Administration Swung & Missed At A Sneaky Curveball
How US Fell Under Curveball’s Spell
Take, Twist & Run
Why is this relevant to a blog on constructing a neoprogressive movement? Isn't it just more liberal doveishness?
I don't think so. The original Progressives were very concerned about the (un)wisdom of extending American power overseas -- about the desire of some powerful people to build an American empire. The Progressive movement 100 years ago fought to keep America's focus closer to home, and to ensure that when we did intervene in foreign affairs, it was constructive. They did not, in a word, favor adventurism.
The worldview that's driving this Administration's war in Iraq, like the rest of its foreign policy agenda, is one that wishes to establish America as aglobal imperial power -- primarily economically, but with the military if necessary. That view is not different than the policies the original Progressives fought against.
So if there is an anti-Bush-administration slant to this site, it's for good reason. Karl Rove, the man Bush called the "architect" of his presidency, has said that Mark Hanna, the political genius behind the McKinley presidency, is his role model. McKinley presided over the Gilded Age of robber barons and disproportionate wealth in what previously had been a largely egalitarian nation, and the original Progressives rose to combat his policies. So, yes, to the extent Rove is the neoHanna, and Bush is the neoMcKinley, the Neoprogressives will oppose their policies.
This view shouldn't drive true conservatives away. Neither McKinley nor Bush was truly conservative. The Neoprogressive values of democracy, flat-field capitalism, and a blend of optimism and caution aren't partisan, and the Neoprogressive Movement must have -- does have -- room for traditional conservative values, including the desire for a strong, and properly used, military. War hero, hunter, and Republican Teddy Roosevelt was one of the great original Progressives. He would have supported the troops, supported the war in Afghanistan, and opposed the war in Iraq. We need conservatives like him in our movement today.
Back to the news story: This new information is just one more stone on the growing pile of evidence that the U.S. was misled into this war. It's not deep wisdom to note that governments misleading nations into war are a bad thing. If the real reasons for war are good, they should be aired, debated, and substantially agreed upon before the war starts. If they're not good enough to share publicly, then they're not good enough to expend American lives advancing.
Demanding truth and accountability from our government, especially in matters of war and peace and American lives, is a Neoprogressive value that cuts across the usual political labels. It's not liberal, it's not conservative, it's simply American.