Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Banality of Bipartisanship















Anne-Marie Slaughter is the Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, but most of what she writes about foreign policy is very boring and quite shallow, heaps of cliched banalities that sound like a speech of the head of Red Cross before a bunch of Valley Girls (see here). But she sounded a bit feisty over the weekend, attacking Partisans Gone Wild in the Washington Post. The central idea: why can't we -- the good Democrats and the good Republicans, you know, the "internationalists" -- just get along when it comes to maintaining U.S. "leadership" in the world -- and isolate all the baddies on the right and the left, you know, the isolationists, realists, etc. It ends with this gem:
It's time, then, for a bipartisan backlash. Politicians who think we need bargaining to fix the crises we face should appear side by side with a friend from the other party -- the consistent policy of the admirably bipartisan co-chairmen of the 9/11 commission, Thomas H. Kean and Lee H. Hamilton. Candidates who accept that the winner of the 2008 election is going to need a lot of friends across the aisle -- not least to get out of Iraq -- should make a point of finding something to praise in the other party's platform. And as for the rest of us, the consumers of a steady diet of political vitriol, every time we read a partisan attack, we should shoot -- or at least spam -- the messenger.

Doesn't that make you feel proud to be a Bipartisan American. Hands across America. Hillary kissing McCain. O'Hanlon and Pollack hugging Kristol and Kagan. Oy. I feel verklempt. So talk among yourselves.