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Monday, October 25, 2004

The Best Case for Kerry

Craig Biddle's is the best case I've seen for hoping for a Kerry presidency. I find it more convincing than even Robert Tracinski's argument for Bush in TIA, which unfortunately is not available on-line. Dr. Binswanger's argument echoes the more-compelling Tracinski piece.

Tracinski's argument boils down to this: it is better to have the Bush administration fight a half-hearted war with fairly good rhetoric, opening the way for true hawks to criticize the administration's inconsistent execution of its own principles, than to have a Kerry administration steer us towards a course of retreat which will embolden our enemies for years to come.

Biddle's counter-point is that since Bush's policies are universally regarded as hawkish and selfish, his presidency confuses the issue and pre-empts any large-scale discussion of what a truly assertive foreign policy would be.

I find Biddle's reasoning far more convincing, especially given the common prediction that either administration will continue prosecuting the war in Iraq in roughly the same manner. If Bush were hinting at some further military action against Iran or Syria, I might agree that his foreign policy will actually be more effective (and then could weigh this against the severe deficit of his Christian agenda). But as it is, a literal retreat from Iraq is too unpopular for even a Kerry presidency -- so with either man, we will get roughly the same actions on the ground.

I'd rather have our actions -- and, more importantly, our overwhelming inaction -- be in the name of the dove and mercilessly criticized by the hawks.


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