Department of Peace

Now that Democrats control congress - we can have peace! Yes, "peace" at last.

…a bill before both Houses of Congress (House Resolution 3760 and Senate 1756). …will augment our current problem-solving modalities, providing practical, nonviolent solutions to the problems of domestic and international conflict.

If you understand that there is no problem that doesn't require a costly and misguided federal government program, a Department of peace makes perfect sense.

Domestically, the Department of Peace will develop policies and allocate resources to effectively reduce the levels of domestic and gang violence, child abuse, and various other forms of societal discord. Internationally, the Department will advise the President and Congress on the most sophisticated ideas and techniques regarding peace-creation among nations.

Join us now. Create a Department of Peace.  ~thepeacealliance.org

After all this time I finally get it! We've been going about the War on Terror all wrong. Killing terrorists is the last ting we should be doing. Two thirds of our efforts should be spend on rehabilitating murderers, rapists, and child molesters right here at home.

But how can a Department of Peace achieve these lofty, grandiose, and delusional goals you ask? The answer is so simple, I'm surprised I didn't think of it before.

Just as they say, THE solution to crime and violence is simply: "policies" and, "resource allocation".

Hard to believe, I know. But there it is. With the right, (I mean left, of course), policies and resource allocation we can eliminate crime and violence.

The answer to terrorism

A Department of Peace also perfectly solves the terrorism problem. (Assuming there actually is one.) Again, you're thinking, "How is that, Eric?"

Well, again, it's simple. Once we have a Department of Peace in place we will be able to use, "the most sophisticated ideas and techniques regarding peace-creation among nations," and clean up this whole violent dissent against the racist, capitalist plundering, colonialist America problem lickity split.
A Department of Peace will work to: 
-- Provide much-needed assistance to efforts by city, county, and state governments in coordinating existing programs; as well as develop new programs based on best practices nationally

-- Teach violence prevention and mediation to America's school children

-- Effectively treat and dismantle gang psychology

-- Rehabilitate the prison population

-- Build peace-making efforts among conflicting cultures both here and abroad

-- Support our military with complementary approaches to peace-building.

-- Create and administer a U.S. Peace Academy, acting as a sister organization to the U.S. Military Academy.

-- And more…  ~thepeacealliance.org
"And more!"

A US Peace Academy turning out thousands of government funded Cindy Sheehans? Just imagine what we could accomplish.

Yes, this Democratic Congress is going to be great.

Posted by Eric Simonson at November 14, 2006 6:20 AM
Comments
Comment #194961

You know Eric, there are 3 things almost every American desires for themselves and their children in this great land. They Peace, Prosperity, and Liberty.

Your Republican Party utterly failed in the Peace department with the invasion of Iraq. Only partially achieved prosperity gains aimed largely at the more affluent in society while burdening future tax payers under a mountain of national debt. And Liberty, well, Liberty was on a slow track to being made conditional on Americans agreement with the exalted President and his party, which means Liberty was being eroded.

So, Democrats want to reinstate Peace as a first choice in conflict resolution, do they? Though I am no Democrat, I am all for it. America is built on the history that peace COSTS, as does Liberty. The end of the Cold War was incredible costly.

So, spending a few bucks on Peace, seems like an idea a majority of Americans will embrace, I should think.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 14, 2006 6:32 AM
Comment #194965

Eric,

I know “let’s shoot em all and let god sort em out” is the tried and true American message some folks like us to send to the rest of the world but is does not seem to be working.
Diplomacy, cooperation and dialogue are all bad words for the WWF crowd at the trailer park but it’s really hard to apply “You’ll have to pry it from my cold, dead hand.” to every situation.
Read “Soft Power”. It’s a great book that diuscusses leading by example and using credibility and respect to acheive long term goals instead of guns to acheive short term.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at November 14, 2006 8:48 AM
Comment #194968

Andre,

“Read “Soft Power”. It’s a great book that diuscusses leading by example and using credibility and respect to acheive long term goals instead of guns to acheive short term.”

Leading by “example” assumes that grown-ups are in charge, and would take away from the “he did it first” message that has been the hallmark of Republican politics lately.

Posted by: Rocky at November 14, 2006 8:55 AM
Comment #194973

Eric

For the last six years diplomacy has been all but missing from american politics. The current administration’s stand on all issues has been “its our way or the highway”, sorry about that, but there or more of us than you and we just do not care what you think. A shining example of nothing much better than a thug operated nieghborhood.

I would think any sort of open minded diplomatic and educated approach to issues international and domestic would be refreshing and most welcome by the people.

I would like to suggest one addition to their list of objectives.

—Rehabilitate congress. Instill the values of good ethics, honesty, credibitlity and integrity into politics.

So what if it costs a few bucks. At least it would be money well spent. Rather than money thrown away on a winless war, haliburton, lost weapons and bridges to nowhere.

Posted by: ILdem at November 14, 2006 9:48 AM
Comment #194978


Eric: If we create a Department of Peace will it be the first and only one in the World? When we invaded Iraq, didn’t the Department of Defense revert to it’s original name, the Department of War?

Posted by: jlwilliams at November 14, 2006 10:12 AM
Comment #194982

Eric,

It is always either/or with you, strawmen and other fallacies. Your extremist thinking if it led to action would border on criminal.

The result of people who think like you in the White House are evident. We can take down a tyrant and sovereign government in a matter of weeks but when it comes to governing it all goes to hell. Less than 4,000 people killed in a terrorist attack and our actions lead to 100,000 to 600,000 killed because either no thought was given to maintaining the peace or no one cared to give it a real shot.

You are irresponsible to an extreme. If you were in power it would be criminal negligence if not outright criminal. The blood of hundreds of thousands of innocents would be on your hands like Bush and Rumsfeld.

Posted by: chris2x at November 14, 2006 10:58 AM
Comment #194987

“Soft Power” is a good book and the concept is a good one. However, using soft power to do anything hard is like trying to nail jello to the the wall.

Soft power works once the hard power has created the security structures, not before. The EU was possible only because NATO created a favorable security environment, for example.

The preservation of peace requires the ability to wage war and the credible threat that you will sometimes be willing to do it.

It is foolish to study peace w/o studying war along with it. You can have peace only as long as violent people allow it or only as long as you can keep them in check.

Posted by: Jack at November 14, 2006 11:16 AM
Comment #194993

well well, we spoke last week about stupid spending from the left that is certain to come….this is a start in that direction. Department of “Peace”?…come on, the reason we fight wars is bring peace. what next? the Department of Rainbows and Happy Thoughts? If we don’t live in reality right now…WE WILL ALL DIE…

Posted by: voice of reason at November 14, 2006 12:15 PM
Comment #194994

Strange, you’ve been lambasting the Democrats for ages for not having “ideas” and “plans”… exactly what were they supposed to have ideas and plans for if not policies and resource allocation? That’s what Congress does. It legislates. It passes bills that set policy and allocate resources.

