12.18.2003

UPDAT'D part II

Second, Dan Drezner recently commented about the subject of the Democrats and their willingness to go after Bush on tough policy issues. The post is actually a small list of caveats regarding his recent Slate article about the failure of Bush's foreign policy. One caveat about Dan Drezner, he is an associate professor at the University of Chicago, and was an unpaid foreign policy advisor to the Bush-Cheney 2000 Campaign. About Bush's policy, he says:

There are three ways to criticize the Bush administration's approach to foreign policy. The first way is both simple and simple-minded: Bush is the evil creature of corporate interests, pursuing militarized disputes merely to reward his cronies.
[...]
The second kind of criticism is more substantive. It holds that the costs of Bush's pre-emption doctrine—weakened international legitimacy, fraying alliances, increased global public hostility to the United States—are greater than the benefits.
[...]
A third criticism has slowly emerged over the past six months. It agrees with the logic of Bush's grand strategy, but questions whether the policy implementation has been up to snuff. This line of argumentation has less to do with substance and more to do with process. To sum it up, Bush's management of foreign policy has been too detached for his own good.


Go read the whole thing. Tough criticism from a Bush supporter. However, he posted his caveats on his weblog, and this is what he says about the Democrats and the current lack of success with criticizing the current administration.

Second, although I think the process critique is a powerful one, Democrats are unlikely to use this line of attack. Why? Process is boring. “Policy Coordination Needed” might not be as dull a headline as “Worthwhile Canadian Initiative,” but it’s close. In the primaries at least, the Democrats one would expect to adopt this approach – Joe Lieberman, John Kerry, John Edwards – haven’t gotten a ton of traction in the polls. Candidates and campaigns prefer a simple message to a complex one – and in choosing between attacking Bush’s foreign policy on substance or process, Democrats will opt for the former.




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