Administering the Ipecac
Ruy Teixeira gets to the heart of what is most troubling about Peter Beinart's much-talked-about TNR article on how Democrats should deal with the issue of terrorism (link)
Peter Beinart, editor of the The New Republic, proposes in their latest magazine that Democrats stop all this unity nonsense and get down to what's really important: purging the party of all those wrong-headed "softs" who don't have the backbone to stand up (really stand up) to the new totalitarian threat of Islamic fundamentalism. Their failure to "report for duty" (Beinart specifically mentions only MoveOn and Michael Moore but I think his criteria for softness would also implicate most of the liberal blogosphere, most Dean campaign activists, a good chunk of the leadership of the 527s and countless others within the party) cost the Democrats the White House in 2004 and will do so forever until Democrats decisively remove them from power and influence in the party. Yes, it's purge time in the glorious spirit of the late '40s actions against Communists and those soft on them within the Democratic party.:
Ruy is right. Beinert and those of a like mind may deny it, but there really is no way to interpret his article other then as a call for a purge. And it's not just a purge of the most extremist elements, which could arguably be considered a correct thing(*). Beinert is calling for a purge of those who have not sided with the proposition that the Iraq War is a part of the War On Terror (in other words, his side). These are the people who have argued that the war in Iraq was a distraction from that greater conflict.
This despite (and perhaps because of) the fact that those people happen to be right.
(*) Purges are not necessarily wrong when the objects of the purge are inherently damaging to the movement as a whole. Republicans could stand to purge elements like Ann Coulter and Michael Savage while Democrats could stand to purge elements like Al From and Bruce Reed (joke joke (not really)).