That said, I’m not a big fan of the whole Department of Peace idea. Mainly because I don’t think giving a department influence both domestically and abroad is a good idea (seems like a major case of scope creep). I’d be much more supportive of creating an umbrella agency, similar in concept to the DHS, with a mandate for Peacebuilding abroad. To the extent that the bill supports that concept (through combining the Peace Corps and the US Institute of Peace under the control of the Department of Peace, for instance) it seems like a good one, but adding in domestic authority and influence in areas such as the Gang Resistance Education and Training program of the BATF and the SafeFutures program of the DoJ doesn’t make much sense to me. I’m undecided about the Office of the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Affairs. Its scope is international, but seems more related to diplomacy (and thus the state department) than the kind of Peacebuilding efforts the other organizations employ.

Besides, it’s a lot better having a Department of Peace which is in charge of actual nonmilitary efforts than to have all our “peacebuilding” efforts done solely at gunpoint. I realize that you and the present Republican Administration would prefer to simply rename our armed forces to reflect their new “peacebuilding” role. Might I suggest: “Ministry of Peace”? It has the appropriate nonsecular feel, doesn’t it? And it’d go so well with the Ministries of Truth and Love your guys have been working on setting up. All that’d be left is the Ministry of Plenty for the win.

Posted by: Jarin at November 14, 2006 12:16 PM
Comment #194997

If this thing actually gets passed, then you can really talk about what Liberals have done. We are months away from this being even considered, and the future speaker of the house has thrown in her support behind John Murtha, who is noted to be fairly hawkish, despite his Iraq war stance. I don’t think its likely we’ll be seeing this make its way through.

You want us to fit a certain picture, so you bring this up. You act like this is going to be a major policy push. I looked on Daily Kos, which one would suspect would be a hotbed of such left-wing activism…

I didn’t find a damned thing. Not one mention.

Perhaps your long experience with being part of a party that elevates the policy of its fringe to dogma has skewed your perspective on this. We Democrats would be happy with Bush making some good use of the State Department for once.

On the subject of soft power…
I think its a poor choice of words to describe it, given the adolescent male notion of toughness that some are enamored with. The real question is, when we ask folks for something, how easy is it for us to get it?

In the run up to the Iraq war, Colin Powell advised Bush that Turkey would not make trouble about overflights from us, so long as we didn’t force them to officially sanction it.

For Bush that wasn’t good enough. He wanted people to be either for or against them. Put to a vote in the Turkish Parliament, the measure failed.

Ask yourself: what was the more powerful position? Bush might have been grasping after complete control, but in the end, the power in the situation belonged to the Turks. If Bush had acknowledged that, he would have gained greater power in the situation itself, the ability to open up a limited northern front in the Iraq war.

Power is often in what you can get away with, in where you can get other people’s cooperation, or at least noninterference. It’s in being able to shape events to your advantage. Bush’s narrow vision of power, though it simplifies the equation greatly, excludes many of the kinds of options that can extend our reach and our ability to protect our interests.

The military is too small and our country too peaceful at heart to sustain the kind of constant military action the strict use of aggressive military power would require. We can’t slay all the dragons. That doesn’t mean, though, that we have to lose all the games out there. We just have to know how to play.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 14, 2006 12:27 PM
Comment #195029

Jarin, Stephen,

Good posts explaining why Eric’s act is so tiresome.

Jack,

Truer words were never spoken but you could simply have turned that around as it is equally foolish to study war without understanding how to promote peace. Just look at the mistakes in Iraq, of which many of their consequences had been predicted.

Posted by: Chris2x at November 14, 2006 3:26 PM
Comment #195034
the reason we fight wars is bring peace.

You can only bring peace through violence- now there is the voice of reason.

Having experts in a field to advise the Congress is not such a bad idea. There are no qualifications for these jobs other than getting elected. Most Congress people are not experts in the things they will have to deal with. The Senate holds the purse strings, but how many senators are accountants qualified enough to tackle a budget that size? Probably not many, if any. If such a department prevented even one war, the lives saved would be worth it.

Posted by: JayJay at November 14, 2006 3:52 PM
Comment #195035

What’s in a word? It was the War Department, then the Defense Department, now it is something else under the Homeland Defense department. It is none the less, a War Department we speak of when referring to the Department under the Secretary of Defense and the Pentagon.

Now, if America wants to be viewed by the world as a peace loving nation, AND WE DO, MORE THAN EVER, then it certainly sounds like an impressive move toward that end to create a Peace Department, perhaps as a branch of the State Department.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 14, 2006 4:05 PM
Comment #195049

It sounds like a good idea run amuck to me. More government spending on more bureaucratic nonsense. This political obsession with “sounding impressive” might very well be our current government’s Achilles heal. David Remer, I definitely agree with the premise of what you said. But I don’t see how the federal government is going to solve the world’s oldest problems of crime, disease, poverty, war, etc. by creating a federal dept. Just like I thought the HS dept was unnecessary…as is half our “intelligence” departments and military.

If we really wanted to, we could have used that $300B to properly fund the border patrol, wipe the Taliban from the Earth, fight genocide in Darfur and the Sudan, and helped build some decent schools and hospitals in Palestine. All while carrying a serious international coalition behind us and beside us. And since we’d have real support, we wouldn’t need a million boots on the ground to get some highly effective and practical things done (maybe get OBL?). We might even have had some left to fund grants for research into alternative fuels.

And if we were really serious, we’d be saving that money to pay down the national debt and using the future interest savings to fund important things.

And if we were really serious, we’d be fixing health care so that doing business in that industry made legal sense.

And if we were really serious we’d fix social security to achieve ONLY what it was designed for, and that is a security floor for our vulnerable seniors. Then use the savings to give tax breaks to teachers and other invaluable state employees.

And if we were REALLY serious there’s that whole tax structure that is a virtual wet dream for loophole-loving and high-fee-charging lawyers. But yet its nothing but a pain in the ass for the regular Joe.

And …

Well, i think the point has been made.

Posted by: Kevin23 at November 14, 2006 5:13 PM
Comment #195054

I read the comments and just could not stop laughing long enough to write anything. Tears were streaming down my face. Liberals are AWESOME!

Oh, man. This is better than Comedy Central. Why stop with the creation of a Department of Peace? Let’s go full goose bozo. Let’s create a Department of Peace, Love, and Understanding. How about a Department of Truth? A Department of Happiness? A Department of Regular Bowel Movements?

I thought Kucinich was on the kook fringe. Boy, was I wrong. Kucinich is an average, run-of-the-mill, mainstream Democrat!

Oh, man … what a HOOT! So this is the “New Direction” the Dems were talking about, is it? No wonder none of the Dem candidates wanted to talk about their agenda. They’d have been laughed off the stage!

You guys are serious, right? I mean, this isn’t being aired on Comedy Central, is it?

Posted by: Chris at November 14, 2006 5:53 PM
Comment #195058

David,

You know Eric, there are 3 things almost every American desires for themselves and their children in this great land. They Peace, Prosperity, and Liberty.

I agree. Who can argue against wanting peace? Peace is what makes civilization possible.

