Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The radical antiwar party - much ado about nothing?

John Hinderaker has a long and thoughtful post opining that the possible hostile takeover of the Democrat Party by the Angry Left may have little practical effect. Read the whole thing, but here are his basic points:

* An antiwar candidate (Russ Feingold the most likely possibility) would not take office until January 2009, by which time the prospect of a pullout from Iraq will probably be moot - few if any US combat troops are likely to be left in Iraq by then anyway.

* No matter which party wins in 2008 there will be no desire for another ground war in the Middle East that quickly.

* The gathering crisis in Neo-Nazi Iran can't be ignored until 2009, that problem will necessarily have been addressed by then and how it will play out and the implications for the 2008 election are unpredictable at this point.

* While an antiwar administration would be less (publicly) supportive of Israel, there are still enough pro-Israel Democrats that any policy differences would be minor.

* For self-interest, even an antiwar president would prioritze preventing terrorist attacks on US soil, and thus would use the anti-terror tools Bush created with every bit as much vigor, and would likely be less scrupulous in respecting civil liberties since (s)he would not have to deal with the kind of press hostility that Bush has faced.

Thus "the practical reality is that events in Iraq have constrained what a conservative administration can do, while the overriding need to forestall terrorist attacks constrains what a liberal administration can do. As a result, the gap in practice between the two alternatives would be, I think, much narrower than one might expect from the rhetorical gulf that separates the parties."

I have to admit that I had not thought of it that way, but he makes a lot of great points. Not that I want to find out what a President Feingold would mean for the War on Terror, mind you, but perhaps it would not be as great of a disaster as, say, an Al Gore win in 2000 would have been.

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