In his recent column Eugene Robinson longs to hear straight talk from the Democratic presidential aspirants:
What we need to hear now from Clinton, Obama and Edwards is “the vision thing,” heavy on specifics. How do they see the long-term U.S. role in the Middle East? (“Different from the way George Bush sees it” isn’t good enough.) Do they buy Bush’s distinction between “moderate” and “extremist” elements and regimes, as proxies for good and evil? Is U.S. involvement in the region about oil? Is it about religion? What do they intend to do with the permanent-looking bases the Bush administration is building in Iraq — including one just five miles from the Iranian border?
And please, no hiding behind “I don’t do hypotheticals.” The Republican candidates’ view of Iraq, Iran and the Middle East is dangerously apocalyptic, but at least it’s a vision. What’s yours?
On the contrary I think the vision shared by the Democratic aspirants is rather clear: they envision a Democrat in the White House and they’re relatively indifferent to how he or she gets there or what he or she will do when there.
I long for something rather different. I don’t want more I want less from the candidates. I want them to stop campaigning on things they have no ability or intention of doing when in the White House. Like it or not we’re the security guarantors for much of the world and that will continue for the foreseeable future, especially since no one else seems to want the job. Can you blame them?