This shouldn't be necessary to say, but increasingly, it seems like the only point worth making to the commentariat. American politics isn't about you. It's not about your ideas, or your personal vision of the world, or your purity. . . . It is the impact of your ideas, and your commentary, that matters. . . . Here's why: Roger Cohen is not president. George W. Bush is. And until Roger Cohen's foreign policy vision integrates itself with an understanding of American power, and how ideas interact with the current administration, he is, effectively, a neoconservative, or, worse, an enabler of the neoconservatives who's able to advocate for their policy agenda without needing to answer for their failures.
(Emphasis supplied.) Great stuff. But it is worth asking this question – are progressive pundits, progressive blogs, and progressive activists considering how their “ideas interact with the current administration?” I think not. There is precious little discussion from most about the fact that the only way to stop the Bush Administration's Iraq Debacle is to not fund it after a date certain. So either they are of the view that NOTHING can stop the Iraq Debacle while Bush is President (and if they think so, they should say so), or they are just as guilty of the narcissism Klein accuses Cohen of. Moreover, while George Bush will not be President after January 2009, neither will Ezra Klein or any other progressive pundit, blogger or activist. More.
Let's assume for a moment that in fact there is nothing that can be done to stymie Bush while he is President and that the Iraq Debacle will continue and that we will continue to live under the threat that Bush may springboard an attack on Iran through the Iraq Debacle. And we just hold our breaths and wait it out until January 2009.
Consider for a moment what appear to be the most likely scenarios for what we will see in January 2009. A Congress slightly more Democratic. And either a Hillary Clinton presidency or a Giuliani, Thompson or Romney presidency. How will the ideas of progressive pundits, blogs and activists “interact with the current Administration?” Are we confident that a Clinton Administration that may include a Michael O'Hanlon and preoccupied with reelection in 2012 will end the Iraq Debacle? We surely do not expect a Republican Administration to “lose Iraq” do we?
The impact of our ideas, writings and activism on the “current Administration” (whenever “current” may be) is important to consider. But what about our impact on the “current” Congress? Why no consideration of that? Why no consideration of the role Congress SHOULD play? Why no pressure on Congress to carry out its Constitutional duty? And why not now? Will we “wait out” Bush only to realize that there will be a new President we have to “wait out?”
No, the time is now to try and pressure those who MAY “interact” with our ideas. Standing silent now while the Congress continues to fund Bush's Iraq Debacle is not an option.