Friday, March 30, 2007

Senators Biden & Hagel 2002

Michael Ledeen posts a very interesting look back to commentary by Senators Biden and Hagel. This is what Ledeen finds in their commentary from the Washington Post in December of 2002:
Every U.S. Senator believes he or she should be president. Just listen to them talk, and watch the way they walk; it’s obvious. They’re rarely called to account, but every now and then they write something, and it goes into the record, and then someone googles it out. So take a look at this very statesmanlike op-ed that Biden and Hagel wrote four and a half years ago. Notice they had no clue what would happen after the overthrow of Saddam. Notice that they bought into the Saudi view of life, namely that nothing of merit can be accomplished until there is some deal with Israel and the Palestinians. And notice they knew, long ago, that this would be slow,and we’d have to remain for quite a while. Ten years anyway.
It is worth your time to read the entire commentary by Senators Biden and Hagel.

Here are the last two sentences of the Biden-Hagel commentary:
As the bulwark of freedom and democracy, the United States faces the need to disarm Saddam Hussein and set the stage for a stable Iraq, win a protracted war on terrorism and engage fully on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Working with our friends and allies, it is a challenge we can, and must, meet.
Yet, today, neither of these Senators sounds like this. I wonder why we elect such men to national office if they have such short memories about their own views? Or perhaps they don't have bad memories, perhaps they have changed their minds about challenges "we can, and must, meet." I wonder why we elect such men who seem to have only a very short term resolve in facing challenges "we can, and must, meet"? Do true leaders give up in the face of challenges so easily as these two men seem to have given up?

Once again, perhaps we see here the way in which the Curse of the Rationally Ignorant Voter plays itself out in our system of political economy.

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