There’s a roman saying, “Qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum (who wishes peace, let him prepare for war).”

Peace is only possible when you have people who see the value of peace. So in one sense desiring peace is good. But Peace is not conflict resolution - Peace is the desired outcome of conflict resolution. With reasonable people war is not necessary to achieve peace. But war - the use of force - is absolutely necessary in many cases.

Posted by: eric simonson at November 14, 2006 6:06 PM
Comment #195069

Eric,

” But Peace is not conflict resolution - Peace is the desired outcome of conflict resolution. With reasonable people war is not necessary to achieve peace. But war - the use of force - is absolutely necessary in many cases.”

I disagree.

Peace is the lack of conflict, and war is only absolutely necessary in some cases.

Peace can be achieved through diplomacy.
Peace can be achieved through bluster. Wasn’t Saddam able to acomplish this for awhile?
Peace can be achieved when your opponent can be convinced war would be useless (see diplomacy).
Peace can be achieved by being stronger than everybody else (this can last for quite a while, but no country has avoided war this way forever)

You cannot achieve peace by threat.
MAD only works sometimes.

Posted by: Rocky at November 14, 2006 7:09 PM
Comment #195079

In the early 1990s, I attended a conference on hate. Elie Wiesel was there, so were lots of Quakers, nuns and lots of other good people. The problem was that they didn’t have anybody there with actual hating experience. (Elie Wiesel is an amazing guy. He could go through so much and still feel sorry for his oppressors. Few of us are that good.)

War is sometimes a rational calculation. Somebody thinks he can get what he wants through violence and is willing to do it. Very often, however, war results from miscalculation, emotion, ignorance or stupidity. Both the evil calculators and the others require us to have structure in place to contain violence.

Chris2x

So it might be useful to study peace in the ways to maintain it. But people who want peace at any cost are not the ones we should listen to. Those are the guys that end up getting us into war.

The best person who wants to avoid war and hates it, but will not shy away from the use of force where appropriate.

Posted by: Jack at November 14, 2006 8:09 PM
Comment #195089

Maybe the first order of business for the department of peace could be to do away with the pre-emptive strike polisy made famous by the Bushites.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 14, 2006 9:57 PM
Comment #195095

Chris-
As I posted earlier:

If this thing actually gets passed, then you can really talk about what Liberals have done. We are months away from this being even considered, and the future speaker of the house has thrown in her support behind John Murtha, who is noted to be fairly hawkish, despite his Iraq war stance. I don’t think its likely we’ll be seeing this make its way through.

You want us to fit a certain picture, so you bring this up. You act like this is going to be a major policy push. I looked on Daily Kos, which one would suspect would be a hotbed of such left-wing activism…

I didn’t find a damned thing. Not one mention.

Even the left of mainstream Democrats aren’t making too much of this. The question is, why are you and Eric doing so? why are you making mountains out of such half-assed molehills?

So much of modern Republican rhetoric is aimed towards shaping perceptions, even in the absence of facts. This seems like one more case of Republican cynicism and paranoia running away with itself.

Eric-
If those who want peace prepare for war, then it seems Bush and company wanted war; they certainly didn’t prepare that well for this one, despite what everybody told them.

The real meaning of that quote is that you prepare yourself to deal with threats so you’re not caught off guard. It does not mean you go out and seek wars on an elective basis which you haven’t bothered to figure out the endgame for.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 14, 2006 10:08 PM
Comment #195111
The question is, why are you and Eric doing so? why are you making mountains out of such half-assed molehills?

I think the answer to that is obvious. It may interest readers to note that the House and Senate legislation calling for the creation of the Department of Peace and Nonviolence is dated September 14, 2005 and September 22, 2005, respectively.

Leaving aside the fact that the legislation promotes noble goals, this is particularly funny in light of the fact that this post begins, “Now that the Democrats control congress.”

Why is blatant intellectual dishonesty seemingly the norm on “conservative” blogs?

Posted by: Jeff Seltzer at November 15, 2006 12:37 AM
Comment #195128

Jeff Seltzer:

Why is blatant intellectual dishonesty seemingly the norm on “conservative” blogs?

This is the kind of stuff I was talking about before. That’d be them doing their part to help the Ministry of Truth. Just like most of Jack’s posts on the Economy are him apparently single-handedly running the new Ministry of Plenty. Everything is backwards with these guys. Peace can only be achieved through preparing for war? It’s like their thoughts are directly based on Orwellian Newspeak. I can easily see them renaming the Department of Defense, with straight faces and no sense of irony, as the “Ministry of Peace”. They all think the role of a military is to create peace, rather than wage its opposite. But hey, War is Peace, right? You’d think the only thing left would be the creation of a Ministry of Love, but hey we’re already running secret torture camps in much the same vein. At the moment we’re supposedly not using them on citizens, but there’s so little oversight of some of the facilities involved that there’s really no guarantee of that. You don’t have to go much further than their position on giving up freedoms in the name of safety to find the substantive equivalent of the motto “Freedom is Slavery”. And do I really need to expand on “Ignorance is Strength”? I think that one is self evident.

Posted by: Jarin at November 15, 2006 7:42 AM
Comment #195141

Jack,
I think we are in fundamental agreement… I think. The question in my mind is why on this blog as in other areas of discourse is it always peace vs war, all-or-nothing virtues. The war is for peace folks just miss the boat here as do those who think pacifism works against most foes. Those who laugh at efforts to create true peace and not more terrorists are the foolish ones. Those who jingoisticly shrug off the many innocent lives we’ve killed are what helps beget terrorism in the first place.

The large vague hole you mention is “use force where appropriate”. It seems pretty clear by all Iraq was a huge reach in the case for war. The results thus far bear out the perils of going to war. I believe the neocons thought that was what they were doing with the Iraq war, toppling a madman who threatened the entire region (although seriously a long time ago) and creating a democracy. Thomas Friedman, although cautious, thought it might be a good idea. Unfortunately, ideaology and an insistance that this war would not only transform Iraq but the military got in the way. Even if it hadn’t, there was little chance a country like Iraq would turn into a “sweets and flowers” democracy. It is truly puzzling why this administration didn’t focus on this specific goal, rather than the military one. Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz, and Bush have all made statements and decisions that are baffling in their lack of understanding.

I think greater understanding by our leaders of how to defeat terrorism where it lives is crucial. Whether that is robust programs at the State Department, an advisory panel of true experts that is listened to, better intelligence, or a Department of Peace is not as important as policy.

What is important is that force is not only “appropriate” but truly the last option. Looking at the tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of innocents we have directly or indirectly killed because of our actions demands nothing less. Addressing the supporta and causes of terrorism where it lives rather than recruiting many more terrorists is the only way terrorism can ever be “defeated”.

Posted by: Chris2x at November 15, 2006 10:29 AM
Comment #195142

To all,

Soft power is soft power

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at November 15, 2006 10:31 AM
Comment #195152

Stephen:

Even the left of mainstream Democrats aren’t making too much of this. The question is, why are you and Eric doing so? why are you making mountains out of such half-assed molehills?

