The writer, a monthly columnist for The Post...It looks like I'm going to have a lot to write about from now on...
Anyway, the article is called Pander and Run, and the argument is that the Democrats always pick the worst fights, because they are motivated by partisan bickering rather than actual concern for national security. Just like with his book, The Good Fight, he actually starts out with a good core of logic (actually taken out of order from the last paragraph) before degenerating into just attacks on the left.
Privately, some Democrats, while admitting that they haven't exactly been taking the high road, say they have no choice, that in a competition with Karl Rove, nice guys finish last. But even politically, that's probably wrong. The Democratic Party's single biggest foreign policy liability is not that Americans think Democrats are soft. It is that Americans think Democrats stand for nothing, that they have no principles beyond political expedience.And given the party's behavior over the past several months, it is not hard to understand why.Now this is something I want to hear about. Which Democrats said that? That's something that would be worth a full editorial at least.
But the rest of the article is completely wrong. Almost all of the things he points to Democrats as doing wrong are in fact some of the few things they're doing right. I think the Democrats are completely correct in criticizing Malaki for his soft line on terror. As he notes, this goes against their previous emphasis on multilateralism - but they were wrong before, not now. He also ties this in to his criticism of the Dubai ports deal, which in reality was another beginning of a coherent security policy, and should be encouraged, not disparaged.
In general Beinhart is a wolf in sheeps clothing, who is gradually starting to shed his costume. But he isn't there yet. What I'm waiting to see is when he or someone else finally starts to realize the full implications of his thinking, "why liberals -- and only liberals -- can win the War on Terror." Then we will be able to solve the national security problem, and get Republicans to stop playing that card so we can start out on a level playing field.