Jonah Goldberg explains that when George W. Bush does bad things - like expand government bureaucracy, or run up the biggest deficit in history - it's actually a victory for liberalism:
[W]hile "Brookings types" may not like the beneficiaries of Bush's largesse, or Republican rent-seekers generally, this doesn't mean that this aspect of Bushism isn't "liberal" in an important sense. Whenever the Right moves toward big-government, this puts more slack in liberalism's leash to be for big government even more.In other words, if Bush squanders hundreds of billions of dollars on sweetheart no-bid contracts, domestic surveillance, and disastrous wars of choice, the problem is not that his actions are illegal, nor that they undermine democracy, but that they might embolden Democrats to overspend on school-lunch programs.
Stanley Kurtz is more than willing to take that risk, if it'll lead to yet another round of giddy spending on laser-based missile defense:
A star-wars-type missile-defense system may have seemed powerless against the massive might of the old Soviet nuclear force. But against a growing nuclear power with a small arsenal, or against Islamic radicals who manage to commandeer an isolated nuclear-armed missile, an anti-missile defense could make a real difference.And that's not the only reason Kurtz is excited about the future. With the regal insouciance of the Amazing Criswell, he reels off a list of coming triumphs for the armchair-warrior caste:
In a post-proliferation world, we are going to be raising another generation of children (probably several generations of children) marked by nerve-wracking “retention drills.” And get ready...the fallout shelter is coming back, too....Alright. On the down side, we're entering an era of violent instability in which nuclear weapons are likely to go off on American soil, which obliges us to invade and "transform" the Middle East preemptively, even though there's no reason to assume that'll work (given both the fever-dream illogic of the undertaking, and the fact that BushCo remains utterly incompetent).
Before, and certainly after a nuclear attack (even a terrorist and/or Iranian nuclear strike on Israel or Saudi Arabia), Americans will be forced to raise a large army capable of transforming the Middle East before final Armageddon strikes.
What’s that you say? We tried that in Iraq and it didn’t work. Well, after the bomb goes off, I assure you we’re going to try it again. In fact, you’ll demand that we try it. And with your patience and political support, at that point, who knows, it just may work....
In this new world, Ned Lamont and the Daily Kos will be a distant memory.
On the positive side, rushing headlong into an unfathomable orgy of religiously charged violence will ensure that moderate liberals like Lamont and Kos have little or no influence on American foreign policy.
Everything must change, it seems, so that everything can stay the same.
Here's Kurtz's grand finale:
[W]e face two choices: preemptive war with Iran, or a nightmare world on the brink of nuclear war and nuclear terror for the foreseeable future. Anyway you slice it, the doves are doomed. Unfortunately, so may we be all.As George W. Bush would say, I love the optimism of that picture!
I seem to remember there being two equally stark choices in the run-up to the Iraq war, too: Invade Iraq and liberate its oppressed people, or allow Saddam to build up his arsenal until he was ready to kill us all.
Kurtz's "nightmare world on the brink of nuclear war and nuclear terror" is, as some of my older readers may notice, a lot like the one we've been living in since August 29, 1949. And the nuclear dangers of our current "post-proliferation world" owe a great deal to American hawks in general and BushCo in particular.
Also, it's funny how Kurtz implies that SDI may have been "powerless" given the USSR's nuclear arsenal, and that fallout shelters were a joke. Anyone who said that in, say, 1984 would've been savaged by the conservative commentariat.
But so what? Sure, the effectiveness of these anti-doomsday strategies may've been drastically overstated for a few decades, but 9/11 changed everything! SDI and fallout shelters must now be the desiderata of all really serious people...just as "democratizing" the Middle East at gunpoint must remain a serious policy option, despite the fact that the only thing neocon intervention has done - or, quite possibly, was intended to do - is to make the situation several orders of magnitude worse.
That said, I have to admit that the commenting system at dKos is pretty irritating...