Why are you so concerned about my interest in such a “half-assed molehill”?

I think the reason why Eric brought this up is because the idea of a Department of Peace is a good example of the kinds of ideas we can expect from Democrats - Warm, fuzzy, expensive, impractical, and counterproductive. Sort of like the Departments of Education and Homeland Security.

I’m not inclined to wait until after the DOP (pronounced ‘DOPE’) legislation is passed before I express my opinion about it.

So, if it isn’t listed on the Daily K-OS (pronounced ‘chaos’), then Democrats aren’t thinking about it?

Posted by: Chris at November 15, 2006 11:54 AM
Comment #195153

Stephen:

Yes, I made reference to the Department of Homeland Security. It is a Republican invention that is unnecessary and wasteful. I didn’t mean to imply that the DOHS (pronounced “DOH-S!” like on The Simpsons) was a Democrat invention.

Posted by: Chris at November 15, 2006 11:58 AM
Comment #195155

Jeff Seltzer:

Leaving aside the fact that the legislation promotes noble goals, this is particularly funny in light of the fact that this post begins, “Now that the Democrats control congress.”

Why is blatant intellectual dishonesty seemingly the norm on “conservative” blogs?

Are you implying that this is a Republican proposal? The DOP (pronounced ‘DOPE’) is Kucinich’s baby and would never have been passed by a Congress led by Republicans. Now that Democrats are in charge, there is a very real possibility that it will be passed. The DOPers seem very hopeful:

SAVE THE DATES: February 3 - 5, 2007 - The 2nd NATIONAL “DEPARTMENT OF PEACE AND NON-VIOLENCE” CONFERENCE in Washington D.C.

Save the dates! There will be internationally-acclaimed speakers, trainings, visits to Senators and Congressional Reps., and opportunities to meet like-minded people from all over the United States (and other countries who support this movement in the U.S.). This conference will take place shortly after the DOP Bill is re-introduced into the “new” Congress.

(Source: Americans for Department of Peace)

Posted by: Chris at November 15, 2006 12:20 PM
Comment #195158

Chris-
You miss my real target. You think it’s the molehill. The molehill, I’m arguing, is beneath any real representation as a major Democrat initiative. My real target, not to put too fine a point on it, is this insistence of yours (you and Eric along with others) on digging up obscurities and oddities like this and acting like these things represent the whole of the Democratic policy.

How can this be a valid symbol of our naivete, if it’s not even a major going concern amongst the vast majority of Democrats?

And why take this approach? You wish to climb to greater status on our backs. It worked for a while, but recently, you started alienating the wrong people. In the meantime, you’ve spent so much time focusing on our errors and foibles, that you’ve hardly had time to take care of your party’s own mistakes.

You could prove us 100% wrong, but without virtue on your own part, nothing of that means you’re right. My insistence on evidence and fact over opinion is founded on the notion that two sides can be mutually incorrect in their judgment, and that the side that does best is that which actually thinks these things out and corrects their mistakes.

You’d be better, the both of you, figuring out what went wrong in your own party. The days of being able to badmouth your way into electoral victory are over for the time being. You folks want back in power, you have to earn it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 15, 2006 12:38 PM
Comment #195159

Rocky:

Read “Anti-Americanism and the Paradox of Soft Power” by Hannes Opelz. This sums it up quite nicely:

[T]he puzzle in Nye’s concept of soft power is that while it can be a valuable instrument capable of reducing (by increasing US legitimacy via multilateralism, for example) some forms of anti-Americanism (in particular those that reflect a rejection of US foreign policy), it may also produce and protract other types of anti-American hostility. In short, the paradox of American soft power is that while its purpose is to attract others in order to achieve desired outcomes, its effect may be to attract animosity instead and undermine US policy goals.

‘nuf said.

Posted by: Chris at November 15, 2006 12:39 PM
Comment #195163

Chris-
You assume it would get passed simply because they’re going to visit senators and reps?

You don’t, by any chance, have any evidence that would indicate that passage of this is assured, do you? Otherwise, it would be easy to dismiss the notion that this would actually happen. First, it would be expensive, and Democrats don’t want to seem like big spenders. Second, Liberals are well aware of the kind of fuzzy-headed reputation people like you have spent a generation trying to impose on us. Third, Democrats are going to have their hands full reforming the government we got, and which the fuzzy-headedness of the Republicans has hit with the car and backed over twice.

The notion that the Department of Peace could become a major policy intitiative seems more the product of the willingness of some Republicans to believe anything about the Democrats that allows them to reinforce their dim views of them.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 15, 2006 12:51 PM
Comment #195169

Stephen:

If the DOP is an “obscurity” and an “oddity,” why are so many of you so eager to defend it AND Kucinich? David Remer, Andre M. Hernandez, Rocky, ILdem, and Jarin all seem to think DOP is a mighty good idea. Since you seem to think that you know the mind of the Democrat party, doesn’t it follow that they, too, think along similar lines? I contend that David and the rest consider their views to be in line with the majority of Democrats. Am I wrong?

The majority of comments here are supportive of DOP. That alone gives me cause for concern. Why would anyone bother commenting if it was just an obscure idea, an “oddity”?

You wish to climb to greater status on our backs. It worked for a while, but recently, you started alienating the wrong people. In the meantime, you’ve spent so much time focusing on our errors and foibles, that you’ve hardly had time to take care of your party’s own mistakes.

You think I’m doing this because I seek greater status? I think there may be a little projection going on here. I am not seeking your approval, Stephen. I’m just expressing my opinion. Frankly, I’m a little offended that you would harbor such an opinion of me. It’s beneath you.

As for my party’s mistakes, I’ll let the Republican party leadership figure that out. I’ll just continue expressing my opinions here and elsewhere.

And if I’m badmouthing DOP and Kucinich, it’s only because it’s deserved. It’s a little of the pot calling the kettle black, too, don’t you think? How often has the Democrat intelligentsia badmouthed President Bush and every single member of his Cabinet? How many Democrats have badmouthed our military? Hell, the whole Democrat campaign was based on badmouthing Bush and the Republican party.

Posted by: Chris at November 15, 2006 1:12 PM
Comment #195170

David Remer,

I’m a bit curious as to why you use the Cold War as an argument that peace costs money. You’re right in that it does, but the huge bulk of the money spent during the Cold War was spent on the military. Furthermore, peace-loving people in America and Western Europe were only able to advocate peace behind a figurative wall of military power that was ever vigilant and ready to stand against the threat that was the Soviet Union. Jack’s example of hard power providing the conditions in which soft power can work, such as the EU is a prime example. It is only because Europe has been largely free of violence for 60 years that they are able to work for loftier goals such as the EU promotes. It would be quite different if 5 Soviet Shock Armies were still stationed at their borders.

