This caricature of Democratic Party foreign policy beliefs is unfair and inaccurate, right? Geoffrey P. Hunt of The American Thinker launches a stink bomb today on his blog, claiming that the Democrats’ “last string of national security successes” dates back to the Truman Doctrine and President Truman’s 1947 Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe. Since then? Says Hunt:
(I)mpotence in foreign affairs over the ensuing six decades…is a legacy, now hard-wired into the Democrats’ DNA, rooted as deeply but far more pervasive than the post-Vietnam syndrome displayed by a few Medicare-eligible 1960’s potheads and flower children. This legacy sees its world-picture entirely through the prism of the Constitution through the “establish Justice” portion of the preamble, while conveniently ignoring preconditions such as “provide for the common defense” and “secure the Blessings of Liberty.”
This legacy venerates the likes of Ramsey Clark, Joe Wilson and anonymous CIA and State Department leakers as heroes. Traitors and terrorists are canonized, while George W Bush is called a dictator, racist and theocratic fascist who is shredding the Bill of Rights.
This one-track infatuation with “establish Justice” accompanies an unshakeable love affair with Karl Marx. I know this sounds like the usual knee jerk epithet—when all arguments fail, label the Dems Marxist commies. But how else do you explain their deliberate and calculated moves to distance themselves from a coherent national security agenda? Who are their enemies. anyhow? Certainly not purveyors of tyranny, dictators or terrorists. Their enemy is the mother of all evils—owners of private capital and the means of production. You see, the form of globalism to be feared and repudiated is the free flow of goods and capital through private enterprise. The kind of globalism to be endorsed and embraced is the noble struggle of oppressed workers everywhere against the ruthless forces of capitalism and brutal protectors of democracy, private property and open markets.
This certainly does not comport with what I vote for when I vote Democratic. Much as the current anti-Bush fever makes it seem otherwise, I think a substantial number of rank-and-file Democrats, close to if not a majority, believe in a muscular foreign policy that stands up for those seeking self-determination, free expression and free markets.
We aren’t proud of Ramsey Clark. We don’t venerate Fidel Castro. Bill Clinton was elected in 1992, and he arguably did more to facilitate “the free flow of goods and capital through private enterprise” around the world than any American president of the 20th Century.
The big success many predict for the Democratic Party in 2006 depends on the party’s ability to counter this misperception. The economy’s not going to be much of an issue. Scandal will cost a few Republicans their seats, but not enough to make a difference. I don’t expect a big debate on health care or environmental policy until 2008, if then. Like 2002 and 2004, the 2006 election will be about foreign policy primarily.
So, I’m right, aren’t I? The way Hunt sees the Democratic Party’s foreign policy isn’t close to what we really stand for. Right?