Tag: E. J. Dionne
I was very much struck by his final three paragraphs, which I will quote without interruption before I offer my thoughts below the fold.
In the flood of anniversary commentary, notice how often the term "the lost decade" has been invoked. We know now, as we should have known all along, that American strength always depends first on our strength at home - on a vibrant, innovative and sensibly regulated economy, on levelheaded fiscal policies, on the ability of our citizens to find useful work, on the justice of our social arrangements.
This is not "isolationism." It is a common sense that was pushed aside by the talk of "glory" and "honor," by utopian schemes to transform the world by abruptly reordering the Middle East - and by our fears. While we worried that we would be destroyed by terrorists, we ignored the larger danger of weakening ourselves by forgetting what made us great.
We have no alternative from now on but to look forward and not back. This does not dishonor the fallen heroes, and Lincoln explained why at Gettysburg. "We can not dedicate - we can not consecrate - we can not hallow this ground," he said. "The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract." The best we could do, Lincoln declared, was to commit ourselves to "a new birth of freedom." This is still our calling.
Give Republicans credit for this: They don't chase the center, they try to move it. Democrats can play a loser's game of scrambling after a center being pushed ever rightward. Or they can stand their ground and show how far their opponents are from moderate, problem-solving governance. Why should Democrats take Republican advice that Republicans themselves would never be foolish enough to follow?
That is the final paragraph of E. J. Dionne's column in today's Washington Post, titled as is this diary, Democrats should hold their ground.
Of course, apparently some, including David Axelrod, are already prepared to cave on things like extending Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. That - Axelrod's position - is not only economically stupid, it is a political stupid and weak move.
I think Dionne is largely on topic in his column, which I will explore a bit more as well as offer some additional words of my own.
Not only for ourselves, but for all who work.
Because we believe in the dignity of work.
Because we both understand something about history, including economic history.
She is Harvard, Junior Phi Beta Kappa, Marshall Scholar, M. Litt. from Oxford, Ph.D. from George Washington.
I am BA from Haverford, two masters degrees, ABD in Educational Administration and Policy Studies.
We both work with our minds.
She is on her local's negotiating team.
I am my building's union representative.
Had we any doubt, two pieces in today's Washington Post might help convince us.