Stephen Daugherty,

I think we may agree on something. In my personal opinion, a Department of Peace will be as effective in promoting peace as I would be a guarding the virginity of a harem. On the other hand, I don’t think that even Pelosi or Murtha would be foolish enough to try and pull off such a cockamamey scheme. My dim view of the leadership of the Democratic party is reinforced every time they open thier mouths, I really don’t need something this obscure and insane to reinforce it.

Posted by: 1LT B at November 15, 2006 1:24 PM
Comment #195179

Chris-
Jarin wrote: “That said, I’m not a big fan of the whole Department of Peace idea.” I’m not sure how fast you have to read that in order to carry out the notion that he supports a DOP.

Andre wrote nothing in support of a Peace Department. He simply decried the excessive dependence of the Republicans on military solutions.

Rocky said nothing in support of a DOP, only delivering what is the standard Democratic line of expanding the scope of our use of diplomacy and soft power.

IlDem said: “I would think any sort of open minded diplomatic and educated approach to issues international and domestic would be refreshing and most welcome by the people.”

Again, not an endorsement of a DOP, just an endorsement of the extension of America’s “soft” power.

David R. Remer is not a liberal. He is an independent(former Green party) who might be somewhat chagrined to be lumped in as a Democrat. He is the only person who explicitly advocated. Even he, though would settle for something less than that, the DOP as a State Department subsidiary.

It seems kind of premature to me for you to declare the Democrats to be uniformly in favor of the foundation of a new Cabinet Department with the only person advocating it both willing to compromise on it and not even a Democrat. I also pointed you towards DKos, where a good glance would reveal next to no support for the idea amidst one of the current progressive movement’s nerve centers. I wasn’t asking you to take my word for it.

What is supported is the extension of America’s soft power, which you claim to rebut with the opinion of one not so major foreign policy pundits. Not exactly Quod Est Demonstrandum.

Why do people bother commenting? Because we lack the patience for this continuation of the same old B.S. In case you haven’t realized, Most Democrats, Liberals and other leftward individuals are calling for an increase in America’s power, not a retraction of it.

The fact of the matter is, American like me and them are fine with America having greater influence on the world. We just thing it works better when its based on persuasion, restraint, agreement, and other more peaceful methods, rather than the constant use or threat of military power.

As for the question of status?

First, the word you is used as a plural. I’m referring to the Republican party.

I’m also referring to the consistent behavior of him and you in terms of finding reasons why people should believe that the Democrats are held hostage by their fringe, and the country with them. If we are to talk projection, then the Republicans are the perfect example of this. The congress that ran record deficits, grew government considerably, added that new Department, started the new federal intrusion into educational matters, amongst other things is your party.

There’s a good reason this kind of rhetoric proved ineffective in this last election: too much of it was applicable to your own people.

The Democrats, meanwhile have let centrists and even a few conservatives into the part, and have welcomed the support and votes of many who are not leftists in any sense of the word.

As for your opinions? Unless you write these things to hear yourself type, you’re aiming to convince people of those opinions. What are these opinions?

Your opinions are accusations of softness, of treachery, of all the political vices one could think of. They use logic such as that I dealt with above, where POV’s are assumed rather than gathered from the responses themselves, and where any deviation from outright condemnation of whatever sin you’re lambasting is treated as support for it.

The Republicans want people to believe that the Democrats are inferior, not just as political opponents, but as people. Such arrogant dismissal is what angers people. Such thinking is what generally leads people to pay less attention to their own presumably more virtuous conduct, and more to their opponents.

It’s easier to rag on people than to get real things done, easier for Republicans to criticize Democrats for their overspending than to actually do something about their own. Democrats, being locked out of much power, have resorted to criticizing more than acting, but we recognize now that we must take action. This is the origin of that breathless 100 hrs. plan for legislation.

Republicans, though, content to bash Clinton, bash liberal legislators and liberals in general, have resorted to such action even as they’ve held all the power.

That’s the big problem. Instead of solidifying decent policy, Republican politics became about bashing the liberals for theirs.

What you continue now is a legacy you’d be better off leaving behind. The time has come to quit badmouthing the Democrats, and start figuring out what your mistake really were.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 15, 2006 2:08 PM
Comment #195206

Stephen:

This is what I wrote:

David Remer, Andre M. Hernandez, Rocky, ILdem, and Jarin all seem to think DOP is a mighty good idea.

I didn’t write that they backed legislation leading to the creation of a DOP or were active contributors to Americans for the Department of Peace. I wrote that they seemed supportive of the idea. And they do. No one wrote “Yeah, that’s a dopey idea.”

David Remer is not a liberal? Didn’t you mean to write that he is not a Democrat? I’ve read David’s posts and consider him to be a lot more liberal than conservative.

You wrote:

And why take this approach? You wish to climb to greater status on our backs. It worked for a while, but recently, you started alienating the wrong people. In the meantime, you’ve spent so much time focusing on our errors and foibles, that you’ve hardly had time to take care of your party’s own mistakes.

I took your first sentence to be directed at me, personally, and extended that initial misunderstanding to the end of your statement. If you had used “The Republican party” instead of “you,” I wouldn’t have misunderstood. That really did seem out of character. Sorry for the misunderstanding, Stephen.

So you’re saying that Republicans aspire to greater status by mud-slinging, is that it?

The congress that ran record deficits, grew government considerably, added that new Department, started the new federal intrusion into educational matters, amongst other things is your party.

I couldn’t agree with you more. Beats me why Bush and the Congressional Republicans approved of all those things. I certainly did not approve, but then again, no one asked me. But no legislation would have been signed into law without the support of a good number of Democrats. There’s plenty of blame to go around.

There’s a good reason this kind of rhetoric proved ineffective in this last election: too much of it was applicable to your own people.

True enough. I wish more Republicans were conservative, but that’s the way it is. I wish President Bush was more like Reagan, but he is what he is. But it wasn’t a Republican who came up with the DOP idea, and it wasn’t a Republican who will re-introduce the DOP during the next legislative session. Believe me, I’ll pay very close attention to this coming session of Congress.

Your opinions are accusations of softness, of treachery, of all the political vices one could think of.

I do think the Democrats will be less inclined to pursue victory in Iraq and the overall War on Terror. How can anyone who has listened to Reid, Dean, Pelosi, and the rest arrive at a different conclusion? I don’t think Democrats consider victory to be even a remote possibility. What do you call it when one side in a conflict openly announces to the world that victory is not possible? What do you call it when one side in a conflict engages in behavior that - intentional or not - undermines the morale of the very military is purports to support?

They use logic such as that I dealt with above, where POV’s are assumed rather than gathered from the responses themselves, and where any deviation from outright condemnation of whatever sin you’re lambasting is treated as support for it.

In the context of the current thread, the majority of comments critical of Eric’s opinion regarding legislation that would create a DOP also seem at least mildly supportive of such legislation. But maybe you’re right. I’ll take a poll before I make another such sweeping generalization. And I’m not being cute here. I’ll ask for clarification from individuals next time.

I don’t think that Democrats are inferior. Not by any means. I do think that certain Democrat leaders, celebrities, and politicans are dangerous when it comes to our national security.

