March 14, 2006


US Democrats in dry dock over ports (Stephen Zunes, 3/14/06, Foreign Policy in Focus)

Congressional Democrats finally found the courage to challenge the Bush administration on a post-September 11, 2001, security issue - one they were able to win. This came after they had proved themselves timid in challenging the administration in its invasion and occupation of Iraq, the initial passage of the Patriot Act, the bombing of Afghanistan, the detention without due process and torture of thousands of detainees worldwide, and other horrendous policies.

Unfortunately, they chose an issue of little real importance and decided to appeal to popular racist and jingoistic sentiments by raising exaggerated fears over the implications of a routine transfer of ownership to a company that operates facilities at some terminals in six US ports.

If they were willing to go completely jingo the Democrats could own the whole set of issues implicated here: nativism, isolationism, and protectionism are there for the taking.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 14, 2006 11:58 PM


Their argument, however, would have to be along Pat Buchanan lines: America is too good for the world. Democrats could try to act like they believe that, but most people will be able to tell they're lying.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at March 15, 2006 1:18 AM


Recall that the bundle always incorporates hygiene theory.

Posted by: oj at March 15, 2006 7:34 AM

The lines quoted were interesting - it appears the author believes that the Democrats should have challenged the Republicans over the Patriot Act, Iraq, and detention of terrorists and illegal combatants. And what is more, he thinks they would have won, and that the public would support those postitions.

Right there I know enough to realize that this author doesn't know either diddly or squat about politics and what is possible. The ports deal was possible (even if stupid); none of the others were open for exploitation, unless, of course, you enjoy getting beat like a red-headed step-mule.

Posted by: Mikey at March 15, 2006 7:44 AM

Sounds like this guy wants a Feingold-Murtha ticket in 2008. Bring it on!

Posted by: jim hamlen at March 15, 2006 11:05 AM