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Posts Tagged ‘george w. bush’

The Death of the Bush Doctrine

June 27th, 2011

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This piece was originally posted on The Huffington Post.

The Bush Doctrine is dead. It was mortally wounded in Iraq. It finally expired in Afghanistan.

The doctrine was promulgated by President George W. Bush in his second inaugural address on January 20, 2005, when he said, “The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands.” That made it a matter of U.S. national security to turn other countries into democracies. Even to force democracy with guns and tanks, as we did in Iraq, and as we are trying to do in Afghanistan.

We’re now seeing growing impatience with Afghanistan in the Republican Party. “I think we have learned that our troops should not go off and try to fight a war of independence for another nation,” Mitt Romney said at this month’s Republican debate in New Hampshire. Jon Huntsman advocates “an aggressive drawdown” of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. “I’m not sure the fate of our country is going to be determined on the prairies of Afghanistan,” Huntsman said last week. Read the rest of this entry »

To keep the 2010 midterms from repeating 1994, Democrats can learn from Reagan

September 20th, 2010

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This piece was originally published in The Washington Post.

“We are going to lose the House and the Senate.”

Those were the opening words of a memo that I faxed to my then-boss, Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), on Labor Day in 1994. Schumer was still in the House, I was his legislative director, and my prediction was based on one overarching idea: The Democratic Party had lost its way. Our national agenda had been hijacked by the parochial agendas of aggrieved special interest groups. And as a result, we were badly misfiring with the middle class.

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Focus on the Mission: Repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

March 5th, 2010

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This piece was originally published on The Huffington Post.

They serve in Iraq. They fight in Afghanistan. Their names are etched in marble at Arlington National Cemetery. And three out of four Americans believe they shouldn’t be forced to lie to serve the country for which they are prepared to die.

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The Deepening Partisan Divide

January 8th, 2010

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This piece was originally published in National Journal.

Want to see bipartisanship? Look at the congressional votes in 1935 to establish Social Security. The measure got almost unanimous support from Democrats: 95 percent of House Democrats and 98 percent of Senate Democrats voted to create the safety net for the elderly. Republican support was also overwhelming: 84 percent of House Republicans and 76 percent of Senate Republicans voted for the new program.

Want to see bipartisanship again? Look at the Medicare votes of 1965. Once again, Democrats were nearly unanimously supportive (83 percent in the House, 89 percent in the Senate). This time, Republicans were more closely divided but still delivered significant support: 70 GOP House members (51 percent) and 13 Republican senators (43 percent) voted for Medicare.

Want to see bipartisanship vanish? Look at the 2009 votes on health care reform. The House measure passed in November with the support of 85 percent of Democrats but only one of 177 Republicans. Last month’s Senate vote on health care reform was totally polarized: All 60 Democrats voted yea; all 39 Republicans present voted nay.

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