Thursday, June 29, 2006

Again with Critical Review

The Decembrist: My Lieberman Problem -- And Ours

The cited article is an excellent summary of the reasons for opposing Lieberman. The money quote is
It seems to me that Lieberman is following the path, quite literally, of the neo-conservatives - not the Rumsfeldian nationalists who incorrectly wear that label now, but the original neo-cons of the 1960s, driven to the right above all by their irritation at the left, often based on domestic politics. (Hence the title of this post, an allusion to one of the most famous original documents of the neocons, Norman Podhoretz’s 1967 essay, “My Negro Problem - And Ours”.)

Is that enough of a reason to oppose Lieberman? Sure, because it’s a huge error on one of the most fundamental questions of our time. It’s an error not of policy or of political loyalty, but of attitude. And it is not an error that I see others making. I heard Ed Kilgore today, on a bloggingHeads sequence, argue that if “the bloggers” come for Lieberman today, tomorrow they’ll go after Steny Hoyer or Hillary Clinton. I can’t speak for everyone, but while I have disagreements with Clinton and probably Hoyer, I’ve never heard them say things as deeply offensive to my sense of what democracy and patriotism requires as I’ve heard from Lieberman recently.
Which I believe can be put in more concrete terms by considering the concept of 'critical review' which I've talked about elsewhere

In short, if you want to successfully create and run or modify any remotely complex system (like and economy or foreign policy, etc). you cannot rely upon the wisdom or intelligence of any individual or small group to get it right. You will have to come up with proposals and subject them to critical review. That is, have a diverse group of independent thinkers review the proposal and present criticisms that will have to be addressed. This process is essential and is incorporated in every successful mechanism we use to create, run and modify complex systems.

Liberman's position, on the other hand, is to abandon this process, to abandon critical review. That is the "error of attitude" that Mark Schmitt talks of. So Lieberman is profoundly, and fundamentally wrong. Indeed, the truth is that we cease to criticize our commander-in-chief at our peril.

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Can't Agree

I don't really know the state of Connecticut politics and poling, but I find this analysis over at Tapped hard to believe. Tomasky is citing Dick Morris claiming that Lieberman will be very hard to beat if he runs as an Independent. With independents all over the country falling away from the current Administration, it is hard to believe that Independents will go strongly for a candidate who is breaking away from his party in order to stay tied to the Administration.

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Monday, June 26, 2006


It should not be surprising that moderate Republicans will start to leave the Republican party as the far Right takes over the party. The far right of is a minority opinion and many long time Republicans will see that they have no future in the party as the Religious right takes over. It is also hardly surprising that where the Religious right has been strong for so long, Kansas, the switch is starting first. There will be a lot more defections like this over the next few years.

One important lesson though is that the Democrats need to avoid getting themselves all tied up in these issues, like evolution and even gay marriage. The national Democrats need to stand on the right side of these issues and fight for what is right, but the issues are primarily local, not national and the critical issues are the economy, national security and health care.

Daily Kos: Kansas Republican Moderates Are Switching To The Democrats And Rejecting Extremist Neocons

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Sunday, June 25, 2006

Matthew Yglesias nails it.

The left doesn't hate this country as the right loves to claim, rather, unlike the right, the left believes in this country and its institutions. Civil rights and a free population are needed in order to have security.

The right seems to be convinced that we citizens of the US are in constant, immediate mortal danger because of the countries dedication to civil rights.

The left believes that our national security is excellent and that our dedication to civil rights is an essential part of that security.

The right wing seems to be driven by fear, panic and cowardice.

The Washington Monthly
I Find Your Lack of Faith Disturbing | TPMCafe

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Saturday, June 24, 2006

The Media are Loosing it

If this report concerning David Brooks' next column is at all true then the media truely are loosing it. Anyone remotely familiar with Daily Kos knows that no one is blindly following Kos. Open criticism and disagreement is the hallmark of Kos, throughout the communinty. Brooks is nuts.

Daily Kos: Updated: David Brooks calls out "kingpin" Kos

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An Essential Difference

The point raised in this post is a very important, indeed essential, difference today between the Republicans and the Democrats. The Democrats recognize the need for critical review. The Republicans not only have abandoned this idea, but now hold it in contempt. Look, no one is smart enough, or virtuous enough, or wise enough to put together any time of complicated plan or program that has no flaws. Any plan put together by one individual, or a small group of like minded people, will have serious flaws. Those flaws will only be removed if the plans are subjected to critical review, by a diverse group of independent people. Without that review the plans will remain deeply flawed. That is what we are seeing in Iraq. The Bush-Cheny-Rumsfeld plans for Iraq were never really reviewed, certainly not by independent critics (or to the extent that independent critics did put forth their comments, those comments were ignored) and as a result the worlds greatest supper power is struggling to come up with some kind of success in fighting Iraq.

Will the Democrats plan for timed withdraw work? I don't know. But the current plan of more of the same will not. Also, if the Democrats plans are reviewed and debated, as the Democrats are doing, this nation will come up with the best options possible to salvage as much as can be from Iraq.

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