As for assigning blame, nothing gets done in the House without the cooperation of a sizeable chunk of the minority party. If there had been fewer Democrats AND considerably more conservative Republicans (as opposed to RINOs), you and I would have a lot less to argue about.

Posted by: Chris at November 15, 2006 4:25 PM
Comment #195207

Chris,

“I wrote that they seemed supportive of the idea. And they do. No one wrote “Yeah, that’s a dopey idea.”

“Seemed” is a pretty ambiguous word.

I didn’t say how I felt either way because I feel it already should be a part of what the State Dept. does.
State should be the diplomatic arm of the cabinet.
This administration hasn’t really made use of diplomacy in so long I wonder if they’re even interested.

Posted by: Rocky at November 15, 2006 4:31 PM
Comment #195214

Looks like the USA has found a place to redeploy our troops from iraq. We can put them on Senator Reid’s undeveloped land in Nevada, they can use the new bridge that Senator Reid pushed for being built and they can gamble on the machines that Senator Reid helped Jack Abramoft with getting from the campaign donations.

Now Senator Reid says the bridge deal has nothing to do with his land doubling in price with the building of the bridge, and that donations to help Indian gaming in Nevada had nothing to do with the Jack Abramoft campaign donations. Now I feel better that Senator Reid has told us so we can just get off his ass.

Party wise speaking not a body part. Seems that Abramoft was only trying to corrupt when he laundried money for the Repubs.

Bless Senator Reid and his high moral fiber. Gag, gag, gag.

gag gag gag is the new theme song from san francisco leader nancy pulosi, the san francisco treat.

Posted by: im at November 15, 2006 4:54 PM
Comment #195243

If you have cable, watch Glenn Beck on CNN Headline News tonight (Wed, 11/15), at EST 7, 9, and 12 midnight.

He has video of Iranian president, Am-a-nut-job, making public statements to Iranians (different from the media reports here).

The suggestion is that he declares that when Iran has the bomb that Iran intends to use it on the Jews and Western civilization to usher in the Muslim end times.

Posted by: Jimmy at November 15, 2006 7:15 PM
Comment #195279

Chris-
You know, the truth is, you’re not really attacking the DOP. You’re attacking Democrats as weak on defense, naive in their assumptions about bringing about peace. The DOP is just another means to that end among many. So, what you’re essentially saying is that all of us support The idea of it.

Of course, you mean the idea as you define and envision it. You’re trying to win the argument by telling us we don’t understand how indistinct our view is from this rather vaguely thought out idea this one group (and your pet peeve) have.

It’s an easy way to think you’re winning, and if you do it confidently enough, its great psychological warfare.

But you used this point as a means to try and debunk my statement that the DOP wasn’t Dem. Mainstream. I simply responded by demonstrating that your claim overreaches the evidence, even going so far as to explicitly note that David R. Remer isn’t a Democrat, and that Jarin quite clearly said that he didn’t think it was a good idea- a flat contradiction of your claim.

The Republicans have made many of their gains by actively sowing distrust of Liberals, by being constantly demeaning of them and their ideals.

You told me I was projecting, but as Republican, you have much more to project on us than we have to project on you.

The Republicans in congress have the majority; without them, Democrat’s votes wouldn’t have passed a damn thing. While some Democrats bear responsibility, the fact is, we weren’t in charge of all the committees, the chairs, or the majority. You can try and slide blame off on us, or on quisling Republicans, but if we really look at the political structure of Congress, we have to conclude that nothing could have happen like those bills without active Republican involvement.

As for the War, you talk about it in abstract as if winning or losing it was a mere decision. It’s not. Many of the opponents of the war among the Democrats actually voted for it, originally, and Murtha himself was quite hawkish about it before his change of heart. No, the truth is, it’s the facts of the war that make it so problematic, facts that were decided by actions taken at the start of the war by the Bush administration, creating situations that would be aggravated by the refusal to change plans, even in the face of obvious, continual setbacks.

If you have maybe a few setbacks, and then things get back on track, then the problem was likely minor, and no real change of plan was necessary. However, if the setbacks and deviations are continuous, then it should be obivous that the problem is either not being addressed or is being made worse by your current plan.

As for this:

In the context of the current thread, the majority of comments critical of Eric’s opinion regarding legislation that would create a DOP also seem at least mildly supportive of such legislation. But maybe you’re right. I’ll take a poll before I make another such sweeping generalization. And I’m not being cute here. I’ll ask for clarification from individuals next time.

We’re supportive of a more subtle and refined approach to diplomacy and other persuasive arts of foreign policy. But that’s different from being partisans on behalf of a DOP. The best you’re getting is “eh, it would be nice, maybe as part of the State Department”. There’s no committment to the idea among the Democrats, who prefer better use of soft power, but don’t do backflips over the idea of the DOP

It’s just provocation, and you’re dealing with Democrats sick of being constantly provoked.

Ultimately, the problem here is that you’re approaching us as if you know our opinions before you ask them.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 15, 2006 10:21 PM
Comment #195348

Stephen:

Chris- You know, the truth is, you’re not really attacking the DOP. You’re attacking Democrats as weak on defense, naive in their assumptions about bringing about peace. The DOP is just another means to that end among many. So, what you’re essentially saying is that all of us support The idea of it.

You’re wrong. I’m not doing one or the other; I’m doing all three. The DOP is a stupid idea, Democrats are weak on defense, and anyone who thinks he can talk Islamofascists out of their hatred for us is naive at the very least.

But you used this point as a means to try and debunk my statement that the DOP wasn’t Dem. Mainstream.

Here are the cosponsors of the DOP:

