Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Why it's not a good idea to smear a fellow Democrat

William Saletan points out that, while Kerry didn't use words as blunt as Dean's, he himself has hinted at the dangers that America faces if it should ever lose economic and military dominance. ... Outlining his foreign policy views in January, he warned, "In a world growing more, not less interdependent, unilateralism is a formula for isolation and shrinking influence." Interdependence? Shrinking influence? Are these the words of a defeatist? Of course not. Kerry wasn't "compromising" or "tolerating" the decline of American power. He was simply describing trends. China has five times our population. Its economy is growing faster than ours. Every empire in the history of the world has eventually lost its supremacy. You don't have to like it. You just have to face facts, or at least prepare for the worst. Good doctors do it all the time. So do good soldiers. In a USA Today interview on Dean's remark, Lehane said it's "surprising and eye-opening to see a major candidate for president even ponder the possibility of not having the strongest military in the world." How do you like that? John Kerry's spokesman thinks it's irresponsible for a presidential candidate to "even ponder the possibility" of losing our pre-eminence. That kind of rosy dogmatism may not be good medicine or good soldiering, but it sure is good politics.


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