Towards A Good Samaritan World

Friday, November 17, 2006


There's a certain parallel between the firing of Rumsfeld after the election, and the victory of Steny Hoyer as Majority Whip for the Democrat-controlled House. Rumsfeld, the ultimate hawk in his public rhetoric, fell; now anti-war champion Jack Murtha, despite the backing of the new Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, has been rejected for the House leadership in favor of a candidate with more credibility among "Blue Dogs" and "New Dems."

In each case, extreme positions on the war were not the only factor. Ardent hawks tended not to like Rumsfeld, regarding him as incompetent or even too reluctant-- Rumsfeld's apparent preferred strategy of liberating but not occupying Iraq, which was stampeded the Pottery Barn Fallacy consensus, may yet be vindicated by the failure of the occupation to avert the anarchy and civil war, the vague fears of which motivated the nation-building phase of the war (the invasion itself is independent of its aftermath and can/will be vindicated, or not, only at the ideological level, if your ethics is deontological, and/or in the much longer run, if your ethics is consequentialist)-- while Murtha was knocked out more for his corruption than because he's an anti-war firebrand.

The two defeats, however, serve as bookends of the centrist portion of the political spectrum, shrewdly comprehended, for once, by the political class. Whatever is the will of the American people, and that is far from clear, it is not represented by Donald Rumsfeld or Jack Murtha.


  • Some might say that Rumsfeld more or less sabotaged any nation building plans to force quick withdrawal. That's really putting the cart before the horse, though, since I think the real reasoning was "well, we're only going to be there for four months, so why bother planning for security, reconstruction or anything like that?"

    Also, I hate Murtha and I'm so glad that distillation of everything I don't like about Dems was put down. The threats his lackies made afterwards were especially sweet for me, since they just proved how wrong he was for the post.

    That Pelosi backed him, though, gives me a dim(mer) view of her. Supporting a friend is one thing, but who has such foul friends?

    By Blogger Nato, at 11:17 AM  

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