Tuesday, December 5, 2006

We all hate to say, 'I told you so,' but sometimes... you just can't avoid it. Thomas Edsall, in the Times (TimesSelect):

The embroilment in Iraq is not an aberration. It stems from core party principles equally evident on the domestic front. For a quarter-century, the Republican temper — its reckless drive to jettison the social safety net; its support of violence in law enforcement and in national defense; its advocacy of regressive taxation, environmental hazard and pro-business deregulation; its ‘remoralizing’ of the pursuit of wealth — has been judged by many voters as essential to America’s position in the world, producing more benefit than cost.

While some Republican long shots have paid off handsomely (the Reagan administration’s accelerated arms race arguably drove the former Soviet Union into bankruptcy), now the dice are turning up snake eyes. In November, voters concluded that the Bush administration had run one risk too many. After 40 years of ascendancy, the G.O.P. has provided Democrats with an opening. Will the Democratic Party, often insufficiently authoritative and bold, manage risk better? Democrats arguably suffer from their own impaired judgment: utopian faith in the power of negotiation and compromise — naïve, perhaps, in a world where the threat of bloodshed is endemic.

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