Sunday, June 25, 2006

Running Right

Does this whole "Democrats should run on the right of the Republicans" strategy come from John F. "Missile Gap" Kennedy? If so, I'm not all that impressed with the idea [*cough* Cuba *cough* *cough* escalation in Vietnam* *cough].

Does the above idea explain former Clinton defense secretary William Perry and former Clinton Ass't Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter's op-ed in the WaPo on Thursday (June 22), urging the US to bomb North Korea's presumed test missile? (WaPo analysis here) Or are Perry and Carter playing "bad cop" in a complicated diplomatic game orchestrated with the current administration?

My favorite reaction to this story, btw, is Jim Henley's, here, in which he waxes sarcastic about Perry and Carter's predicting so damned certainly what the consequences--oh! minimal! or surely beneficient!--of such an action would be.

Anyway, American politics are gearing up for the silly season. It alarms me to realize, in my sporadic FP reading, how seriously other countries read our politicians' posturing and positioning on the Potomac. And in today's I think very dangerous situation, while it might seem tactically convenient for Dem hopefuls to tack right on FP and defense issues, I think it would be strategically disastrous. Enough countries are already planning their escape hatches for a post-American century; militaristic rhetoric from a Dem candidate (particularly against a McCain nominee) would be the signal to disengage, call in the debt markers, and pursue one's own interests.


Blogger Gary Farber:

I'm guessing that "FP" is "foreign policy"?

I'm unclear precisely -- or even generally -- what point you have in mind as regards JFK and Cuba, though.

6/29/2006 10:14:00 PM  
Blogger Gary Farber:

It might encourage people to comment more here if....

(How can you tell what day people commented when you have that turned off?)

7/03/2006 10:01:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home