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March 24, 2008

The Obama Doctrine
Posted by Ilan Goldenberg

Spencer Ackerman has a great piece in the American Prospect about Barack Obama’s foreign policy team.  As an Obama supporter I find the article compelling and it expresses a lot of the feelings that I have about his foreign policy.  But I thought this segment was particularly relevant far beyond just the Obama campaign. 

"There is a popular notion that Democrats have to try to appear like Republicans to pass some test on national security. The fact that that's still the case after Iraq is absurd," says one of Obama's closest advisers. "So you break from that orthodoxy and say 'I don't care if the Republicans attack me because I'm willing to meet with the leadership in Iran. We haven't for 25 years, and it's not gotten us anywhere.'"

This is an attitude that all Democratic politicians need to take.  Whether running for the House or Senate, debating in Congress, running for President, or simply advocating  for a new direction for American foreign policy. It’s one of the reasons I’ve been so impressed with the plan (PDF) that has been put together by Darcy Burner and other Congressional candidates.  The time to cower on these issues is over.


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If Obama gets elected to be the president, he is going to face tremendous hurdles with his idea of dignity promotion because most of the think tank class, the mainstream media, and perhaps the congress is still glued to the American triumphalism of the nineties.

Well, Shadi must like it.

1. Appeal to the left by hinting at an unspecified increase in foreign aid.

2. Appeal to the right by promising to destroy al-Qaeda in some unspecified way.

A lot of hoopla for very little.

The article is mostly biographical information about Obama's advisers.

The 'dignity promotion' catchphrase will appeal to wine-track democrats, but not to much of anyone else.

The article has been linked in a few other places. The best comments are at Matt Yglesias's.

I forgot to capitalize 'Democrats'. A typo, no disrespect intended.

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