Monday, March 31, 2008

Center of what?

Glenn Greenwald responds to the Newsweek article on John McCain by Michael Hirsch and reminds of something we really must not forget.

The indisputable fact is that McCain, on foreign policy issues, holds views far to the Right and far outside of mainstream American public opinion. In Media World, the GOP presidential nominee is always a centrist, a new kind of Republican, a trans-partisan pragmatist, while the Democratic nominee is always just a dogmatic liberal. So in one sense, this is just par for the media course (just go read how George Bush and Dick Cheney were relentlessly depicted during the 2000 campaign).

But depicting McCain as a "centrist" is an attempt to mainstream decidedly extreme positions, and worse, it obscures and distorts one of the vital issues that ought to be decided in the election: namely, whether McCain's radical foreign policy views and war-based national security approach -- grounded in the defining Bush/Cheney doctrine -- is something America wants to continue. One can and should debate whether that mindlessly belligerent Kristol/Lieberman/Bolton approach is constructive and ought to continue. The view that we should continue to invade, bomb, occupy and control the governance of various Middle Eastern countries -- while managing much of the rest of the world -- is something the country should debate. But by no metric is there anything "centrist" about McCain's view that we should.
When queried on issues, most Americans pick options that would be considered "progressive" or "liberal" or "Democrat," which is to say that even progressive Democrats are not out on the fringe, they are where most Americans are. Folks like John McCain do not represent the American center. We should not let the GOP get away with claiming to represent whatever the current equivalent of the "silent majority" may be, and we must actively fight against the media popularizing crap like considering Genghis McCain a centrist. He's not. Glenn discusses it very well.
--the BB

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