In its inimitable fashion, today’s lead New York Times editorial provides unwitting evidence of how the left wing of the Democratic party has redefined the center.
The Times denies the charge made by Mr. Lieberman’s supporters that Mr. Lamont and his minions are “wild-eyed radicals who want to punish the senator for working with Republicans and to force the Democratic Party into a disastrous turn toward extremism.”
In truth, the subtle way in which the ultra-left has insinuated itself into the fabric of mainstream Democratic politics is completely lost on the Times. Indeed, the more plausible post-mortem gloss on this election is that the Democratic center has shifted leftward, not “radically” as the Times asserts–which makes its point more credible–but nonetheless meaningfully.
Indeed, the anti-war, anti-military, and unequivocally anti-principled American leadership themes of Mr. Lamont’s campaign are irrefutable. In fact, we are witnessing the nascent admission by Democrats that America is simply wrong to argue that despite its “unpopularity,” seeding democratic principles and values in the Middle East is a worthwhile enterprise.
Leadership is a trait that has suffered in the crucible of political correctness because it presupposes a confidence in values that the left reads as arrogant. The entire Bush Administration is suffused with the kind of leadership that reflects a deep confidence in the certitude of its moral bearing and, in particular, in the certainty that evil is inherent in the Islamic extremists–all of which is anathema to liberalism.
It’s those uniquely diffident and morally skittish characteristics that Mr. Lieberman’s loss embodies that heralds an era of political isolation for the Democratic Party.
But that doesn’t prevent the Times from expounding its tiresome list of charges against the Bush Administration, from starting an elective war, for having a contempt for international agreements, Congressional prerogatives, and our courts. There is, in each of these allegations, the scent of defeatism and a denial of American exceptionalism insofar as they seem perfectly content to reduce the moral footprint of this great nation, and, in doing so, undermining our national security.
Perhaps its most venal and naive assertion is that the “Bush agenda” contravenes “the conviction that America should not start wars it does not know how to win.” This at once betrays a historical ignorance and a veneer thin understanding of warfare itself.
Indeed, the intellectually effete editors at the Times should study each of America’s major wars and pay particular attention to the profound challenges we faced as we dealt with malevolent, protean enemies, understanding that at numerous times during the prosecution of these wars the very same charge could be made.
The difference is that this is a Republican president who recognizes and is responding to the evil in our midst, while the editors at the Times breathe the rarefied air of liberalism, whose hatred of President Bush is so all-consuming, it effectively recuses them from constructive debate.
Mella is Founder and Editor of ClearCommentary.com.