Marginal Footnotes

Beinart and the Cold War Liberal
May 4, 2006, 8:31 pm
Filed under: Media, Politics, Uncategorized

I don't know if you saw it, but Peter Beinart wrote a peice in the New York Times yesterday about the need for Democrats to rediscover the intellectual liberalism of Niebuhr and Kennan to write their response to the conservative story of the post-Soviet and post-911 world. 

I wanted very much to agree with Beinart, but his solution to what he sees (and I also see) as the Left's failure to write a coherent, and one might say grand, narrative about America's role in the radically inchoate geopolitical circumstances that now confront us, seems in the main contrived and for the most part impractical.  I do not diverge from his major assertion that America must recognize its own fallibility, particularly since he is simply paraphrasing Neibuhr, but I do not think the story Beinart is suggesting Democrats tell to the American people is a story they will find compelling. 

More on this later.  I'd be interested in what other people think.


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