Rep Abercrombie, Neil [HI-1] - 9/14/2005
Rep Andrews, Robert E. [NJ-1] - 6/7/2006
Rep Baldwin, Tammy [WI-2] - 9/14/2005
Rep Boswell, Leonard L. [IA-3] - 9/14/2005
Rep Brown, Corrine [FL-3] - 9/14/2005
Rep Brown, Sherrod [OH-13] - 9/14/2005
Rep Carson, Julia [IN-7] - 9/14/2005
Rep Clay, Wm. Lacy [MO-1] - 9/14/2005
Rep Cleaver, Emanuel [MO-5] - 6/13/2006
Rep Clyburn, James E. [SC-6] - 6/7/2006
Rep Conyers, John, Jr. [MI-14] - 9/14/2005
Rep Cummings, Elijah E. [MD-7] - 9/14/2005
Rep Davis, Danny K. [IL-7] - 9/14/2005
Rep Davis, Susan A. [CA-53] - 9/14/2005
Rep DeFazio, Peter A. [OR-4] - 9/14/2005
Rep Evans, Lane [IL-17] - 9/14/2005
Rep Faleomavaega, Eni F. H. [AS] - 9/14/2005
Rep Farr, Sam [CA-17] - 9/14/2005
Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51] - 9/14/2005
Rep Green, Al [TX-9] - 6/7/2006
Rep Grijalva, Raul M. [AZ-7] - 9/14/2005
Rep Gutierrez, Luis V. [IL-4] - 9/14/2005
Rep Hastings, Alcee L. [FL-23] - 6/7/2006
Rep Hinchey, Maurice D. [NY-22] - 9/14/2005
Rep Holt, Rush D. [NJ-12] - 9/14/2005
Rep Honda, Michael M. [CA-15] - 9/14/2005
Rep Jackson, Jesse L., Jr. [IL-2] - 9/14/2005
Rep Jackson-Lee, Sheila [TX-18] - 9/14/2005
Rep Johnson, Eddie Bernice [TX-30] - 9/14/2005
Rep Jones, Stephanie Tubbs [OH-11] - 9/14/2005
Rep Kaptur, Marcy [OH-9] - 9/14/2005
Rep Kilpatrick, Carolyn C. [MI-13] - 9/14/2005
Rep Larson, John B. [CT-1] - 6/7/2006
Rep Lee, Barbara [CA-9] - 9/14/2005
Rep Lewis, John [GA-5] - 9/14/2005
Rep Maloney, Carolyn B. [NY-14] - 9/14/2005
Rep Markey, Edward J. [MA-7] - 12/13/2005
Rep McCollum, Betty [MN-4] - 9/14/2005
Rep McDermott, Jim [WA-7] - 9/14/2005
Rep McGovern, James P. [MA-3] - 9/14/2005
Rep McKinney, Cynthia A. [GA-4] - 9/14/2005
Rep Meehan, Martin T. [MA-5] - 12/7/2005
Rep Meeks, Gregory W. [NY-6] - 9/14/2005
Rep Millender-McDonald, Juanita [CA-37] - 6/7/2006
Rep Miller, George [CA-7] - 9/14/2005
Rep Moore, Gwen [WI-4] - 9/14/2005
Rep Moran, James P. [VA-8] - 6/7/2006
Rep Nadler, Jerrold [NY-8] - 9/14/2005
Rep Norton, Eleanor Holmes [DC] - 9/15/2005
Rep Oberstar, James L. [MN-8] - 9/14/2005
Rep Olver, John W. [MA-1] - 9/14/2005
Rep Owens, Major R. [NY-11] - 9/14/2005
Rep Payne, Donald M. [NJ-10] - 9/14/2005
Rep Rahall, Nick J., II [WV-3] - 9/14/2005
Rep Rangel, Charles B. [NY-15] - 9/14/2005
Rep Rothman, Steven R. [NJ-9] - 6/13/2006
Rep Ryan, Tim [OH-17] - 9/14/2005
Rep Sabo, Martin Olav [MN-5] - 9/14/2005
Rep Sanders, Bernard [VT] - 9/14/2005
Rep Schakowsky, Janice D. [IL-9] - 9/14/2005
Rep Scott, Robert C. [VA-3] - 9/15/2005
Rep Serrano, Jose E. [NY-16] - 9/14/2005
Rep Sherman, Brad [CA-27] - 9/14/2005
Rep Solis, Hilda L. [CA-32] - 9/14/2005
Rep Stark, Fortney Pete [CA-13] - 9/14/2005
Rep Thompson, Bennie G. [MS-2] - 9/14/2005
Rep Towns, Edolphus [NY-10] - 9/14/2005
Rep Velazquez, Nydia M. [NY-12] - 2/8/2006
Rep Waters, Maxine [CA-35] - 9/14/2005
Rep Watson, Diane E. [CA-33] - 9/14/2005
Rep Woolsey, Lynn C. [CA-6] - 9/14/2005
Rep Wynn, Albert Russell [MD-4] - 9/20/2005

and

Rep Kucinich, Dennis of Ohio, the bill’s author

Want to take a wild guess at the proportion of Democrats to Republicans in the above list of 74?

74 to 0

That’s 74 Democrats, 0 Republicans. At the time, that number constituted nearly 40% of the Democrats in the House (74 / 205 = 36%). That’s a sizeable portion of House Democrats, Stephen.

Posted by: Chris at November 16, 2006 12:31 PM
Comment #195382

Chris-

I live in NYC and Northern California (two very liberal hotspots) and I read quite a bit on a daily basis. I’ve honestly never heard of this DOP idea before. I have no idea about who these rep’s are who support it, nor why they support it. I do know that I cannot find even one of the liberal democratic house reps that I know to be representing districts in CA on the list of supporters. In other words, none of the most liberal rep’s I know of are on the list. Seems sort of strange considering the criticism being put forth is that this is strictly a “liberal” idea.

I don’t know…this is all news to me.

Posted by: Kevin23 at November 16, 2006 2:45 PM
Comment #195410

Kevin23:

Here are the cosponsors and their liberal composite scores according to The National Journal:

Rep Abercrombie, Neil [HI-1] - 75.8
Rep Andrews, Robert E. [NJ-1] - 73.2
Rep Baldwin, Tammy [WI-2] - 93
Rep Boswell, Leonard L. [IA-3] - 63.2
Rep Brown, Corrine [FL-3] - 74.5
Rep Brown, Sherrod [OH-13] - 84.2
Rep Carson, Julia [IN-7] - 83.7
Rep Clay, Wm. Lacy [MO-1] - 80.2
Rep Cleaver, Emanuel [MO-5] - 79.2
Rep Clyburn, James E. [SC-6] - 71.5
Rep Conyers, John, Jr. [MI-14] - 90.7
Rep Cummings, Elijah E. [MD-7] - 81.2
Rep Davis, Danny K. [IL-7] - 86.2
Rep Davis, Susan A. [CA-53] - 76.7
Rep DeFazio, Peter A. [OR-4] - 71.7
Rep Evans, Lane [IL-17] - 83.8
Rep Faleomavaega, Eni F. H. [AS] - unknown
Rep Farr, Sam [CA-17] - 90.3
Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51] - 89
Rep Green, Al [TX-9] - 80.5
Rep Grijalva, Raul M. [AZ-7] - 93.2
Rep Gutierrez, Luis V. [IL-4] - 88.5
Rep Hastings, Alcee L. [FL-23] - 81.2
Rep Hinchey, Maurice D. [NY-22] - 91.2
Rep Holt, Rush D. [NJ-12] - 90.5
Rep Honda, Michael M. [CA-15] - 96
Rep Jackson, Jesse L., Jr. [IL-2] - 91.3
Rep Jackson-Lee, Sheila [TX-18] - unknown
Rep Johnson, Eddie Bernice [TX-30] - 84.2
Rep Jones, Stephanie Tubbs [OH-11] - 82.5
Rep Kaptur, Marcy [OH-9] - 75.2
Rep Kilpatrick, Carolyn C. [MI-13] - 87
Rep Larson, John B. [CT-1] - 78.8
Rep Lee, Barbara [CA-9] - 97.5
Rep Lewis, John [GA-5] - 95.2
Rep Maloney, Carolyn B. [NY-14] - 87.8
Rep Markey, Edward J. [MA-7] - 95.5
Rep McCollum, Betty [MN-4] - 93.8
Rep McDermott, Jim [WA-7] - 95.8
Rep McGovern, James P. [MA-3] - 95.2
Rep McKinney, Cynthia A. [GA-4] - 97.7
Rep Meehan, Martin T. [MA-5] - 90.5
Rep Meeks, Gregory W. [NY-6] - 80.5
Rep Millender-McDonald, Juanita [CA-37] - 85.2
Rep Miller, George [CA-7] - 92.8
Rep Moore, Gwen [WI-4] - 89
Rep Moran, James P. [VA-8] - 73.8
Rep Nadler, Jerrold [NY-8] - 94
Rep Norton, Eleanor Holmes [DC] - unknown
Rep Oberstar, James L. [MN-8] - 82.5
Rep Olver, John W. [MA-1] - 96
Rep Owens, Major R. [NY-11] - 94
Rep Payne, Donald M. [NJ-10] - 96.7
Rep Rahall, Nick J., II [WV-3] - 70
Rep Rangel, Charles B. [NY-15] - 88.7
Rep Rothman, Steven R. [NJ-9] - 73.3
Rep Ryan, Tim [OH-17] - 68.3
Rep Sabo, Martin Olav [MN-5] - 85.7
Rep Sanders, Bernard [VT] - 89.7
Rep Schakowsky, Janice D. [IL-9] - 97.5
Rep Scott, Robert C. [VA-3] - 89.5
Rep Serrano, Jose E. [NY-16] - 95.3
Rep Sherman, Brad [CA-27] - 80.7
Rep Solis, Hilda L. [CA-32] - 95.2
Rep Stark, Fortney Pete [CA-13] - 98
Rep Thompson, Bennie G. [MS-2] - 74
Rep Towns, Edolphus [NY-10] - 75.3
Rep Velazquez, Nydia M. [NY-12] - 89.3
Rep Waters, Maxine [CA-35] - 88.8
Rep Watson, Diane E. [CA-33] - 93
Rep Woolsey, Lynn C. [CA-6] - 94.5
Rep Wynn, Albert Russell [MD-4] - 67.7

