When it comes to war, torture, abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and other matters of life and death and human dignity, the dominant U.S. media can be counted upon to portray those advocating for the violent option as serious, realistic, and willing to make the hard decisions. Meanwhile, their opponents who favor nonviolent (or even just less violent) solutions are extreme, out of touch with the mainstream, and unwilling to face the facts.
Case in point: David Broder’s latest column, “Candidates Lacking A Real-World Clue”.
After praising both parties for having an abundance of appealing presidential candidates — an assessment with which I would take issue for a variety of reasons, but nevermind that now — Broder cautions:
But the dynamic on both sides is trending toward extreme positions that would open the door to an independent or third-party challenge in 2008 aimed at the millions of voters in the center.
The danger may be greatest for the Democrats, even though President Bush’s failings have put them in a favored position to win the next election. Prodded by four long shots for the nomination and threatened by the rhetoric of former senator John Edwards, a serious contender, the two front-runners, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, have abandoned their cautious advocacy of a phased withdrawal of U.S. forces and now are defending votes to cut off support for troops fighting insurgents in Iraq. [emphasis added]
Those Democrats are crazy! They’re for Congress using its Constitutional power over appropriations to end a war the American public has turned against — and they’d only give us ten months to safely withdraw our troops! (Why, that’s not even two whole Friedmans!) I’ve never heard of anything so extreme!
And what are the Republicans advocating? You know, the ones who aren’t as extreme as the Democrats?
Meantime, they see nothing wrong with raising the possibility of using a nuclear weapon — for the first time in more than six decades — as a bargaining tool in dealing with the ticklish situation in Iran.
It’s nice, I guess, that nukes still make David Broder a little uneasy. But anyone who finds nuclear threats less disturbing than ending a failed war doesn’t get to lecture anyone else about “lacking a real-world clue”.