Earlier today, we linked to an article in the Australian, which is just now getting around to noticing that Al Qaeda’s recruiting drive isn’t exactly signing up the poorest of the poor in their efforts to destroy Western Civilization. This has been fairly common knowledge in the Blogosphere since not all that long after 9/11.
I well remember the foreign-policy conservatives of the 1930s and early 1940s. They were called “isolationists” and charged – often angrily – that President Roosevelt was wrongly pulling the US into the war in Europe. But this isolationist resistance ended suddenly with Pearl Harbor.
The country seemed to come together behind Bush after the Sept. 11, 2001, attack. But the Democrats never could accept the idea of democracy being spread in a forceful way by the US. So the policy difference grew: The conservative Democrats vs. the liberal Republicans. That’s relatively speaking, of course, but still very real.
Welcome to the Blogosphere fellows, where it’s always 15 minutes into the mainstream media’s future.
Update: Somewhat related thoughts, from Fred Barnes:
THE WORDS OF HUBERT HUMPHREY became the motto of American liberalism almost from the moment he uttered them on the Senate floor in 1977. “The moral test of a government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life–the children; the twilight of life–the elderly; and the shadows of life–the sick, the needy, and the handicapped.” Liberal Democrats embraced the Humphrey dictum as a measure of what they’d done and what they planned to do. This was the high moral ground they thought of as the Democratic party’s exclusive heritage.
It no longer is. The indifference of liberalism to the fate of Terri Schiavo, by itself, demonstrates that. Those in the dawn of life and those in the shadows do not have advocates in liberalism and the Democratic party, at least not many. More often the weak and the innocent are targets. Democrats and liberals have fled the moral high ground, and they’ve done so voluntarily.
What was liberalism’s response to the plight of Schiavo, the Florida woman forced to die last week? Some Democrats–Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa stands out–aided Republicans in putting the Schiavo case in federal court and giving her a chance to live. But for most, the issue was not that a woman who was brain-damaged, and whose parents wanted to care for her, was being put to death. No, the issue was procedural. The rule of law and the requirements of federalism supposedly barred intervention by Congress or federal courts in the case. States’ rights suddenly became a tenet of modern liberalism. In effect, liberalism washed its hands of Schiavo, the epitome of someone in the “shadows of life.” Sick, needy, and handicapped? She was all three.
The Republicans of FDR’s time were frequently portrayed by the press as being gray-suited bankers ready to foreclose on little old lady’s homes the minute they were late with the mortgage payment. By treating Schiavo’s death strictly as a procedural and legal issue, modern Democrats were seen by many as acting in a manner similar to FDR’s opposition in the 1930s.