Protecting Workers' Rights Does Not Amount to "Globophobia"
by Jonathan Singer, Fri Dec 29, 2006 at 12:30:57 PM EST
The early responses to John Edwards' announcement that he will run for the Democratic presidential nomination are coming in, and at least one leading Centrist Democrat does not like the themes being offered by the former North Carolina Senator.
Aides to presidential candidate Edwards say the former North Carolina senator can attract votes from the political center by conveying passion and commitment. But Clintonites like Progressive Policy Institute's Will Marshall fret about rise of populist "globaphobia" within the party. [emphasis added]
To provide some context, the first paragraph of Marshall's biography on Wikipedia reads as follows:
Will Marshall is one of the founders of the New Democrat movement, which aims to steer the US Democratic Party toward a more moderate orientation. Since its founding in 1989, he has been president of the Progressive Policy Institute, a think tank affiliated with the Democratic Leadership Council. He recently served on the board of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, a committee chaired by Joe Lieberman and John McCain designed to build bipartisan support for the invasion of Iraq. Marshall also signed, at the outset of the war, a letter issued by the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) expressing support for the invasion. Marshall signed a similar letter sent to President Bush put out by the Social Democrats USA on Feb. 25, 2003, just before the invasion. The SDUSA letter urged Bush to commit to "maintaining substantial U.S. military forces in Iraq for as long as may be required to ensure a stable, representative regime is in place and functioning." He writes frequently on political and public policy matters, especially the "Politics of Ideas" column in Blueprint, the DLC's magazine. Notably, he is one of the co-authors of Progressive Internationalism: A Democratic National Security Strategy.
It should come as little surprise that Marshall, a DLCer who strongly advocated for America to wage war on Iraq, would voice concerns about the candidacy of someone who now opposes the war and would like to see an end to American involvement in the country. With his own views now thoroughly undermined by the reality on the ground in Iraq and rejected by the vast majority of Americans, Marshall, as well as others of his ilk, would have much to lose were the Democratic Party to choose as its standard bearer in 2008 someone with the fortitude to advocate the redeployment of American troops from Iraq. Facing the prospect of no longer having the ear of the powers within the party, Marshall has no choice but to dredge up a strawman argument: that any Democrat opposed to transforming the Middle East at the barrel of the American gun or in favor of protecting American workers' rights in trade agreements is a "globophobe."
But Marshall knows better, as do we. Implementing a trade policy that ensures America can compete on an even playing field by mandating some standards for workplace safety, protecting the enviroment and the like is not "globophobia." Using America's soft power through diplomacy instead of rushing to use America's military forces when not necessary is not "globophobia." Acknowledging that escalating the War in Iraq by increasing the number of American troops involved is not "globophobia." Strengthening America's ties to its allies throughout the world is not "globophobia." Nothing that John Edwards advocates -- or, for that matter, the vast majority of the populist Democrats who won key elections around the country on November 7, enabling Democratic control over the House and Senate -- amounts to "globophobia."
As Chris has written before, there is no place in the Democratic Party for those who make ad hominem attacks on other Democrats -- particularly when those attacks involve the talking points used by Republicans. So if leading DLC activists insist upon helping the Republican Party win in 2008, whether by echoing their rhetorical assaults on Democrats or by openly supporting the presidential ambitions of non-Democrats like Michael Bloomberg, then I must renew my call to excommunicate the DLC from the Democratic Party.