Proliferation Press

A webpage devoted to tracking and analyzing current events related to the proliferation of WMD/CBRN.

America Up, America Down: A Glance at Dreary Democrats in Michigan, and Some Uncle Sam Triumphare

Posted by K.E. White on September 3, 2007

John Vincor writes this thoughtful editorial in today’s International News Herald. Looking at the political dynamics in Michigan, Vincor explains just how Democrats could lose the White House in 2008:

All that’s theoretical. Now, the leading Democratic candidates have done something concrete in relation to Michigan that makes you believe they are capable of losing in the race they want to run against the legacy of George W. Bush. Clinton, Obama and Edwards have announced their refusal to campaign in Michigan’s Jan. 15 primary.

Their public explanation is that the Democratic National Committee opposes the state’s choice to advance its primary to a date that interferes with the party’s original primary schedule. Michigan said simply that its economic, racial, industrial, big-city and environmental issues could not be subordinated to the far less representative, more manageable concerns of Iowa and New Hampshire.

The truth is a Michigan primary would be unpredictable, unchartable – a fair vote, in fact – coming in a place that chose both Jesse Jackson and George Wallace in earlier primary elections. Campaigning there by Clinton, Obama or Edwards would have to focus on gut issues and would dwarf the significance of the few thousand activists who vote in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, or Rye, New Hampshire.

Here’s an indisputable case of pols choosing to play professional politics in preference to what their emptiest campaign speeches call the public interest.

But is Vincor’s portrait of a distressed, economically insecure American public right? Not according to Joel Anchenbach at the Washington Post:

But if global power is measured by military might, no other country is within light years of America. Our military expenditures, according to Cullen Murphy, are about equal to the defense expenditures of the next 15 nations combined.

North Korea spends approximately $5 billion a year on its military. That is what the Pentagon leaves as a tip for a waiter. That’s what we spend on condiments! That’s our ketchup and mustard budget!

The gross domestic product of the United States for 2007 probably will be in the vicinity of $13.2 trillion. China is right around $2.6 trillion — in fourth place, after the United States, Japan and Germany.

Americans are blessed with a durable Constitution, cultural diversity, abundant resources and an open society. I think we’re capable of solving our problems. That’s the position, too, of Murphy, whose America/Rome meditation ends on a hopeful note. He writes that a fundamental characteristic of Americans is the belief that improvement is possible. Sure, we’re making many of the mistakes the Romans made: “But the antidote is everywhere. The antidote is being American.”

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