It seems The New Republic is the only left-leaning magazine whose writers have brains these days. Not only does Jonathan Chait point out the folly of war opposers who point to the lack of WMD as proof that they were right all along, but he also makes a point that I’ve been stating time and time again:
Perhaps the most disheartening development of the war — at home, anyway — is the number of liberals who have allowed Bush-hatred to take the place of thinking. Speaking with otherwise perceptive people, I have seen the same intellectual tics come up time and time again: If Bush is for it, I’m against it. If Bush says it, it must be a lie. Their opposition to Bush has made liberals embrace principles — such as the notion that the United States must never fight without U.N. approval except in self-defense — to which the Clinton administration never adhered (see Operation Desert Fox in 1998, or the Kosovo campaign in 1999). And it has made them forget that there are governments in the world even more odious and untrustworthy than the Bush administration.
This is a crucial point: Why is it that the liberals who were docile in the face of Clinton’s unsanctioned military action in Kosovo and Desert Fox are so vociferously against military action against Iraq today? Why haven’t they explained the key differences that suddenly necessitate worldwide consensus, other than the fact that the president is George W. Bush?
The answer is simple: they can’t.