and

Rep Kucinich, [OH-10] - 93.7

A score of 78 means that the representative was more liberal than 78 percent of his or her House colleagues on key votes during 2005.

It wouldn’t take much to determine an overall composite score, but I don’t think it’s necessary. The cosponsors of the DOP are most definitely liberal.

Posted by: Chris at November 16, 2006 6:00 PM
Comment #195412

Chris-
Thank you for supporting your claim.

Kevin23’s response, along with most of the Democrats on this blog, should temper any jubilation at providing such information. As I mentioned, this is hardly spoken of among major liberal sites, including Watchblog on Blue Column. The fact that you have to bring this to our attention indicates that despite a significant minority of Democratic Representatives signing on, the movement is not very broad or deep in the mainstream party.

Given that you were able to list the co-sponsors, there is another matter you can speak to: how far this bill got. Heck, how far one could expect it get. Moreover, what was the political impulse?

Given the fairly unknown nature of this legislation, and the likelihood that this would be rejected in committee, or on the vote, one has to ask whether this legislation would really amount to something in a Democratic congress that had to propose serious legislation. Last I heard, this was not one of the big 100 hr legislative pushes. So what’s the big deal?

As for Islamofascism? I think the term itself is naive, and it reflects the naivete of the philosophy around it. First you must distinguish between Sunni and Shia brands of extreme islam. Then you must distinguish between extreme islamists, and those who actually believe their religion justifies terrorist activities. You could go on for days listing the important distinctions and rivalries.

You can’t bullshit your way through these distinctions. People aren’t killing each other in Iraq over nothing. The distinctions matter.

There are different strains of thought that you have to deal with, different motivating causes, different attitudes.

All that this label Islamofascism has to offer is a wrapper to bunch a group of folks in as enemies.

And yes, you can talk to some of the people you call Islamofascists. That’s one of the ugly things about the word. It allows an atrophy of the sense that one has to engage with the people of the middle east to get something done. Much of this war was founded on critiques of the situation which saw the whole thing as a clash of civilizations. Unfortunately, they forgot just how many civilizations were clashing within the Middle East itself, and how many had already left their mark.

We’re latecomers to game. Concepts like “Islamofascism” only make us look clueless. We have to know who we can deal with and how.

Naivete can be aggressive as well as pacifist. It can be any ideology that makes foolish claims based on lacking experience. Democrats have made it a point not to be naive on foreign affairs. many Republicans, when they came into power, bragged that they didn’t have passports. Bush himself had to be nursemaided on foreign policy, and blithely stated that we would not nation-build, that we would have a humble foreign policy. Then, despite the problems of terrorism during the Clinton Administration, he didn’t take their advice that terrorism would be a major concern. The first major principles meeting in his cabinet on this issue was a week before all hell broke loose. Bush dismissed the briefer who read the memo telling him that Bin Laden was determined to strike in the US by telling him that he’d covered his ass. Then, when Bush invaded Iraq, he did so trusting that the country would hold together, that he could just put in the exiles and make a government, that we didn’t need 200-300 thousand soldiers…

Well, you can talk about Democratic naivete in principle, but since Bush 41 left office, we’ve been seeing Republican naivete in practice.

Seeking peace is not always a naive course of action. Peace is not merely the absence of war, but the potential for it deferred. The potential for war can stave off more enemies at once than the actuality of it. If you can convince your opponents you mean business, and you have the spare soldiers around to handle things, you can convince any individual actor you care to that they would not benefit from picking a fight.

Moreover, trade, diplomacy, and other means can be used to our advantage. The advantage of having an enemy with no particular state is that any particular state that we successfully negotiate with can become an impediment to them.

It works better, though, when we aren’t radioactive, pariahs to our potential allies. The Republicans are naive to the effects of failing to make the proper distinctions.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 16, 2006 6:10 PM
Comment #195415

Chris-
The real problem is you’re trying to convince a bunch of people that are skeptical about this idea that they are actually for it. You and Eric do this time and again, assuming that the classic picture of left/right relations is what defines liberalism and conservatism.

I don’t know how many ways I can explain it. The subject is esoteric to most democrats, the support is soft, and doesn’t constitute the majority of the party. It’s more political oddity that political priority. If you want to see where Democratic efforts are truly focused, look at the Recommendations of the 9/11 report. We don’t share the this naivete about whether the terrorists are going to try and attack us again at home.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 16, 2006 6:32 PM
Comment #195452

Kevin23
Did you say northern CA?
Lynn Woolsey represents the area around Santa Rosa, Sonoma county mainly.
She is very liberal.

Posted by: tomh at November 16, 2006 8:58 PM
Comment #195462

I don’t live there Tomh, so I wouldn’t know her. I clearly wrote that none of the liberal rep’s THAT I KNOW were on the list. I’m guessing you can’t name all the rep’s from your state either, and CA has many more. Try reading carefully next time.

Posted by: Kevin23 at November 16, 2006 9:22 PM
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