liberal Republican.

The nice thing about having a governor as a Presidential candidate is that they have a history as an executive, they can be seen as outside the Washington Establishment, they have a relitively clean slate when it comes to the public unlike Senators and Representatives.

just a quick thought

[ June 15, 2006, 12:22 AM: Message edited by: mlve ]

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canadian
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President Huckabee?
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mlve
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Yeah it does sound really funny doesn't it
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RickyB
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Why Dick? What's wrong with...Rick! That's it! [Big Grin]
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Gaoics79
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I think the author forgot a reason to want Democrats in power in 2008: so that the left types will just stop their bitching. I mean really, it's become so shrill now, so annoying... I'm dead serious. I've had it with Bush and the Republicans. Every time he wins, he makes his opponents more shrill and more irritating. Any successor is going to just carry on with that. We need a Democrat in power to shut these people up finally.
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mlve
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jasonr -
Sort of like the Republican's during the Clinton era. Except that Dem's have no power and are amazing in thier inablity to capitalize on Republican screw ups.

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livermeer kenmaile
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The Dems' current lack of traction and unity in proactive politicizing will likely change soon.

As for the Repubs, the fact that McCain is viewed by so many as unelectable speaks sadly for the Reps and the USA.

Between now and the race, though, weird things could happen.

"I would say that neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have a viable male candidate in the wings -- and we would get a loser in either case."

Ain't it the truth. The 00s will be looked on by history as one uninterrupted *brown* losing streak. Condi might be useful as a candidate; she has had to lie and cover up so much for her male cohorts' ineptitude that she might surprize us and be a straigh-ahead practical leader who will drive the vehicle of state straight through the heart of the collision that has been the Bush administration and get us past this nonsense with some efficiency.

But then, Newt Gingrich and Dick Cheney may announce their plans to marry one another in the Chapel of the Holy Closet, and settle down to raise genetically modified pigs with wings...

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