I probably agree with Peter Beinart once every century, so it's important to note the occasion when it occurs. Yesterday, Beinart laid into House and Senate Democrats for their faux outrage at Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
How, exactly, publicly humiliating Maliki and making him look like an American and Israeli stooge would enhance his "leadership" was never explained in the missive. But of course Reid's letter wasn't really about strengthening the Iraqi government at all; that's George W. Bush's problem. It was about appearing more pro-Israel than the White House and thus pandering to Jewish voters.
While not mentioned in Beinart's piece, DNC chairman Howard Dean is guilty of the same "crime" and probably even more so. In a Wednesday speech, Dean called a-Maliki an anti-Semite and trashed the United States for freeing a nation of anti-Semites from the tyrannical rule of an anti-Semitic, terrorist-supporting leader.
Of course, you can't let the perfect be the enemy of the good -- at least Iraq is no longer sending $25,000 checks to the families of suicide bombers.
Beinart again nailed the shameless opportunism and dishonesty of too many Democrats today.
Privately, some Democrats, while admitting that they haven't exactly been taking the high road, say they have no choice, that in a competition with Karl Rove, nice guys finish last. But even politically, that's probably wrong. The Democratic Party's single biggest foreign policy liability is not that Americans think Democrats are soft. It is that Americans think Democrats stand for nothing, that they have no principles beyond political expedience. And given the party's behavior over the past several months, it is not hard to understand why.
These are not serious people -- and they certainly can't be trusted to run U.S. foreign policy.